A Week In Boston, MA, On An $83,000 Salary

Welcome to Money Diaries, where we're tackling what might be the last taboo facing modern working women: money. We're asking millennials how they spend their hard-earned money during a seven-day period — and we're tracking every last dollar.
Today: a project controller who makes $83,000 per year. This week, she spends some of. her money on Bio-Oil and a baby stroller.
Occupation: Project Controller
Industry: Finance
Age: 35
Location: Boston, MA
Household Income: $250,000 (including husband's salary)
My Salary: $83,000
Paycheck (2x/month): $2,050
Monthly Expenses
Housing: $4,000 mortgage
Loan Payments: $300 for undergraduate student loans
All Other Monthly Expenses
Pet Insurance: $65
Phone Bill: $85
Frozen ClassPass: $15
Water Bill: $85 (jointly paid by husband and me)
Car Insurance: $125 (jointly paid by husband and me)
Energy Bill: $100, varies by season. (jointly paid by husband and me)
Robo-Investment Account: $1,600
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Health Insurance: $300
401(k): $700

Day One

12 p.m. — My husband and I both have today off, so we decide to go grocery shopping. Throughout my pregnancy, I didn't have any cravings. I pretty much ate the same and often times felt like eating and deciding what to eat was a chore. Now that i'm finally at 37 weeks, the snack cravings are intense and consistent. We first stop at Whole Foods, where I'm very disgruntled to not find pizzelle cookies anywhere since I'm specifically craving those. I am later torn about a $17 bag of pistachios. I really want them ... but not for $17! I wistfully circle the wine aisle for old time's sake and we finally go home with good ole weekly staples: salmon, steak, cereal, milk, broccoli, oranges, mandarins, roasted coffee beans, hummus, and a rotisserie chicken. I tell my husband that I am very disappointed about the $17 pistachios and lack of pizzelles and we decide to go to Trader Joe's to get our snack fix. $110
12:45 p.m. — Ah, Trader Joe's. How I love thee. Pre-pregnancy, I made a point of banning snacks in our house. Now that I'm on the last few weeks of my pregnancy, all bets are off. It's quite freeing to not worry about the state of my abs to be honest. I decide on chocolate covered pretzels, a box of thin almond butter cookies, and a bag of pistachios (more reasonably priced at $7); husband throws in a few bags of chips. $30
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Daily Total: $140

Day Two

8:30 a.m. — About seven months into my pregnancy, I started taking Ubers to and from work. Months seven and eight, I was lucky enough to buy a monthly Uber pass for $15 that offers $5 off every Uber Pool. I live in the city and my workplace is a short highway ride away so I've been able to score rides for as low as $2. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to get one for this month, so no discount. I'm way too uncomfortable to take public transportation to work and the truth of the matter is everyone is too absorbed in their cell phones to ever give up their seat for me. I count my daily Uber rides as a necessary health and mental pregnancy expense. $6.75
6 p.m. — My UberPool home tonight was interesting. As I got out of the car, the other rider asked if I live in "that house." When I said yes, he replied that he lived there about three years ago. I wanted to stop and talk but was already halfway out of the car. When I get inside, I tell my husband that I think I shared an Uber with an old tenant of ours. My husband and I own a two-family house and we rent out the second floor to tenants to help us with our $4,000 mortgage. (Technically our mortgage is $3,800 but we refinanced it to a 20-year one and pay an extra $225 every month in the hopes paying it off sooner.) I remember the Uber driver confirming the other rider's name when he got in, and my husband and I remember who he is at the same time. He worked for a luxury company, partied all the time, and made a hole in the kitchen wall. We hated him. $7.50
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Daily Total: $14.25

Day Three

12:30 p.m. — I get to work from home today as I have a doctor's appointment; my OB is now doing a pelvis exam at every visit to see how dilated I am. Last week's exam was extremely uncomfortable but quick. When she reached up to feel my cervix, however, I make a noise —not quite a scream but it definitely in the realm of "Argh!" She pulls out earlier than she wants and tells me that next week she'll try to position me better to really feel for it. She also says she thinks I'm about one centimeter dilated. which isn't a lot but I'm glad. I don't want the baby to come any earlier! I pay $6 for parking and then go home to work a bit. My snacking is intense today: I polish off the bag of pistachios and half the box of almond butter cookies. I finally put away the latter when I realize I'm feeling a bit sick. Apparently you can eat too much of a good thing. $6
5 p.m. — I realize I am running out of Bio-Oil and order more on Amazon Prime. I don't know how effective Bio-Oil really is in preventing stretch marks but I am not taking any chances. I rub oil on my belly every morning and night and go through one a bottle every one and a half months or so. No stretch marks (that I can see at least). $13
Daily Total: $19
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Day Four

9:15 a.m. — I decided to work from home today again. It's nice to pull the "I'm pregnant" card. I make oatmeal with an egg swirled in and sweeten it with coconut sugar. I usually eat cereal with milk but since I have access to my kitchen, I'm being a little more decadent. After eating half a box of almond butter cookies last night, my craving for it has completely disappeared, but I do want something to snack on. I decide to bake seasoned sweet potato fries.
2:30 p.m. — Husband and I have been very lucky to have incredibly generous family and friends who gave us a lot of presents and great hand-me-down for my baby shower. As a result, we haven't needed to buy the baby anything other two Ikea drawers to put in the nursery. The one thing we do want to splurge on is a baby stroller. When I first found out about the world of expensive baby strollers from a friend, I scoffed and said, "Not me! I would never spend that much!" Egg. On. My. Face. After much research, we decided to go with Uppababy Vista because you can put as many as three kids in the same carriage. We both know we want more than one child and we figure we are saving money in the long run buying one stroller instead of multiple. (That's what we tell ourselves anyway.) We finally buy it with a 20% coupon. $725
6:30 p.m. — For dinner we make miso salmon with a brown rice-quinoa medley. We try to eat dinner at home on the weekdays to save money. (Very important since we're buying $700 strollers around here!)
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Daily Total: $725

Day Five

8:45 a.m. — Daily UberPool into work today — the last day of work before I go on maternity leave. I get two weeks off before my due date, which is a very nice perk. I plan to use that time to mentally prepare myself for the baby. I'm fully aware that I am on the cusp of a life-changing event but sometimes I think I'm a bit in denial. I know I'm only weeks away from my due date but I feel like I haven't really processed it yet. I ponder over this during my ride to work. $7.50
12 p.m. — Lunch is rotisserie chicken and hummus from home. It's easy, fast, and cheap and pretty much what I get every week when I grocery shop. (Even though I feel like every rotisserie chicken from my Whole Foods is typically scorched and burned on the outside. Every single time!)
5:30 p.m. — Splurge on Uber but I don't care. It's my last ride home from work for awhile! It feels bittersweet ... not. It just feels sweet. I am so excited to not work for two weeks before my due date. $14.50
8:30 p.m. — It's Fri-yay which means husband and I are going out to eat for dinner.We decide to go to our neighborhood Japanese restaurant that does izakaya. We are so lucky to have a great variety of Asian food where we live, and we go to this restaurant so often that the waitstaff knows us. Unfortunately, we don't know them enough that we get to waltz in and cut the line when it's crowded, but they do grace us with head nods and waves. We always go HAM when we order here. Today, we get our usual staples of ramen, fried oysters, cod roe pasta, sushi (for the husband), fries with roe sauce, Japanese steak, and Omusoba. We always over-order and leave the restaurant hating ourselves a tad. $105
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Daily Total: $127

Day Six

10 a.m. — Husband goes to gym and comes home with a breakfast sandwich for me to eat. There's a local, no-frills, mom-and-pop shop that makes a wonderful bread/croissant hybrid. I really think this pastry could be the next cronut if they were media or marketing savvy. It changes the breakfast sandwich game! $8
5:30 p.m. — We are going to a friend's potluck and pop on over to Whole Foods to buy a chicken pot pie. We also pick up beer at the local liquor store. I've taken to drinking O'Douls, a non-alcoholic beer, in social situations. I don't even like beer, but when you are pregnant and can't drink, O'Douls is a life saver. It's what I treat myself to every weekend. $30
Daily Total: $38

Day Seven

11 a.m. — We meet up with family for dim sum. It might be sacrilegious to say but I never loved loved dim sum pre-pregnancy. Now that I'm pregnant, I love it. We drive to another town for a restaurant known for their buns. They're made in-house and are divine: the top is sweet and crusty and inside of the bun is melted, egg yolk goodness. To be honest, I'm not sure this is something I should be eating while pregnant (because of the yolk) but I prefer to stay blissfully ignorant and enjoy it. Husband and I pay the bill. $85
4:30 p.m. — I go online and search for matching holiday PJs for the family, looking for the long johns-style or onesies in particular — the cheesier, the better. The search proves harder than I thought. I'm particular about the print and don't want anything too pricey as these will probably only be worn once a year during Christmas. I search online for a set of four, for my husband, myself, the dog, and the baby. I finally decide to take a chance and buy a Star Wars set on eBay from China. The sizing and quality could be off but it's cheap and who doesn't love Star Wars? I am giddy with excitement when I make the purchase. There was no matching set for the dog but my husband assures me our dog can wear a Star Wars costume instead. This is why I married him! $45
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7:30 p.m. — Husband and I decided get take-out from the local shawarma place. I get a beef gyro with rice and husband gets a chicken gyro with rice. What completes the dish is the garlic sauce they drizzle over it. Husband knows I love pistachio and sweets and surprises me with baklava! $33
Daily Total: $163
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