A Week In The Midwest On $80,000

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.
This week: a project manager making $80,000 per year and spending it on ClassPass.
Occupation: Project Manager
Industry: Restaurants
Age: 29
Location: A major Midwestern city
Salary: $80,000
Monthly Expenses
Monthly Housing Costs: $950 for a one-bedroom apartment
Monthly Loan Payments: $0. (Thanks to my parents and in-state scholarships.)
All Other Monthly Expenses
Renters and Car Insurance: $150
Subscriptions: Netflix and Amazon Prime: $18
Health Insurance: $75
FSA: $100 pre-tax
401(k): $1,500, no match
Mass Transit: $15
Roth IRA: $458
Internet: $30
Gas and Electric: $80 - $100

Day One

7:45 — I guzzle coffee and eat a cheese stick for breakfast. My company works in restaurant consulting, so all of my food is furnished by the chef. It is incredible. I usually give myself license to eat as much as I want between the hours of 9 to 5 under the guide of “intermittent fasting” even though I'm fairly sure that's not how it works.
5:15 — I leave "early" to drive to my therapists' office. I'm taking March off alcohol, so I spend most of the time bragging about how good I feel. My therapist probably scrawls “White lady seems to be momentarily over her first world problems” in her notebook after I leave. $20 (from FSA account)
Daily Total: $20

Day Two

9:00 a.m. — I use Southwest points to book a trip to Puerto Rico and pay $76 in fees. I'm secretly starting to get into travel hacking, which is a loathsome term for loathsome people, but I am becoming one of them. $76
5:30 p.m. — This is doctor week: I pony up $40 for a dermatologist co-pay (from my FSA) and $11 for parking. I have been meaning to get my skin checked out for a while, so addressing it feels good. $51
8 p.m. — I purchase a ClassPass promotion they're having all month. I recently broke up with my fancy yoga studio and have been deal-hopping on Groupons like a total jerk. Regular weekly exercise keeps me from becoming a depressive alcoholic, so it's worth the money, even when I'm paying full price. $30
Daily Total: $157

Day Three

3 p.m. — I pony up to replace an appliance part that broke while I was in an old apartment. It's technically the landlord's responsibility but he sucks and I don't want my old roommates to remember me as a jerk, so it's on me. $70
5:30 p.m. — I stop at the post office and throw down for international stamps to send Christmas letters to pals in Berlin and Australia. $7
7 p.m. — I stop at Jo-Ann's and buy yarn and knitting needles to keep my sober hands busy. I watch some YouTube videos and clumsily knit a few rows. My cat bats at the yarn ball and I praise her for her brilliance. $13
Daily Total: $90

Day Four

10 a.m. — I receive a call from my pharmacy; the special skin cream prescribed by the derm is experimental and not covered by insurance. I pay for the cream out of my FSA and put $5 on a credit card for shipping. $89
7 p.m. — I go to a spin class via ClassPass after work and it's really really hard, but I feel very proud of myself afterwards. The screen in front shows our ranking: It turns out I'm a competitive maniac who will probably end up near the top but entirely alone.
9 p.m. — I get home and buy two books I'll probably never read on Amazon. They'll actually ship the next day. $15
Daily Total: $104

Day Five

7:45 a.m. — Coffee at work. Today's food struggle involves testing burgers. I'm in heaven. I'm also very, very full.
2 p.m. — I book the Puerto Rico rental car because my boyfriend used his points on my return flight. I don't live with him, I'm pretty sure I out-earn him, and he is unbearably frugal in a "don't turn up the thermostat — just hands me a third sweater" kind of way. My prince! $172
7 p.m. — I fill up my car with gas. I only do this once a month, since I drive my car little old lady style to work, home, and therapy. I usually try to buy gas in the suburbs, since gas is cheaper there than in the city, but I missed my chance on Monday. $29
Daily Total: $201

Day Six

11 a.m. — Day off! A yoga studio I've gone to a few times has a free community class on Saturdays, so I try to make it as often as possible to stretch out my ClassPass. I donate $2 which I know makes me seem miserly, but they don't really solicit anything! I'm the only one who donates, I notice. $2
6 p.m. — I go to a friend's house for dinner and she's made chili. I contribute a bouquet of fresh flowers for $9, since I'm not bringing any alcohol. I take the train there and back on my Ventra card. $9
11 p.m. — I meet up with my friends at a bar and am charged $1 for seltzer water. I'm energized from my nap and walk the half hour there and back, in an unseasonably warm winter. $1
Daily Total: $12

Day Seven

12 p.m. — Laundry day! I secretly love this chore. Sorting and hang-drying and turning things inside out and folding are very soothing, and having a clean stack of clothes is so satisfying. I pay $7 for two huge washers (drying is free dryers) — and then $4 for a ginormous scoop of peanut butter chocolate ice cream at the joint next door to the laundromat. $11
4 p.m. — I attend my first barre class via ClassPass, and I'm not sure it's for me. I should probably give it another shot, but I feel kind of dumb sitting against the wall pressing a tiny red rubber ball into a pole. There was a moment when I made eye contact with my reflection and wondered what my purpose was on this earth. Barre feels dated to me already, like Jazzercise or NordicTrack.
6 p.m. — I pick up two pairs of clean, re-soled shoes from the cobbler and bleed out more money. This is about what they cost new, but neither pair is being made anymore and they were in bad shape after the winter. I pat myself on the back for not throwing them in a landfill, but the price tag still stings. $110
Daily Total: $121
Editors' Note: This post has been updated from the original.
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