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 Product Development Manager working in Tech who makes $240,000 per year and spends some of her money this week on HelloFresh.
Occupation: Product Development Manager
Location: Little Rock, AR
My Salary: $108,000
Husband’s Salary: $132,000 +15% annual bonus
My Paycheck Net Amount: $2,783
Husband’s Net Paycheck: $3,928
Gender Identity: Woman
Mortgage: $2,398.50 (principal/interest/taxes/insurance)
Student Loans: $0 (both of our parents paid for school)
My Car Payment: $455
Husband’s Car Payment: $850
My 401(k): 7%, with employer matching 3% (balance of $157,600)
Husband’s 401(k): 7%, with employer matching 3% (balance of $158,600)
Health/Dental Insurance: $383
Combined Car Insurance: $220.52
Personal Property Insurance: $18.50
Charitable Donations: $300
Netflix: $0 (parents’ account)
HBO: $0 (brother’s account)
Housekeeper: $400 ($100 weekly)
My Cell Phone: $50 (husband’s is covered by work)
Rent the Runway Unlimited: $152.90
Bark Box: $29
Fitness App: $9.99
Savings: $1,500 monthly goal
8:15 a.m. — Sunday wake-up sex for the win. Hop up and into the shower. My husband, D., delivers my latte to the counter while I’m working on hair and makeup. We talk about what we have going on for the week ahead and line up our meals through Tuesday. We spent literally $26,100 on eating out last year and decided we probably need to get our shit together and cook occasionally. I can only guess we stopped at Tuesday because deep down we knew we’d fail by then.
12 p.m. — The grocery store is next to a sports bar, it’s the playoffs, and I think I’ve already established we have a problem. Screw Tuesday, we failed by lunch. We share wings and sliders, I get a glass of wine and D. gets a beer. At least it’s all on happy hour for the game. $28.17
1 p.m. — Head to the grocery store and get ground turkey, refried beans, milk, batteries, grain-free dog food, packing tape, and a box of wine. Meal planning became just a single meal planned, but I have a large inner dialogue about wasting food. There’s a struggle between overbuying food that inevitably goes bad and buying enough that we are empowered to prep a few meals. $72.45
2 p.m. — We run to the record store to buy two CDs. I didn’t realize people still bought CDs, but it is a birthday present request so here we are. D. and his family have a tendency to just pass around gift cards, which I don’t think is a gift at all. I asked if we could just hand back the Amazon gift card we were given for Christmas and he didn’t think I was funny. $20
2:30 p.m. — My best friend, K., texts about meeting up with her and her husband, Z., for a hike. It’s 65 degrees in the winter so you don’t say no to that. D. and I load up the dog and knock out 2.66 miles of the great outdoors. K. asks if we want to head for a happy hour after, but we already have plans.
6 p.m. — Meet up with D.’s family for his aunt’s birthday. D.’s grandmother pays for these get-togethers, so I order down and get the spaghetti (I’ll have leftovers for lunch) and get the house chard. They happen to be out of the house wine and give me the Rombauer for the same price. Karma is real. We get home and prep for bed. I make another casual pass at D. but he isn’t really into it. We’re both asleep by 10:30.
Daily Total: $120.62
7:25 a.m. — Not a hair wash day so I snooze three times, run through my 35 minute morning routine, D. hands me a latte on my way out, and I kiss him goodbye. I’m a weekday morning “faster,” so the latte serves as breakfast. At my desk by 8:30.
9:01 a.m. — D. texts me and asks if I remembered my leftovers. Shit. He also lets me know his next work trip has been booked and he’s headed to Singapore for a week in March. Double shit. He travels internationally probably six or eight times a year and it never gets easier.
12 p.m. — I’m hungry. I have no female coworkers, and the two guys I work with only invite me to eat with them when they’re both here. There is an unspoken agreement that if either of them is off work, it’s too much one-on-one vagina time. It reminds me of couples who have joint FB accounts. I mean, who cheated? They’re in their 40s, so I assume it’s generational. One is on vacation this week, which means I’m on my own. I get a salad from a cafe in the building and eat it at my desk while reading the newest MD. D. remembered his leftovers because he’s a better person than I am. $6.21
5:25 p.m. — Head home and quickly change so I can get in a 30-minute workout before dinner. When I’m done, I see D. has started the taco salad and he’s got the music way up. He grabs me at the sink and spins me a few times before returning to his tomato chopping. I sort through the mail and see a reactivation offer for HelloFresh. It’s a four-week discount, which will be a big jump start to the new “eating at home” routine. Yes, it’s cheaper to meal-plan and the buy food myself, but this is a marked improvement, right? Don’t judge me. Or do, I mean, it’s why you’re here. After dinner, I enjoy The Bachelor with a glass of boxed wine, 2019 vintage, because trash TV pairs perfectly with trash wine. D. watches sports on his laptop and makes the occasional snarky comment but never leaves the room (I’m just saying).
10 p.m. — We get ready for bed, play with our phones, and I activate the HelloFresh discount, I’m asleep by 11. $49.57
Daily Total: $55.78
7 a.m. — Up and showered. D. is taking the dog to daycare today so he’s way ahead of me in the morning routine. We are going to a play tonight with my parents (Wicked is in town) and we didn’t want to leave him alone in the house all day and night. Partially because we care about him, and partially because we care about the rugs. D. decides to Uber downtown to meet after work, and we both decide it’s easier (read: more desirable) to run through Starbucks this morning. He gets a dark roast and I’m always a latte. At my desk by 8:10. $6.77
12 p.m. — I remembered to grab the taco leftovers this morning and feel quite impressed with myself. At this point, it’s just a bowl of taco-flavored turkey meat and diced tomatoes, so I enhance it with a few toppings from the salad bar. I eat it at my desk while reviewing a painful Excel doc that stretches all the way out to column VH. $1.76
2 p.m. — Run to doggie daycare just in time to grab the pup at the half-day rate, because we love him, but not like a full day charge kind of love. D. is having a late lunch of yesterday’s forgotten leftover spaghetti. Bonus goodbye kiss and back out the door. $12
5 p.m. — D.’s Uber is at my office, and I get to be done for the day! $18
5:15 p.m. — We meet up with my parents at a new restaurant we’ve all been wanting to try for pre-show drink and meal. I order a filet, D. has a soup and salad, and we all share a bottle of wine. My parents end up picking up the check, unexpectedly, so we tell them we’ll buy the drinks at the show.
7:30 p.m. — Showtime! Everyone orders a drink before the show and again at intermission. Intermission drinks at this place are always doubles because the bartenders DGAF anymore and are just maximizing tips. Happy to oblige. D. skips the third round since he’s driving. Walking back to the car we all agree the show was just okay. D. and I thought Book of Mormon was far superior in storyline, and Hamilton was far superior musically. Regardless it was a fun night and I blast “Defying Gravity” on the way home, which D. is not at all into. I barely got him to the show so Spotify reenactments are a definite no for him. We’re in bed around 11:30, adequately buzzed (well, me anyway), and tonight it’s D.’s turn for rejection. I just want my pillow. $66
Daily Total: $104.53
6:45 a.m. — Day three means hair wash day and I need an extra thirty minutes for the morning routine. Ugh, I picked a helluva day for it because I’m feeling last night’s wine. I put my mascara in my purse yesterday, so I could refresh it after work. Completely forgot to get it back out last night and because my purse is by the back door, I just decide to put it on when I get to the car. D. is also dragging from the late night and says he’s going to grab coffee at the office. This means Starbucks day two for me, and I am not mad at it. Get to work at 8:30. $4.67
10:29 a.m. — D. texts me to see how I’m feeling. Still a bit meh, but fortunately I have no meetings today and get to keep to myself. He lets me know he’s going to a vendor lunch. Lucky. My coworker pings and asks me to come by his office. I answer a few questions and then head to the restroom. Washing my hands, I look up and think how sickly I look. Only takes a split second to realize I never put on the damn mascara.
11:45 a.m. — Lunchtime. Yay for another sad salad. Best friend, K., and I text to pass some time. $7.98
3:45 p.m. — After several afternoon meetings I’m realizing my fog has lifted. Praise be. A friend of mine participates in a cosmetic MLM that will remain nameless, and we’re at that time of the month where I buy something to throw her a bone. Pretty sure this is why friends of friends with MLMs hate MLMs. You do not have a small business, “KAREN,” you have a small contingent of guilt-ridden and loyal friends. Can I assign this expense as charity? (Note: sorry Karens, it really isn’t your season.) $17.44
5:30 p.m. — Head home. My boss has been out all week, and it occurs to me I’m doing this wrong. I call D. from the car and we talk about dinner. Turns out we had some frozen chicken and we still had a leftover zucchini we bought and didn’t use last week. Being an adult is having the “we have food at home” talk with yourself over and over, or so I’m told. D. grills the chicken and I make oven-fried zucchini, and it ends up being a delicious meal. I comment that I enjoyed it even more than the previous night’s filet. Who says evolution takes millions of years? We watch a little basketball and it does nothing to keep me awake. I tell D. I’m ready for bed and he agrees. Nightly routine and we’re both out by 9:45.
Daily Total: $30.09
7:05 a.m. — Hop out of bed and into the shower. When I get out, my latte is on the counter waiting for me. I make a mental note to tell D. how much I love him. Heading in to work I realize I forgot my chicken and zucchini leftovers because of who I am as a person. Get to my desk at about 8:10.
9 a.m. — Hop on a two-hour call with two of my developers to review a product requirements doc and start lining out use cases and user stories within each requirement. I live for these meetings because they are where I know I’m in the right field. I get to feel creative and fulfilled knowing I’m building something that will ultimately be used by thousands of people. It’s freaking cool.
11:15 a.m. — Head to my salon to get my eyebrows done. I like to darken them once a month and I get them waxed twice a month. Today is the combo session. I completely spaced on my last appointment, so I tip double to offset her loss. $52
12:15 p.m. — One of my favorite restaurants, think Subway but for amazing ingredient salads, is next door to the salon. I run in and get a half-size Asian salad to-go and take it back to my office. It may be a salad, but it isn’t a sad one. $12.10
12:30 p.m. — D. calls me and tells me about the taco truck he ate at for lunch with a friend. He spent the exact same amount as I did because we’re soulmates. I’m super analytical by nature and find random coincidences like that extremely satisfying. $12.10
5:10 p.m. — I leave work earlier than usual because we have plans tonight and I need to get in a workout. I do the full body fast session to get my heart-rate up and decide that’ll have to do. Quickly dress and head out to meet our friends.
7 p.m. — Once a month, D. and I have a standing get together with K. and Z., and our other good friends N. and P. We change up what we do, we’ve gone bowling, we’ve thrown axes, sometimes we just eat, but tonight, we’re playing trivia. The trivia is at a restaurant and is free to play if you’re eating/drinking. D. and I each get a turkey club with fries, he has three beers and I have two glasses of wine. After a fourth-place finish (18 total teams) we head home and get ready for bed. I didn’t get in the workout I wanted today, so use D. for some cardio. He’s none the wiser, but I don’t think he’d complain. Asleep by 11. $48
Daily Total: $124.20
7:25 a.m. — STRUGGLING this morning, D. repeatedly attempts to wake me up and each try is met with growing disdain. He finally lets the dog loose on me and the problem takes care of itself. Grab some coffee and head out the door. Rain has the drive much slower than normal. Get to my desk at 8:42, oops.
11:31 a.m. — This morning has been a veritable shitshow. Products fail or minimally need improvement. It’s the whole reason there are updates to the apps on your smartphone. Someone finds a bug (or as product likes to call them, features) and it’s all hands on deck for version 2.0. I gladly leave my desk for five minutes to go grab some sad salad, so I can eat said sad salad while I put out more fires. Why are Fridays always the worst? $6.31
12:31 p.m. — Check the credit card to see what D. had for lunch: McDonalds. Gross. $8.10
12:32 p.m. — Check the other credit card routinely and see that D. purchased a pair of Jordans he’s been tracking. He loves to tell the story about how as a kid his parents couldn’t afford to buy him Jordans, so now he’s living for the 12-year-old boy inside. $130.97
2:30 p.m. — I feel compelled to get away from my desk for a minute, so I run down to the vending machines and get a Diet Coke. I stop back by D.’s desk and we talk about weekend plans and gripe about a few coworkers. Sort your email in conversations, people! It’s how you keep from driving me nuts by responding to an email that was resolved four hours ago. $1.67
4:46 p.m. — It’s almost 5 on a Friday, and I got most of the fires put out today. I’m feeling pretty good about it and decide to celebrate with some retail therapy. I could really use a new pair of jeans, Madewell sent me an email about 40% off sale items, and D. just bought his seventy-millionth pair of Nikes so I’m feeling pretty confident. While pretend shopping is one of my favorite pastimes (I have more abandoned shopping carts than the average Walmart parking lot), this time I purchase two items before I can talk myself out of it. $131.90
5:15 p.m. — D. calls and asks if I’ve left work, great idea. We decide to meet up at a Japanese fusion place and enjoy some robata and sushi. D. and I each get a glass of wine. We toast “to the freakin’ weekend,” which is our standard Friday meal kick-off. We are eating much earlier than usual because we want to get home before the expected questionable weather later this evening. $60
8 p.m. — Home and enjoying the new season of Schitt’s Creek. Not going to be happy when this season ends, eww David. Storms have started due to a cold front that is coming through, and we’re briefly under a tornado warning. By the time we make it to our safe room, the alarms stop. I’m officially glued to the news, wired with anxiety, until the front has completely gone through. As a kid, I saw a tornado go right in front of our car while driving home from dinner one night, which ultimately ravaged the area around our home. Since then, I’ve had fairly regular anxiety dreams where I’m standing in front of glass windows and see tornadoes popping up in the horizon all around me. I finally get to bed around 12:45.
Daily Total: $338.95
8:30 a.m. — D. and I wake up slowly and make our way to the living room. Even without a tornado, the wind was crazy last night, and we have a few tree limbs to clean off the deck and backyard. I’m so thankful that’s all there is to it since the news says the state saw ten touchdowns last night. I call my parents and text with a few friends to make sure everyone is good. D. makes some eggs we need to use and preps our coffee. We have some old friends coming over for dinner and haven’t figured out what we’re going to make yet. We land on steaks because D. does good work on a grill, a goat cheese, strawberry, and blueberry salad with a homemade balsamic dressing, and I’m going to make crème brulee.
11 a.m. — I work out, while D. goes to Fresh Market. He gets beef tenderloin, cheese, fruit, cornichons, carrots, cucumber, bell pepper, raw spinach, heavy cream, vanilla bean, sugar, eggs, a loaf of bread, and two bottles of Seghesio Zin for tonight. He gets sausage, potatoes, and kale for a soup he’ll make tomorrow that we’ll eat with our leftover salad and bread makings. He also snags some turkey meat, bacon, and milk. When he gets home I make turkey/bacon sandwiches for lunch while he preps for tonight. $168.73
6:30 p.m. — Friends are here, and we enjoy a glass of wine while talking about upcoming concerts we all have planned. We watch the playoffs and agree the Chiefs are looking like the biggest Super Bowl contenders this year.
11:30 p.m. — Our friends head home. We clean up, and D. starts to get silly with a dishtowel. I’m such a headcase in life (see: tornado night); I never could resist his ability to make me laugh. I go through my nightly routine while D. plays the guitar. We head to bed around 12:30 and end this week like just we started it.
Daily Total: $168.73
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