Button: Pride 2020

A Week Being Unemployed In New York, NY

Welcome to Money Diaries, where we're tackling what might be the last taboo facing modern working women: money. We're asking women how they spend their hard-earned money during a seven-day period — and we're tracking every last dollar.

Tody: an unemployed woman who spends some of her money this week on Magic Shaving Powder.
Occupation: Unemployed
Industry: Tech
Age: 27
Location: NYC
Salary: $0 (was $70,000, but is currently $0 since I was laid off in a large round of COVID-related cuts)
Debt: $0
Paycheck Amount:
$0 (still waiting on my unemployment checked to kick in)

Monthly Expenses
Monthly Housing Costs: $1,300 (I live in a three-bedroom apartment with two roommates and we all pay equally.)
Loans: $0
Apple Cloud: $.99
Spotify + Hulu: $9.99
Netflix: $12.99
Kamps Fitness Unlimited: $25
Utilities: $20-$40
Wifi: $35
Gym Membership: $110 (currently on hold)
Amazon: $0 (use my brother's)
Classpass: $15 (currently paused)
Phone Bill: $0 (still on my family plan)
Health insurance: $0 (I was paying about $50 a month but my company graciously gave three months of insurance for free)
Advertisement

Day One

7:15 a.m. — Welp, I am awake... still wondering why I wake up at this time after being out of a job for over three weeks. I was recently let go in a large set of layoffs where they let go of about 10% of the company. It has been such a whirlwind but I am very fortunate to have worked at a great place where they actually care about you and even gave free career advisors and resume help in addition to free health insurance for three months to everyone they let go.
8 a.m. — Eat a rice cake with peanut butter and out the door with my mom to go to the grocery store. She is a bit older so I like to go and help her with heavy items, push the cart, and load the car. I am heading back to the city after being home for two months to quarantine and am stocking up on food to bring back. I get kale, tofu, shrimp, broccoli, two salad mixes, wraps, eggs, rice cakes, Beyond burgers, and some yogurt along with her food for the next few weeks. My mom generously offers to pay for my items. Got to love the perks of being home!
9:20 a.m. — It's Costco time. We pull into the parking lot and the line is at least 75 people long! I hop out of the car to get in line while my mom parks. Within 30 minutes we are in. We get some essentials and pick up a few things for my relatives who are unable to go to the store as well.
Advertisement
12 p.m. — Get home, sanitize everything, and put everything away. I do some last-minute packing and cleaning around the house and make lunch.
4 p.m. — I pack up my food and am ready to leave. I am lucky enough to have a car at my parents' that I can drive into the city. My family is still very worried about taking public transportation so I am going to keep the car with me for a bit.
5:10 p.m. — There is no traffic at all and I get to my apartment in just over an hour and get a good parking spot right outside my building!
6 p.m. — I catch up with my roommate, H., about our lives since we haven't seen each other in two months. We have a new roommate moving in at the end of this month and make a plan to deep clean the entire apartment and the open room.
10 p.m. — I am exhausted so time for bed. I wash my face, brush my teeth, and put on this amazing rose facial oil from Trader Joe's. Their beauty section is life-changing.
Daily Total: $0

Day Two

7:15 a.m. — I wash my face, brush my teeth, put on some moisturizer, and turn on on the news.
10:30 a.m. — I do a Zoom workout and then make some breakfast — eggs and an avocado. After eating, I run outside to move my car.
12 p.m. — Cool, just drove around for over an hour to find a spot since alternate side parking is in effect this week, and ended up 15 minutes away from my apartment. I run on home because I have a third round of interviews later this afternoon for a great job opportunity and want to eat a quick lunch (kale salad, tofu, sliced almonds, chickpeas, and balsamic) and do some last-minute prep beforehand.
Advertisement
4:30 p.m. — Done! I think they went really well, so fingers crossed this works out. Time to go back out and move my car closer to my building.
5 p.m. — Woo, got a great parking spot and beyond ready for an early dinner. Lemon spaghetti with broccoli and shrimp. Simple and delicious. H. comes home from her run and we hangout out on the couch and watch Dead to Me. Honestly, season two is kind of a disappointment...
10 p.m. — Time for bed. Wash my face, brush my teeth and lay in bed for a bit talking to a guy I matched with on Bumble the other day. We make plans to try and do a social distancing "date" later this week.
Daily Total: $0

Day Three

7:15 a.m. — Ugh, 7 a.m. wake up again. I try and go back to sleep but that is not working out too well for me. I get out of bed and wash my face, brush my teeth. I make some eggs and avocados for breakfast.
10:30 a.m. — Zoom workout finished! Today was a strength class and I'm starting to really like this place. They are based in Wisconsin so I would have never found them if it wasn't for live workouts. I shower and get ready for my day.
12 p.m. — I head out to run to CVS and Trader Joe's for a few things. My loofa is gross after not using it for two months so I pick one up at CVS ($3.31). I go next door to Trader Joe's for some cinnamon. But alas, they are out because everyone is now home baking. I end up buying their new watermelon overnight mask and am so excited to try it. Apparently it is a direct dupe for the Glow Recipe mask ($7.61). I go to the next closest store and pick up some cinnamon ($6.39). $17.31
Advertisement
1 p.m. — Lunchtime. Kale salad with chickpeas, tofu, sliced almonds, and balsamic vinaigrette.
5:30 p.m. — Just heard back from the recruiter about a possible new role I have been interviewing with and they want writing samples. I work in marketing and never really compiled my work before. I spend quite a bit of time doing this and send it on over. This waiting game is the worst but another step forward is always a good sign.
6:20 p.m. — Just got a call with a different recruiter from a major tech company asking if I would be interested in a new position there. It sounds like an interesting opportunity and send over my updated resume.
7:30 p.m. — Time for dinner. Spaghetti with fresh lemon, broccoli, kale, and shrimp. I am a creature of habit and will continue to eat the same things every day.
10 p.m. —I hang out with H. and watch the Taylor Swift special on Hulu. Night routine of washing my face and brushing my teeth and off to sleep. I am trying the new watermelon overnight mask and it already feels so soft and light.
11:30 p.m. — I have been talking to Bumble boy all day again and lock in a time for our date for tomorrow.
Daily Total: $17.31

Day Four

7:15 a.m. — At this rate, I don't think I will ever sleep in again. Brush my teeth, wash my face, and put on the Today Show. My skin is SO soft and glowing from the mask. 10/10 would recommend it. I make eggs and cut up an avocado for breakfast and drink some iced coffee that I brewed a few days ago.
Advertisement
10:30 a.m. — Finish today's workout which was a boxing and strength class. I run to the shower and start to get ready. I am meeting my Bumble date, B., at 12!!
12 p.m. — I put on jeans, a white t-shirt, and a light jacket with some cute casual flats. I even do my hair and put on makeup. Today is a day of firsts for my quarantine self. I get to the park first and find a not so crowded spot with a few empty benches. He finds me and brings iced coffee. He picked up a few snacks too. He pays. It is SO weird getting to know someone with masks on and a six feet separation. Everything is going really well and we decide to walk around a bit.
3 p.m. — Wow, it has already been three hours and time is flying. We decide to pick up some lunch and eat in the park. We go to Whole Foods and get salads and snacks. He pays for this too. We quickly realized we forgot to get water so I run back and pick up two bottles ($3.93). We sit in the park (at a safe distance), eat, and talk for a while. $3.93
8 p.m. — OMG it is 8 p.m. and I just said goodbye to him! What a pleasant surprise this entire day was. We both want to give each other a hug and kiss goodbye but know we shouldn't. It feels like we are in an episode of Too Hot Too Handle. Connecting on a deeper level but can't touch. I get home, shower, and scrub my body after being out for so long and gush about the day to H. My phone tells me we walked over two miles and I am definitely starting to feel it and notice my feet are covered in blisters. My cute shoes did me dirty today. I eat some random snacks for dinner and clean a bit.
Advertisement
8:37 p.m. — I check my emails after this eventful day and see another email from a recruiter asking for references! I reach out to a few past colleagues and managers and they all get back very quickly saying they are more than happy to be listed. I add everything to my reference sheet and send it off. I am so tired so I decide to call it an early night.
11:30 p.m. — So much for going to sleep early. I have been texting B. all night and we make plans for a second date :)
Daily Total: $3.93

Day Five

6:56 a.m. — What the heck, I didn't even sleep until 7 today. I lay in bed on my phone and talk to a friend of mine in London. We catch up on everything and talk about life in quarantine in our countries. I see a tweet from NYC saying alternate side parking is suspended for a holiday today so I don't have to move my car. Little wins to start the day are the best. Brush my teeth, wash my face, and put on moisturizer.
9:30 a.m. — I decide not to take my workout class this morning because I am feeling very sore from yesterday's class and long walk. I take my comforter to the cleaner for drop-off service and make some breakfast: eggs and avocado with an iced coffee.
12 p.m. — I pack up some lunch (kale salad, tofu, chickpeas, sliced almonds, with balsamic and fruit) and I walk to the park to relax and get some fresh air.
Advertisement
2:38 p.m. — I get attacked by a goose.
4 p.m. — B. comes and joins me in the park. We hang out and talk for a bit and decide to go walk and find ice cream.
6:30 p.m. — We settle on wine instead. I get the first round ($23.60) and he gets the two others. I am loving these sidewalk bars in this beautiful weather. $23.60
7 p.m. — We cheer for the essential workers and listen to a home down the street blasting "New York, New York."
8 p.m. — We walk a bit longer and get some pizza. It's cash only so I pay ($14) and I say goodnight after we eat. Still want to kiss each other goodnight but decide to wait a bit longer. $14
10 p.m. — Take a shower and do a deep scrub down. Brush my teeth, put on the watermelon overnight mask, and call it a night.
Daily Total: $37.60

Day Six

7:15 a.m. — It feels like the weekend. But I guess every day is the weekend to me at this point…. Get up, brush my teeth, wash my face, and put on moisturizer.
9 a.m. — Go to pick up my comforter that I completely forgot to get yesterday ($25). I make some eggs, cut up an avocado, and pour some iced coffee. I continue to check my email to see if anything new comes in from the recruiters. $25
12 p.m. — Take a free class through Classpass that my favorite studio is teaching.
Advertisement
3:30 p.m. — Eat my daily big salad for lunch (kale, chickpeas, tofu, tomatoes, corn, and balsamic). I get a call from a recruiter who tells me the company would love to speak to me and want to set up four video interviews first thing next week!
5 p.m. — Take a walk to get some fresh air and pop into CVS to get some Band-Aids for my blisters. I find some Magic Shaving Powder and decide to get it because I've seen it all over TikTok. $8.98
6:30 p.m. — H. and I decide to go out and get a drink from one of the local restaurants near us. They just reopened and are serving curbside drinks. I get a cocktail and tip them a bit more than usual since they have been closed for two months ($18.24). We start to get hungry so we walk down the street to pick up a bite to eat. I get a taco and margarita ($20.31) and we walk home. $38.55
11 p.m. — Exhausted from drinking a bit too much and crawl into bed and pass out.
Daily Total: $72.53

Day Seven

7:15 a.m. — It is raining and I am feeling like it is going to be a super lazy day today. I decide this might be the best time to call the Department of Labor to understand when I will start to receive unemployment payments. It has now officially been four weeks since I lost my job and filed my claim and am starting to get very stressed about all of this.
Advertisement
10:30 a.m. — No luck getting through to anyone and definitely need to take a break. Make some eggs, toast, and cut up an avocado.
11:15 a.m. — I give this magic shaving powder a try and everyone needs to run to the store and buy this. It works like Nair but feels a lot more gentle. My hair just came right off. Oh, and you can use this EVERYWHERE on yourself.
12:32 p.m. — I buy a desk off of Amazon since I doubt I will ever be back in an office full time again ($94.75). $94.75
6:35 p.m. — After cleaning and watching hours of RHOBH it's time for dinner. I throw together random leftovers (corn, broccoli, and tofu) and watch a cheesy Netflix movie called Roped with H.
9:22 p.m. — Exhausted from doing the bare minimum today so I call it a night.
Daily Total: $94.75
COVID-19 has been declared a global pandemic. Go to the CDC website for the latest information on symptoms, prevention, and other resources.
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.

The first step to getting your financial life in order is tracking what you spend — to try on your own, check out our guide to managing your money every day. For more money diaries, click here.

Do you have a Money Diary you'd like to share? Submit it with us here.

Have questions about how to submit or our publishing process? Read our Money Diaries FAQ doc here: r29.co/mdfaqs

More from Work & Money

R29 Original Series