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 financial coordinator making $43,000/year who spends it on cabs to and from her boyfriend’s place.
Occupation: Financial Coordinator
Paycheck Amount (weekly): $650
Monthly Housing Costs: $640 a month, utilities included. I’m a single parent and live with my aunt and my son.
Monthly Loan Payments: $0 since I qualified for financial aid.
All Other Expenses
Gym membership: $10.45
MetroCard: $31/week, pre-tax
Credit Cards: $70/month. (Why was I so reckless?!)
Savings: I really try to save at least $100/month.
Phone bill: My share on a family plan is $80/month.
Apple Music: I pay $7 and my sister pays the rest of the $14.99 subscription.
Netflix: $0, thanks to my older sister.
Health insurance: $65/week for me and my son. (My son’s dad is unemployed at the moment and not helping me financially right now.)
7 a.m. — I refill my weekly MetroCard before heading to work. $31
8 a.m. — I get to the hospital where we have a Starbucks onsite. I order a grande iced coffee and then go to the cafeteria for tater tots with sausage. I would save a lot more money if I didn’t spend so much on food. I almost never cook — I really hate it — so I eat out for breakfast, lunch and dinner. $6
12 p.m. — I go to the hospital cafeteria and buy a really decent-sized salad for lunch, and I get 15% off because I am an employee. I’m trying to eat healthier and go for salads at least three times a week. $4.40
5 p.m. — I head to my dermatology appointment on the Upper West Side. I have pretty nasty eczema out of nowhere and it’s driving me insane. My insurance covers me 100%, no copay.
8 p.m. — Finally home after my derm appointment. I have an allergy test on my back and have to go back in two days to remove it. I spend some time with my son and make him a sandwich for dinner. We cuddle a little bit before bed.
Daily Total: $41.40
6:20 a.m. — My alarm goes off. I stay in bed for a little bit and browse through Amazon. Prime is legit a lifesaver. I order some cups for my son and new tweezers because I have no idea where I put mine. I jump in the shower and then get my son ready. After I drop him off at school, I head to work. $20
8 a.m. — I go to the hospital cafeteria and order breakfast and a coffee from Starbucks. I use my discount and then head upstairs to my room. $6
12 p.m. — I’m feeling lazy and decide not to walk to the other side of the hospital for my salad. Instead, I go to my regular café and get a ham and cheese whole-wheat wrap. I have water upstairs, so I don’t need to spend money on a beverage. During the week, I only drink water and coffee, no juice or soda. $5.40
5:30 p.m. — I make it home from work and call my boyfriend. We usually see each other twice a week, so we chat for a bit and make plans to see each other tomorrow. I make dinner for my son — mac and cheese and a glass of milk — and we watch Moana on our Amazon Fire stick. (Thanks, babe.)
8 p.m. — It’s time for bed.
Daily Total: $31.40
6:30 a.m. — I snoozed this morning so I’m rushing to get my son ready for school. I don’t have to worry about breakfast for him because his school provides free breakfast. He eats waffles or cereal once he gets there at 7:30.
8 a.m. — I go to Starbucks and have a medium iced coffee and sausage with corned beef hash. $6.00
1 p.m. — I take lunch a little later since a coworker brought me another coffee around 11 a.m. I walk over to the other hospital building and buy a crispy chicken salad. $4.40
5 p.m. — I get to my dermatology follow-up appointment. She checks the allergy test (apparently, I’m allergic to nickel) and gives me suggestions for a new body wash and soap to use. I make a mental note to stop by Duane Reade during lunch tomorrow to pick them up.
6:30 p.m. — I’m really lucky to live with my aunt; she’s amazing. She picks up my son from school and feeds him once they’re home, usually rice and chicken. Once I get home, I make him a ham and cheese sandwich and we cuddle and watch Wall-E until bedtime. I make myself a tuna sandwich before bed.
8 p.m. — I take a Lyft to and from my boyfriend’s house; he lives in the Bronx, about 20 minutes away from me. We catch up on The Flash and cuddle. I almost always pay for my own cabs because I make more money than he does, but when we go out for date night (usually once a week, instead of staying in) he picks up the tab. I leave around midnight and climb into bed when I get home. I’m going to be so tired tomorrow. $40
6:50 a.m. — I’m so tired! I snooze three times and then force myself to jump out of bed. My son is truly the best kid ever. He’s a morning person and never gives me any issues getting him up. I’m blessed! I vividly remember giving my own mother hell every morning before school.
8 a.m. — I have my usual coffee and breakfast at the cafe. I get a cold brew today because it’s a little stronger and I feel like a zombie. $6
12 p.m. — I head to Duane Reade before getting lunch. I pick up Aveeno Skin Relief body wash, Aveeno lotion, and a small cocoa butter stick for a nasty pimple I had last week. I apply this at night before bed and it helps with the scar. I also pick up a new shower sponge. $30
12:30 p.m. — I get a crispy chicken salad, grab some water from the cooler, and eat at my desk on break while watching last night’s Criminal Minds episode. $4.40
5 p.m. — I go to the beauty salon after work; it’s a weekly expense for me. A wash-and-set is $20, plus tip. $25
7:30 a.m. — I go to the supermarket before heading home and do some food shopping for my son. I buy ham, cheese, bread, mac and cheese, milk, juice, cake, and some fruit snacks. $30
8 p.m. — I put the groceries away and call my boyfriend. We chat for a bit and try to decide on Friday night plans while I make my son dinner. I put my son to bed and climb into bed to watch The Blacklist before I go to sleep.
Daily Total: $95.40
Getty Images/Scott Olson
6:25 a.m. — I don’t hit snooze today! I get up and get us ready for the day. My aunt is awake and makes coffee before I leave. I give my son $2 before I drop him off, in case he wants chips after school. $2
8 a.m. — I skip having a big breakfast today and grab coffee and a banana at Starbucks. I don’t feel like eating. $3
1 p.m. — I meet an old coworker from my previous job at the hospital for lunch. We go to a Mexican place around the hospital and get burritos and and one margarita each. I pick up the tab. $45
8 p.m. — My boyfriend picks me up and we decide to go see John Wick 2; he pays. We head to his house after and go to sleep since the movie ran pretty late.
Daily Total: $50
11 a.m. — I wake up at my boyfriend’s. We cuddle for a bit and then I take a cab home. I really wish he would offer to pay… $20
12 p.m. — I arrive home and spend the afternoon with my son. Later, we head over to my mom’s for lunch and chill there for a bit.
4 p.m. — I take my son to see the new Lego movie. I buy him chicken tenders and a slushy at the movies. He loves the movie, but falls asleep while it’s playing. $40
7 p.m. — We’re home from the movies and spend the rest of the day in bed watching TV until bedtime.
Daily Total: $60
9:30 a.m. — My son goes with his dad to his grandparents’ house every Sunday, so I usually spend the day at home in bed or doing chores. I get him ready and his dad picks him up at 10 a.m.
12 p.m. — My mom brings me food, bless her heart. I’m in bed catching up on shows from the week. I try and do the bare minimum on Sundays.
6 p.m. — My son is back. I order Chinese food and look over his homework before bedtime. I also iron his uniform for school and my slacks and blouse for work on Monday. $12
Daily Total: $12
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 a money diary you’d like to share? Email email@example.com .
Powered by WPeMatico