5 Money Diaries From 31-Year-Old Women In The U.S.

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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, we're looking at the spending habits of women who are 31-years-old in different cities in the U.S. The lives of adult women across the country look very different than they did a generation ago. Ahead, we look at the Money Diaries of five 31-year-old people across the country in a variety of circumstances — already a parent, actively dating, in a long-term job, juggling two part-time gigs, and more.
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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. Have questions about how to submit or our publishing process? Read our Money Diaries FAQ doc here: r29.co/mdfaqs
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First: a bartender and Pilates instructor who makes $83,000 per year. This week, she spends some of her money on a tattoo.

Occupation: Bartender & Pilates Instructor
Industry: Service & Wellness
Age: 31
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Bartending Salary: $53,000
Bartending Paycheck (Weekly): $1,104
Pilates Salary: $30,000
Pilates Paycheck (1x/month): $2,500

Monthly Expenses
Rent: $815 ( I live with one roommate, a friend.)
Loan Payments: $0
Gas & Electric: $75
Phone: $90 for unlimited data
Yoga Studio Membership: $115
Health Insurance: $539.17 (I am not covered through work so I opted for individual coverage with Oscar Gold. The monthly rate is so high because I chose a plan with a very low deductible — $600. Also, because of my income level, the cheapest option in New York starts at $300/month with a deductible of around $2,000. I decided to get more expensive monthly coverage with a cheaper yearly deductible.)

Yearly Expenses
Amazon Prime: $99
Roth IRA: $5,500

Day One



10 a.m. — This feels early for me. I work weekends and usually take Mondays mornings off to reset. This Monday, I have a root canal scheduled, so I asked the Pilates studio to block off my schedule through Wednesday. The last time I had a root canal, the pain was incredible, so I am giving myself time to rest afterward if I need it. I drink water, shower, and try to figure out an outfit for rain and a chilly dental office.

12 p.m. — I am rushing to make the appointment on time. I barely ever take the train anymore since I bike everywhere, but somehow I have money left on my MetroCard. I grab a banana ($0.50) and eat as I walk to my root canal, only 15 minutes late. $0.50

2 p.m. — The procedure lasts about an hour and is not as painful as anticipated. I pay the total at the end of the visit ($1,375). I have a dental savings plan instead of insurance; it is cost effective if you need a lot of big-ticket dental work, which I do. The dentist says I can eat and drink right away so I rush to a Pret, my favorite part about Midtown, to get a coffee with soy milk. $1,378

4 p.m. — Try to do a little shoe shopping because I need new boots for upcoming interviews, but no luck today. I head home, now feeling the pain. I go to pick up my Vicodin prescription, but I get impatient after 20 minutes and leave. I actually don't like the way Vicodin feels, so instead I pick up a bottle of red wine and I doubles as my pain relief. $14

6 p.m. — After two doubles and a red wine spritzer, I gossip with my friends via text. They are all so sweet and supportive. Any type of dental work is really stressful and triggering: I was on the receiving end of a hit and run about 10 years ago that caused a lot dental and maxillofacial damage — very painful and very expensive.

9 p.m. — I spend the night researching inspiration for the tattoo appointment I have tomorrow. My artist and I spend the evening sending images back and forth, he is really great to work with very flexible and communicative. I order dinner from the cheap sushi place near me. They have many veggie options and quick delivery. I am totally spoiling myself today. I get a green veg roll, an oshinko roll, fried tofu, and kimchee. $23 including tip

11 p.m. — I stay up late texting with friends and writing. I usually write a couple of hours a day, some structured projects but mostly journaling. I get ready for bed, apply a topical Retin-A, moisturizer and drink two cups of water.

Daily Total: $1,415.50

Day Two



10 a.m. — Decide to go to a noon yoga class before my tattoo appointment. I belong to a hot yoga studio, and in order to protect my new ink, I won't go back until next week. It's spring in NYC, which means that the weather is all over the place. Today, it's fine for shorts, clogs, and a tank top, as well as a jacket, sweater, and an umbrella for a later. I put cash, a water bottle, and yoga gear in my bag and get out of the house. I take an UberPool to the studio. I am in total princess mode. $6

11:45 a.m. — I pick up a Clif bar at the deli next to the studio ($2) and eat half of it. Check in for the class and put a mat and towel on my card ($4). I have a membership but it does not include rentals. $6

1 p.m. — After class, I feel calm and energized. Yoga is a great mental reset. I shower and change in the beautiful locker rooms. Part of why I go to this studio is the luxurious spa atmosphere. I walk to the tattoo studio in Greenpoint from Williamsburg. The sun is out and it is hot which I love, but I am also aggressively reminded why I never wear these clogs anymore. I stop for iced coffee ($4.50 including tip) and put on Band-Aids. $4.50

2 p.m. — I get to my friend's studio. I appreciate him because he a great artist and he lets me book last minute. I am getting two tattoos in what he considers a painful spot. (Tattoos as a coping mechanism: discuss.) He always has an eclectic playlist on the iPad; today, it is Natalie Imbruglia and No Doubt. Last time, it was Michael Jackson and Korn. I spend most of the session deep in a text message convo with my ex. $240 including tip

3:30 p.m. — Neither the root canal nor the tattoo was that painful, although the blisters from my clogs are killing me. I bandage up and walk to meet a friend for an afternoon at my favorite outdoor spot. I pick up an açai bowl at a spot in Greenpoint; they are pricey but full of greens and granola. $13 including tip

4:30 p.m. — Just as I am sitting in the sun about to enjoy my acai bowl, my boss texts me to come in for a meeting at 5 p.m. The bar is within walking distance, so I agree to the meeting but have to cancel on my friend. I eat quickly and walk over to the bar as I prepare for the worst.

5:45 p.m. — I have never had a good meeting with this boss. It is clear that he has issues with me personally (i.e. issues working with women) that do not reflect my work behind the bar. I am very upset after talking to him. Many mutual friends and coworkers have all had similar meetings with him in the last week. He is very immature, and after his insulting comments and lack of constructive criticism, I am seriously considering quitting. Of course, now it is pouring rain and I feel like crying. Ubers are $45 so I walk to the bus. $2.75

7 p.m. — I spend the ride texting friends and coworkers about the meeting. I am really tired of the emotional toll this man's comments are taking on me. I buy a bag of chips and post up on my couch. I pour myself a red wine spritzer, start watching Married to the Mob, and eat leftover sushi. $2

8 p.m. — One of my friends is having a birthday dinner at a Mexican restaurant and nightclub tonight. I am still upset from earlier, but have decided not to let a disaster of a meeting ruin my night. I get ready, change into a blouse and wedges, and put on a bit of eyeshadow, highlighter, and a frosty nude lipstick. I left my bike at a friend's house, so I UberPool to the restaurant. $7

10 p.m. — The birthday boy and crew are just wrapping up dinner, so I get a Mezcal Paloma from the bar ($8 and a $3 tip) and join the conversation. Current topics are Dynasty, Mother's Day plans, recent vacations, and our failed beach trip. We move next door to the club, where a friend DJs. I catch up with a few people I haven't seen in years and meet a few new ones. I get a Mezcal mule ($13 including tip) and we all start dancing $24

12:30 a.m. — After enough dancing and gossip, I leave to pick up my bike from my friend's house. I've taken too many Ubers and, luckily, it has stopped raining. Over a few glasses of water, my friend and I get into a deep conversation about my meeting earlier as well as emotional maturity in general. I value my friend's input; we recently got closer and I appreciate his perspective.

2:30 a.m. — I bike home in 15 minutes, feeling better about the whole situation. I drink more water, do my abbreviated nighttime routine, and go to bed.

Daily Total: $305.25

Day Three



10 a.m. — My whole schedule is out of sorts this week because I am not in the studio at all. I have a hard time getting up and the root canal pain is real today. I shower, get ready, drink water, grab an umbrella and try to be out of the house by noon. I have a 2 p.m. gynecologist appointment with a new doctor in Midtown. I plan enough time to get coffee and food beforehand.

2 p.m. — Due to a train delay, and having a hard time finding the office, I don't have time for breakfast. I recently switched insurance and am trying to find a new gyno that I like. I am currently 10 days late, which is unusual for me. I got a positive response from an at-home pregnancy test, so I am super stressed out about a likely confirmation from the doctor.

3 p.m. — After an exam and ultrasound, the doctor says it is unlikely that I am pregnant. She says I have an ovarian cyst that burst; that, in addition to my stress, is the probable cause of my delayed period. They take blood and I will know for sure tomorrow if I am pregnant or not. Out of the office, I immediately get a banana ($0.50) and a coffee ($3) I take a long walk to Sweetgreen. I am still stressed out but try to focus on the positive aspects of my appointment. $3.50

3:30 p.m. — At Sweetgreen, I get a build-your-own bowl. I like the salad here even though it still seems expensive. I get spinach, arugula, wild rice, basil, mushrooms, and pesto and try to relax while I'm eating. I also catch up with my best friend via text. Our schedules have not been in sync recently, so most of our chatting is done via text; it's not as fun as in person. $13

4 p.m. — I have an interview tomorrow that I could use a new outfit for. I walk into Lord and Taylor as a classic Sade song plays; stopping in here feels like a good decision. I peruse the shoe department but nothing they have will work for my interview. I then go to Rainbow, an invaluable resource if you work in service. So many cheap but cute tops. I "splurge" at Rainbow and get a smocked sheer shirt and a tiny tank. Even though I have some free time to shop, I am just not in the mood. I consider cancelling the interview tomorrow. $19

5 p.m. — I stop at a couple of thrift stores, but no luck. I get a mint tea on my way to the train ... just in time for rush hour. $3

5:45 p.m. — My mouth is really starting to hurt so I pick up that Vicodin prescription. At the pharmacy, the clerk and I have a laugh over the price of the prescription — $0.69. She's like, "Why even charge anything at all?" If only health insurance were free. $0.69

6 p.m. — I stop at the place next door for a veggie roti and somehow there is no line; a miracle ($7 with tip). I also pick up a liter of seltzer and go home to eat, watch Married to the Mob, and pop a Vicodin. $8

7 p.m. — I text my ex-boyfriend about my doctor's appointment. He has been cool and supportive about this situation. The home test results were initially cause for concern so we're feeling relieved — but both agree I should get a second opinion.

9 p.m. — I text friends, relax, and go to bed early. I have a morning dentist appointment to look forward to. I take another Vicodin, apply moisturizer, and put a glass of water near my bed. I journal until I fall asleep.

Daily Total: $47.19

Day Four



9 a.m. — I wake up at 9, drowsy and with a stomachache — absolutely because of the two Vicodin yesterday. I drink water, take a shower, and get dressed for a dentist appointment. I transfer $20 from my bank account to my credit card. I moved most of my default payments from the credit card I paid off to my new card, but I took a drop-in yoga class last week that still had my old card on file. (In January of this year, I paid off my credit card debt — $15,000 over two years.) $20

10 a.m. — I call an Uber because it is raining today. I had hoped to bike because the office is only a 12-minute ride away. $6

11:30 a.m. — I am early; gauging your arrival time in an UberPool is so difficult. I get a much-needed cortado nearby, but what an expensive place! The coffee is almost as much as the cab ride. $5

12:30 p.m. — I am trying out a new dental office after I got a Groupon last month for a cleaning, exam, and X-ray. I talk to the dentist about the cost of getting a post and crown in her office.

1:30 p.m. — The cleaning was rough, but everyone was friendly and informative. I get super tense at the dentist but her attitude put me a little more at ease. I schedule a post and crown a few weeks out. It has stopped raining, so I get a bottle of water and walk home through the park. After the rain, the park is lush and breezy; very soothing. $1.50

2 p.m. — I feel very strange. I'm not very hungry but I stop for coffee and a gluten-free muffin anyway. I barely touch the coffee and can only stomach half the muffin. I get an email that my test results from the gynecologist are ready, but I still need a little more time before opening them. $5

3 p.m. — I text with friends to get my mind off everything. I also finally accept a drink date with an acquaintance. I am not really in the space to get involved with someone new, but we have a similar sense of humor and are basically texting each other every day at this point.

3:30 p.m. — On my way home, I stop by the bakery to pick up aloo pie and a pint of dal. I eat quickly and get ready. I change jackets and put on more moisturizer and lipstick. I am in a focus group in Midtown and need to arrive by 5 p.m. I listen to "Pretty Mess" by Vanity on the way to the train; appropriate AF. $5

5 p.m. — I check into the focus group and drink water while I wait for it to start. Our group is a really funny bunch; we all laugh a lot while sharing our opinions on credit cards. On the way out, I receive $150 for participating.

7:30 p.m. — My stomach starts to hurt so I cancel my dinner plans with a friend and go home. When I get home I cook the rest of the dal with spinach and brussels sprouts, and eat the soup-like meal with the rest of the aloo pie. I make mint tea and watch the latest episode of The Real Housewives of New York City. I try to relax and text with my BFF after her first date disaster. I am trying to be as supportive as possible over the phone.

9 p.m. — I eat a gluten-free brownie and drink more tea, while texting with my guy friend. Our relationship parallels Jerry and Elaine's from Seinfeld. We are discussing that if I quit my job, I can spend my birthday on his boat. It would definitely be more fun to spend my birthday on a boat with friends than at work.

11 p.m. — I surrender to tooth and stomach pain, take a Vicodin and try to relax. But then I also start reading about the mind/body connection to ovarian cysts; not really "light" reading.

12 a.m. — I stay up to journal before brushing my teeth, washing my face, and applying Retin-A. I am asleep by 1 a.m.

Daily Total: $42.50

Day Five



12 p.m. — I was going to get up at 10 a.m. but I am working tonight and still feeling weird and tired. I sleep 'til noon, get up, and eat the rest of the muffin from yesterday.

1 p.m. — Drink tea in bed while reading emails and texting. I do some positive affirmations before opening my test results from the gynecologist. The lab results are good news, thank god. I feel relieved that they came back normal. I am still going to schedule a follow up at another office to get a second opinion on the situation.

2 p.m. — I do some light stretching and decide to have lunch delivered. I order again from the sushi place, a lunch special of three veggie rolls, seltzer, and edamame. I spend more time in bed watching interviews with one of my favorite Brooklyn yoga teachers. Patricia Pinto has a wonderful interview on Quiero. I am a longtime yoga practitioner, and it has really helped me through many difficult times, both physically and emotionally. $13

5 p.m. — I get ready, shower, do 20 minutes of yoga stretching, and get dressed in something super casual. I don't feel like looking fabulous for a job that doesn't appreciate me. I walk most of the way and then catch a train the rest of the journey. I stop at the only café near my job and buy an expensive tea ($4 including tip). I read Money Diaries and text with friends. I was supposed to see my friend's band play tonight but instead I have to go in early for work. $4

7 p.m. — I usually bring snacks to share with coworkers, but today, I'm not super motivated. I just get a banana and peanuts from the deli. I order a staff vegan meal and a glass of red wine, which is included. I'm not hungry now, but I def will be by 4 a.m. It's really strange to be here now. I used to love coming to work but now it feels like we are a couple that broke up but are still living together. $2

10 p.m. — Eat a staff meal and chill with my favorite barback. It's slow right now so I sip seltzer and lounge.

5 a.m. — Ugh, Uber is expensive because it is raining. This is why I usually bike to and from work. $18

Daily Total: $37

Day Six



2 p.m. — I sleep unusually late today. I finally get out of bed, throw jeans on, and walk to the fancy deli for coffee. I pick up a large coffee and a thinkThin bar. $4

4:30 p.m. — I am spending the afternoon making a ton of doctors appointments. I also eat leftovers veggie sushi and make mint tea. I book appointments for acupuncture, the dermatologist, dietitian, and confirm another gynecologist appointment. I book through ZocDoc, which has really made the somewhat scary process of going to the doctor a more accessible and less threatening experience.

6 p.m. — I was supposed to meet friends at the Brooklyn Record Fair earlier but it's raining and I couldn't get motivated to leave the house. Now I'm leaving for work, it's still raining, and it's Saturday so I expect it to take way longer to get there. The juice place I was going to get a smoothie has closed, so I get a Clif bar ($2) and take the bus ($2.75). I will stop at another market near my work to buy juice and something to eat if the line's not too long. $4.75

6:45 p.m. — I get a large green juice, chestnuts, and a banana. I hope this juice helps settle my stomach. $7

8 p.m. — Working on learning the new cocktails for the spring menu and drinking seltzer with lemon. Start chatting with the barbacks and friends that stop by.

12 a.m. — It got busy of course; it's Saturday. I'm feeling more tired than normal. Usually, I would go to hot yoga before work (it gives me a lot of energy), but this week I was in no mood.

5 a.m. — After some great end-of-the-night convos with coworkers, I catch an Uber home; still expensive but cheaper than last night. At home, I wash my face and teeth and go to bed. (Actually, I put my legs up the wall with a heating pad under my lower back for 15 minutes and then I get to sleep.) $13

Daily Total: $28.75

Day Seven



12:45 p.m. — Wake up to texts from friends. I made brunch plans with my friend post sailing; it's late for him but early morning for me. Get it together and meet him for brunch in Clinton Hill. I bike over because it is a lovely day.

2 p.m. — The place has a beautiful skylight so we get a good dose of sunshine while catching up. I might go sailing with him for my bday weekend, so we talk logistics but it's very hard to plan around the weather. We always have a great time together, although we only see each other like once a month. (We have very different schedules.) I get coffee, a frittata, and a spritz. He picks up the check, because he's sweet — and, let's be honest, makes like three times what I do. He goes back to the marina and I go to my friend's BBQ.

4 p.m. — I broke a couple of nails last night and pop into a nearby nail salon to get them fixed. The place is not amazing but they can take me right away, which means a lot on a Sunday. $30 including tip

5 p.m. — I bike over to my friend's house because she is having a BBQ/dog birthday party. I don't plan on staying long because I need to do work tonight as I have early Pilates clients in the morning. I stop by a deli to get water and bunch of bananas to share; it's not true BBQ food but it's useful. I know everyone has been drinking in the sun all day. $6

7 p.m. — The party is small but fun. There's been some drama in this friend group because one of the girls has a history of making derogatory comments. Due to this, we haven't all gotten together in months. Today it is a little tense but the fun of seeing each other takes over and we all have a good time. I do end up eating there — spicy corn, grilled veggies, tortillas, chips, guac, and bananas. Along with lots of sparkling water.

8:30 p.m. — I leave early because I need to prep for tomorrow, although I wish I could stay longer for cake and the piñata. I bike home while the sun sets.

9 p.m. — I shower, change and do some work in anticipation of new clients tomorrow.

10:30 p.m. — I get my bag ready for tomorrow. It's an early start for a Monday but I know it's going to be a great day because I love first sessions with clients. I wind down and am in bed by 11 p.m.

Daily Total: $36
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Second: a licensed clinical social worker who makes $80,000 per year and spends some of her money this week on a raffle ticket.

Occupation: Licensed Clinical Social Worker
Industry: Healthcare
Age: 31
Location: Houston, TX
Salary: $80,000
Paycheck (2x/month): $2,074
Service Connection Disability Payment: $400 from the VA

Monthly Expenses
Rent: ~$1,350 (I live alone; water is included with rent and it varies by usage.)
Electricity: ~$50
Loan Payments: $0 (I paid off my student loans while stationed overseas and saved enough to pay for my car in full!)
Sling TV: $21.64
Internet: $40
L.A. Fitness: $40
Dry Cleaning: $60
Gas: $50
Tithing: $500 split between my church and Catholic Charities
Savings: $1,000 (split between two accounts)
Roth IRA & Brokerage Account: $500
Health Insurance & HSA: $337
401(k): $492
Phone: $54 (I split the cost with my parents; it's cheaper to stay on their plan.)
Auto & Renters Insurance: $130 (I always pay the bill in full when it comes vs monthly payments — it's cheaper in the long run.)

Day One



3:45 a.m. — My alarm goes off super early; it's the Royal Wedding today and I want to get up early and watch it. I've been excited all week!

5 a.m. — Shit. I fell asleep after the alarm and slept longer than I wanted. I hope to hell I haven't missed the wedding. I turn on CNN and am so thankful that the guests are only just arriving. I make a cup of black tea and eat a buttermilk biscuit I baked last night and settle in.

8:30 a.m. — OMG that wedding! The dress! The bride! The groom! That was everything I hoped it would be. Her dress is wedding goals. I sobbed throughout the entire thing and now I'm exhausted. Usually, I go to spin class or go for a run on Saturday mornings but after all my late nights this week and getting up early this morning, I decide to do nothing and watch the after-ceremony commentary. I cook a fried egg and sauté turkey sausage links.

10 a.m. — My morning is filled with chores I have been neglecting, and I leave the commentary on from the wedding instead of playing music. I clean the kitchen, pick up all of my stuff lying around from the week, vacuum and mop, clean the bathroom, and wash my sheets. I need to pick up my dry cleaning and a package from the front office, so I walk downstairs to get them. Today is a gorgeous, hot spring day in Texas and several people are out with their dogs. My package contains a Dooney & Bourke purse I bought last week to cheer myself up after a breakup and I love it.

12 p.m. — More cleaning; yuck — but a good friend calls, which is a nice break. I just bought a plane ticket to New York to visit her and we talk about our plans. I am so excited to see her! It's been over two years since we last saw each other after being stationed together in the military.

1 p.m. — My aunt texts and asks if their dog can hang out while they have an open house showing. (They are moving to the Midwest for my uncle's job in the summer.) I tell her sure, and let her know my cousins can also come if they want. I check my bank accounts and see that my auto and renters insurance payment is due soon so I pay it today (included above) and also pay off my credit card for my Sling TV monthly payment.

2 p.m. — Put clean sheets on the bed and declare that I'm done with cleaning. I still need to dust the living room and iron but I'll do that tomorrow. My aunt texts and says they are all on their way over, so I have to be a grownup and put on underwear and brush my teeth.

3:10 p.m. — My aunt is a bad influence. She shows me a purse she wants and it's so cute, I tell her to add one in light blue for me. I Venmo my uncle; shipping is free! $80

3:30 p.m. — BBC America is on and replaying the Royal Wedding. I'm all out of tears after earlier but it is still so sweet, especially when Harry lifts Meghan's veil and she gazes at him with love. Where is my prince?! My family leaves at 4. I get ready for Mass tonight at 5 so I can sleep in tomorrow morning. I have a missed call from my mom when I get out of Mass, so I call her after and we discuss the wedding. My mom says she could see me wearing Meghan's dress and I agree. I love the clean lines and boatneck neckline.

7:30 p.m. — I have a Tinder date tonight. We meet at a wine bar close to my apartment and I really like the vibe of the place, but the guy and I have nothing in common. Plus, he is wearing way too much cologne and it rubs off on me when we hug goodbye. I am home by 9:30 and hope this will be an early night. I text a friend and we trade dating stories; I am glad I'm not the only single gal left! I munch on salami and cheese before I start my nighttime ritual: brushing and flossing, washing my face, moisturizing, applying lotions to my arms and legs, and swiping on Chapstick.

10:30 p.m. — Finally crawl into bed, thankful for my fresh sheets. My feet are killing me and this has become the norm since I started my job last year. I need to figure something out.

Daily Total: $80

Day Two



9 a.m. — I did sleep in today — but not as late as I hoped. I try to decide if I should go for a run or run to the gym to swim laps and then run back home. Neither sounds enticing but I need to workout in some fashion today.

11:45 a.m. — I ended up going for a five-mile run, part of which includes a three-mile loop around Rice University. The weather is perfect: breezy, shady, and not as hot as I anticipated. I text my friends while I cool down, hop in the shower, and then eat lunch: half a pork chop my dad grilled for me last weekend and a croissant. I also prepare my lunches for the week: half a pork chop for each day and roasted veggies. I don't mind eating the same thing every day because I don't like to cook during the week.

12:15 p.m. — I move my laundry into the dryer, remembering that I need to dust and iron. I am feeling super lazy today though and end up taking a nap. After, I check my bank account; my IRA and brokerage contributions have been automatically deducted from my checking account. My dad works in finance and helped me set up my IRA when I graduated from college. The brokerage account was set up last year.

2 p.m. — I FaceTime two friends in Virginia and their two sweet girls. I love being an auntie. After, I sort the laundry and dust and then finally pack a pool bag and go downstairs to lay out. I leave the ironing board out as a reminder for later.

5 p.m. — I buy a new song on iTunes by Jai Wolf. It's upbeat enough for my running playlist and I like his music. $1.06

9 p.m. — I finally got the ironing done and eat dinner after: sausage, cabbage, and a piece of jalapeño cornbread. I watch a few episodes of Friday Night Lights and then decide to watch the Lifetime Harry and Meghan movie, which I end up loving! It's so cheesy but so good. By the end, I'm crying when he proposes with the ring.

9:45 p.m. — I finally get into bed after my nighttime routine and tonight, I put in my mouthguard.

Daily Total: $1.06

Day Three



4:30 a.m. — My alarm goes off and I get up after a restless night. I had weird dreams about the royal family mixing with my family and my college boyfriend. I haven't seen him in over 10 years but he pops up in my dreams every few months. I shower, do my makeup, and blow dry my hair before cooking breakfast: a fried egg, a banana, a few pieces of cheese, a buttermilk biscuit I baked last week, and a cup of black tea. Then I catch up on the news, go on Facebook and Insta until 6:30 when I get dressed, and pack a lunch. I'm out the door at 6:55. I wake up early so I don't feel rushed and anxious.

7:10 a.m. — I park my car at the employee lot and take the Metro to the hospital. This option is free for employees compared to paying out the wazoo each month to park in a garage. It's hot, but not suffocating like last week. Boob sweat this early in the morning is never pleasant.

7:45 a.m. — I organize all my referrals at my desk and figure out which patients can go home today. My job is to help coordinate whatever they need to leave the hospital. Today, I have to arrange home health, medical equipment (a.k.a. rolling walkers), and discharge someone to a rehabilitation facility for physical therapy. It looks manageable but Mondays are usually crazy and I'm covering 10 rooms on a different floor.

10 a.m. — I eat two clementines for my mid-morning snack and buy Play-Doh and two books for my "niece" who turns four at the end of the month. I asked her yesterday on FaceTime what she wanted and Play-Doh is the popular toy right now for her and her sister. I include two books because I want to share my love of reading with my friends' kids. The total is $25.33 but I have a gift credit on Amazon from a health promotion at work so it doesn't cost me anything.

12:15 p.m. — It's lunchtime and I am starving. I got a text earlier that a sales rep is buying lunch at the food court but I don't feel like going, plus I brought my lunch: a pork chop, roasted veggies, baby carrots, and a LaCroix (my fav!). I pull out a small container of cashews as well. I browse CNN and Wikipedia — I am still on a royal wedding high and the official photos released by Kensington Palace make me cry. They are so in love.

4:45 p.m. — This afternoon turned out to be crazy just like I predicted. A patient needs to be involuntary committed to the hospital for psych issues, and this is the first time I've done the new process. It is easy but it takes the entire afternoon to figure it out. A nursing home liaison stops by and offers me a snack which I can't pass up: Chex Mix and a Rice Krispies treat. By the time I leave, it is absolutely pouring outside. I hop the Metro back to the car and my normal 10 minute drive turns into a 30 minute drive due to the rain, traffic, and multiple traffic lights not working. I pass the time by listening to the song I downloaded yesterday on repeat — "Indian Summer" by Jai Wolf. I love this beat!

6 p.m. — I do a strength workout from Fitness with PJ on YouTube. My aunt told my mom about this channel, and my mom and I did these workouts when I lived with them. Women age 40+ are the main audience but the videos are great, and I like not having to come up with a workout routine on my own. I just do what PJ does. I have three sets of dumbbells that I got for Christmas. I eat dinner after: grilled sausage, cabbage, and jalapeño cornbread.

9 p.m. — I take a quick shower and then settle in on the couch with a book, but I end up playing on my phone and texting my friend in D.C. She is getting married at the end of the summer and it's been about two weeks since we have talked. I tell her I will call her tomorrow after my spin class, and also message a guy on Tinder. We have plans for the weekend and I'm enjoying the chat; he seems really cool. I get into bed at 9, tired from the day.

Daily Total: $0

Day Four



4:45 a.m. — My alarm goes off but I snooze for 30 minutes before getting up. I had more weird dreams about the guy I just broke up with, but I slept much better than last night. I dry shampoo my hair, straighten the ends, and then do my makeup. Breakfast is a banana, a biscuit, a fried egg, and cup of tea.

7:10 a.m. — I get to the parking lot and discover that I left my Metro card in yesterday's pants, so I hop on the bus (which is also free for employees). I only have one new referral, so today is mostly following up from yesterday.

10 a.m. — I eat a clementine for my snack. Thirty minutes later, I am still hungry so I eat a bag of mini-pretzels while we discuss the patients on the floor. Tuesdays are my busy day of the week with three meetings from 9 a.m. through noon. After we are done, I follow up with a few patients. I am walking so much between my floor and the floor I am covering that I'll bet my feet will hurt tonight.

12:45 p.m. — Lunch time! One of the nurses tells me pizza is coming but I am trying hard to be healthy so I eat what I brought: pork chops, cabbage, baby carrots, and a boiled egg. I drink water and a LaCroix. A sales rep stops by and gives me a bag of Hershey's Kisses so I put them in my candy drawer which is for everyone. I need to buy more candy at the store.

3 p.m. — A coworker's daughter is doing a raffle to help her basketball team play in a tournament in Dallas, so I stop by her office and purchase a ticket. We talk for about 15 minutes, mostly venting frustrations and I feel better after. Back at my desk, I eat an apple and trail mix. Spin class is at 5:30, and I need something in my stomach. $5

4:30 p.m. — I get back on the bus to my car and head to the gym. After changing, I discover that they have new spin bikes in the classroom! Yay! Our instructor tells us they were delivered this morning. Class kicks my butt!

6:50 p.m. — When I get home, I call my friend and catch her up on my life and dating drama. Her fiancé is in town so she tells me about their plans to visit his family. I am happy for her because their relationship has been long distance for about 80% of their time together. Their wedding is in September and I am a bridesmaid. She tells me the MOH will send out info on the dresses soon. Dinner is the same as yesterday: sausage and veggies. Super boring — but I don't have to cook, so score one for me!

9 p.m. — I take a shower and then get into bed to read The Other Boleyn Girl. I get a message from a guy on Hinge about our plans to meet up for a drink tomorrow night, and he suggests a new bar I haven't been to yet. Hooray for being decisive! I am so tired and go to bed early.

Daily Total: $5

Day Five



4:45 a.m. — I hit the snooze button again when the alarm goes off. Since I showered last night, all I have to do is wet my hair to blow it out and do my makeup. Breakfast is a boiled egg, a banana, turkey sausage, and a cup of tea. I am sore from my workouts this week. I did a ton of squats and lunges on Monday.

7:10 a.m. — I got my Metro card from my pants last night so today I take the train. It's been raining this week during the workday and it isn't as hot or muggy today.

8:30 a.m. — Our team has a welcome breakfast for two new social workers starting this week. I go to our main office and chat and mingle with everyone. I eat a powdered donut (donuts are my absolute weakness) and talk to my good friend about my dating life. She is concerned about me (dating is a second job, like she says) and tells me I need to take some time off. I tell her about my trip to New York next month, and then bring two more donuts back to my office under the guise of saving them for later. (I eat them as soon as I sit down. Heaven!)

10 a.m. — My friend/sales rep texts me and asks what I want from Starbucks, her treat. I ask her to grab a small black tea. She swings by my office and we chat about her birthday plans. She is hosting a happy hour tonight and is going on a trip with her boyfriend next week. I tell her I won't be able to make the happy hour because I have a Hinge date tonight. She tells me good luck!

11:45 a.m. — A different sales rep says he is bringing me Chipotle and swings by about 15 minutes later. He is so nice! I eat half of it plus my baby carrots, boiled egg, and LaCroix from my lunch bag. I'm playing the Pandora Børns radio station while I work. A friend told me about him and I like the mix that is playing.

1 p.m. — Today is our monthly staff meeting. Whoever met in this room before us left some lunch items, so I grab a tuna salad sandwich, a bottle of water, and eat a sugar cookie. I talk to some friends before heading back to my office. I am not doing well with avoiding sugar today. (I did a second round of Whole30 at the beginning of the year and have been trying to avoid processed sugar.)

4:30 p.m. — Well, today was much calmer than the beginning of the week. I leave with all of my leftovers and head home. I planned to work out but I'm tired when I get home and my feet hurt from yesterday.

7:30 p.m. — I meet my date at a cool bar called Night Heron in Montrose. It's nice enough to sit outside and we end up staying until 9:45, sharing tapas with our drinks. He is a nice guy and the conversation flows smoothly — always a good sign.

10:30 p.m. — Brush, floss, mouthguard, moisturizer, eye cream. I crawl into bed and skip putting on lotion tonight. I'm wiped.

Daily Total: $0

Day Six



4:40 a.m. — I totally could have slept in more today; oh well. Shower, dry shampoo, makeup, straighten the ends of my hair. I am not hungry this morning and stick to a boiled egg and a cup of tea. Most of my morning is spent Googling how to fix my Hinge app; it keeps shutting down as soon as I open it. I chance deleting and reinstalling, and thankfully my account isn't deleted!

6:30 a.m. — J.Crew is having a 40%-off sale. I put a few things in my bag, save them for later, and do the same at J.Crew Factory. One of my goals this year is to be more mindful about my shopping so I will review everything tonight.

7:10 a.m. — Drive to the parking lot; take the train to work. My days are pretty structured.

9:15 a.m. — I am so hungry! I tell my stomach to hold out until 10 for my normal snack. Work today is slow, which is nice. Most of my patients have medical issues that are preventing their discharge.

10 a.m. — I made it! Mini-pretzels and a clementine are my snacks today.

12:30 p.m. — For lunch, some of the social workers head to the food court. A group of sales reps is buying so I decide to get pad Thai, egg fried rice, and a spring roll, and bring everything back to my office. It is so good. I'll save my lunch for tomorrow. ($11.80 expensed)

2:15 p.m. — Work is so slow that I end up browsing the Dillard's handbag sale and buying two purses. They are both on sale so I don't feel as bad. $195.90

4:15 p.m. — I leave a little early to go to my cousin's eighth grade graduation Mass. I arrive at the same time as my mom and we find my aunt, uncle, and grandmother in a pew and join them. Someone forgot to turn on the AC in the church and we are all dying; it's 88 degrees outside and feels like 80 inside. Afterward, we attend the reception (I eat a sugar cookie) but leave after about 20 minutes and go back to their hotel room. We all chat and eat lasagna, green beans, and salad. We talk about my sister's upcoming wedding and my travel plans this summer, and my aunt and uncle tell us they are planning a European river cruise. My mom and I leave around 8:30 — but not before my aunt loads me down with leftovers and tea cookies for dessert!

9:15 p.m. — Wow, it feels good to put my feet up. J.Crew is calling my name and I end up buying a dress ($74.68) and then head over to J.Crew Factory where I rack out on five more dresses and jewelry ($282.53). I better shut this down before I spend any more money. I do my nighttime routine and climb into bed at 10. $357.21

Daily Total: $553.11

Day Seven



4:45 a.m. — Breakfast today is the leftover pad Thai, a banana, and a cup of black tea. (Breakfast is not limited to breakfast food in my book.) I have a text from my friend telling me she thinks she has been ghosted by the guy she is seeing. I text her back and tell her to give it some time and hopefully she will hear from him. I know the feeling as it recently happened to me. Why can't guys just grow some balls and verbalize that the relationship is done??? (I could talk about this until I am blue in the face.)

6:30 a.m. — I'm meeting my family again tonight for a celebration dinner so I text my mom and tell her to park at my place; we can grab a Lyft to the restaurant. My dad won't be joining since he wrenched his back and is now stuck in bed.

7:10 a.m. — Drive to parking lot; Metro to work. I've got medication and saline spray in my purse to help combat the congestion that popped up Thursday morning. I think it's from sitting outside with my date on Wednesday.

10 a.m. — I eat a clementine and check out CNN. This morning hasn't been too bad in terms of work; it's mostly follow up phone calls. I have some really sick patients on my floor that they want to discharge today but I'm not sure if that will happen.

12:45 p.m. — My coworker and I go to the hotel across the street where several reps are hosting a buffet lunch. I get teriyaki glazed salmon, sautéed veggies, and potatoes. I'm glad to get out of the office, but now I really just want to go home.

5:30 p.m. — I ended up staying an hour late today and I am so over work: having a patient scream and curse at you is not fun. I meet my mom at my apartment, change, and we hop into a Lyft (I pay) to Cyclone Anaya's to meet the rest of the family. $7.42

8:30 p.m. — Dinner was so much fun, partly because of the huge margarita I had. We celebrated my cousin with food and a delicious cake, and just had a great time overall. (My uncle picked up the tab.) Mom and I take a Lyft back to the apartment and then she goes home to my dad — but forgets all of her leftovers. Looks like I won't have to cook for the weekend! I take some Sudafed and Advil to try to clear out my nose before I go to bed. This congestions sucks. $7.40

10 p.m. — Bed time. I take off my makeup and crawl into bed. I want to get up early and go for a run tomorrow, which will depend on how I feel.

Daily Total: $14.82
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3 of 5
Third: a fashion buyer who makes $87,000 per year, and spends some of her money this week on tickets to see Michael Che.

Occupation: Buyer
Industry: Fashion
Age: 31
Location: Los Angeles
Salary: $87,000
Paycheck (2x/month): $2,296.67

Monthly Expenses
Rent: $847.50 for my portion of a one-bedroom apartment (split evenly with my boyfriend)
Loans: $0 (I refinanced and paid off my $20,000 in college loans myself a few years ago.)
Health Insurance: $48.92 (deducted from paycheck)
Car Payment: $275.61
Car Insurance: $211.40
Cell Phone: $0. (My mom has worked for a phone service provider for decades and gets a great discount. I cover Amazon Prime, Netflix, and Spotify, so we call it even.)
Internet: $25 (split evenly with my boyfriend)
YouTube TV: $11.67 (split with my boyfriend and his best friend)
Utilities: ~$20 (varies by month)
Netflix: $10.99
Hulu: $0 (I use my boyfriend's account.)
Spotify: $9.99
Roth IRA: $600 (I am not yet eligible for my company's 401(k) plan.)

Other Expenses
Amazon Prime: $99/year

Day One



10 a.m. — We are low on groceries, so my boyfriend T. and I end up splitting leftover keto sugar cookies, a Muscle Milk, and coffee for breakfast while we binge-watch Joel McHale's new show on Netflix. It's even better than The Soup!

11 a.m. — We are out the door a little behind schedule because we lost track of time watching Joel's sketches on Korean soap operas. So spot on! We have an appointment at a Siberian cat breeder in Van Nuys for an “allergy test” — meaning I get to play with a cat for an hour! I'm allergic to most cats and after months of discussion and research, we have decided to get a Siberian, a breed known to be better for people with allergies.

12:30 p.m. — All goes well! We pay for the hourlong "test and pay an extra $20 to be put on the waiting list for a kitten from an upcoming litter. We split the cost. $25

1:15 p.m. — T. is originally from England and is a huge soccer fan, so we go to our first LAFC game (Los Angeles' newest MLS soccer team). We are just coming off of two months on the keto diet and are allowing ourselves beers on the weekend! I offer to get a round, since T. paid for the tickets. Heinekens are $14 each, yikes. $30 including tip

3 p.m. — The game ends in a tie, but that means LAFC still has no losses at home, so all the fans are happy. We stop at a nearby USC bar to watch the Kentucky Derby while traffic dies down and bet a round of Bloody Marias on the race. (It's also Cinco de Mayo.) T. wins on the favorite, so I pay. $28 including tip

5 p.m. — Quick run to Vons for avocados, limes, and Tecates to bring to our friends' Cinco de Mayo party. It comes out to $29.49, but we split this one. $14.75

8:30 p.m. — T. has Uber credits and covers the ride to the party.

9:30 p.m. — The party was so fun! We played lawn games outside and munch on churros all evening. We're not ready to go home yet, so we take an Uber with our neighbors M. and S. to their place to keep hanging out. They pick up the Uber, and we all order pizza to be delivered when we get back. $14

Daily Total: $111.75

Day Two



8:30 a.m. — T. is up by 7 again but I sleep in. I'm feeling better than I should, which is fortunate because today will be another long day.

9 a.m. — We start laundry and then realize we are out of dryer sheets, so we run to Vons. I also grab a Starbucks black iced coffee from the fridge near the register. $8.46

10 a.m. — Back at Vons again, this time for grocery shopping. We usually go to Trader Joe's to save money, but we are traveling later this week for T.'s brother's college graduation and don't need much. We buy turkey burgers, ground chicken, frozen veggies, brown rice, fresh mushrooms, yogurt, and bananas. I also throw in a pint of Halo Top cookies and cream. I pay a little less than half because I covered the dryer sheets earlier. $20

2 p.m. — We eat leftover stuffed peppers (with melted cheddar cheese, mushrooms, and ground turkey) for lunch. I tidy up a bit and then we watch Avengers: Civil War again in preparation for later today.

3 p.m. — We take a quick trip to IKEA because T.'s dresser is broken. Whoever said going to IKEA is the true test of relationships wasn't kidding. My nerves are tried but we manage to leave just in time to make the movie.

4 p.m. — We are FINALLY seeing Black Panther! We have been traveling so much lately and haven't had the chance to go before now. I bought discounted tickets from work on my phone on the way, so T. offers to pay for concessions. The line is too long to get anything, much to my disappointment. $20

6:30 p.m. — That movie was EVERYTHING! It was so empowering and visually stimulating and gave me all of the feels. Also, I have had a huge crush on Michael B. Jordan since Friday Night Lights, so I was swooning, hard. We stop at Home Depot on the way home to get new planters and soil for our vegetable garden and new knobs for the dresser. I owe T. money from the tiki drinks Friday, so I get this one. $27.18

8 p.m. — We eat shredded chicken with the mushrooms, wild rice, and cream of mushroom soup we found in the cabinet with keto sugar cookies for dessert. T. cooks, so I do the dishes. After, we catch up on Atlanta and Silicon Valley. I love Sunday nights on the couch!

Daily Total: $75.64

Day Three



6:15 a.m. — T.'s first alarm goes off. We snuggle for a bit before he gets ready to leave. Then I promptly go back to sleep.

7:30 a.m. — Not ready to get up. Hit snooze.

7:45 a.m. — And ... now I'm running late. I rush to get ready and out the door. Luckily there is a Starbucks in my office, so I can get coffee once I get there.

9:30 a.m. — Starbucks is out of cold brew, so they add a shot of espresso to my tall iced coffee for free. Nice! I drink this with a banana and Muscle Milk. I'm not that hungry and save the yogurt for later. $2.75

1 p.m. — My morning flies by as I play catch up and lunchtime comes quickly. Our office has a subsidized cafeteria, so I usually buy lunch there instead of at the grocery store. I make a salad at the salad bar with grilled chicken, kale, mushrooms, bell peppers, carrots, cucumbers and shredded cheese with balsamic vinegar and olive oil. I pay by the pound. $4.85

3:45 p.m. — Now the afternoon is crawling, so I get up from my desk to get a spoon from the cafeteria for my yogurt. I also do a little online shopping when I get back. It's going to be hot where we're going this weekend, so I buy a breezy linen shirt from Madewell. I am a Madewell Insider, so my order should arrive in time. $82.13

6 p.m. — I go home to help T. replant the vegetable garden, but he's already done it! For dinner, he makes turkey burgers with avocado (no bun) with green beans and almonds. I do the dishes and afterward, we catch up on Westworld.

9:45 p.m. — In bed early because I signed up for SoulCycle tomorrow morning. I will likely regret this last-minute decision. I previously bought a series, so this class is paid for.

Daily Total: $89.73

Day Four



6 a.m. — T. has to be at work super early today. I groggily kiss him goodbye.

6:25 a.m. — Ugh. I am NOT a morning person, but I am not wasting $30, so I force myself to get ready.

8 a.m. – Class was awesome! I haven't gone in a week and feel so invigorated after. Had to pay for cycling shoes. $3

9 a.m. — I eat my usual banana, Muscle Milk, and yogurt for breakfast with a Grande cold brew from Starbucks. I only drink half. $3.23

10:30 a.m. — The meeting I prepped for all morning got cancelled so now I am unmotivated. I browse outfits from the Met Gala last night and catch up on Money Diaries. I moved to L.A. from Brooklyn three years ago, so I habitually scan for diarists from NYC.

1 p.m. — Lunchtime! I get my usual salad with grilled chicken and veggies, plus a Coke Zero. Everyone always says they get energized after they work out, but by the afternoon, I crash. $6.07

1:15 p.m. — I opt out of sitting in the cafeteria with coworkers to order flowers for my mom for Mother's Day before the prices increase too much. I use ProPlants because I get 15 times the points on my credit card. $40.97

4:45 p.m. — I receive an email from the Siberian breeder. She picked us for a kitten available in July! I quickly text T. to let him know, then PayPal her the remaining deposit. He will Venmo me later for half. $150

6 p.m. — Out of work! I am exhausted but I head to a bar at the farmers' market at the Grove to meet my neighbor S. and some of her girlfriends for trivia. It's difficult to make friends as an adult in any city and I have had a hard time meeting people in L.A. People here much flakier than most and it's frustrating. I stick to water because I drove here straight from work, and we split a pizza with whole wheat crust. I haven't found any pizza in L.A. that compares with NYC. (If anyone has any recs, please let me know!) $10.97 including tip

9:30 p.m. — We come in sixth for trivia (out of about 10 teams) but we had fun, so that's what matters! Even with validation, parking is $8. Sometimes I hate L.A. Home and in bed by 10 p.m. $8

Daily Total: $222.24

Day Five



6:15 a.m. – Lots of cuddles with T. this morning. I manage to fall back asleep after he leaves and get up after my second alarm at 7:30. I also grab a keto sugar cookie on the way out.

9 a.m. – Banana, yogurt, and the second half of yesterday's cold brew from Starbucks. T. and I are going to a white party for his coworker's birthday later this month, so I browse my company's website for outfit inspiration. I don't decide on anything yet, but leave a few items in my shopping cart for him for later.

1 p.m. – My team orders from a pizza place for lunch. I get a side of meatballs and buy a salad from the café. $10.05

7 p.m. — When I get home, I make ground turkey with zucchini noodles, topped with olive oil and parmesan cheese. T. has a bad headache, so we hang in the dark, catching up on Barry. I love the original content and characters on this show. It's so funny! I go to bed by 9:45. Tomorrow will be a long day and I need to rest up.

Daily Total: $10.05

Day Six



6:30 a.m. – The usual — at least today is Friday!

9 a.m. – Tall cold brew, banana, and a yogurt at my desk while I catch up on email. $2.75

11 a.m. — I get an email notification that Michael Che will be performing a comedy set at The Theatre at the Ace Hotel next month. T. is interested so I buy the tickets. He will pay me later for his half. $92.93

6 p.m. — Let the long weekend begin! I drive to the nail salon for a manicure before our trip. I have a full punch card filled out so the manicure is free! I leave a tip. $5

7:45 p.m. — When I get home, I walk to meet T. and our neighbors M. and S. at our neighborhood bar/café Paper or Plastik for a drink and apps. T. orders me a glass of wine before happy hour ends and we all split fries. T. pays

9 p.m. — I finish packing the things I left out last night while T. heats up leftovers. I leave watering instructions for M. and S. for our veggie garden, and then we watch this week's episode of Atlanta before we have to leave. This season finale felt more like a series finale and I am worried. Donald Glover is a genius and I don't want this show to end!

10:30 p.m. — T. and I split an Uber to the airport for our red eye. $11.34

11 p.m. — The lounges are closed, so I get a glass of red wine near the gate to calm my nerves before the flight. $12.50 including tip

11:59 p.m. — T. is asleep before takeoff. So unfair! There are no TVs on this plane but I brought my iPad. I watch some episodes of Jersey Shore: Family Vacation (I know, but it's so entertaining) while trying to sleep.

Daily Total: $124.52

Day Seven



8:15 a.m. — After changing planes in Houston, we finally arrive in Little Rock! We split a super cheap Uber to T.'s mom's house. I am obsessed with her pup and snag him for some cuddle time before I go back to sleep. $3.42

12:30 p.m. — T. drags me out of bed to get lunch at a Mexican restaurant called The Fold. I order a much-needed Bloody Mary, beef tenderloin tamales, and we split chips and queso. $26.11

2 p.m. — We are having a crawfish boil tomorrow after the graduation and stop by the distributor on the way home. I had never even heard of a crawfish boil before this weekend, and I am so excited! We also stop to get his mom flowers, a card, and wine for having us this weekend. I give T. a $20 for my share. $20

5:30 p.m. — We have an early dinner at a seafood restaurant downtown with T.'s mom, siblings, and their S.O.'s. I've met them all before, so conversation is easy and it's nice to catch up. T.'s mom sneakily picks up the tab without us noticing.

7 p.m. — It's finally cool enough for T., his mom, and I to take the pup for a walk around the block. He is the cutest and I wish I could take him home with me.

8 p.m. — T. and I take an Uber to meet some of his friends out at a new beer hall called Fessler Hall. He pays.

10:45 p.m. — They are all warm, lovely people and remind me of my friends from home. T. picks up our bar tab as well.

11 p.m. — Someone suggests Waffle House (what I wouldn't do for a regular, smothered, covered, capped, country), but the graduation is early tomorrow so I order us an Uber home instead. $7.20

Daily Total: $56.73
4 of 5
Fourth: A counselor who makes $43,500 per year and spends some of her money this week on pottery.

Occupation: Counselor
Industry: Education
Age: 31
Location: Birmingham, AL
Salary: $43,500
Paycheck (2x/month): $1,750

Monthly Expenses
Rent: $190, which my spouse pays. (We are living in the in-law suite at my parents' house while our home is undergoing renovations. We will be here for about two months. My parents are awesome and only make us pay for half of the utilities.)
Loan Payments: $0 (I paid off my credit cards last year and have no student loan debt.)
Childcare: $925 (deducted from paycheck)
Car & Home Insurance: $154
Family Health Insurance: $378 (deducted from paycheck)
Parking: $50 (deducted from paycheck)
401(k): 8% of salary (automatically deducted from my paycheck and my company matches)
Hulu & Netflix: $20
Ipsy: $10

Other Expenses
Amazon Prime Student Membership: $49/year (increasing to $59/year in September)

Day One



6 a.m. — It's Friday and payday! I wake up and check my bank account to make sure my paycheck was deposited. I take a shower and get myself ready, and then my spouse and I get our son ready for school. I usually take our son to school, but there is a special breakfast today that my husband is going to with him. Before I leave for work at 7, I pack some snacks: clementines, a bag of carrots, and a little bag of dark chocolate chips for my afternoon sugar craving.

7:45 a.m. — I make a cup of coffee in our break room at work. Then, it's on to meetings.

9:45 a.m. — I wander outside my office and see our university bookstore is having a flash sale. I buy two t-shirts for $20! $20

11 a.m. — Usually, I bring leftovers from home or something to heat up, but I didn't bring anything today. I grab something from a restaurant in our building: broccoli and baked potato it is! It costs a whopping $10.22 and I'm reminded why I bring my lunch. $10.22

5 p.m. — Time to head home. I pick my son up from school and we chat about our days, eating carrot sticks and drinking water in the car. He's usually hungry when I pick him up, so I try to keep easy, healthy snacks on hand. My husband gets home before us, so he makes dinner. Tonight, we are having veggie sandwiches and curly fries. After dinner, we do our nighttime routine and read to our son before he goes to bed around 8:45. After he falls asleep, my spouse and I have our weekly date night of watching Live PD. I pop a bowl of popcorn to much on and then do a wind-down yoga sequence before going to bed around 10:30.

Daily Total: $30.22

Day Two



9:30 a.m. — We wake up and go downtown so that my husband can pick up an album on Record Store Day. Afterwards, we go to a local farmers' market to walk around. I buy a donut for my son and myself. $4

11:45 a.m. — We check out a couple of other record stores, then go to my son's favorite lunch spot. Hot Diggity Dogs sells tofu dogs, so I love it too! My husband pays for our lunch.

1 p.m. — We head over to a street festival where there are tons of free activities: sidewalk chalk, paper flowers, free cake, and lots of other fun stuff! I spy a pottery stand with an "Uglies" basket and check it out; everything is $5. I find a really pretty planter and a cool vase. My son finds a neat piece with a feather imprinted on it. I buy all three pieces for $15. $15

2:15 p.m. — We stop at Target for our weekly grocery trip. Meal planning helps us keep our budget in check and makes dinnertime so much easier. $40.34

3 p.m. — After Target, we go to Trader Joe's to buy snacks, frozen lunches, and more groceries. $23.14

5 p.m. — At this point, we are all pretty tired and ready to go home. We crash for a bit until it's time for dinner, and then head over to a nearby sushi place. Our son eats shrimp fried rice, I get vegetable sushi and miso soup, and my husband has sushi. My husband pays.

6:15 p.m. — Sometimes I help my friend out with his event business and tonight is one of those nights! I go to the venue at around 6:15 and stay until about 10:30. My friend pays me $125 for the night. On the way home, I'm famished and make a Taco Bell run. I get two bean tacos, fresco style, and an order of chips and guacamole. $3.87

Daily Total: $86.35

Day Three



9 a.m. — Our son has a swim lesson this morning, so we wake up and go to the pool. While he's swimming, my husband and I watch Fixer Upper and talk about our own home renovations. We are so ready to move in to our new place! I pay $3 to park by the pool. $3

11 a.m. — After swim, we head over to my in laws' house for Sunday lunch. It's nice to be with family and we also check the progress of our home. It's looking great! My mother-in-law makes taco salads and I load mine up with lots of veggies. We do a few loads of laundry while we are there so we don't have to worry about it when we get home.

5:30 p.m. — We head home and get stuff together for the week. My husband goes out to pick up dinner — a veggie burger for me and hamburgers for the guys from Freddy's. My husband pays. After dinner, we all take showers and then play Hot Wheels, which is our son's current obsession. We then read books and he goes to bed. My spouse and I have a mini-date night at home and talk about what we have going on this week.

Daily Total: $3

Day Four



7 a.m. — Manic Monday! We wake up and get ready for work and help our son get ready for school. On the way in, I stop at the Starbucks drive-through and for a cup of coffee and a banana, and a box of chocolate milk and a croissant for my son. My husband and I share a Starbucks app and I load $25 on it. $25

11 a.m. — For lunch, I brought a Trader Joe's freezer meal (spinach stuffed shells; it's pretty good!). I also brought Plant Food juice, eat three clementines, and have a handful of dark chocolate chips for dessert.

1:30 p.m. — I check my summer course information and discover that my professor has posted the required book. I buy it on Amazon. $21.83

5 p.m. — Dinner tonight is a big salad with baked tofu, and my husband makes a delicious lemon dressing. After dinner, we help our son get ready for bed. We read stories and tuck him in. I do a wind-down yoga sequence and go to bed around 9:30.

Daily Total: $46.83

Day Five



7:45 a.m. — My office is doing business headshots today, so I have to dress a bit more professionally. I eat a banana and drink a cup of apple cider at work for breakfast. After the shoot, I finally have time to sit down and go through emails. I am in a Master's program and can't wait to see if my grades have been posted. They have: two As help keep my 4.0 GPA alive! I only have four classes left and I'm eager to finish.

11 a.m. — I brought a Trader Joe's bagged salad for lunch. It's definitely more than one serving, but I eat it all anyway. I also eat an apple and drink Plant Juice. I'm trying to transition to a vegan diet and give up processed foods. It is challenging, but I am working towards it.

1:45 p.m. — I need a break to clear my head. I walk to Starbucks and get a coffee (paid for through the Starbucks app). The walk helps me refocus so I can get through the rest of the day.

4:30 p.m. — I leave work at 4:30 to pick my son up from school. My husband is taking me out to dinner tonight to celebrate the end of the semester, and my parents are going to watch our son and feed him dinner. We go to a great Italian place where I order an amazing Bellini. I get the veggie lasagna and it so good! My husband pays and we go home and play with our son until it's time for our nightly routine before bed.

Daily Total: $0

Day Six



7:50 a.m. — At work, I drink a cup of apple cider and eat a banana for breakfast. It's a busy day and I'm keep my head down most of the morning to get stuff done.

11 a.m. — Lunchtime! I brought a frozen pizza and a quarter of a waffle for dessert because it's that time of the month; I'm feeling crampy and need carbs. I drink a cup of Plant Food and watch Friends on Netflix while I eat.

2:30 p.m. — I've hit a slump. I grab a bag of baby carrots from our break room fridge and make a cup of hot chocolate with coconut milk. It hits the spot.

5 p.m. — Go to my son's school to pick him up. His teachers say he had a great day! We chat in the car about where we want to go on vacation and my husband makes dinner: Morningstar bacon BLTs and chips. It's great, but I load up on veggies so that I feel somewhat healthier. After dinner, we do the bedtime routine with our son and lay him down. Then, we watch Cops and catch up on our days. I do a wind-down yoga session and lay down at 9:30. I read my Kindle in bed to help me fall asleep.

Daily Total: $0

Day Seven



7:45 a.m. — My department is having a casual meeting this afternoon, so I can wear jeans to work (a rarity). I get dressed, get my son ready, and drop him off at school. It's Teacher Appreciation Week, and we've come bearing gifts for his teachers. My son is stoked to give his out, and after I leave, I stop by Panera on my way to work. I order a cup of hazelnut coffee, a bagel, and a cup of yogurt with fruit. $5.76

11 a.m. — Lunch today is another spinach stuffed shell frozen meal from Trader Joe's. While I'm eating, I watch the new Queer Eye on Netflix. It makes me incredibly happy, I love this show!

2 p.m. — The afternoon slump hits and I make a cup of pomegranate tea and eat an apple.

5 p.m. — Time to pick my son up from school! We discuss his day at length and talk about all the fun things he did. My husband makes dinner: baked sweet potatoes with broccoli and cheese. My son's playroom is kind of a mess, so we all pitch in to help him clean up and organize his toys. After that, he takes a shower before we start his bedtime routine. He lays down at 8:45 p.m. and my husband and I watch TV. I do some yoga until 9:30 p.m. when I go to bed.

Daily Total: $5.76
5 of 5
Last but not least: a compliance auditor who makes $62,500 per year and spends it on the Telestrations After Dark party game.

Occupation: Compliance Auditor
Industry: Debt Collections
Age: 31
Location: Nashville, TN
Salary: $62,500
Paycheck (Biweekly): $1,625 after additional tax withholdings for my other sources of income)
Coaching: $400/month
Rental Income: $1,075/month

Monthly Expenses
Mortgage: $800 (I own my home and rent out my spare room.)
Car Payment: $490 (shorter-loan term with 0% interest, so it's worth the higher payments)
Student Loans: $235
HOA Dues: $125
Cable, Internet & Landline: $180
Cell Phone: $150
Security: $62
Pet Insurance: $55
Electricity: $80-$180
Water: $13
Spotify: $14.19
Hulu: $11.99
YMCA Membership: $59
Yoga Studio Membership: $99
Planned Parenthood Donation: $25
Humane Society of Middle Tennessee Donation: $25
NY Times Digital Subscription: $7.50
Pest Control: $39
HSA: $62.50 pre-tax
Medical, Dental & Vision: $65 pre-tax

Other Expenses
Savings (Biweekly): $200 (auto-transferred on payday)
401(k): $144 (biweekly and pre-tax with $48 employer match)
Coffee Subscription (Biweekly): $33
Property Tax (Annual): $2,300
Homeowner's Insurance (Annual): $710
Car Insurance (Every Six Months): $400

Day One



5:30 a.m. — Ugh, my cats wake me up. This is my normal wake-up time on Saturdays, but today is also one of the few Saturdays I can sleep in. (I coach one of the local rowing teams and we normally have 7 a.m. practice, but the forecasted storm meant it was called off.) I get up, brush my teeth, feed my cats, and crawl back into bed.

8:30 a.m. — I get up for real this time. Brush my teeth again and meander downstairs to make breakfast. I make a large pot of coffee for myself along with some avocado toast and an egg. I feed my dog and take him out for a quick bathroom break.

11:30 a.m. — I've spent the morning doing laundry and lounging around watching Wild Wild Country. Who doesn't love a good docu-series about cults? I realize how late it is and I need to hustle. I have a long, overdue pedicure and eyebrow waxing appointment at 12:30 and desperately need to shower beforehand. I did hot yoga last night and still haven't showered. (Yes, I'm gross.)

2 p.m. — Pedicure and eyebrow waxing done ($73 with tip). I'm craving pizza and drive by a newer and popular pizza place down the street for me. Fortunately for my wallet, the place is crowded and I'm not in the mood to wait. I go home and make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich that I eat with plantain chips. $73

4 p.m. — I head out to a hot yoga class. I hope today is better than yesterday's. (I ate cake and a donut earlier beforehand and paid for that decision.) I pay for parking ($1) and rent a mat towel ($2). $3

6:30 p.m. — Yoga was much more enjoyable without the nausea. I get home and lounge around for a bit. My neighbor texts to say they are having a last-minute game night, which will include pizza! I take my dog on a half-hour walk, shower, get more laundry going, and vacuum before walking over at 7:30.

11 p.m. — I Venmo my neighbor $5 for my share of the pizza. Game night was great as always. I live in a small development near downtown Nashville that is largely comprised of young professionals. We all get along really well and routinely have neighborhood get-togethers. I get back home and do some more cleaning up. (I really value a clean home and spend 30-40 minutes a day cleaning, broken up over small intervals.) I bounce between Wild Wild Country and Game 2 of the Sharks v. Ducks series (go Sharks!). Then, I put on a rose face mask from Fresh, brush and floss, and I get into bed. I read a couple of chapters of Bruce Springsteen's autobiography before falling asleep around 1. $5

Daily Total: $81

Day Two



8 a.m. — I wake up and lounge around in bed for bit in a state of half sleep. Eventually, my dog sticks his nose in my face letting me know he's ready to get up for the day. As he is my favorite being ever, I don't typically get annoyed when he wakes me up. I get up, brush my teeth, feed the cats, and go downstairs to make coffee and eat breakfast (yogurt, granola, and blackberries). My roommate gets home from a wedding and we chat for a bit.

12:30 p.m. — I've spent the last few hours deep cleaning my bathroom and bedroom. Once again, I wonder why I have a cream-colored rug and white bedding when I have a 65-pound dog who does not have an aversion to water or mud. After that's done, I start another episode of Wild Wild Country.

1:30 p.m. — I finally get the motivation to get dressed and start on some of my errands. After taking my pup for a half-hour walk, I head out around 2 p.m.

4:15 p.m. — I make it back home in decent time. My first stop was Target for paper towels, toilet paper, shower cleaner, super glue, cat litter, contact solution, chocolate almond butter, bread, two cases of sparkling water, and a birthday card for my neighbor ($78.20). After was the pet store/doggy daycare center to pick up a dish I left there several weeks ago and a bag of food. I spent way too long perusing the food choices. I'm extremely picky about the quality of pet food. I've been debating switching dog food brands for about six months, but my paranoia about food safety has slowed that process. I finally pick one ($63.35) and then go to the gym to run for 40 minutes before heading back home. $141.55

5:40 p.m. — I'm going to dinner and a concert with a few neighbors tonight. After getting home from errands and the gym, I unload my car and do some other chores around the house. I get in the shower way too late, but I desperately need to wash my hair. I normally only wash my hair once a week on Sundays and I really can't push it off another day. I typically have a three step wash and condition process, but I cut out step two to save time.

7:30 p.m. — We get to the Ryman right as the first band goes on. My neighbor kindly drove since she works a few blocks from the venue and can park for free at her office. Before the concert, we tried a new-to-me seafood place. I got the prix fixe menu, with a starter of gumbo, entree of grouper (which I mispronounce as "groper" when I order because I'm awkward), and creme brulee. I order a gin and tonic as well. $58 including tip

11:30 p.m. — I make it home much later than I'd prefer. I'm at the age where I complain about how late things start. (Why concerns don't start at 6 so everyone can be home and in bed by 10 is beyond me.) While I enjoyed both opening acts, I was not feeling the headliner. The lead singer had an ego that showed onstage and he really didn't drop it all night. At home, I quickly double cleanse my face, brush and floss, and hop into bed right before midnight.

Daily Total: $199.55

Day Three



8:15 a.m. — I'm up way later than usual. Despite only having one drink with dinner and being in bed before midnight, I feel awful. I look out my window and see there are flurries, which only compounds my desire to get back into bed and call in. I text my boss letting him know I'm running behind and go about getting ready. I take a quick shower, throw on some light makeup, feed all the pets, make a quick lunch, take my dog out, and have an unsatisfying breakfast of bread and chocolate peanut butter. I also throw some cream in a tumbler (I'll add coffee at work) and head out around 9:15.

9:30 a.m. — My commute is easy and I'm at my office in 15 minutes. Mondays are normally slow, but today I have to hit the ground running since I have two urgent emails that need my attention.

2 p.m. — Today is definitely a Monday. I love my job and normally don't dread coming in after a weekend, but today has been rough. I eat my lunch (a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, plantain chips, trail mix, an orange, and a tangerine) while I work.

6:15 p.m. — I get home and quickly grab another piece of bread and peanut butter for dinner. (I really need to grocery shop so I have some more options...) After eating, I pick up a bit, tend to the pets, and get ready for yoga. I meet my neighbor at 6:45 and she kindly drives us.

8:15 p.m. — Yoga is done and this was definitely a good end to an otherwise blah day. I had to rent a mat towel mat ($2) since the one I ordered didn't arrive today as scheduled. I only started doing yoga about five weeks ago and I didn't allow myself to purchase anything until I consistently went for a month. $2

8:30 p.m. — My neighbor drives us back home and we happen to pull in right as another neighbor (one who doesn't live in our development) pulls in. Our development has an HOA and we collectively own our off-street parking. This woman has been parking in it for months, which is problematic because we have limited parking, and we've all grown increasingly frustrated by it. I'm begrudgingly on the HOA board and use this opportunity to approach her. I politely broach the subject and it doesn't go over well. This is the fourth or fifth time someone has talked to her about it. At this point, I think we all know politeness isn't going to fix the issue and we need to pursue other options.

9:30 p.m. — I cook for the next few days (green beans and cowboy veggie burgers topped with salsa from Trader Joe's). My roommate comes home while I'm prepping and we chat for a bit. After, I get the coffee pot ready for the morning and spend a few minutes tidying up the downstairs while jamming out to Kip Moore. Netflix has released a reboot of Lost in Space and I watch a couple of episodes while following game three of the Sharks v. Ducks.

12 a.m. — I finally get to my bedtime routine and hit the hay.

1 a.m. — Nope, I'm still awake. The Sharks had an awesome game and I am elbows-deep in Reddit reading about it.

Daily Total: $2

Day Four



6:40 a.m. — After snoozing for 20 minutes, I get up, hop in the shower, and do my normal morning routine. I turn on my coffee pot while I take my dog out for his morning constitutional, then grab yogurt for breakfast, my lunch, and my coffee.

8:10 a.m. — Today is starting out way better than yesterday. One of our IT groups fixed an urgent issue that had the potential to create a real headache for my boss and myself. We're both stoked! I need to remember to bring in donuts one morning as a thank you. After my mini-celebration, I go through some emails as I eat my yogurt.

9 a.m. — Ugh, my awesome morning just took a downturn. I'm in the process of refinancing my house and I should have known something was going to happen since things have been going too well. I spend a while on the phone with the lending officer, who is explaining the federal loan repayment process in excruciating detail. I get off the phone and pull all my relevant documentation about my student loans and send it to them.

12 p.m. — One of my coworkers brought sausage biscuits and I opt to have one for lunch instead of what I packed. One of my all-time favorite foods is a sausage biscuit with jam, which is definitely not something that can be eaten on a regular basis.

2 p.m. — I check on the status of an Amazon package that was supposed to be delivered to my office yesterday. Per the tracking, they attempted once yesterday morning but could not get access to the building, but somehow succeeded at 9 last night. Considering we a have a staffed reception desk during normal business hours but no one onsite after-hours, this timeline doesn't make sense. When I call Amazon, the customer service representative agrees and works on resending or refunding the items. This takes nearly 40 minutes to work through. I'll need to re-order the items they couldn't reship, but I won't do that until the refund is processed and applied.

3:30 p.m. — I have a really early dinner and eat the lunch that I bypassed earlier.

4:30 p.m. — I have practice tonight and need to swing home first. My tank is on empty, so I go to the gas station to fill up. I have an aversion to filling up my gas tank unless I'm on empty and my remaining mileage has zeroed out; doing it beforehand feels weirdly like defeat. $36.95

9 p.m. — Practice went great tonight; the weather was the nicest we've had in a while and the water was calm. My dog loves coming to practice with me. Between all the attention from the athletes (adults and children), the boat ride (not always fun for me, as a 65-pound moving weight really affects how the boat drives), and the opportunity to take a dip in the lake then roll around in the dirt (who needs mud when you can make your own?), he's in doggy heaven.

10 p.m. — I get ready for bed and try some new skincare products that just arrived today. For about four or five months, I've been using Drunk Elephant C-Firma Serum and B-Hydra Gel in the mornings. I've seen substantial improvements in my skin and have been interested in trying other products. Sephora had a travel-size kit for their T.L.C. Framboos and Virgin Marula Luxury Facial Oil. They also had a coupon code for a free travel size of the C-Tango Eye Cream. I ordered those last week and they arrived today. I double cleanse and then start sampling.

Daily Total: $36.95

Day Five



6:50 a.m. — I roll out of bed after snoozing for awhile. I fell asleep last night watching Lost in Space and have no recollection of setting my alarm. I do my normal routine and examine my face; my skin appears to be okay with the new products I tried last night. I get so lost in thought that I'm halfway through my makeup routine before I realize I didn't put on serum or moisturizing gel. Oh well; my face will probably feel a little dry today. I brew coffee, pour it in a tumbler, grab my lunch, and head out a little before 8.

8:15 a.m. — I eat a light breakfast of trail mix and coffee. I'm going out to a neighbor's birthday dinner tonight at one of my favorite restaurants, so I'm trying to eat light in anticipation.

12:30 p.m. — I eat a lunch I made earlier in the week (a quinoa burger and green beans) and quickly realize I'm going to need more food if I intend to be a pleasant person the rest of the day.

1 p.m. — I run to Target to pick up a gift for my neighbor. I opt for Telestrations After Dark, which is a popular one for game nights. (We don't keep score, but just laugh hysterically at the results.) I also pick up a case of Orange Bubly and a Reese's Cup. (This counts as adequate sustenance, right?) $37.28

5 p.m. — I get home, get some quick cleaning out of the way, and walk my pup. Since we are going to a nicer restaurant tonight, I decide to put in more effort while getting ready. I wash off all my makeup, moisturize my face, and reapply makeup. I then curl my hair and get dressed. (My hair is naturally wavy and I largely let it do its own thing with the help of dry shampoo on the roots and aloe oil on the ends.) I meet my neighbors at 6:30 and we walk to the restaurant.

9 p.m. — Dinner was delicious and hanging out with the neighbors is always a good time. I got the chicken sandwich, an amazing strawberry cake dessert (think deconstructed Good Humor Strawberry Shortcake bar), and two gin cocktails, though I didn't finish the second one. As we leave, a downpour starts. Fortunately, two neighbors drove as they left from work and are able to give the rest of us rides. $61.17 including tip

10 p.m. — I'm surprisingly motivated in my buzzed state (I rarely drink, so one and a half really do a number on me) and start getting to work. I do my nighttime routine early and also put on facemask for a bit. I then go downstairs and repair a jar that I broke a few weeks ago. While I'm downstairs, I tidy up and prep my coffee for the morning.

11 p.m. — I text my friend asking for a link to tonight's Sharks' game. Almost immediately after, a sudden wave of nausea hits and I lay down. I fall asleep in the dress I wore to dinner and miss the game.

Daily Total: $98.45

Day Six



6:30 a.m. — I wake up and proceed to check my email before getting out of bed. That's my normal routine, but as it's almost always junk mail, I never think much of it. Surprisingly, I see an email my loan officer sent at 12:45 a.m. The bank has rejected my refinance application citing my debt-to-income (DTI) ratio as too high. I'm extremely frustrated because they don't evaluate my actual DTI, but plug in their own numbers based on antiquated guidelines. I email the loan officer; I also call Fannie Mae to clarify their guidelines and they confirm that the bank is using outdated guidelines.

9 a.m. — Because I've spent the morning on the phone with Fannie Mae and other loan offers, I'm running way behind to work. Good news is, I spoke with loan officers familiar with federal student loan repayment plans and am told by three different ones that insofar all the information I provided them is correct (it is), I should qualify under lenders to underwrite to current FNMA guidelines. My credit score is excellent, my actual DTI is low, and I have well over 20% equity in my home. If I hadn't already sunk costs into my current refinance process, I'd jump ship right now.

10 a.m. — My loan officer calls and we talk a little more about my rejection. I am somewhat mollified because he agrees that the underwriting doesn't make sense and that this is the first time he has ever seen someone rejected in similar circumstances. I implore him to reach out to the underwriter and ask her to contact FNMA, as she allegedly underwrote to their standards.

12:30 p.m. — In all the frustration and chaos of this morning, I didn't pack a lunch. I'm a little annoyed since I've gone nearly five weeks without purchasing lunch at work. I guess tomorrow is Day 1 of my next streak. I grab a ham sandwich from the vending area. $5.23

1:30 p.m. — One of the packages Amazon had to reship arrives. I've been traveling more this past year and have a four-day hike in Arizona coming up soon. I ordered a digital camera and some accessories in anticipation. I used to be really into photography and took classes for many years, but I've fallen out of practice in the last decade. I'm taking this upcoming trip as a reintroduction to the hobby and hope I'll have lots of practice opportunity with future travels.

3 p.m. — I grab a pack of Reese's Pieces from the vending area. $1.33

9 p.m. — Practice went well tonight, though my dog was thrown through a loop when we showed up and learned that another coach adopted a puppy. My dog isn't the friendliest with new dogs, so everyone got to witness the snarly side of my normally affable pup. I make a note to bring treats to Saturday's practice to entice him to be friendlier.

9:30 p.m. — After getting home, I realize I need to run and pick up a sweater I left at the restaurant last night. While I'm out, I also stop by Kroger and buy tangerines, avocados, a chocolate-almond-cranberry bar, granola, and yogurt. $20.84

10:30 p.m. — I do my bedtime routine, still using the new products, and fall asleep watching Lost in Space.

Daily Total: $27.40

Day Seven



6 a.m. — I wake up a little earlier than normal. This week has been a rollercoaster and I decide to make a conscious effort to have a good day. I get up and go about my morning routine, pack my lunch, and listening to Last Podcast on the Left.

12 p.m. — This morning has been going well. I've been working through some data and catching up on podcasts. I normally work through lunch unless I have an errand to run, but I change up my routine a bit and head to the outlets, which are close to my office.

1:15 p.m. — I spent almost an hour wandering around. I'm always shocked by how busy that place is, even during the week. My only purchase was Lindt truffles in flavors I've not tried before. There's a blueberry creme one that is very similar to a blueberry chocolate I purchased while visiting Estonia a few months ago. (I've desperately wanted more, but am not willing to pay the insane markup getting them Stateside would require.) $3.55

3 p.m. — My phone case NEEDS to be cleaned. I've had this phone about two months and haven't taken the case off yet. Apparently, you need an engineering degree to remove it and I manage to break the case in the process. Case-Mate provides warranties and I submit a claim. I expected this to take a few days, but I'm pleasantly surprised to receive a response within an hour. After confirming details, they ship the case out immediately.

5 p.m. — I get home and go about getting ready for the evening. I'm seeing Ryan Bingham, one of my all-time favorite artists, at City Winery. The venue is small and I nab a seat at a table front and center.

10:15 p.m. — The show was amazing! Not only was the performance amazing, I really enjoyed everything else about the evening. I managed to get free parking by the venue and I was seated at a table with three other people I really enjoyed talking to before the show. The venue is a restaurant, so I ordered brussels sprouts and French fries, which were delicious. Whoever scheduled this show must have got my memo from last week because it ended around 10 and I was home by 10:15. $20.30

Daily Total: $23.85
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