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.
Calling all entrepreneurs: We want to hear from you! If you’re a freelance or self-employed, we’d have liked to feature your Money Diary. Submit here .
Travel Diaries: We’re looking to get the inside scoop on when, where, and how our peers are using their vacation days. Open to tracking your traveling expenditures during an upcoming trip-up? Email us at traveldiary @refinery29. com.
Today: A research analyst for the government who stimulates $73,185 a year and spends some of her fund on Nike sneakers.
Occupation: Research AnalystIndustry: GovernmentAge: 27 Place: Brooklyn, NYSalary: $73,185 Paycheck Amount( Biweekly ): $1,913 Gender Identity: Woman
Monthly ExpensesRent: $1,280( I live with my boyfriend, and I pay more rent because I construct more) Loan: $450( student loans ), $250( paying back my dad for my security deposit and first month’s rent) Metrocard: $121( taken out of my paycheck pre-tax) HSA: $20( pre-tax) Health insurance:$ 0( my health insurance premium is 100% covered by work) Spotify/ Hulu: $9.99 Netflix:$ 0( thanks, mama) HBOGO:$ 0( boyfriend’s parent’s cable) Gas& Electric: $30 – $40 for my halfInternet: paid for by BF’s workCell Phone:$ 0( Dad pays for our family plan) Gym: $44 Allure Beauty Box: $15 Savings: $650( largely to a high yield savings account) Roth IRA: $100( I plan to make this a lot more in a couple months after I feel good about my emergency money) Charge card:$ 0( I started carrying a balance between the end of grad school and starting my job, but I recently paid off the last bit with some of my taxation rebate .)
7: 40 a.m. — I wake up before my alarm feeling amazingly well-rested for a Monday. I take a shower, set dishes away while stimulating oatmeal with blueberries, brown sugar, and peanut butter, and then feed the oatmeal while watching a Tiny Desk concert. I do my five-minute makeup routine — usually tinted moisturizer and mascara, and sometimes eyeshadow, lipstick, or highlighter — and leave for work around 9.
9: 50 a.m. — The develop lags make my ride 20 minutes longer than usual! My well-rested mood has turned into an irritated mood.
11: 45 a.m. — After scheming my week and completing a couple undertakings, I respond to some texts and eat a piece of chocolate from my desk stash.
1 p. m. — I heat up leftovers for lunch( tofu mushroom noodles that BF attained yesterday) and eat at my desk while looking for sports leagues to perhaps join with some coworkers.
3: 40 p.m. — Eat some grapes for a snack and download an app called Ritual since my friend only sent me a referral code. There are supposed to be$ 1 deals right now, but there’s nothing near my work or near my apartment 🙁
6: 45 p.m. — Home. After changing into perspirations and scrolling through Instagram, I build up the energy to induce dinner. Tonight, it’s red lentil curry with carrots and sweet potatoes. It takes longer than it should because I’m sooo bad at cutting onions and have to take a break every minute to let my eyes retrieve. I read some of today’s Money Diary while it’s simmering.
8 p. m. — We eat the mushy but tasty lentils while watching an episode of Last Week Tonight on public shaming( so good !). After, BF proves me a YouTube channel called Contrapoints, and we end up is speaking to culture appropriation for a while.
10 p. m. — I use my nightly soap, Glossier solution, and moisturizer( First Aid Kit Ultra Repair Cream because my scalp was not developed for winter ). I got an email about the Ulta 21 Days of Beauty Sale, and I’ve had a new mask on my wish list for a while, so I buy a green tea mask for half off. Since there aren’t any Ulta stores near me, but a bunch of Sephoras, I browse Sephora’s website first to see if there’s something similar for a good deal, so I can avoid paying for shipping, but no luck. I also make an offer on Poshmark for Nike sneakers I’ve been wanting forever. $22.81
10: 40 p.m. — I get my workout clothes ready and settle in bed with Parable of the Talents until about 11:30. I’ve been testing out new genres and also stimulating up for the lack of POC authors in my life thus far. I was reading Octavia Butler’s Lilith’s Brood series last month, but needed a breaking from all the aliens.
Daily Total: $22.81
7: 20 a.m. — I lay in bed for 3 minutes after my alarm goes off and then force-out myself to get up. I change into gym clothes and stroll to the gym for a group class.
9 a. m. — I promptly shower and get dressed, then make a smoothie with a pear, frozen peaches, spinach, almond milk, cacao powder, and chia seeds. I also grab a random granola bar that I likely took home from some event at some point.
1: 15 p.m. — I heat up leftover curry and rice and send an email connecting two of my grad school friends. I expend the rest of my lunch infringe drinking a black cherry seltzer and browsing new green beauty products at Target online. A coworker invited me to lunch, but I need to be alone during lunch to actually relax.
3: 10 p.m. — I finish up a big data request. There are leftovers from a meeting in the building, so I eat half of a yummy cinnamon scone and save the rest.
5 p. m. — I’m fading, so I go into another room for a change of scenery to take notes on a big document. The Poshmark seller sends a counteroffer, so I counteroffer again, and they accept! It seems like a lot, but after looking for so long I know I won’t find these for any cheaper, and I just really want them. Plus, I put most of my big taxation refund into savings, so I feel like this treat is justified! I pay for the shoes plus shipping $91.79
7 p. m. — I can’t stop thinking about the proclamation about who was admitted to NYC’s specialized high schools this year. I got sucked into reading too many comments earlier and complain to BF that the suggestions that certain students are objectively more deserving than others is really upsetting me. He reassures me that there are others who share my perspective, and it might be helpful to connect with them. I construct balsamic Brussels buds and pesto pasta and try to chill out.
8 p. m. — I turn on the movie Redline and eat a few bites of BF’s ice cream while we watch. It’s an anime movie about race car drivers, and even though I only like the portions with the cool racing, and I’m rolling my eyes at all the humongous boob, I’m thankful that BF is always introducing me to new stuff.
10: 55 p.m. — I put on an Origins mask and let it do it’s thing while I pack a salad with cucumber, avocado, sunshine dried tomatoes, grape tomatoes, feta, and pepitas for lunch tomorrow. I read a little before falling asleep.
Daily Total: $91.79
7: 25 a.m. — I get dressed and take the bus to the gym utilizing my Metrocard. I make it a little early so I do some( assisted) pull-ups before class. BF left the apartment later than me, but is leaving the gym when I’m done, so we stroll home together.
9: 10 a.m. — I shower, diffuse my hair, and then put on a floral skirt because it’s the first day of springtime! We built it through wintertime. Thank god. Regrettably, I still feel like I need to wear tights, a sweater, and a big coat with the skirt.
10: 30 a.m. — I catch up on emails while eating an apple with almond butter and the rest of the scone from yesterday. It’s dry and sad now. I expend some of the morning figuring out SQL wasn’t working because of the wrong type of quotation mark.
1: 40 p.m. — I grab my salad from the fridge and a man I’ve never talked to before asks if I’m okay as I stroll by. I try not to think too hard about it, figuring he was trying to be nice, and I might actually have a resting everything-is-not-okay face. I Venmo my friend for a ticket to a Brooklyn Net game next month. Exciting! $53
5: 50 p.m. — I leave work a little early and go to return a strange-fitting bikini top at Aerie. Since I’m close by, I stop at Trader Joe’s, too. Somehow there is no line right now, so I take my time browsing and get a bunch of random stuff: mushrooms, carrots, sunflower seeds, soy chorizo, frozen chocolate strawberries, frozen peaches, corn salsa, morello cherries, and a caramel sea salt chocolate bar for my desk. Usually BF and I split the groceries, but he’s bought random stuff like eggs and toilet paper this week, so I simply pay and call it even. $22.78
7: 30 p.m. — I put on MasterChef Junior while I eat leftover tofu noodles. When BF is done with run, we watch an episode of Blackish, then turn on March Madness.
9: 30 p.m. — We go for a walk around the block to find the Super Worm moon, and BF buys brew and Tate’s cookies while we’re out. I ordered an Everlane cashmere sweater from Poshmark for half of what it’s selling for on the website, and it has arrived! I can’t believe I owned so many non-cashmere sweaters before this.
10 p. m. — During the rest of the basketball game I eat cookies, clean my face, spot treat with tea tree petroleum, and change my nail burnish from grey to peach for spring.
Daily Total: $75.78
8: 30 a.m. — I wake up and immediately open windows because the apartment is so hot! It’s not that cold outside, but the heating in our building thinks it is. I construct my lunch salad and an egg, potato, and soy chorizo scramble. The salad is similar to yesterday, but with corn and sunflower seeds. I attempt to Devacurl my hair back to life, and put one over Sunday Riley facial oil( from the Allure beauty box ), concealer, highlighter, and mascara since I’m in a rush after stimulating food.
12 p. m. — After a couple sessions, I construct green tea and feed a piece of the Trader Joe’s chocolate while making a March Madness bracket to enter in a tournament at work. My alma mater isn’t in the tournament, so this stimulates it way more fun to watch.$ 5
1: 50 p.m. — I eat my salad while checking emails and reading some random articles. I’m feeling bored today and feeing a little subsequently makes the day feel shorter.
5: 15 p.m. — I’m feeling better after meeting with my team. I haven’t been feeling challenged lately, but we have some more interesting work planned. I feed a homemade cookie someone brought while finishing up for the day.
7 p. m. — BF and I are tired of leftovers, so we decide to order Thai food — shrimp pad Thai for me and chicken pad find ew for him. We usually take turns paying for feeing out( when it’s not super expensive, then we’ll divide ), and it’s his turn. I eat a few crackers with lemon rosemary hummus and watch Project Runway All Stars while waiting for the food to come. I’m cheering for Biddel to win because he’s sassy and honest and great.
8: 30 p.m. — Turn on March Madness for the rest of the night. I rinse dishes, pack leftovers for lunch, and pick up a bunch of crap around the apartment to induce myself feel productive, but mostly I’m lying on the couch cheer. I also use my new mask from Ulta, which is fun because it builds me look like the Wicked Witch of the West.
Daily Total:$ 5
8: 15 a.m. — I’m tired today but that’s what I get for biding up to watch basketball. At least it’s Friday and payday! I take a shower and make a smoothie like the one from the other day, but with blueberries, too. I listen to the podcast Code Switch on the way to work.
12: 10 p.m. — I guess that smoothie wasn’t enough because I’m starving already. I heat up leftover lentil curry, and it still savours good! I take a short lunch because I have stuff to do, but I make sure my paycheck came in( it did) and text with someone my mommy knows who is considering going to the grad school I went to.
5: 45 p.m. — I skip out on happy hour with coworkers to satisfy BF for happy hour. Commonly, I’d join, but we have a date! He usually runs until after happy hour time, but he has the day off today, so we take advantage. We meet at a Mexican restaurant, which is something we get margaritas, guacamole, and tacos. The food is mediocre but the place is cute. We split the bill because it’s not a quick $10 snack and joke about creating business rules for when we split the bill and when we take turns. $28.88
8 p. m. — We go to our apartment, so I can change into jeans and put on lipstick. Then we take an Uber to a bar near the venue, where we each get our own beers and then divide another one. I pay for the Uber, and BF pays for beverages. I try to take public transportation as much as possible since I’m already paying for an limitless pass, but this particular route was going to take 3x longer that route, so I suck it up and go for convenience. $13.05
10 p. m. — We make it to Brooklyn Steel, which is way bigger than I expected and really cool! We catch the end of the opening act and decide to wait until the next band to get more drinks. Turns out that we actually missed both openers, so Homeshake goes on, and I don’t want to get our drinkings while he’s playing.
12 a. m. — We Lyft home, and BF pays since I paid the way there. I eat some more of those Tate’s cookies before falling asleep. They’re so thin it feels like I’m eating chips. Dangerous.
Daily Total: $41.93
8: 44 a.m. — I wake up because BF is moving around in the apartment. We read a little, and I also check my Mint account and re-categorize a bunch of transactions. I use the app to make sure I don’t spend so much that I can’t save the amount that I planned, but I leave a buffer so this pretty much never happens.
9: 30 a.m. — I supposed I could wait to eat until after the gym, but my belly starts growling aggressively so I eat some apple with peanut butter. Then I stroll to the gym for another group class. I’m new to this one, and it’s fairly hard.
12: 05 p.m. — BF mentioned he was craving a donut earlier in the week, so I pick up an iced chai latte for myself and a Dough donut for each of us on the way home. Mmm! $13
12: 30 p.m. — My body hurts so I lay around and watch two episodes of Queer Eye. BF calls me gross once he realizes I haven’t showered this whole period. Today, my shower includes shaving and a scalp scrubbing followed my fancy aromatherapy lotion I get for Christmas. Now that I’ve gone to the gym and get extra clean, I don’t feel bad doing nothing in my sweats all day.
3 p. m. — I heat up leftover pad Thai and turn on March Madness. I manage to get a load of laundry and a pouch of Dryel done, too. I am so happy to have a washer and dryer in our building so I can stay out of the cold and wind.
6: 30 p.m. — I stimulate zucchini nachos for dinner( nachos but with zucchini slicings instead of chips) with cheddar cheese, tomatoes, corn, black beans, jalapenos, avocado, and salsa. During the next March Madness game I put away all my clothes and pick up some other stuff in my room, too. I’m feeling inspired after today’s workout and look up costs for personal training at my gym. It’s over $60 per hour, even in a bundle of sessions. It builds sense that the trainers would be paid this much but I cannot be the person to pay that much.
8 p. m. — BF makes a stew with potatoes, carrots, mushrooms, peas, and beans that we’ll feed for the next couple days.
9: 30 p.m. — I attain us whiskey sours with cherries, and BF and I play a round of Mario Kart while waiting for our movie to download. We stick to one beverage because we had some severe hangovers a couple weeks ago, so BF is still feeling a little squeamish about alcohol( lol ). Then we settle in for Will You Ever Forgive Me? We kill a bag of Kettle New York Cheddar chips to make up for the lack of chips in our nachos.
Daily Total: $13
9: 30 a.m. — I ultimately get out of bed after snoozing for a little while because we have plans to see the movie Us! I put on my new Nikes and light makeup before we take the bus to Williamsburg.
10: 50 a.m. — We meet my cousin, three friends, and BF’s friend from college for brunch at Gotan. I don’t have a lot of friends here, so it’s really nice to find friend-of-friends that I get along with. I get a cheesy egg biscuit and a red juice( beet juice plus other stuff ), and BF gets an omelette with veggies and OJ. It’s my turn to pay. $43.12
12 p. m. — No one is lining up for the movie yet, so we walk down the street to Radegast Hall and divided a couple pitchers of beer before heading to the movie. We bought these tickets a week ago because everything in NYC is always sold out. By the time we get back, we’re at the end of the line. Oh well. $8.50
3: 30 p.m. — The group strolled down Bedford Ave ., and we discuss whether we liked the movie and what we thought it all meant. No matter what it entails, I am all about a good horror movie by a Black director with Black lead characters! We take the metro home and stop for some crusty bread. When we get home, BF and I are still talking about the movie, so we turn on the latest episode of Broad City to think about something else.
7 p. m. — We eat the veggie stew that BF constructed yesterday with some Italian bread on the side. We actually considered ordering pizza but convince ourselves not to. It’s a good decision because the stew is style more satisfying than I expected. It’s freezing in the apartment, and my legs are sore, so I lie on the sofa wrapped in a heated blanket and doze in and out of a movie for a while.
9: 30 p.m. — I turn on more basketball while I catch up with my papa over the phone and register for a book talk at NYU. I don’t read tonight because BF is snoring by the time I get to bed, but thankfully I fall asleep quickly.
Daily Total: $51.62
Money Diaries are meant to reflect individual women’s experiences and shall not be required to reflect Refinery2 9’s point of view. Refinery2 9 in no way encourages illegal activity or harmful behavior.
Do you have a Money Diary you’d like to share? Submit it with us here.
Have questions about how to submit or our publishing process? Read our Money Diaries FAQ doc here: r2 9. co/ mdfaqs
It’s pretty much wedding season, and sometimes it can feel like there’s a constant stream of wedding-related events, like as bridal showers. How do you approach buying gifts? What’s a reasonable budget to you? We want to know what real people think is a reasonable amount to spend and include your opinions for an upcoming Refinery2 9 piece. Please fill out this form for a chance to be included!
var loc= String( window.location ); var unique= loc.substring( 0, loc.length-1 ). replace (/[^ a-z0- 9 ]/ gi, ‘_’ ). toLowerCase (); if( window )( function () if (! window[ ‘ref2 9CustomTips’+ unique ]) window[ ‘ref2 9CustomTips’+ unique]= ; window[ ‘ref2 9CustomTips’+ unique ]. push ( “searchString”: “Mint account”, “photo”: “http :// s1. r29static. com // bin/ public/ 75 f/ x, 80/1945631/ image.jpg”, “name”: “Keri Danielski”, “title”: “Personal Finance Expert, Intuit”, “body”: “
Mint can assist you construct those short- and long-term savings aims a reality. Click here to learn more.
\ n”, “sponsor”: “http :// s3. r29static. com // bin/ public/ cdd/ x/ 1938895/ image.png”, “sponsorLink”: “https :// ad.doubleclick.net/ ddm/ trackclk/ N5506. 3083433 REFINERY2 9/ B21564068. 2268503 12 ;d c_trk_aid= 4323083 87 ;d c_trk_cid= 10923012 1 ;d c_lat =; dc_rdid =; tag_for_child_directed_treatment =; tfua= “, “highlight”: ” #e7afe7″, “guid”: “ab2b 15 a0-6e05-3a7d-3d79-d30ef452fe5d” ); function createCustomTippy () var tm= new TipManager( window[ ‘ref2 9CustomTips’+ unique ]); if (! window.hasOwnProperty( ‘TipManager’ )) window.TipManager = ; var head =d ocument.head; var connect =d ocument.createElement( ‘link’ ); link.rel= ‘stylesheet’; link.type= ‘text/ css’; link.href= ‘ // www.refinery2 9. com/ interactive/ money-diaries/ tooltip/ main. 6027950. css? v= ‘+ Math.random()* 10000; link.media= ‘all’; head.appendChild( link ); link.onload= function () var script =d ocument.createElement( ‘script’ ); script.onload= createCustomTippy; script.src= ‘ // www.refinery2 9. com/ interactive/ money-diaries/ tooltip/ main. 9834483. js? v= ‘+ Math.random()* 10000 ;d ocument.head.appendChild( script ); )(); var loc= String( window.location ); var unique= loc.substring( 0, loc.length-1 ). replace (/[^ a-z0- 9 ]/ gi, ‘_’ ). toLowerCase (); if( window )( function () if (! window[ ‘ref2 9CustomTips’+ unique ]) window[ ‘ref2 9CustomTips’+ unique]= ; window[ ‘ref2 9CustomTips’+ unique ]. push ( “searchString”: “Devacurl”, “photo”: “http :// s1. r29static. com // bin/ public/ 789/ x/ 1940210/ image.png”, “name”: “Work& Money Team”, “title”: “”, “body”: “
Are you a curly daughter in need of a new diffuser? Click here to insure our beauty team’s faves!
\ n”, “sponsor”: “”, “sponsorLink”: “”, “highlight”: ” #e7afe7″, “guid”: “0b 91 b59d-ff11-3138-1821-5ee52cd3155c” ); function createCustomTippy () var tm= new TipManager( window[ ‘ref2 9CustomTips’+ unique ]); if (! window.hasOwnProperty( ‘TipManager’ )) window.TipManager = ; var head =d ocument.head; var connect =d ocument.createElement( ‘link’ ); link.rel= ‘stylesheet’; link.type= ‘text/ css’; link.href= ‘ // www.refinery2 9. com/ interactive/ money-diaries/ tooltip/ main. 6027950. css? v= ‘+ Math.random()* 10000; link.media= ‘all’; head.appendChild( link ); link.onload= function () var script =d ocument.createElement( ‘script’ ); script.onload= createCustomTippy; script.src= ‘ // www.refinery2 9. com/ interactive/ money-diaries/ tooltip/ main. 9834483. js? v= ‘+ Math.random()* 10000 ;d ocument.head.appendChild( script ); )();
Like what you watch? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?
Read more: refinery29.com