A Week In New York, NY On A $62,000 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 coordinator working in television who makes $62,000 per year and spends some of her money this week on googly eyes.
Occupation: Coordinator
Industry: Television
Age: 28
Location: New York, NY (lives in Queens, works in midtown)
Salary: $62,000
Additional Income: usually $200-$1,000/month doing photography gigs and occasional nightlife performances. This month will net $475.
Paycheck Amount (biweekly): $1,350-1,600
Gender Identity: Cis Woman
Monthly Expenses
Rent: $1,900 for a one-bedroom, paid out of a joint account with my fiancé
Student Loans: $0! Paid off my student loans last month! (I was paying $400-$1,000 month before it was paid off, and I'm only just recovering from avalanching those payments.)
Joint Expenses:
Gas & Electric: $70-$180 (we blast the AC because I have a pet chinchilla who can get a heat stroke if it's over 75 degrees)
Internet: $60.36
Netflix and Hulu: $0, for now. (Fiancé keeps forgetting to switch it from his account to the joint one.
Personal Expenses:
Metrocard: $127, pretax
Health and Dental: $128.43 per pay period, pretax, for both myself and my fiancé
Cell Phone: $0 (thanks Mom and Dad!)
401(k): $170 per pay period, pretax (I think it's 6-7% of my paycheck, which is matched)
Personal Savings: $0. (Zip, zero, nadda. Between paying off my student loan and making deposits for my wedding next year, I have no touchable savings whatsoever. Eeeek!)
Note: My fiancé and I have a joint account. He contributes $350 weekly and I contribute $700 biweekly (based on our pay schedules).

Day One

7:30 a.m. — I wake up and check my bank accounts and smile. I got paid yesterday and finally paid all my credit cards down to ZERO. For the first time in my adult life, I can say I AM COMPLETELY DEBT FREE!!! My fiancé, S., and I cuddle our dog for a bit before heading to the kitchen. I went food shopping last night, so I have breakfast and lunch set for the next few days. He makes breakfast — cheesy scrambled eggs and espresso — while I put together my lunch (his work provides free lunch every day).
12:15 p.m. — Lunchtime! I have a turkey and apple wrap, apple slices, a Chobani yogurt, a cheese stick, and a sugar-free pudding snack. I eat at my desk while answering some emails. It's slow, and I'm waiting to hear back about scheduling two different job interviews, so I can't focus on anything. I start writing this Money Diary to distract myself and pass the time.
1 p.m. — I get an email from my wedding venue. Tomorrow marks one year until the wedding (which also happens to be our anniversary) and the venue manager wants to remind us that we have a halfway payment of $8,700 due. Thank goodness we have another year because I'm already a couple thousand behind in my goal thanks to getting a puppy (ughhh those vet fees will getcha) and avalanching my loans. So, I call my mom to ask for money. Her and my dad promised us $15,000 towards the wedding and already made a few deposits for us. She transfers over the remaining $11,000 so I can deal with the rest of the payments myself and stop asking her for money. I text S. a screenshot of my bank account followed by tons of money gifs because I've never seen that much money in my bank account in my life.
4 p.m. — I remember we're out of stamps, and we need to get that venue check in the mail. I text S. and he'll run to the post office to pick some up, using our joint account. $22
6:00 p.m. — I get home and take the dog to the dog park while S. makes dinner (a Blue Apron shrimp & chili sauce meal).
7:30 p.m. — I have a few things on my to-do list for tonight. I send a video to a client who lost her file, I work on a logo my dad wants me to design for a golf trip with his friends, and I make a list of what else I need for my Halloween costume. We're doing a "Florida" theme this year: S. is being Florida Man (he's from Florida), my dog is being a pineapple because we already had that costume, and I'm putting together a flamingo ensemble (think showgirl-meets-infamous-Bjork-swan-dress). I put the $8,700 wedding venue check in an envelope to mail out in the morning. $8,700
8:30 p.m. — S. and I sit down to watch TV. I have my laptop out and want to get a few more things done while we watch old episodes of Always Sunny. I place an order for some funny gifts for my sisters' birthdays next month for $42.72. The rest of the night, I work on photography color corrections. $42.72
Daily Total: $8,764.72

Day Two

7:30 a.m. — Good morning! It's my negative-first wedding anniversary! We wake up, eat the same breakfast as always, pack lunch, take the dog out. My mom calls while I'm getting ready to tell me that Shutterfly is having a sale on magnets, just in time to order save-the-dates on the one-year countdown until the wedding! I add it to my to-do list for the day.
10:30 a.m. — I get to work and finish going through emails quickly, so I log onto Shutterfly. The deal doesn't apply to the Save the Date magnets, only regular ones, so it wouldn't come with addressed envelopes. I've seen the ones I want on sale before, so I'll keep waiting for a better deal.
12:15 p.m. — Lunchtime. Same as yesterday. I get an email from Blue Apron and notice next week's box was charged. $59.94
1 p.m. — I take a lunch break to buy stuff for my Halloween costume. First stop is a feather store where I know I can get a wholesale discount. I pick up boas to use to make a skirt and a handful of damaged stuff from the discount bin to cobble together a fascinator headpiece ($27.47). I walk across the street to a trim store and grab a headband and fascinator base, but they have an $8 card minimum. I'm in heels and my feet are starting to hurt, so rather than go find an ATM, I grab a bag of pink rhinestones (I might as well bedazzle the top of the costume) and check out ($15). I pass by my favorite cafe on the way back to work and resist the urge to get a pain au chocolat, but succumb to an iced latte ($5.72). I marvel at how gorgeous the weather is today on my walk back to the office and hope it's exactly like this a year from today on my wedding day. $48.19
5:30 p.m. — Rushed out of work because I forgot to buy an anniversary card for my guy! I hate every card: they're all basic or corny or just not us. The only card I like is $8 — wow that's so expensive. But he's a sentimental guy who appreciates and keeps my cards, so I'd rather him have a sweet one to look back at than a crappy one. $8.70
6:30 p.m. — I walk the dog and then meet S. at a local French restaurant. My neighborhood is having a restaurant week: Three-course prix-fixe for $25, which is a great opportunity to try new places. We order our meals (escargot, coq au vin, and creme brulee) and also splurge on a bottle of wine. The food is the best French food I've had except for in Paris! A couple sits down at the table next to us and we start talking to them about our love for travel (especially France), food, languages, art and architecture, and meeting new people abroad. We're there for over three hours. Our waiter notices how much we're enjoying ourselves; he brings over a round of white wine steeped with oranges that the owner makes himself. Delicious! I trade emails with our new friends while my fiancé pays (~$100). Quelle belle soiree!
Daily Total: $116.83

Day Three

8:30 a.m. — We slept in today (our jobs aren't strict on hours). He makes me breakfast and rushes out for a dentist appointment while I get ready, walk the dog, and pack my lunch.
12 p.m. — Same lunch as the last two days. I eat at my desk again.
2 p.m. — I take my lunch break to go to Whole Foods. I pick up food for the weekend including salmon and rainbow veggies for tonight's dinner, chicken drumsticks, butternut squash, carrots, and broccoli for tomorrow night. I grabbed the smallest squash they had and it was still enormous. There's definitely enough for at least three meals. $40.93
6:30 p.m. — Pretty low-key night at home. We make dinner and binge shows on Netflix while I work on a few photography edits. I get an email asking if I'm free to shoot video at a show next week (I am) and I add the date to my calendar.
Daily Total: $40.93

Day Four

8:30 a.m. — The dog wakes us up, which is fine because I forgot to set an alarm. It's the weekend, but I'm supposed to be at a fundraising walk for a friend at 10 a.m. We're out of both eggs and Nespresso pods, so we take the dog on a walk to Starbucks. We both get iced coffees and I grab one of those fruit and cheese boxes to eat on the go; we pay with the joint account. $14.64
3:30 p.m. — After the walk, my friend hosts a lunch party at her place. I hang out for a couple hours before calling an Uber home. $14.05
7 p.m. — We start dinner from the groceries that I got yesterday. While I was out, S. went to the store and got us beer and breakfast ingredients. As expected, there is soooo much squash that I only use half and save the other half for tomorrow. There's even a ton of leftovers after dinner. The rest of the night, S. plays "Legend of Zelda" while I work on photo edits and putting my flamingo costume together. It's almost done, but I do wanna make a little flamingo face to pin to the shoulder strap (a la the infamous Bjork swan dress), so I'll run to Michael's for some felt during lunch on Monday.
Daily Total: $28.69

Day Five

8:30 a.m. — I'm wide awake and have some energy this morning. It's raining and the rain is supposed to continue all day. I go on a run just so I don't feel bad about being lazy the rest of the day. Nobody else is out, so it's a quiet and refreshing run.
10 a.m. —S. has breakfast ready when I get home: eggs, tomatoes, spinach, and cheese in a whole wheat wrap with drip coffee. We eat together, and then I go take a bubble bath to wash off the chill from the rain.
2:30 p.m. — I send out the photos I'd been working on and S. and I take a quick snack break (leftover squash) and size up dinner. My sister brought us home this amazing beer cheese from a trip abroad, so we want to make something special with it. We still have half of the butternut squash, so I pull a few online recipes together to come up with a butternut-squash-mac-and-cheese casserole with roast pork on the side. We have almost everything we need except a box of macaroni, cooking spray, and the pork. S. takes the dog on a walk to go to the store while I start prepping the squash.
7:30 p.m. — After a few hours prepping, cooking, and watching TV while we wait, our Sunday night feast is ready. It's a decadent masterpiece — a capstone meal to complete a perfect rainy Sunday. The rest of the night, he continues to play "Legend of Zelda" while I play "The Sims." I honestly can't remember the last time we got to have such a perfect lazy day.
Daily Total: $0

Day Six

7:30 a.m. — We get up and start getting ready for work. I straighten up the apartment and knock out some dishes while my fiance makes our usual breakfast. We're still out of Nespresso pods and don't feel like taking out the coffee pot for drip coffee, so I grab an iced red-eye on the way to the office $5.23
12:15 p.m. — Lunchtime! I run down to the cafeteria in my building and get a small salad and small soup for lunch. For once, I don't accidentally overload on the heavy foods at the salad bar. I bring it back to my desk and eat while working on some reports. $8.39
1:30 p.m. — I print out a Michael's coupon and head out for my errand. I grab three pieces of felt (39 cents each), a packet of googly eyes (99 cents), and a tube of E6000 glue. Total cost for this year's Halloween costume came out to $63.91, which is the cheapest in the last two years and easily my best costume since college. $4.95
4:15 p.m. — I finally hear back from one of the jobs! Scheduling an in-person interview for later this week!
6:30 p.m. — I get home a little later than I wanted to because the trains suck (I hate this city). I eat yesterday's leftovers — still delicious. I'm meeting my fiancé, my sister, and some friends for a dog Halloween party (I love this city), so I put my dog in his costume and grab my flamingo headpiece. Not going to do a full dress up tonight because it's not about me, it's about the pup. I'm supposed to be meeting everyone at 7, but it's already 6:50, so I'll either be super late if I take the train or kinda late if I take an Uber. Uber it is. $7.02
7:30 p.m. — We have a few beers, watch the cutest lil costume parade, and hang out while all the dogs get their awards. My dog is such a social butterfly, he's sniffing all the butts and getting all the pats. There's a vendor at the event who sells doggy ice cream that my dog goes CRAZY for, but I forgot cash. My sister has some, so I Venmo her the $4 and get my pup his treat for being such a good boy. $4
9:30 p.m. — Once the awards are done and the ice cream is consumed, we close our tab. It takes a while because the venue is so crowded. The bartender is awesome, and he takes a drink off of our tab because I was patient and I remembered his name. I tip as much as the iPad will allow. $28.75
10 p.m. — We say goodbye to my sister and friends and call an Uber home. $8.37
Daily Total: $66.71

Day Seven

6:15 a.m. — I wake up early and feel inspired to go on a run. But then my dog is being cute, so, nevermind, back to bed.
8:45 a.m. — I snooze every single alarm, wake up late, and feel super groggy. Definitely should have just gone on that run when I got up earlier. My fiance makes me drip coffee since we're still out of espresso. I really could have used the espresso today. I run into the supermarket on the way to work and grab apples, bananas, yogurt, and some deli meat. I should have enough food for the next two days for lunches and snacks at work. $11.67
11 a.m. — I'm still groggy and now also hungry since I didn't eat breakfast. I grab an oatmeal packet I have in my desk and mix it with one of the bananas. I also make a cup of coffee from a Keurig machine I have at my desk. It's nowhere near strong enough for me, but at least I'm not spending $5+ on coffee every day.
1:30 p.m. — I eat my lunch at my desk. Work is painfully slow, so I work on wedding planning. I sign a contract for our hotel room block, file the venue payment receipt in a Google Drive folder for vendor contracts, email a restaurant about doing our rehearsal dinner, and update my wedding planning boards on Trello (a great project management tool). I add the hotel block info on our website and make some styling changes. The only good thing about feeling so stuck at work is that I had time to plan basically my whole wedding. I really hope I get a new job soon, though, since I hate being bored. I'm in an incredibly competitive industry, so I know I have to have patience while continuing to network and bulk up my resume in other ways. These jobs I'm supposed to be interviewing for would be a small step forward, but, more importantly, they'd actually be challenging and have growth potential. I'd finally have the opportunity to thrive in my career for the first time.
6:30 p.m. — I get home, walk the dog, and wash dishes. S. gets home shortly after me and starts making dinner, which is Blue Apron tacos. After the dishes are done, I go in the other room while he finishes our meal. He turns 30 in two weeks, and I got him tickets to the Elton John tour the night before his birthday. It's out on Long Island, so I've had to arrange to borrow a car from my parents. While he finishes dinner, I find a restaurant near the venue and look into parking at the stadium. It's $20 if you prepay or $40 day-of, so I purchase a parking ticket from Ticketmaster. I also find a really nice looking restaurant (not a chain... why is 90 percent of Long Island chains?!) and make a reservation on Open Table. Cool... his birthday is all set! $20
8 p.m. — The rest of the night he plays "Legend of Zelda" and I meal prep so we don't have to cook on Halloween. Once that dinner is done, I set my alarm early (I'm ACTUALLY going to go on that run tomorrow!) and watch my fiance storm Hyrule castle while I brush the dog. I think he'll finish the game this coming weekend, which is exciting since I've been watching him play for ten months. He's my hero.
Daily Total: $31.67
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