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.
Today: a customer service analyst with a joint income of $67,140 per year who spends some of her money this week on sour cream and onion kettle chips.
Occupation: Customer Service Analyst
Industry: Utilities (Water and Electricity)
Location: Eugene, OR
Joint Income: $67,140
My Paycheck Amount (biweekly): $1,583.90
My Husband’s Paycheck Amount (1x/week): $686.80
Gender Identity: Woman
Mortgage: $1,594.43 (We pay an extra $125 toward the principal each month, our normal mortgage amount is $1,469.43, which includes property taxes and insurance. Our friend is currently living with us and pays us $400/month.)
Utilities (Electricity, water, sewer, storm water): ~$180
Natural Gas: ~$40
Apple Music/Spotify: $19.98
Apple iCloud Storage: $0.99
A.’s Insurance (he’s still on his dad’s policy): $100
Phones: $0 (A. and I are both on my parents’ phone plan and they pay for them)
Car Payments: $0 (We both own our cars outright)
Student Loans: $0 (I didn’t go to school and A. paid for his school in cash)
Health/Vision/Dental/Life Insurance: $17.29/Paycheck (Automatically deducted)
Medical Account: $15.46/Paycheck (Automatically deducted)
401(k)/Retirement: I don’t contribute anything currently since I just started at my job a few months ago but my employer contributes 12% on my behalf to PERS (State of Oregon Public Employee Retirement System)
A.’s Union Dues: $47.47
My Car Insurance: $935
Amazon Prime: $119
6 a.m. — My alarm goes off and I snooze until 6:15. I’m getting over a cold and the NyQuil kicks my butt in the mornings. I take a shower in an attempt to wake me up and it doesn’t work. Hopefully coffee and some puppy cuddles with my 11-month-old long hair German Shepherd will do the trick before I have to leave for work at 8:15.
9:15 a.m. — Sitting at work on a slow day reading Money Diaries and my stomach is grumbling, so I guess I better crack open my protein shake.
12:30 p.m. — Lunchtime! I head over to one of the local credit unions that I have an account at because they have a good CD (certificate of deposit) special. My husband and I decided to put $10,000 into a 15-month CD that earns 2.05% APY. On my way back to work, I stop by Whole Foods and get peanut butter cracker sandwiches, Theo dark chocolate, and sour cream and onion Kettle chips. $9.67
3:30 p.m. — I’m starting to run low on my Orgain chocolate protein shakes so I price-compare between Costco and Amazon to see which is cheaper based on price per ounce. Amazon wins. I buy two cases. $41.82
6 p.m. — I get home and my husband, A., has vegetable curry made for dinner. He usually has dinner going or ready when I get home, since he gets off earlier than me. Unless I make something in the Crock-Pot in the morning, of course. We relax and eat dinner and our roommate cleans up dinner since I’m not feeling well.
7:45 p.m. — One of my good friends asks if I’ll come up to Portland this weekend to see her, so I talk to A. and he decides he’ll come too so that he can see one of his friends. Our plan will work as long as we’re able to drop the pup off with my parents for the day so that she can play with their dogs.
9:20 p.m. — I’m tired. A. has been in bed watching YouTube videos while I hang out on the couch watching a docuseries on Netflix, but I think I’m ready for bed. I put the puppy in her crate and go to bed.
Daily Total: $51.49
6 a.m. — Alarm goes off. Snooze until 6:15. I feel way better today but still not 100%. I get in the shower and go through my morning routine. Shower, brush my hair, clean my ear piercings and makeup (I just wear a tiny bit of pomade on my eyebrows to even them out and mascara). I blow dry my hair after coffee when I’m able to actually open my eyes. I head to the kitchen for coffee and morning puppy cuddles.
7:20 a.m. — A. reminds me that we have dinner plans with his friend and his girlfriend tonight and to not forget to grab the gift certificate for the restaurant that we got as a wedding gift.
10:45 a.m. — I’m starting to get hungry so I open my protein shake and it’s solid and lumpy. Gross! I toss that one. I have snacks in my car but it’s dumping rain and I forgot my rain jacket. Maybe I’ll just drink some water, eat a little bit of my chocolate from yesterday and wait it out.
12:30 p.m. — Mother Nature must’ve heard my prayer because the rain stopped and I don’t have to get drenched on my way out to my car. I sit in my car most days on my lunch break and listen to a podcast. Today I listened to one of my favorites — Call Her Daddy. It can get a little wild, but it’s entertaining to me, for the most part, to hear about crazy stories from single men and women and some of the funny topics that the hosts talk about.
2:45 p.m. — I’m starting to get a tension headache near my left eyebrow. I’ve been getting this headache in the same spot for the last few days around the same time. I’ve already had 40 ounces of water today so I wonder if it has something to do with my congestion from being sick. I take two Excedrin and get more water.
4:30 p.m. — Somebody dropped off a fruit, meat, cheese, and chocolate box for a VP that works in a different building and she says to just let everybody take what they want out of it. I grab an apple and eat it at my desk while chatting with one of my coworkers.
6 p.m. — I arrive at the restaurant for our dinner plans with A.’s friend D. and his girlfriend F. I’ve never met F. before, but she ends up being super nice and really easy to talk to. Dinner was delicious, as always. We have a $100 gift certificate and decide to split the rest with D. $19
7:30 p.m. — We finish up dinner and D. and F. come over to our house and we hang out and play Mario Kart until 10, which is way past our bedtime.
10 p.m. — Crawl into bed and lights out by 10:30.
Daily Total: $19
6 a.m. — Alarm goes off. Nope. I’m so tired. Snooze until 6:15. I wake up with a headache. I get in the shower and go through my morning routine. A. is still in bed and asks if I’ll take the trash and recycle bins out to the curb. I don’t really want to since it’s raining but I know the trash will be picked up within the next 20 minutes so I put on my rain boots and do it anyway. I let A. know that I’m thinking about staying the night with my friend V. in Portland tonight and coming home tomorrow evening but will let him know what V. says.
7:45 a.m. — V. texts me back and is stoked that I asked to stay with her tonight. I let her know that I’ll make my way up right after I get off work at 5:45. She makes plans to go and look at her wedding venue in the morning with me since she’s getting married in June and I’m the maid of honor. She also wants to go to the Portland zoo to look at the zoo lights and look at wedding bands. It’ll be a packed couple of days, but I love spending time with her and I look forward to it.
10:40 a.m. — I get an email from Venmo that they’re sending me a card in the mail. I open up my app to double-check my address and all I can see is that they sent the card to my father-in-law’s address (thankfully) since I used to live there but I can’t figure out how to change my address in the app. I email them asking to change my address to my house.
1 p.m. — I’m upset because I can’t stop thinking about an argument that A. and I had this morning. I hate arguing but I feel like I’m in the right on this. He was on his dad’s phone plan before he switched to being on my parents’ plan a few months ago. He’s still been paying his dad for his phone and every time I remind him to ask his dad how much we need to stop paying him (we paid for his insurance and phone with one ACH), he forgets. I’m annoyed because we’ve been giving his dad more money than we need to and I asked him to text his dad about it this morning but he refused to, saying he was going to talk to his dad on the phone tonight and would bring it up then. He always forgets, which is why I was asking him to do it this morning. We didn’t say goodbye on a great note and he hasn’t replied to my texts yet today.
1:45 p.m. — A. texts me back and we both apologize. All is normal again… but hopefully, he doesn’t forget to ask his dad about the whole phone thing.
7:45 p.m. — I finally get to V.’s house and it’s so nice to see her again. I get all of my stuff inside and we head out to a restaurant that my dad owns up here, because free food!
8:40 p.m. — We realize that admission for zoo lights ends at 9 and we’re 11 minutes away. We rush to finish our food and bolt out. We end up getting there at 8:58 and they close at 10 so we have plenty of time to walk around. Admission is $17.95 each. $17.95
9:40 p.m. — My friend N. that lives with V. is at a Christmas party downtown and asks if we can pick her up. We pick her up then go to Target. I carry around a pair of fuzzy Christmas socks and some candy and ultimately decide at the end of our trip that I don’t need either and put them back.
12:30 a.m. — I’m so tired. Finally, we go to sleep.
Daily Total: $17.95
11:30 a.m. — Ready to go run errands with V. We’re going to go to Chick-Fil-A for lunch because I’m craving a spicy chicken sandwich and I rarely get to eat there. V. has been paying for parking and driving around so I pay for lunch. $16.74
8:35 a.m. — V.’s two cats and N.’s cat are going crazy and wake us up. V. makes us coffee and we chat with N. while she gets ready.
3 p.m. — We’re at TJ Maxx, which is our last stop of the day. I find a cute sweater, some socks (I know, I have an addiction), and a rope for my puppy. I decide that I don’t need the sweater after carrying it around for 30 minutes and put it back before we check out. $9.98
4:45 p.m. — I’m finally leaving Portland 45 minutes later than I would’ve liked, but it’s okay because I had so much fun. I stop for gas since I only have a little over a quarter tank for my two-hour drive home. $37.63
7:30 p.m. — Home at last. I had to stop and pick up the pup from my parents’ house since A. went on a day-trip to the coast for a hike with friends and dropped her off this morning to have a play date with their dogs. I chat with A. for a while and crack open some ciders while we relax.
10:30 p.m. — A. and I head to bed after a long day for both of us. Time for sleep now.
Daily Total: $64.35
8:30 a.m. — Wake up. I’m tired. Get out of bed and go let the pup out. I get her water and get me some coffee. She’s extra cuddly this morning. A. suggests that we ask my parents if they want to go to lunch today since we haven’t seen them as much as we normally do lately. They agree and also invite my aunt, uncle, and grandpa. We’re supposed to meet at 11:30, so I have to get the laundry started and get ready.
1:45 p.m. — Back home from lunch. My mom and dad paid for our food, which was nice of them. A. comes up with a good idea of getting him a vanity license plate for one of his new cars for Christmas or his birthday since its two days after Christmas. I think I’ll look into it.
3 p.m. — It’s upwards of $300 for a license plate. I don’t think so. I finish up working around the house and doing the laundry.
6 p.m. — The house is clean and laundry is done. A. heads to the grocery store to do our grocery shopping for the week. We’re having five people over for dinner on Tuesday, so we’re going to have to get more food than we normally do. Initially, we were just going to invite A.’s dad and brother, but then A.’s dad’s girlfriend got invited and then she asked if she could bring her two adult daughters along. Not really looking forward to all of the cooking and clean up that’s coming along with that. $80.33
7:45 p.m. — A. and I have a salad and snacks for dinner and turn on a rom-com while we relax.
9:20 p.m. — I’m tired. We brush our teeth and go to sleep.
Daily Total: $80.33
6 a.m. — Alarm goes off. Snooze until 6:15. Get up. Go through my normal routine. The dishwasher is clean so I unload it while my coffee is brewing. I’m so tired. The pup seems extra tired this morning as well. Our roommate, L., didn’t come home last night but didn’t mention that she had today off. I texted her last night but got no reply so I sent her fiancé a message and he confirmed that they were just super tired last night and passed out.
10 a.m. — Work’s been pretty slow for a Monday morning and I’m hoping it’ll stay that way. I’m in a funk today and am just not feeling super happy. I’m on antidepressants, so, for the most part, I’m good, but I definitely still have days where I’m a little more emotional or in my feels. I saw an ad on Facebook for Rose Bowl gear and since the Ducks are going and my grandpa is a huge Ducks fan, I get him a T-shirt for Christmas that I can pick up at one of the stores around town. $20
11:50 a.m. — A. and I have been having intimacy issues and today we’re both feeling especially upset about it. We get a chance to talk on the phone for about 30 minutes and we hang up both feeling significantly better and with a plan to alleviate our issues.
1:50 p.m. — Well, the lunch rush is real today. It finally slows back down for a minute, so that’s nice for a breather.
6 p.m. — We need more frozen chicken and A. and I decide that I should pick up a rotisserie chicken for dinner so I pick up two bags of frozen chicken and a rotisserie chicken from Costco. $48.97
6:45 p.m. — A. suggests that we make some ginger snap cookies that we’ve been wanting to make for a few weeks that we like to make around Christmas. We realize that we don’t have enough sugar to get through a double batch of these so we run to the store to get another bag. $5.99
9:15 p.m. — We’re finally done baking cookies, have everything cleaned up and put away and have the chicken marinading for tomorrow’s dinner. I’m done for the day. Time for sleep.
Daily Total: $74.96
3 a.m. — I wake up to go to the bathroom and so does A. I have a hard time falling back asleep and then I realize that I forgot to start the dishwasher. It’s pertinent that it gets started because we only have eight dinner plates and one is already being used and we’re having seven people over tonight. I’ll start it when I wake up.
6 a.m. — Alarm goes off. I feel like I got hit by a bus, I am so tired. I don’t think I got more than another hour of sleep after I woke up. Snooze for 15 minutes. Second alarm goes off and I drag myself out of bed and start my routine. I get my coffee brewing while I start the dishwasher… I don’t think A. is going to be happy with me since he’s going to have to unload it later before he starts cooking and I normally unload it in the mornings. I guess I’ll find out in a little bit.
11:30 a.m. — I have to take lunch early today so I go to the mall to pick up the shirt that I got my grandpa and a tablecloth for tonight. JCPenny has one that’s on sale for $8.99. Score! $8.99
6 p.m. — I get home and A.’s dad and brother are already there. Thankfully A.’s dad’s girlfriend and her two daughters aren’t here yet so I can get the side dishes going while A. works on the chicken.
9 p.m. — Everybody is gone and it really wasn’t as stressful as I thought it would be. Everything turned out really well and clean up was quick and easy, but that’s probably because I’m a clean-as-you-go person. A. and I hang out for a bit and make some plans for the rest of the week and weekend. A.’s mom passed away two years ago, so we make plans on Thursday to be with his dad and brother to remember his mom. We also decide that we should go on a date this weekend because we haven’t done that in a while.
9:30 p.m. — Go through the nightly routine and lights out by 9:40.
Daily Total: $8.99
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