Welcome to Money Diaries where we are tackling the ever-present taboo that is money. We’re asking real people how they spend their hard-earned money during a seven-day period — and we’re tracking every last dollar.
Today: an unemployed person who spends some of her money this week on a leather-bound journal.
Trigger Warning: This Money Diary mentions an eating disorder.
Occupation: Unemployed (laid off due to COVID)
Industry: Formerly Hospitality
Location: Charleston, SC
Salary: $0 (unemployment hasn’t come in yet)
Net Worth: Approximately $900,000. This includes real estate holdings, savings, and investments. I have no debt.
Debt: $0 (I pay my credit card bill monthly)
Paycheck Amount: N/A
Rent: $2,865 (for a two-bedroom, three-bath with two parking spaces)
Water: $52.21 (this is the minimum amount that I never actually meet so it is exactly the same every month)
Power: ~$32 (I only turn my heat/AC on in extreme circumstances of when guests come over so it is typically about the same every month)
Cell Phone: $82.00
Was there an expectation for you to attend higher education? Did you participate in any form of higher education? If yes, how did you pay for it?
Absolutely. It was never a question if I would go to college, it was just a question of where I would go. My parents started a college fund for me when I was born so that I would not have to worry about loans/work while in school. Since I ended up going to an in-state school (although out of state for me), the price was significantly less than what they saved for. I was told I could use the leftover money to go towards graduate school, but I ended up going straight into the workforce. I was very lucky to graduate with no loans, and I am so proud of my friends who worked so hard to pay off their loans after graduation!
Growing up, what kind of conversations did you have about money? Did your parent/guardian(s) educate you about finances?
I was taught at a young age that money does not grow on trees and every dollar is hard-earned. Just because I wanted something did not mean I should just buy it. In third grade, we learned to balance a checkbook for a math project and I have been doing so ever since. I also learned a lot about savings. Every dollar earned (even those $5 in birthday cards) went right into the bank. When I was younger, I hated it, but when I was older and able to buy my first condo at 22, I truly appreciated every penny I was taught to save.
What was your first job and why did you get it?
My first job was teaching swim lessons/lifeguarding when I was 15. I worked at the same day camp I went to as a kid and loved every minute of it. The camp would let me give private swim lessons to campers after hours in the pool and wouldn’t charge me a fee, which was so kind. This money I got to use as spending money, but my paychecks from the camp went right into savings.
Did you worry about money growing up?
Yes. There was zero need for me to worry, however, so it was all self-inflicted. I would panic that one day we would wake up and have nothing left. If we went on vacation or even out to dinner, I would cry hysterically that we didn’t have the money to do so (we did, my parents were anything but frivolous). Lots of therapy has helped me realize this fear stems a lot from my eating disorder and needing a sense of control. I can’t control what happens tomorrow, so I fear that I need to hang on to every penny just in case of the unknown. I am still working on this.
Do you worry about money now?
Absolutely. When I moved to Charleston from Washington, D.C., I gave up a very lucrative career to be closer to family. The trade-off was now living in a city where wages are about 1/3 of what they are in D.C. and a new industry that pays less in general. It doesn’t help that I am now unemployed and have zero income. While I have good savings and am not in any financial trouble now, it still worries me as I do not know how long this unemployment will last. It keeps me up at night thinking about a stupid purchase I made ten years ago and thinking how I could have that money in the bank now. I am trying to keep calm and not talk myself off a ledge every day since I don’t think all the money in the world could keep me from not worrying about it.
At what age did you become financially responsible for yourself and do you have a financial safety net?
I got my first credit card sophomore year of college and have been paying for that on my own expenses ever since. My parents paid for my tuition and rent in college, but I was responsible for all other bills. After I graduated, I was kicked off the family cell phone plan and 100% on my own. If I was ever in trouble, however, my parents would be my safety net. It would have to be a dire need, though, as my pride would have me spend my entire savings before ever asking for help.
Do you or have you ever received passive or inherited income? If yes, please explain.
When I was 12 and had my bat mizvah, I was gifted a lot of money from family and friends. All of it went into the bank. This was the nest egg that really started my savings/investments and the ability to buy a condo at 22 in cash. Other than that, I have not had any inheritance.
2 a.m. — I am not what they call a happy camper. My upstairs neighbors decided to have a party last night starting at 12:30 a.m. While I love my place, the walls are thin. On a normal day, I can hear my neighbors if they’re just talking. Now throw in music, a bass, heels, and what I counted as 22 people finally leaving, and my whole apartment was shaking. I tried texting them to lower the music to no avail and finally around 2 a.m. their guests left. Now, however, I am up and pissed and just in an overall bad mood.
7:30 a.m. — I think I finally did fall asleep around 4 and am thankful for the little sleep I did get last night. Hop out of bed and get ready for the gym. Before the COVID police come at me, I am going to say this: Don’t. Gyms are allowed to be open here. My gym closes every day for two hours to be professionally cleaned. Classes are only five people. All precautions have been taken and there has not been one outbreak that has come from where I go. My gym is my mental health outlet. The people there have become some of my closest friends and have gotten me through some dark times. I clean up a little while I waste time before getting dressed and I am out the door!
10 a.m. — That was a doozy of a class, but I feel so good afterward! Jump in the shower the minute I get home to wash off. About a month ago I hung some eucalyptus in my shower, and it is a game-changer! Not only does it smell amazing, but it’s also supposed to be good for your sinuses. Highly recommend! Get out of the shower and do my face routine. I am proud to say I am now five weeks in to being an adult with a skin routine! I use Environ Skin EssentiA Mild Cleansing Lotion and Biologique Recherche Lotion P50 Toner.
11 a.m. — This is way past my coffee time, I do not know how the day is going by so quickly! Turn on my Nespresso and brew a cup to enjoy back in my bed. I love coffee (I have three different coffee makers at home) and my Nespresso machine is my favorite. Best $99 I have ever spent. Pro-tip, wait until Thanksgiving/Christmas time and Nespresso always lowers their machine prices to $99. You will thank me later!
1 p.m. — I spent the morning working on a letter for a contact that reached out to help me with my job search and then take a break. Put on some black leggings, a green Banana Republic sweater, and some simple jewelry and decide I am going to go over to my parents’ house. I do not want another episode tonight like last night and am going to just remove myself from the situation. I will talk to my property manager about it on Monday. Tomorrow is also Valentine’s Day and I am feeling a little down about being alone (again). I pack an overnight bag and head out.
2 p.m. — Time for lunch. My dad makes the best grilled cheese sandwiches so I ask him to make one for me. I sit and eat with my parents and we catch up. My dad got his second vaccination today and we are all happy and grateful he doesn’t seem to be having any adverse reactions yet. We also talk about my sister, N. A year and a half ago, one month after her 30th birthday she was diagnosed with breast cancer. After a double mastectomy, 63 weeks of intravenous chemo, she just started oral chemo that she will be on for a year. It has had some nasty side effects, but hopefully, they have figured out a good plan of action. Even before COVID, our world had already been turned upside down. As a family, we just take everything day by day now.
5 p.m. — It has been a slow and rainy day. I mostly work on my resume. I keep hoping the rain will stop so I can go out for a run, but it just keeps coming down. Decide to shut down my computer and go downstairs to sit with my parents. We watch a few episodes of House Hunters before my mom and I start dinner.
7 p.m. — My mom and I make fettuccine pasta with grilled chicken and grilled steak with a mushroom sauce for dinner. The three of us eat, talk, and just hang out for the rest of the night.
10:30 p.m. — I call it a night and go up to my bedroom. Face routine and PJs before crawling under the weighted blanket I keep in my room here. It is so cozy. I like to fall asleep to some sort of noise, and my favorite noise is old episodes of The Golden Girls. This show is so funny. My head hits the pillow and it is not long before I pass out.
Daily Total: $0
7:30 a.m. — Happy Valentine’s Day! I check my phone and think it is odd my dad has still not texted me. Whenever I sleep over, my dad texts me when he puts the coffee up. We are both super early morning people, and by 7:30, it is unusual not to hear from him. I start to panic a little that he has had a reaction to the vaccine and something is wrong so I sprint downstairs to my parent’s bedroom, and see he is just still asleep. I guess everyone needs a day to just sleep in. Go back up to my room and scroll social media but get too depressed with all the V-Day stuff. I start to feel sad that I am still single at 34 with no prospects and think about what my life “should have been.” Decide to distract my mind with more resume work.
10 a.m. — Everyone is up, and N. stops by to say happy Valentine’s Day. Dad surprises us all with coffee and waffles. It is really nice to have the four of us sitting all together for a happy occasion. N. heads out to her boyfriend’s and my dad asks if I want to go on an errand run with him. I have nothing else going on so I get dressed and dig out a pair of rain boots from the closet. Mask up and we are out the door by noon.
2:30 p.m. — Our trip was a bust. I think we got four things from my dad’s list. Most importantly, we did get flowers for my mom from him, so that was a plus. When we lived in New York and he commuted to NYC every day, he would bring my mom flowers from his “flower guy.” He has yet to find a replacement here, so Trader Joe’s does the trick. I end up not getting anything while we are out. Back home and we try to figure out what to do for lunch. We want tacos but with the bad weather, we decide to just make something. Going full-on nostalgia today and I ask my mom for a good ole fashion tuna melt. Happy camper here.
4 p.m. — The weather is BEYOND bad here! It is just one extended downpour. Two weeks ago, I hydroplaned on the highway (literally did a 360 spin across four lanes of traffic, it is a miracle I’m okay). I am still very uneasy driving, and in this weather, it gives me a little panic attack just considering it. I cancel the gym for tomorrow morning and decide to stay another night here. It is not really what I want to do, but honestly, I am too scared to drive home. My mom and I curl up on the couch and watch the last few episodes of the revived Mad About You. In terms of reboots, I would recommend it if you enjoyed it when it first aired in the ’90s.
7 p.m. — Another dinner with my parents. My mom makes my dad a pot roast, but I just have some leftovers and a Bud Light since I am not that hungry. After dinner, we indulge in our favorite guilty pleasure, 90 Day Fiancé. This show just makes us laugh so much. I check the weather outlook for tomorrow since I am supposed to play tennis at 9 a.m. with my friend, T., but I am not sure if the courts will be dry.
10 p.m. — Still no word about if tennis is on for tomorrow morning, so I set my alarm as if it is. I will need to leave my parents, go back to my apartment to change and get my racket, then go to the courts, all during rush hour, so I want to plan accordingly. I wash my face and get ready for bed. Golden Girls on the TV and I fall asleep around 11:30.
Daily Total: $0
2:30 a.m. — A sneezing fit wakes me up. Gotta love allergies! It is way too early for this. Take a Zyrtec and wait for it to kick in.
6 a.m. — Alarm goes off and still no word from tennis so I guess it is on. Get dressed, make my bed, take the trash from my bedroom and bathroom downstairs, and pack up the rest of my stuff to go. Just as I am about to put on my rain boots, T. calls and says everything is still wet outside, the courts aren’t safe to play on. Welp! Since I am up, I sneak into my parent’s room and lure the dog out for a walk. T. was right, it is still wet and misting out.
7 a.m. — It is my favorite time of the day, just my dad and me having coffee together. The routine is the same every time, but it is something that I really cherish. He asks if I want anything for breakfast, but coffee is all I am wanting this morning. By the time he is done eating, my mom is up and we are all in the kitchen talking.
10 a.m. — N. comes by before her gym class and tells us about her Valentine’s Day night. She didn’t realize she would need reservations, and of course, she didn’t have one. She and her boyfriend ended up going around to the local fast food joints and ranking all of the chicken nuggets. Honestly, it sounds amazing! The winner was Zaxby’s, followed closely by Popeye’s. It was Sunday, so Chick-Fil-A was obviously closed, but we all agree they are just in a category by themselves. N., my mom, and I hang out and look at engagement rings and chat, while my dad goes into his office. We also turn on RHOA to play in the background for more entertainment.
11:15 a.m. — It is time for me to finally go home. The rain has stopped and I want to beat any lunchtime traffic on the roads. I repack my stuff, say goodbye to everyone, and hit the road. About three miles from home, I get super emotional and just start to cry. I am not really sure where it comes from, but sometimes you just need a good cry. I am done by the time I get home. Unpack my car and start up my washing machine to do Sunday laundry today. I heat up some water and toss in a lemon slice and start Googling jobs on the internet.
1 p.m. — Lunchtime! I am running low at home so I really need to make plans to go grocery shopping. In the meantime, I steam some broccoli while I munch on blueberries. I make some cauliflower and teriyaki sauce and mix that with spinach. I throw in some chicken sausage and lunch is served!
5 p.m. — The day just kind of floats by. So goes the life of unemployment in a time of COVID right? I should eat a real dinner but I am not really hungry and while normally, I love to cook, I am just not feeling it today. I put some peanut butter on a rice cake and call it a day. I contemplate finding a book to read but I am burnt out from reading. During shelter in place, I read 53 books. Basically from the time I woke up to the time I went to sleep, I read. I love reading, but as much as I want to, it just is not appealing to me right now. I turn on HBO Max and browse what is new. Currently, I am mooching Netflix/Hulu/HBO Max from my parents and sister. When I get a job, I will take over paying for one of them. Decide on There is No I in Threesome and have low expectations.
9 p.m. — WELL. That was much better than I had expected! It wasn’t so much that I didn’t see the ending coming, but I was very surprised by the way it was done! I would recommend watching! It is an acceptable time to finally put my PJs on so I do my face routine and crawl into bed. I put on re-runs of Law and Order and scroll Instagram for an obscene amount of time. Eventually, I switch over to The Golden Girls and turn off my phone. I think the last time I see the time is around 11.
Daily Total: $0
5 a.m. — Up and at ’em! Gym time. Roll out of bed and get dressed in the gym clothes I took out the night before. Check my email and drive to the gym. Another benefit of going to the gym at this time is there is a high chance I will not hit one red light on my drive. If I hit all the lights at the right time, I can make it to the gym in about four minutes!
7:15 a.m. — Great workout. I’m going back this afternoon for a double and I highly consider just not changing, but while I can be very lazy, I am not dirty. Shower, face routine, and put a fresh clean pair of gym clothes on. Fire up the Nespresso maker and take my coffee back to my bed to just snuggle a little while longer.
9 a.m. — I am a person who thrives on consistency and routine, so when I lost my job, I gave myself three days of wallowing and staying in bed, and then I set a routine. While I am not necessarily working, I make sure that by 9 a.m. I am dressed and at my “desk” (aka my kitchen counter that used to be my desk when I was WFH). I check my email and do some light job searching. I am getting to the point where I am finding the same jobs that I have either been rejected from or have already applied to over and over and it is defeating.
10:30 a.m. — Take a break from “work” and do some gift shopping online. My friend T.’s birthday is quickly approaching and I still need to get her a gift. I pride myself on my gift-giving abilities. Keep a few tabs open of ideas and decide to not make a decision right now.
11 a.m. — The sun is finally out! It is so nice out, I decide to go on a walk outside for some fresh air. At the height of lockdown, I was walking up to 12 miles a day. I never listened to podcasts before but got very into them during my walks. Pop in my headphones and put on Two Judgey Girls. If you love reality TV like me, please listen to this podcast. These girls are really funny. I also recommend Reality Life with Kate Casey. Both these podcasts will have you in stitches. Before I head out, I take out some chicken breasts from the refrigerator and toss them in salt, butter, garlic, honey, lemon, soy sauce, fish sauce, and a little hot sauce, to marinate. I have no idea how they will taste, but isn’t that how all the best recipes come to be? Hat on and I am off!
1 p.m. — It is beautiful outside! Still a little chilly for me, but I am a freak who enjoys 85-degree weather. I contemplate going over to N.’s apartment to help her pack (she is moving), but she tells me not to since my parents and her boyfriend are there and it will just be one more personality to deal with. I am not too disappointed, I am just bored. I get into a cleaning kick, and next thing I know, I am knee-deep cleaning my oven and stove. I used to have a cleaning lady come once every six months to do a deep clean on my place, but with COVID and now unemployment, that is not in the cards. I do not do as good of a job as her but it is passable.
2 p.m. — I called up T.’s husband to confirm that what I was thinking for the birthday gift would be a good choice. He gives me his seal of approval and I make the purchase. I buy her an embossed leather-bound journal. It should be here in about a week which is perfect timing for her birthday! Shipping is free, which I love and the embossing is just a small fee. $105
3 p.m. — I have to leave for the gym in a little over an hour, so I decide to put the chicken breasts I have been marinating in the oven to cook now. I am not sure if I will eat them when I get home, but I would rather them be ready to eat than have to cook them later.
5:30 p.m. — Back from the gym. Cook some brown rice as I shower. I sauté some spinach and chickpeas. Toss everything together with a little soy sauce and top it off with the chicken I made. I am meeting N. for trivia at an outdoor brewery. Tables are limited to six people and they are maxing out at six tables. I put on some jeans from Banana Republic and a blouse from Halogen. I think this is the first time in weeks I have semi put makeup on. Just some simple Bobbi Brown eyeshadow, eyebrow pencil, Chanel eyeliner, and Revlon mascara. Finish off the outfit with black Frye boots.
7 p.m. — I am beyond impressed with how the brewery has set up trivia. It is so spaced out that even talking at an above-normal tone, the other tables couldn’t hear you. It has been such a tough year for so many of these establishments, it feels good to be out and safely supporting them! Our team is me, N., her boyfriend, and two of their friends. The brewery is running bucket of beers and hard seltzer specials and N. gets a bucket of both. I have two beers and N. treats. Trivia is hard! We are a competitive group though and we end up coming in third! A little disappointing since we were in first at one point but we walk away with a $100 gift card! After trivia, N. and her group stay, but I say goodnight because I am old and need to go to bed.
10 p.m. — Face routine, PJs, and crawl into bed. I get sucked into a Lifetime movie on Hulu, Abducted: The Mary Stauffer Story. WOW. I get sucked into Googling the real Mary Stauffer and her ordeal. Finally call it quits around 11. Golden Girls and it is lights out for me.
Daily Total: $105
5 a.m. — My alarm actually wakes me up, instead of me waking up before it goes off. Shockingly though, I am not that tired. Roll out of bed and it’s the same routine as usual. Gym clothes, check email, and I am out the door for the gym. Even in the dark and cold, this place just makes me feel good. It’s the people.
7:15 a.m. — Another great workout in the books. Back home and get the Nespresso going. My friend, F., is coming over in a little to go for a walk since it is day two of no rain, so I hold off showering. Towards the end of my workout, I started having these sharp pains in my stomach. At the beginning of January, my OBGYN found two very large (8+cm) uterine fibroids. Due to their size, it would require an invasive surgery to remove them (I would have to be cut hip to hip), so my doctor wants to wait and see what they do on their own. The pain they are causing, however, is becoming worse and more frequent. Does anyone have any experience with this? Any suggestions are welcome!
8:30 a.m. — F. comes over and we bundle up for our walk. We walk over to a local coffee spot. We both get black drip coffee and F. covers mine. My friends and I just always trade-off with one another. Everything comes out in the wash, so there is no need to send her the $2. We walk and talk and catch up. It is chilly but walking makes it bearable. F. is one of my closest friends, and with COVID, I haven’t seen her as much so I really appreciate these walks we go on.
10:30 a.m. — I meet N. at the construction site of the new townhouse she is building. It is predicted to be done in April. I am really excited for her. She asks if I will help her decorate because I have a good eye, and I have never gotten such a nice compliment from her. She heads out to the gym and I go literally around the corner to the hospital for my second COVID shot! In January, I found out that you can be on a waiting list so the hospital does not waste any doses. At the end of the day, if there are extra doses, you can get vaccinated. It is such a smart idea because if they are not used, the doses would have to be thrown out. The one benefit of unemployment is I have all the time in the world to wait around and see if there would be extra. Sure enough, I was lucky and got my first shot. My whole family will now be vaccinated by next week.
11:15 a.m. — That was possibly the quickest experience of my life! They took me early, and even with waiting 15 minutes after, I was out of there in maybe 25 minutes! My mom is a little worried about side effects, so I drive over to their house after my shot so she can “keep an eye on me.” Of course, when I get there my mom wants to feed me, but she has no food. So while she and my dad run to the grocery store, I jump in the shower. The water heater in their house is like magic and I take the hottest shower I can handle. It feels amazing.
12 p.m. — Lunch with my mom and dad. I have a turkey sandwich with muenster cheese, lettuce, and tomato. After we eat, I snag a few snacks from my parents’ pantry and hit the road. On my drive home, I catch up with T. We try to figure out another day to play tennis, but hold off on any plans, because it looks like the rain will be coming back.
2:30 p.m. — My arm is starting to hurt. It isn’t awful, just like it felt earlier in the year when I got my flu shot. I eat some sliced-up kiwi and a wave of exhaustion comes over me. Grab my favorite blanket and curl up on the couch.
6 p.m. — So tired today. I have mostly rotated between my couch and my “desk” all day. The pain in my arm is getting worse, but if this is the only side effect I feel, that will be a win for me. My evening is uneventful, just texting back and forth with friends, with my mom calling periodically to make sure I am not running a fever or suffering some bad reaction. I assure her I am not unless you consider being cold in an apartment where I have not turned the heat on. She chuckles and says to go stand outside in my underwear to see if I warm up.
9 p.m. — By this point, my arm is so sore any movement causes some immense pain. I try to lay in bed but cannot get comfortable. I crack and take two Tylenol, hoping they will relieve the pain enough for me to sleep. I toss and turn but finally, fall asleep around 10:45.
Daily Total: $0
3:45 a.m. — Nope. Too early even for me!
5 a.m. — Much better. My arm is still sore, but I decide it is not sore enough to skip the gym. Get dressed and check my email. I also check the weather and looks like rain again today. Womp. My head feels a little stuffy, kind of like when my allergies get bad. I check my temperature just in case since I do not want to drive to the gym only for them to turn me away for having one. Nope. Totally normal. In the car and on my way I go.
7 a.m. — Great workout. I am glad I went. Even without going at 100%, it felt good to move and sweat. Home and in the shower soaking in all the eucalyptus smells. I am still really tired when I get out, so I decide to set my alarm for an hour and take a nap. Take two more Tylenol as well, since they seemed to work last night.
8:30 a.m. — Hit snooze once… or twice… but when I get up, I feel good. Must have been what my body needed. I put on some BR jeans, a Shoshanna sweater, a Lululemon scarf, and a Gap puffy vest, and get my coffee going. Yes, I am dressed like it is 20 degrees, even though it’s definitely 50. I am going to look at a few condos today. I hate renting, I feel like it is just throwing money away. Plus the issue with the thin walls and my upstairs neighbors. I am anxious to get out but want it to be a smart choice. Make a second cup of coffee and check my email before putting on rain boots and heading out to meet my real estate agents.
11:30 a.m. — Made it back just in time for the rain to start again. Out of the four houses/condos I looked at, two are definitely contenders. It stresses me out thinking about buying, but I know it is better than renting. N. calls when I get back and asks if I will meet her this afternoon at her townhouse. I have nothing else going on so I tell her sure!
1 p.m. — On my way home from meeting N., I pass by Aldi and make a quick stop because they have the best prices for everything you need to stock your pantry. I buy two cases of seltzer, two pints of cherry tomatoes, ricotta cheese, mozzarella cheese, spicy hummus, spicy chunky salsa, cake mix, brownie mix, sweet peppers, mini potatoes, and dark chocolate with sea salt bites ($35.73). Thankfully I keep grocery bags in the car for last-minute stops like this! $35.73
1:30 p.m. — Yikes! My gas tank is really low. Ugh, when did gas get expensive again? Fill up my tank ($43.51) and head on home. $43.51
2:30 p.m. — If you haven’t guessed, I have been totally influenced by the feta and tomato baked pasta ALL over Instagram as of late. I use ricotta cheese instead of feta, since I am not a huge feta fan, boil some pasta, and put the cheese and tomatoes in the oven. When everything is done, I mix in some shrimp salad my mom made, spinach, and red pepper flakes. OMG, it is so good. You win this time, internet!
5 p.m. — I text with T. about the homes I saw today and weigh out my options with her as a sounding board. A lot of my friends have been texting me to see how I am feeling after my second shot and thankfully — knock on wood — I am feeling pretty good. Besides the sore arm, my sinuses are a little stuffy, but that could be just unrelated.
5:30 p.m. — I completely forgot I told my friend, K., that I would go tour our new gym space with her today. Our gym is closing next week and is opening up in a different space. I have already had a tour by the owner, but K. has not seen it yet, so we set it up with him to go see it this evening. Rain boots, mask, and I go meet up with them. The space is just amazing. As soon as I get back home about an hour later, the skies open up and the rain just starts coming down in buckets. I am not even going to kid myself, it is already dark out so PJs are completely acceptable!
10 p.m. — Knock back two more Tylenol before I crawl into bed since my arm is still painful. I am taking a rest day tomorrow from the gym so I am looking forward to sleeping in (hopefully). Catch up on the premiere of RHONJ (Team Jackie) and then switch over to The Golden Girls. Face routine and I’m out by 12:30.
Daily Total: $79.24
3:20 a.m. — So much for sleeping in today! I have no idea why I am wide awake. Oddly enough, N. is up as well and sends me a random text thinking I would see it in the acceptable morning hours. I text back that I am up and we chat for a little bit. I just stare at the ceiling and hope to fall asleep again.
6:00 a.m. — I am officially awake and up. Make some coffee and decide it is time to change my sheets. I absolutely hate changing my sheets but love having fresh clean sheets on my bed. Check my email and am extremely frustrated to see the unemployment office has had time to revamp their website but not enough time to validate my claim. It has been almost a month now, and while every time I call I speak to very nice people, no one has been helpful. I have been on hold for four hours for three minutes of talking to someone who told me they couldn’t help me with knowing when my benefits will be approved. I understand they are overwhelmed, but that does not help my situation. UGH.
10 a.m. — An alarm goes off on my phone to pay my rent (noted in the above monthly expenses). I like to pay early so that there is never a question if I am late or not. And yes, I set an alarm as a reminder every month. Very Type A here, I like lists, reminders, calendar invites, color coordinating, the works. Pay my rent and send with it a note about how once again this past month I had to sleep elsewhere because of the noise upstairs. This month was not bad, only four nights, but it should be zero.
11:30 a.m. — Tomorrow is my dad’s birthday so I decide to whip up a batch of chocolate chip cookies for the occasion. Things I always keep stocked in my pantry and fridge are baking essentials for the go-tos; cookies, cakes, brownies, muffins. That way I can easily whip something up if an occasion arises last minute. I am a pretty good baker and over quarantine, like most people, I baked everything and anything. Thankfully I find it therapeutic so I haven’t burned out yet! Batter in the refrigerator for 15 minutes then nine minutes in the oven and poof! Cookies for the birthday boy!
1 p.m. — Feeling hungry so I heat up some of the pasta from yesterday. While it heats I eat one of the cookies I made this morning. Have to make sure they are edible before giving them to the birthday boy, right? Surprisingly pleased with how they turned out.
3 p.m. — Rain is still coming down in buckets. We haven’t seen this much rain here in such a long time, and it isn’t even hurricane season. The darkness outside and the sound of the rain are making me so sleepy. I lay down in bed and plan to nap for 45 minutes but I end up just scrolling Instagram and not sleeping at all.
7 p.m. — The music upstairs is already bumping and I am highly debating calling it quits and just going to my parents to sleep. It is not what I want to do, but I also do not want to be constantly asking them to turn down the music, and then texting my property manager with updates on how they haven’t turned down the music. I am too old for this. Before anyone asks, I moved in here first, right after the place was built. These are not new issues. I have been saying there needs to be better sound insulation since the first tenants moved in. Just nothing has been done and I am looked at as the old complaining neighbor.
11 p.m. — It has finally stopped vibrating from the music, so I quickly wash up and jump into bed. My alarm is set for 11:59 p.m. My family has this thing where we try to be the first one to call the birthday person. I typically am the winner, probably because I set an alarm! Looking forward to celebrating my dad tomorrow, he deserves it. Good Night!
Daily Total: $0
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