A Week In Copenhagen, Denmark On A $70,000 Salary

Welcome to Money Diaries, where we’re tackling what might be the last taboo facing modern working women: money. We’re asking women how they spend their hard-earned money during a seven-day period — and we’re tracking every last dollar.

Today: a Project Manager who makes $70,000 per year and spends some of her money this week on Nike Flyknit Infinity Reacts.

Occupation: Project Manager
Industry: Creative
Age: 26
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
Salary: $70,000
Net Worth: $-1,983 (I have a 401(k) that I was contributing to at my previous job in NYC and the last time I checked it had about $12,000ish in it) I don’t really keep a savings account either, just sort of keep whatever money is left over in my checking account.
Debt: $13,983 ($6,183 for a student loan, which is down from like $18,000!!!; and $7,800 on my credit card, I know I know)
Paycheck Amount (1x/month): $3,788 (Danish taxes are insane!)
Pronouns: She/her

Monthly Expenses
Rent: $1,137 (for my share in a two-bed, two-bath apartment (total rent is $2,274, split with my boyfriend, S.) the only utility included in water *eye roll*)
Loans: $139 (started paying this amount when I was making less and have just… never stopped, I try to pay more when I can)
Internet: $41 (paid for by me in full)
Electric: S. pays
Spotify: $14
Netflix: $9
Gym Membership: $36 (frozen since March due to COVID (don’t know when gyms will open again))
ClassPass: $24 (I like to take classes here and there on the weekend)
Phone: $0 (paid for by my work)
NYTimes Subscription: $4
Lunch At Work: $86 (taken out of my paycheck for catered lunch every day)
Apple Care+: $9.99 (was suckered into this after purchasing a new phone and had to buy full price cause my old phone had the smallest of small cracks and therefore $0 trade-in value)
Apple Storage: $0.99
Pillow Sleep Tracking subscription: $2.75























Day One

6:30 a.m. — First alarm goes off…not today, Monday!

7:45 a.m. — Okay up for real this time! This week is the first week that everyone is back in the office since Denmark has started to slowly open up after Easter. AND ITS A SHORT WEEK, HALLELUJAH. For the first two weeks back in the office after Easter we did different team members for different shifts (odd vs. even days) and now we’re all going back to the office!! Exciting, anxiety-inducing, but mostly just happy to see my colleagues’ faces in-person — and let’s face it, to put on real pants for the first time in weeks. We’re still maintaining distance per government recommendation and can’t eat together for a while but so far so good! I happily get ready and realize that if I don’t start to haul ass I’m going to be late!

9:06 a.m. — Arrive mostly on-time. My work is pretty flexible in terms of hours. I try to arrive before 9 every day and usually stay until after 5 but if I come in a few minutes later than 9 that’s okay. I would be actually on time if I didn’t stop downstairs for my morning yogurt & granola — girls gotta eat! $1.16

12 p.m. — Lunchtime!! We have catered lunch every day in the office (American companies need to get in on this!) that is usually an amazing buffet of salads, smørrebrød (open-face sandwiches), a meat entree and a carb of some sort. Because of COVID, we’re now relegated to eating our pre-packaged lunches at our desk for the foreseeable future which makes me feel sad inside… But thankful we even have an office to come back to and work to do while so many are struggling. As usual, lunch is delish! Grilled chicken and bulgar salad that I wolf down while browsing online for a diffuser.

12:45 p.m. — I may have gone a bit crazy online shopping…I get the diffuser, which I definitely needed (not), two new fun nail polish colors that remind me of spring, a metal nail file, and a detangling brush. $95

5 p.m. — Quitting time! One thing that’s been challenging to get used to since moving to Denmark is that everyone bikes, EVERYWHERE. I was a sub-par biker at best in the states and now after being here for about a year now, I can report back that I…….am still sub-par! That being said, I’m happy that I’m able to bike and don’t have to be on public transport (public transport = germs galore). When I’m home, S. preps us a lazy salad of kale, carrots, peas, corn, avocado, onion, green onion (cause regular onion wasn’t enough according to him), cherry tomatoes, and cucumber. We also have sweet potato fries on the side because WHY NOT!

7 p.m. — After dinner, we park ourselves on the couch for our nightly routine of Netflix. We’re currently watching Parks and Rec because S. has never seen it and is now obsessed! It gives us a nice break from Friends which we usually have on constant loop every night. #PIVVVVVOOOOOTTTT

11 p.m. — So tired I can barely keep my eyes open. Drag myself to the bathroom to shower, wash my face, floss, and brush. Over the last year, I’ve gotten more into skincare (I used to be just a Dove Soap and moisturizer girl, which don’t get me wrong did me wonders) and have branched out a bit more. My skin is a creature of habit, so when I find something that works well I just don’t change it. I wash my face with African Black Soap (I like Shea Moisture’s brand), followed by Thayer’s (Rose Petal all the wayyy), Charlotte Tilbury Magic Serum, Origins Ginzing Eye Cream, and finish with Aveeno moisturizer. I resolve that I WILL workout before work tomorrow and plead with S. to push me out of bed when he hears my alarm. Goodnight!

Daily Total: $96.16

Day Two

6:30 a.m. — Ehhhhh…it’s a no from me. I can work out after work and feel like I slept horribly so gonna choose sleep.

9:05 — Same ole bike to work, yogurt and granola thang. $1.16

11:45 a.m. — Break from a wall of meetings to eat lunch. I have yet to run into a bad meal during lunch…until today. TBH, I don’t really know what it is but it looks like some type of meat in gravy with potatoes and is just a hard pass from me. Guess my luck has run out? Grab a banana and two Oreo cookies to hold me over. I somehow get the strongest craving for guacamole as I’m eating!? Random, I know, but I roll with it and text S. that I’m making guac as soon as I’m home and that I’ll pick up the stuff from the grocery store.

1 p.m. — Ending a meeting with one of my accounts and my boss suggests that we (myself and one of the art directors) record part of what we just presented to the client so we can share it on our company LinkedIn. My mouth says okay, but my brain is immediately dreading it because I HATE hearing my own voice when I speak.

4:45 p.m. — TIME FOR GUAC!! I leave work a bit early and hungry since I didn’t eat my lunch today. Head to the grocery store that’s downstairs from my office to pick up some tortilla chips, a jalapeño, raspberries, and some pre-made Aperol Spritz in a bottle (?!) that look interesting because if you don’t get 20 other things at the grocery store did you even go? $18.67

5:15 p.m. — Bike home and quickly whip up the guac with two avocados, jalapeño, shallots (cause I’m feeling fancy), salt, and pepper. We also pull out some leftover salsa we have on the fridge. S. is quite bemused/skeptical at the Aperol Spritz in a bottle but agrees to try it with me! Annnnnnndddd they are not great — really overly sweet. We cut it down with some regular sparkling water which makes it a smidge more drinkable…only a smidge though. I drink it anyway because #whynot. Guac is delicious and I want to make more but S. suggests dinner instead and I begrudgingly agree that’s probably the right move.

7 p.m. — Another lazy kale salad from Monday. I promise I eat more exciting than this usually, but I’ve been trying to be more mindful of my meals during the week instead of just mindlessly eating/snacking all the time — and also I ate about a pound of guacamole and chips.

11:45 p.m. — Mindlessly scrolling on various social media platforms after dinner and suddenly realize it’s almost 12! How did that happen!? Also it’s possible I spend wayyyy too much time on my phone. And by possible, I mean entirely accurate. Do my nightly routine (wash face and floss/brush) and decide to shower in the morning because I’m suddenly exhausted. At least I managed to wash and brush ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.

Daily Total: $19.83

Day Three

7:15 a.m. — Wake up to my actual alarm without hitting snooze (this happens about 2% of the time) to squeeze in a shower before work and have to leave a bit earlier today in order to make our all-hands meeting at 9. Also I take the extra time to wish my two friends a happy birthday and make some obligatory Insta story posts. After that, I get in the shower and am out the door by 8, a record!

9 a.m. — Get to work with plenty of time to spare so I leisurely park my bike. “I should leave this early all the time,” I think to myself while knowing that I will most definitely ignore that advice tomorrow morning. Also, no yogurt and granola today as we’re having croissants brought in for a farewell for our company’s founder.

10 a.m. — All-hands meeting done and it’s the first one we’ve done “in-person” (awkwardly standing apart in our office kitchen) since we’ve all been back in the office. I didn’t realize how much I missed my work colleagues until now! We have lots of laughs and some technical fails while trying to include some colleagues who are still working from home. After the all-hands, I grab a croissant the size of my head and chomp it down while chatting with two colleagues about plans for the upcoming long weekend. Tomorrow is Thursday, but Friday is a holiday in Denmark so it’s technically our Friday!

12:30 p.m. — Somehow I actually miss lunch today?? I guess it’s 0/2 for lunches. Rummage around to see what I can eat and there are leftover croissants from breakfast!! I grab one and lather butter and fresh raspberry jam on it and have that with a slice of cheese, a banana, and an apple. Not the most filling but it was delicious so I ain’t mad at it.

3 p.m. — Office coffee + two more Oreos…it’s that time of day. I also decide that I want to surprise S. with a cute dinner date night tonight. I pre-order two pizzas to be delivered around 7. He will eat literally anything so I order one I know he’ll want (pepperoni and parma ham) and one that I want (classic cheese with extra Parmesan). $28.55

4:45 p.m. — Bike home and finally do a workout! I’ve been having a lot of fun making up my own bodyweight HIIT workouts with random exercises that I can do at home during quarantine and realize that it makes working out about 100X more enjoyable. S. joins me as he usually does and we do three rounds. Afterward, I take what I consider a long shower (10 mins, LOL) Pizza arrives promptly at 7 and we inhale it in about two seconds with some rosé we have in the fridge.

9:30 p.m. — After dinner, it’s the nightly routine of couch and Netflix. I snack on some fresh raspberries and can’t stop talking about how these are like “natures candy”, even though a just had a metric ton of pizza. Both S. and I roll my eyes at me and rightfully so.

11 p.m. — After I floss/brush and more mindless social media scrolling + getting caught up on the news (a few weeks ago I started allowing myself only 20 minutes of news/articles every night and have seen my anxiety decrease tremendously since), I go to bed at a reasonable hour. Tomorrow is our Friday (technically Thursday).

Daily Total: $28.55

Day Four

7:15 a.m. — Alarm, snooze, repeat.

7:45 a.m. — I’m up! I pride myself on being able to get ready in 15 minutes or less. I wear only three pieces of makeup every day (Charlotte Tilbury Legendary Lashes, Anastasia Brow Pencil, and very recently added in a very little eyeliner; Charlotte Tilbury Rock n Kohl; to help better define my lashes).

9 a.m. — Yogurt. Granola. You know the drill! $1.16

12:15 p.m. — Time is NOT MOVING. I grab lunch (a delicious bacon and ham quiche!!) to try to break up this snail’s pace of a day and catch-up on a bunch of Money Diaries while I eat. My favorite pastime is forgetting them for a few days and then reading all the new ones at once and laughing/commiserating with all of the commenters.

3 p.m. — Anddddd the beer has started to come out. Before COVID we had weekly “Friday Bars” where we all gather in our office kitchen and drink, chat, and eat snaxx. This usually starts around 2 every Friday and is fairly standard across most Danish offices (or so I’ve heard from friends working elsewhere). Last Friday, I joined Friday bar and ended up drunk grocery shopping and then passing out on my couch until 11, soooo I pass this time as I have a few errands to run after work.

4 p.m. — Let the long weekend begin! The first thing I do is head to a local running store for a run test. Full disclosure: I’m not a runner. AT ALL. But in January along with my pledge for more mindful eating, I wanted to get back into the rhythm of working out more than once every two weeks (looking at you, fall/winter). Running is something that I hate, until I’m actually doing it. It’s also something that S. and I can do together as well so planning to do at least two runs a week. The last run I went on I had horrible foot and ankle pain and realized that my shoes are 1) not running shoes and 2) offer less than zero support. After a quick run test (and not needing any insoles, hooray!!) I land on a pair of Nike Flyknit Infinity Reacts. These things run TIGHT. I’m usually an 8 but I size up to a 9 so I can wear socks with them comfortably. They feel like I’m running on clouds so I can’t wait to take these out for a real run this weekend. $180

5:15 p.m. — Blissfully happy with my new shoes, I head off to the next errand — meeting S. at the grocery store. We decided to do a shop now since we suspect everything is going to be closed tomorrow due to the random, obscure national holiday. We get potatoes, avocado, tomatoes, milk, yogurt, frozen fries and hash browns, two packs of chicken thighs, cheddar cheese, sour cream, a baguette, apple juice, eggs, butter, and a few other random things. I also get six assorted ciders and S. picks up a six-pack of Tuborg IPAs. In case you missed it, Denmark is EXPENSIVE AF! Groceries are no exception but usually S. and I split this expense right down the middle. If there are more snacks/things that I want, I will just buy them myself and vice versa. It works for us! $45.50

6:30 p.m. — Get home and wipe down the groceries. I’ve been doing this since quarantine and will continue doing it just to be on the safe side. Make yet another boring kale salad but also make some of the frozen french fries. S. and I eat together and settle in to watch an old but funny movie, Get Smart.

11:45 p.m. — Same nightly routine. Once I’m done, I crawl into bed and open my phone. The first thing I see is a post from Shaun King about how Ahmaud Arbery’s 26th birthday would’ve been on Friday, May 8th. I’m sure many have heard of this story more recently, but I’ve been following it for a few months since it first popped up on Shaun’s page. It absolutely broke me, but I feel a little relief tonight reading that his murderers have finally be arrested. Though I keep in the back of my head, these folks only got arrested because of the uproar and this getting to mainstream media. Now we need a conviction. I knock out sometime around 12:30.

Daily Total: $226.66

Day Five

9:30 a.m. — Finally get to sleep in a bit! S. is already up and out of bed. I wake up in an amazing mood — it’s warm and sunny and feels like summer. I throw on some workout stuff determined to take out my new running shoes and get sidetracked by deep cleaning our bathroom. I’m happy to do this as S. pretty much takes care of all of the day-to-day cleaning (dishes, daily sweeping/mopping, and laundry). He’s still on the job hunt after recently graduating with his MBA so he’s happy to take care of the daily stuff while I work and I usually pick up the slack on the weekends.

11:30 a.m. — S. and I land ourselves into a massive fight. We’ve been dating for just shy of a year and moved in together in January. That has changed our relationship A LOT. Mostly for the better, but since it’s still relatively new and the first time we’re both living with a partner, it’s hard to realize that there are some things you have to adjust since it’s not just you to think/worry about anymore. Also being quarantined together for weeks on end earlier in March and April has proven quite tough. We both definitely enjoyed having our alone time before all this COVID stuff so I’m sure that hasn’t helped things either. We have it out for the next half-hour just venting, but still trying to be respectful of one another.

12:30 p.m. — And that half-hour has turned into an hour but we’ve made up… for now. S. decides that we need some fresh air and to do something together and I agree. We grab our bikes and running shoes and bike over to a nearby trail since it’s so beautiful out. For the next few hours we alternate between running (new shoes are a godsend!!) and walking. We eventually wander back to our bikes and make our way back home for some reallllyyy late breakfast that is actually a late lunch. On the way, we pass a few grocery stores and we were right! They are all closed for the holiday. Glad we went yesterday.

3 p.m. — Home, showered, and now prepping one of our standard weekend breakfast/brunch/lunch — pancakes and bacon. We believe we’ve found THE pancake recipe (NYT Every Day Pancakes if anyone is interested, the secret is to whip the egg whites and fold them into the batter!! So light and fluffy and delicious). We eat the food and I collapse on the couch into a nap while S. calls his mom back in LA. He immigrated to the states when he was 15 and his mom and uncles still reside in LA. I think he misses them a lot.

6:45 p.m. — Wake up from my nap in a panic as we’re meant to have S.’s aunt and uncle who live here over for dinner at 7! I jump up and start prepping the food while S. starts to set the table and make sure the apartment is presentable. I’m making a honey garlic chicken dish from Tasty (I scroll through this every night just adding recipes to my wish list), roasted balsamic broccoli and carrots with bacon, and freshly mashed potatoes. It’s the first time I’m making this chicken dish so I’m a bit nervous at how it will turn out.

7 p.m. — S.’s aunt and uncle arrive and the food is ready about an hour later. The chicken recipe is a hit! We eat and laugh about how S. tried to convince everyone he could hang our bedroom curtains. (Narrator: He definitely could not as we didn’t have a drill, ladder or screws lol, we ended up having a wonderful neighbor come help us instead). S.’s aunt brought dessert for us and it’s three, YES THREE, different types of ice cream.

10:30 p.m. — Aunt and uncle leave and S. and I consider going to meet a friend for her birthday but decide against it and just watch Netflix instead. Even though I took a nap, I’m still super exhausted for some reason. It must be all the activity from today. I brush, floss, and am out like a light by midnight.

Daily Total: $0

Day Six

10 a.m. — Wake up at a normal hour again (7 is not normal, fight me on this), and feels like Sunday because I had yesterday off. Realize it’s Saturday and figuratively jump for joy!

11:30 a.m. — S. and I head out to Spar to do another grocery shop for some essentials — chocolate chip cookie fixings. We pick up brown sugar, milk and dark chocolate bars, sparkling water, coconut oil, olive oil, bananas, strawberries, kale, and some peach gummies for good measure. We bike back home (with the grocery bags on my bike since S. has a racing bike) and find out one of the bag handles ripped while I was riding but didn’t totally burst. Thanking my lucky stars we didn’t lose our chocolate chip cookie stuff in the middle of the street. $46

12:45 p.m. — Back home and making another weekend breakfast/brunch/lunch staple; bacon, runny over-easy eggs (S. calls these over and outs and I laugh every time), avocado, and one mini hash brown each. Eat our food and then lounge around a bit until S. decides he must go jump in the water right at this moment. It’s another beautiful day so I suit up (sunglasses and flips) and go with him to just watch and hang out on the dock. I don’t jump in because it’s still not THAT warm here but to each their own. S. comes out and is shivering for a good 10 minutes before warming up in the sun.

2:30 p.m. — Come back upstairs — our apartment sits right on a massive canal and is my favorite thing ever — and whip up the cookie dough. Another Tasty recipe — Chocolate Chip Cookies: Granny Style. While the cookies are doing their thing, my friend, V., texts me that since it’s so beautiful she wants to get together. I invite her over so we can hang at the dock and drink some cider. She brings wine and I bring down cookies and ciders for us to split. We find a spot sort of away from other people and lounge in the sun for a few hours.

6:30 p.m. — V. and I say our goodbyes with a vow to use the new grills that were just installed by our apartment next weekend. I head back upstairs to make some food for S. — sweet potato bowls (roasted sweet potatoes, sauteed kale with loooots of garlic, sausage, carrots, white onion, rice noodles, plus a generous topping of sriracha and soy sauce. We eat while we watch Friends.

11:45 p.m. — I completely pass out after dinner, oops. Definitely not going to sleep at all tonight. I jump in the shower and do my face wash. I’m a little peckish so S. makes us some homemade popcorn with coconut oil, butter and salt. He brings it to bed and we watch more Friends before falling asleep sometime around 3.

Daily Total: $46

Day Seven

11 a.m. — Up but refusing to move so I just lounge in bed on Instagram scrolling my life away (only slightly kidding) and making a new HIIT workout for today. S. gets up and makes us some coffee — bless him. We do the workout for an hour and then I shower while he starts to make the same breakfast from yesterday (we’re creatures of habit when it comes to breakfast food). I finish up while he showers and we eat together once he’s out. I also place an order from IKEA and from another home store here for a few things (velour hangers, rolling pin, sieve, a few more serving dishes on sale, and in-shower hooks) $68

2 p.m. — Lazy Sunday indeed! We’ve done little more than lay on the couch and eat. I get a few scoops of the ice cream from Friday with one of the cookies I made and its HEAVEN. I eat it while I chat with my mom and wish her a Happy Mother’s Day. She came to visit in March just before all the lockdown stuff, but that honestly feels like a year ago now. She also tells me the flowers and balloons I ordered for her have not arrived yet. I’ll give it a few hours before I start panicking and emailing customer service.

5 p.m. — Yesterday night I saw another recipe I wanted to try three-ingredient cheesy drop biscuits. It seems easy enough and we have all the ingredients so I make those and dump them in the oven. While they’re cooking, I try to be proactive and figure out what I’m wearing to work tomorrow. Ughhhh can’t believe it’s already Monday again so soon.

6 p.m. — Biscuits are out of the oven and of course I’ve already tasted one and they’re delicious!! Will definitely make again but maybe will use a bit less salt next time. These taste almost like the cheddar bay biscuits from Red Lobster, if you know you know. Prep another lazy kale salad.

8 p.m. — Do a quick wash and go to test out my new diffuser. I did a big chop about a year and a half ago and have kept my hair pretty short on the sides and back and much longer/curlier on the top. I really want to grow out my hair but I’m at that awkward stage where the top twists and curls fine and is SUPER long but the back and sides look an absolute mess. To remedy this I start looking into flat irons to try to do something a bit different with my hair while it grows out. I find one I like and order it along with some freeze hold gel for my edges and heat protectant spray. $58

10:30 p.m. — Brush and floss and decide NOW is the time I want to paint my nails. I gather my kit (clippers, file and polish) and head to my room. I turn on Season two of Dead to Me (!!!!) and paint away. Didn’t entirely think this through since I have to now sit up until my nails dry.

11:45 p.m. — Nails are dry! I head to the kitchen to find S. cleaning the kitchen. Oops was gonna do that before I painted my nails but got sidetracked. I lay back down and turn on Friends to try to lull me to sleep. S. finishes up the kitchen and comes to bed. He goes to brush, floss, and watch the news on his phone (his nightly routine) and I finally zonk out around 12:45.

Daily Total: $126

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