A Week In New York City On A $69,200 Salary

Welcome to Money Diaries, where we're tackling what might be the last taboo facing modern working women: money. We're asking millennials how they spend their hard-earned money during a seven-day period — and we're tracking every last dollar.
Today: a social media coordinator working in retail who makes $69,200 per year and spends some of her money this week on Larabars.
Occupation: Social Media Coordinator
Industry: Retail
Age: 23
Location: New York, NY
Salary: $69,200
Paycheck Amount (Biweekly): $1,1718
Monthly Expenses
Rent: $1,750 for my share of a three-bedroom apartment
Student Loan Payment: $0 (My education was generously covered by a college fund my grandparents started for me when I was born.)
Health Insurance: I am on my mom's plan.
MetroCard: $121 deducted from my paycheck pre-tax
Electric: Anywhere from $60-$100 each month
WiFi: $5 for my share
Spotify: $10
Netflix: $0 (Thanks, Boyfriend.)
Cell Phone: $0 (I'm on the family plan and my mom refuses to accept money for it.)
ClassPass: $135
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Day One

6:30 a.m. — Rudely awoken by the sun pouring through my window. I made the mistake of starting The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel last night and stayed up far too late binging it. Realistically, I could fit in a little more sleep, but I love being able to take my mornings slow. Breakfast is two cups of iced coffee with almond milk and two pieces of turkey bacon. I head off to work around 8:30 while listening to Frank Sinatra.
9 a.m. — At work and prepping for a meeting I have at 10. I failed to bring anything for lunch — happy Hump Day.
1 p.m. — I quickly step out and go to the Starbucks nearby for a turkey bacon egg white sandwich and a grande Pike Place. I grab a coffee for my coworker, too, since he was complaining about the lack of caffeine in his system earlier. $9.71
6 p.m. — The day flew by, and somehow I have the motivation to go to a hot pilates class (through ClassPass) at a new studio.
7:30 p.m. — Stop by the grocery store on my way home and grab an avocado, Honeycrisp apples, grapes, kale, and water chestnuts. $17.31
8:30 p.m. — After I shower, I start cooking dinner when my boyfriend, L., texts and asks if I want to grab sushi. Um, yes absolutely, but I also do not feel like getting presentable and leaving my apartment. I continue cooking my dinner of cauliflower rice stir-fry and top it off with the perfectly ripe avocado I picked up earlier.
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9:30 p.m. — Roommate gets home, and we debate ordering a bottle of wine, but decide against it when we see the $7 delivery fee. I read articles on Le Figaro and Le Monde (I was a French double major and try to do something every day to keep my proficiency up) before turning on more Mrs. Maisel.
11 p.m. — About to head to bed when my little sister FaceTimes me, and we talk for awhile. I miss her terribly. Fall asleep around 1 a.m.
Daily Total: $27.02

Day Two

6 a.m. — Oof. I get up with my first alarm, and I'm out the door within 30 minutes. We have a shoot this morning, and I need to get in early. I grab an almond milk latte on my way to the subway. $4.25
4:30 p.m. — It's been a whirlwind of a day, but fortunately the shoot wraps when it's supposed to. Since I got into the office so early, my boss lets me leave as soon as we're done.
5:30 p.m. — Home, drinking tea, and watching the snow (!!!) fall from my bedroom window.
7 p.m. — A couple of my friends want to have a wine night, and I offer to pick up some bottles on my way over. I drop $70 on wine, but my friends immediately Venmo me for their shares. Trees in my neighborhood are starting to snap from the snow, and it's kind of odd seeing fallen tree branches all over the street. $17
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9 p.m. — Wow, I am verrrry tipsy. I realize that I haven't really eaten today and debate ordering food to my friend's apartment, but decide against it and settle for pretzels and wine for dinner. In my wine drunk state, I text L. asking if I can come over, but I don't make it there. Instead, I end up tottering home and crashing into my bed at 11.
Daily Total: $21.25

Day Three

5:30 a.m. — Jesus Christ, why didn't I chug water last night?? My head is pounding, but I go to the same pilates class every Friday morning, and I refuse to incur the cancellation fee of shame. Hydrate hydrate hydrate. Thank god this studio is literally around the corner from my apartment.
7 a.m. — Emerge from pilates feeling like a new woman. I am dreading the day that hangovers become deadly. (When does that happen? Like age 26?) I run home and throw on a sweater dress — it's definitely a dry shampoo and bun day. I toss a pair of very extra sparkly earrings and a bright lipstick into my bag to put on after work, since I won't have time to come home before tonight's social activities.
8:30 a.m. — I swing by Starbucks and grab a turkey bacon egg white sandwich, but decide office coffee will be sufficient enough for this morning. $3.76
1 p.m. — I've been playing catch up since I was away from my desk all day yesterday. One of my work friends says he's going to Sweetgreen, and I can't resist. I get a custom salad with kale and romaine, double spicy broccoli, tomato, sweet potato, and chicken. He pays, since we alternate buying each other lunch. (We try to have weekly office lunch dates.)
5 p.m. — Leave the office at 5 on the dot to meet some friends for happy hour, earrings in and lipstick on. Happy Friday! I get a glass (or two) of prosecco, and we spend the next hour gossiping and laughing hysterically ($14 plus $2 tip). $16
7 p.m. — I'm at L.'s sipping another glass of wine in his cozy apartment. We're going to Uncle Boons for dinner, and while they don't take reservations, L. already walked over and put our name down. I'm enjoying this time catching each other up, since we haven't really had time to see each other this week.
8:30 p.m. — At dinner, we discuss how we want to spend our three-year anniversary. We met in college and had a kind of flirty friend relationship until my senior year, when we decided it was time to seriously date. I truly cannot believe it has been three years! We discuss where we'd want to go if we took a trip to commemorate year three while we eat grilled octopus, papaya salad, crab fried rice, and noodle curry. L. generously treats.
9:45 p.m. — Swing back by his place to pick up some alcohol before heading to a house party at our good friend's place. I call the Uber, since I have a discount right now. $6.48
1 a.m. — Yep, I am fully drunk. Cab it home with L. and somehow manage to both chug water and take my makeup off before crashing.
Daily Total: $26.24

Day Four

7 a.m. — Why am I awake?? Check my phone and respond to texts I missed last night, including one from my mom. She immediately responds asking why I'm up this early on a Saturday. I take her advice and try to go to back to sleep.
9 a.m. — Up for good, and I need coffee ASAP. I take a shower while L. runs out to get us cappuccinos. God bless that man.
11 a.m. — Being lazy in bed. My mom reminds me that I need a dress for an event over Christmas, so I find one and order it now so that I'll have time to get it altered if needed ($121). I eventually drag myself out of bed so I can go home to change. Then I run some errands before brunch with friends. I stop by the Target near me and grab tampons, kombucha, and makeup wipes ($16.98), and then run into the salon on my block really quick for a polish change ($7 plus $3 tip). $147.98
2 p.m. — Bottomless brunch with L., my best friend, and her boyfriend. We go here whenever we're feeling like a boozy brunch. $25.02
4:30 p.m. — At our friend's place. We debate going to a bar, but decide to just drink some wine and hang instead.
8:30 p.m. — Not sure where the day went, but now we're home and eating grilled chicken, hummus, pita, rice, and fries that I impulsively ordered from Cafe Mogador on Caviar. L. Venmos me for half. I kind of want to meet some friends out later, but end up passing out by 11. $19
Daily Total: $192

Day Five

8:30 a.m. — Slowly wake up and cuddle with L. for a bit. I eventually make us some coffee, which we sip in bed while he reads the news and I read my new book, What If This Were Enough? by Heather Havrilesky.
10:30 a.m. — L. needs to go into the office, so I walk him to the subway since I want to get some writing and life admin done in a nearby coffee shop. I've been writing as a hobby since high school, but it is definitely a hobby that requires some discipline and continuity. I stick with chai to drink, since I had my fair share of coffee this morning. $3.75
1:30 p.m. — Stop by the grocery store on the way home and pick up Honeycrisp apples, almond milk, iced coffee, turkey breast, avocado, broccoli, popcorn, Larabars, and paper towels. $34.12
2:30 p.m. — I'm cleaning my apartment when one of my good friends asks if I'm down for a late brunch. Yes, please. We go, and I get an omelet with bacon and onion, the best breakfast potatoes, and a mimosa. We talk for forever, since I've hardly seen her lately. Towards the end of our meal, two of our friends pass by the restaurant and spot us through the window, so they stop in to say hi and order mimosas. I get another round, and we stay at the restaurant until nearly 5. $42
6 p.m. — I'm back at my friend's (it is seriously the best thing ever having some of your best friends live within 10 minutes of you), and there's talk of going out to dinner, but L. lets me know he's back home and invites me for dinner at his place. I take him up on the offer and pick up a bottle of wine on my way over. $17
8 p.m. — L. cooks an amazing dinner of chicken piccata, and we hang out for a little after we eat, watching Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown. Eventually it gets late, and he calls me an Uber home since it's freezing out. It can be difficult for us to see much of each other during the week due to his unpredictable work schedule, so I cherish these quiet weekends we have together.
12 a.m. — Home with a face mask on, eucalyptus candle lit, and chamomile tea made. I journal and then do a bit of meditation before passing out around 1.
Daily Total: $96.87

Day Six

6:30 a.m. — Awaken, read the news, scroll through my socials, and then make some iced coffee and slice up an apple. I grab a protein bar and another apple and am out the door by 7:30.
8 a.m. — Early to work this morning, which I prefer on Mondays. I jam to my November playlist while responding to emails that came in over the weekend. We have two big shoots this week, so I won't be at my desk much and want to get ahead on some admin stuff.
1 p.m. — Step out of the office to go pick up some jeans I ordered from Madewell last week. I grab my work BFF a coffee while I'm out because he's been stuck on a call. I eat my protein bar at my desk when I return. $3.43
5:30 p.m. — Subway uptown to see a friend from home who is in town visiting and staying with a mutual friend in Morningside Heights. They want to hit up a happy hour, but I stick with a small glass of wine since I feel like I've been drinking a lot lately. My friend generously covers our tab.
8 p.m. — At home, I cook another batch of cauliflower rice stir-fry. Then I catch up with my roommate and FaceTime my other roommate/best friend who has been out of town for the past week. Asleep before midnight for once.
Daily Total: $3.43

Day Seven

7 a.m. — Sleep in a little before quickly showering and blowing out my hair. Drink some iced coffee, water the plants, and eat a few pieces of turkey breast. (Yes, I like weirdly savory foods for breakfast.)
2 p.m. — I had to go to a casting this morning for a shoot we have later this week, so I take lunch a little later. I eat an apple and a pack of almond butter at my desk along with a green tea. Then I browse flights while I eat and bookmark a few for L. and me to go to my hometown for Christmas, as well as a flight to Miami to stay with a friend for New Year's. I wait to book anything until I can have a proper conversation with L. first.
7 p.m. — Just got out of a burnout pilates class, and despite not wanting to go after work, the class felt great, and I am so glad I went. I call my mom on the walk home and come home to my roommate cooking a chicken and rice dish, which I gladly accept as dinner.
8:30 p.m. — A friend pops over with a bottle of wine, which we all share while she breaks the news of her recent break up. I give her a huge hug, and we send her home with some leftovers around 11. I call L. before I go to sleep, and we catch up on our days and make tentative plans for tomorrow. Ten minutes of quiet meditation later, I'm out like a light.
Daily Total: $0
Money Diaries are meant to reflect individual women's experiences and do not necessarily reflect Refinery29's point of view. Refinery29 in no way encourages illegal activity or harmful behavior.
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