A Week In New York City On A $134,000 Salary

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Today: a senior data analyst working in fintech who makes $134,000 per year and spends some of her money this week on Stumptown coffee.
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Occupation: Senior Data Analyst
Industry: Fintech
Age: 28
Location: New York, NY
Salary: $134,000
Paycheck Amount (2x/month): ~$2,850
Monthly Expenses
Rent: $2,350 (I live in a one-bedroom apartment by myself.)
Student Loan Payments: $0 (I paid off my student loans two years ago.)
401(k): ~$1,600 (I'm on track to hit my max contribution of $18,500 for the year.)
Health Insurance PPO: $46
Internet: $29.99
Electricity: ~$30-60
ClassPass: $45
Gym: My company pays for my membership.
Netflix: $10.99
Hulu: $11.99 (I'm canceling it this month.)
Cell Phone: $0 (I'm still on my parents' plan.)
Savings: I have a a high-interest savings account ($25,000), 401(k) Roth and Traditional ($56,000), Vanguard Funds ($52,000), and crypto (~$10,000)

Day One

6:30 a.m. — I usually wake up sometime between 6:30 and 7 in the morning to kick off my morning routine. I oil pull while I turn on the kettle, make my bed, and do my hair and makeup. I don't have any early meetings this morning, so I decide to take my time and make breakfast for myself even though my company provides breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I make eggs and toast and warm up leftover potatoes from last night's dinner. Then I sip on my cup of chai, look through work emails, and walk to the office at around 9.
10:30 a.m. — I prep for an onsite interview and make another cup of tea from the office pantry. During the interview, the candidate is obviously nervous, so I try my best to get her to relax and just work through the problem. She's incredibly bright and has a great résumé, but is very soft-spoken and reserved, and I worry that the rest of the all-male interview slate won't respond well to her. At the end of the interview, I give her that feedback and tell her to try and speak up a bit and be more confident when delivering her answers, which she appreciated.
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12 p.m. — Lunchtime! It's Dos Toros today, which means I hustle to the kitchen when lunch is announced on Slack before they run out of guac. As someone who was born and raised in California, I am very much a burrito snob. I have yet to find anything as good as the burritos in SF, but I commend Dos Toros for attempting to bring Mission-style burritos to New York. I load up on guac and sit down at the tables with my coworkers. My calendar is stacked for the rest of the day with meetings and a call.
5:30 p.m. — Dinner arrives at work. It's Chinese food tonight, and I'm not really feeling it, so I skip and make chicken noodle soup instead. Even though it's super hot and humid in NY right now, it's sort of dark and gloomy, so I just want to stay inside and be cozy. I stop by the Fairway on my walk home and pick up some things (ice cream, chicken breasts, egg noodles, carrots, onion, garlic, celery, thyme, basil, and bay leaves). I recently cleaned out my cupboard and threw out all my stale spices, so I had to restock on them. I throw everything into a big pot and let it simmer while I eat my way through the pint of ice cream and watch the new season of Orange Is the New Black. After dinner, I take a quick shower, and I'm in bed by 11. $36.50
Daily Total: $36.50
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Day Two

7 a.m. — Snooze a bit this morning and then stay in bed while scrolling through Instagram. Finally get out of bed, start my morning routine, and I'm out the door by 8:30. I get to work before 9 (very early for my office, since most people show up after 10), so I get first dibs on bagels this morning. I eat half a bagel, make a cup of tea, and head to my desk to get work done.
12 p.m. — Lunch today is Mediterranean. Not my favorite, but I make a plate and decide to eat at my desk because I need to book my flights t0 Burning Man. I end up getting a great deal on midweek flights with JetBlue, so I book them and start putting together a list of all the things I need to do to prepare for a week in the desert. $269.20
3:30 p.m. — I make a point of trying to get to know the new people in my organization. A woman fresh out of college is visiting from the west coast office, so we grab a cup of coffee. I share my experience with her about working at the company and things I wish I'd known when I was fresh out of school. Working in a male-dominated space is intimidating, and it took years for me to get comfortable learning how to navigate this environment. I still find myself struggling with imposter syndrome, but I'm much more aware of it now and able to talk myself out of it most of the time. ($10.26 expensed)
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6 p.m. — Dinner at the office tonight is Ethiopian. I'm a big fan, and top my injera with loads of lentils and veggies — yum!! A few of us end up working from the kitchen tables and opening up wine. Late night office drinking sessions are always an interesting experience. I have more wine then I should and end up bailing on going to the gym. I head home at around 9 p.m. and sneak in another two episodes of OITNB before calling it a night.
Daily Total: $269.20

Day Three

6:30 a.m. — My workout schedule basically revolves around my hair-washing schedule. I figure I might as well get a good sweat in before I have to wash it. I head over to the gym where I do 30 minutes of a strength training class on Aaptiv and then head over to the treadmill for 20 minutes of HIIT. I feel better that I got a sweat in and then go back home to shower. I try to do No Meeting Wednesdays so I have an open calendar today, and decide to head over to Stumptown for coffee and do some work in the Ace Hotel lobby before going to the office. I arrive at work just in time for sandwich day for lunch. $4
4 p.m. — I'm not able to concentrate, so I leave work early. I drop off my things and then head over to Bed Bath & Beyond. (I'm basically Abbi from Broad City when I'm at BB&B.) I need new wine glasses, and get a set of four with my 20% off coupon ($33.09). Then I hit up TJ Maxx and get a new cutting board ($16.30). I feel good about these purchases and can't wait to put them to use. I listen to an episode of Caliphate on my walk home and then warm up more of the chicken noodle soup I made. $49.39
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9 p.m. — I've been in New York for a little over a year now and haven't really found a close group of friends to do things with. It's weird how when you're younger it's so easy to meet people, but in your late 20s, everyone starts pairing off. I had such a strong community of people when I lived in SF, and moving out here has been a lonely experience. I've been on and off the dating apps, but can't get myself to put in the energy required to meet people on them. I drink wine, re-download Bumble, and buy a week of Premium so I can see who has already swiped on me. I spend 20 minutes on it before I decide I hate it and go to bed. $8.99
Daily Total: $62.38

Day Four

6 a.m. — I have a call with a client in Europe, so I head into work early. Even though I live walking distance from the office, I take the subway because it's really humid this morning. As I'm going down the stairs, the train is at the station and I see that the next train is 12 minutes behind, so I book it through the emergency exit, hoping to get on the train. This is the first time I've ever done this and then, of course, I get tapped on the shoulder by an undercover cop. FUCK. I get a fare evasion ticket for $100. I sit there sweating in the hot subway station for 12 minutes as he writes up three other people and me. I realize I made the decision to skip the fare, so I quietly accept the ticket and pay it from my phone right then and there. $100
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8:30 a.m. — I take the experience from this morning as a sign that I need to slow down a bit. I make myself a cup of tea and then go into a conference room where I listen to a 15-minute meditation on my Calm app and recalibrate myself. I reflect on how the situation was just an inconvenience for me, but for others, a $100 fine might have a huge impact on their budget. I recognize how fortunate I am to be in this position, and feel my first generation guilt kicking in when I realize my success is all due to how much parents sacrificed for me. I send them a message saying I miss them.
12:30 p.m. — Lunch today is Thai food. I sit next to a candidate who is interviewing for an engineering role, and we end up chatting a bit since we have the same alma mater and are both going to Burning Man! I might have felt some sparks there, or maybe it was just the pad kee mao.
3:30 p.m. — I have a one-on-one with my manager's manager. Our next review cycle is coming up, and I've made it very clear that I'm expecting a promotion this cycle. As a backup, I've begun to start making a list of companies to start applying to this weekend. I'm not necessarily over my current company, I'm just a little bored, and figure it's good to see what my current market rate is and if my company is willing to keep up.
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5 p.m. — Dinner at work is Dosas. I scroll through my Instagram feed at the table and see that Rupi Kaur is having a show in NYC. I saw her once years ago before she blew up and have loved seeing her become so successful. I buy a ticket to her show ($64.50). Then I head back to my desk, put my headphones on, and jam through the work that needs to get done this week. It's a late night, and I don't get home until 10. $64.50
Daily Total: $164.50

Day Five

6 a.m. — With this humidity, my hair can use another wash. I take advantage of my flexible work schedule to go to off-peak hours on ClassPass for less points. I book a 10 a.m. class at Mile High Run Club and work from home until then. It's a great class and I feel pumped afterwards. I get ready for work at the studio and head into the office. Someone on another team chats me to see if I'm available for a "quick sync to get on the same page." Business jargon makes me nauseous.
12 p.m. — Lunch today is burgers with sad soggy fries. I make myself a veggie burger and have to run to join a call with the west coast team. Afterwards, I run over to Dough to pick up donuts for the team ($22.50 expensed). It's Friday, so the office usually clears out pretty early, but I'm making a ton of progress on my project, and I work best when other people aren't around. At around 7, I leave and pick up noodles from Koreatown. $9.74
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10 p.m. — It's Friday, and I'm alone in my apartment. As much as I love my space and could never live with roommates again, I do miss having company sometimes. It's strange to think about how there are millions of people in this city, and yet I still can feel so alone. I clean up and then put on another episode of OITNB.
Daily Total: $9.74

Day Six

8 a.m. — I get up and make myself eggs and toast. I book a yoga class at Y7 through ClassPass and walk there while listening to another episode of Caliphate.
10 a.m. — The class was good! As someone who spent five years doing Ashtanga yoga, Y7 is not a yoga studio I would consider making my go-to studio for serious yoga practice, but it's a fun class that makes you sweat. I get home and jump in the shower while I boil some water for pasta.
12:30 p.m. — I head over to Gregory's Coffee to start putting together a list of companies I want to target. When I open up my résumé, I see that it needs serious work. I consider hiring a professional to help and start searching for people online to see what the going rate it. Most of the people with positive reviews are a few hundred dollars, so I decide to take a stab at a first draft and see how I feel about it. I end up spending more time searching for Burning Man gear than I do updating my résumé. $5.60
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3 p.m. — I run a few errands — drop off a package, grab a book from the library, return a top from Lululemon (-$68), and return a skirt from Madewell (-$88). Then I end up at my favorite store, Anthropologie. I grab a few cute items to try on from the sales rack, but a full price jumpsuit catches my eye, and I have to try it on. The jumpsuit is perfect, and I'm obsessed. I'm hesitant to pay full price ($182.91), but I think I let myself splurge on things like this to feel better about not having much of a social life. $182.91
6 p.m. — I have a head of kale in my fridge that's about to go bad, so I make a salad out of it and warm up chicken strips to put on top. It's surprisingly good. Then I move onto a glass of wine and OITNB. I grab the book I got from the library, The Three-Body Problem, and spend a few hours on my couch engrossed by it.
Daily Total: $188.51

Day Seven

10 a.m. — I meet up with my coworker and his girlfriend for brunch at a nearby restaurant and we spend three hours catching up. They also moved from SF, so we're able to connect over that. The conversation turns to politics and how we got to where we are. Sigh. $27
2 p.m. — Staying in Friday and Saturday made me feel pretty bad about myself, and feelings of depression are creeping up on me. I decide to head to the gym to try and counter it. I listen to a class on Aaptiv and then go through yoga sequences. I feel better about myself afterwards and stop to get a juice on my walk home. $8
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4 p.m. — I hop onto my laptop and try to work on my résumé more. I end up getting pulled into work emails and then I binge the rest of OITNB. I'm heartbroken at how Blanca's storyline ends. I end my week with a 30-minute meditation before going to bed.
Daily Total: $35
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