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 Junior Recruiter working in Tech who makes $60,000 per year and spends some of her money this week on a FitBit.
Occupation: Junior Recruiter
Paycheck Amount (Biweekly): $1,600
Gender Identity: Woman
Rent: $1350 (I live with two other roommates in Brooklyn)
Student Loans: $400 (Still have roughly $30,000 left to pay off)
Metrocard: Cost taken out of paycheck pretax current
Savings: Leftover money goes directly into paying off credit card debt (~$300 right now)
Medication For Chronic Illness: $25
7:35 a.m. — I wake up completely exhausted from the two melatonin gummies I ate last night. I smoke weed pretty much every day and decided it was a good idea last night to pop those gummies when I was super stoned. I definitely regret it this morning as I roll out of bed and get ready. I throw on my Nars tinted moisturizer, Bare Minerals concealer, eyeliner, eyebrows, and a bit of blush. It takes 10 minutes as I’ve done this almost every day for the last eight years. My job is very relaxed in terms of what we can wear so I throw on a pair of jeans, Converse, and a big sweater. I run out the door to catch the train and purchase a grande coconut milk latte from Starbucks on my app. It takes me 20 minutes to get to work and I stop to pick up my drink before. I never really drink coffee unless I’m super exhausted or hungover (maybe once every two weeks). $6.26
12:10 p.m. — My coworker and I pop into a nearby lunch spot for a salad. I’m working on not overeating this year, something that happens quite often when I’m high, so I want to be more observant of how much I’m eating every day. I pick a salad with kale, grilled chicken, red cabbage, tomatoes, onion, cucumbers, and a spicy peanut dressing. It’s pretty good and the conversation with my coworker makes me feel rejuvenated. We have so much in common and I’m a bit upset I didn’t get to know her sooner. We take a longer lunch because the conversation gets pretty intense about things at work that we’re both heavily involved with. $11.92
5:15 p.m. — I spend the whole day working on sourcing candidates and hopping on phone screens, and the day flies by. I munch on veggie straws, oranges, and pretzels throughout the day. I’m lucky enough to have shorter days and leave work to head to the gym. The gym I go to is a quick ten minute subway ride from my job. I do 20 minutes on the elliptical and 40 minutes working on my abs, arms, and legs/butt. I’m still fairly new at the gym — I used to have the worst anxiety going to the gym but have now accepted that no one really cares about what you’re doing as everyone is focused on themselves. I’m a huge fan of working out but have always been in classes. In an effort to save some money and pay down my credit card/student loans, I quit the classes and am now on my own. I feel relatively in good shape but it’s tough sometimes to understand if I’m working out “correctly.”
7 p.m. — After the gym, I feel amazing and rush to the nail salon down the block from my gym. I get a gel manicure and pick a light lavender color. I tend to get my nails done every other week ($35+$7 tip). $42
8 p.m. — I get home and chat with my roommates for a bit while making a green smoothie. I throw in a banana, frozen mangoes, a bunch of kale, protein powder, and a bit of peanut butter. My roommates and I go grocery shopping individually every week or so and share everything. We’re all really good about restocking the staples and all eat similar foods. I sip it while watching You with my roommate. It’s so entertaining and I can’t stop watching. I smoke my weed pen during the show and notice the oil in the cartridge is running low. I text my drug dealer (lol) about buying a new cartridge from him tomorrow. I munch on a few chocolate chip cookies while watching TV and conversing with my boyfriend (Z.) via text. I head to bed at around 11. I make it a point to go to bed early tonight since I was so tired today.
Daily Total: $60.18
7:25 a.m. — I wake up feeling a lot more rested this morning. I do my usual makeup routine while scrolling Twitter and pop on another sweater, black Uniqlo jeans, and boots. I grab a banana and head to work. I usually try to keep breakfast small or skip it altogether and take an earlier lunch. I get to work a bit late and get slammed with interviews and meetings in the morning.
12:05 p.m. — I grab a sashimi salad from a small sushi spot near the office. I eat at my desk while scrolling through Reddit and conversing with my manager. I really enjoy the team I’m on and how friendly everyone is. I don’t think I’ve been happier in terms of team dynamic. $11.50
3:40 p.m. — In between interviews and meetings, I have 30 minutes to quickly hop on Amazon and purchase a few gifts for my boyfriend’s upcoming birthday. I’m a huge fan of giving gifts. I pick out a FitBit ($70), a cocktail maker kit ($41.50), a shaving kit ($30), and a pair of New Balance sneakers ($85). I also purchase two day passes to a nearby spa for his actual birthday ($250). I know it might be a lot to spend on a birthday and I’ve been dating him for less than a year, but I always put more money into giving other people gifts and I never regret it. Also, he spoiled me a bit for my recent birthday so I want to return the favor. $476.50
5:30 p.m. — I leave work and head to shop around for a bit while waiting for Z. to get off work. He works in finance and his hours are unpredictable. I’ve gotten used to it now and am a master at tentative plans. I used to be a huge planner and dating him has helped me go with the flow more. I find a cute bracelet at a random small jewelry boutique and treat myself. At the last minute, I also pick one up for one of my close friends. $64
7 p.m. — I meet Z. for dinner and we go to Jajaja — a vegan Mexican place in Chinatown. We’re both not vegan but love the nachos so much there. We get a few tacos as well and skip the drinks since we’re doing Dry January together. We’re both pretty excessive drinkers (drug users as well) so we agreed to take this month off and reevaluate our drinking habits. He pays for the bill and we head to his place. We walk since it’s not that cold out and it’s one of our favorite things to do.
8:30 p.m. — During the middle of our walk, I text my weed man and we stop by his place to pick up two weed cartridges. Z. and I pay for our own separately via Venmo. We continue the walk back home while smoking. When we get back we’re both pretty blazed and end up watching TV and doing bedroom activities. I end up falling asleep around 11 or so. $50
Daily Total: $602
7:15 a.m. — I get ready in Z.’s dirty bathroom that he shares with three other guys and leave with him to commute to work. It’s finally Friday and I’m so excited about tonight. We have a concert to go to tonight and a birthday party to attend. I’m a bit nervous about not drinking in social situations but feel confident I won’t.
12:30 p.m. — Work is dragging and I spend most of it reading Money Diaries and scrolling through Reddit until my vision starts going blurry. I go to a food cart near my office and pick up a falafel wrap. I love food carts and how inexpensive the food is. I bring it back to work and eat in the kitchen with a rather annoying coworker who decided to eat with me. He talks the entire time and I barely get to say anything. I make a mental note to avoid him if I ever eat in the kitchen alone again. $8.50
6 p.m. — I finish work and head to a dinner with a few of my friends I met in college. We try to do a weekly meal together but haven’t recently because of the holidays. We all smoke from my pen at a park before the dinner. We’re at Thai Villa and I get the pad see ew. Since I’m doing Dry January and not spending money on drinks, I get an appetizer too. I pay my friend in cash and we head to a bar while I wait for Z. to get out of work for the concert. $30
8:30 p.m. — I say goodbye to my friends at the bar and they’re all already pretty tipsy. They make me promise to meet them later in the night so we can all go out. I meet Z. at my place since the concert is at a venue in Brooklyn. I change into a more going out outfit and we head over to the venue in an Uber. Z. pays for it and I pay for the two tickets at the door. The band is very small so tickets are cheap ($24). We both grab Red Bulls and I pay for those as well. It helps with the no drinking thing. $34
11 p.m. — After the show ends, we head to my friend’s birthday party in the LES. Z. pays for the Uber again. We’re the last ones there and the only ones not drinking. Everyone’s pretty drunk and my friends from dinner are nearing blackout territory as they have been drinking since dinner. One of my friends (S.) comes up to me and asks if there’s any way I have or can get MDMA for tonight. I text my sources and find someone who’s willing to deliver. I pay $80 in cash and S. promises he’ll Venmo me. $80
3 a.m. — After a long night, Z. and I leave the club and head home. It’s surprisingly warm out so we walk 30 minutes back to his place. We’re also both maybe still feeling the MDMA. We stop by the 7/11 by his place and pick up two Gatorades. We mess around for a few hours and eventually fall asleep. $5.50
Daily Total: $158
11:30 a.m. — Z. and I wake up feeling pretty great. We grab breakfast at a nearby diner with Z.’s roommate. I get the classic eggs, toast, bacon, and home fries. Z.’s roommate picks up the check and insists on paying. Not sure why but not going to push it. We head back to their apartment and watch football for a bit.
3 p.m. — I decide to head back to my place since I’m getting bored of football. I grab an Uber because I’m a lazy P.O.S. One of my goals this year is to limit the Uber rides I take but it’s taking me a bit to stop the habit. I get home and shower last night off of me. I end up taking a nap on the couch by accident and wake up to my roommates coming home. $15.50
6:30 p.m. — My roommates and I decide to get dinner together tonight at a nearby sushi spot. It’s mediocre spot but the sushi rolls are very cheap. We get home and start getting ready for the night. We’re heading to a pregame in lower Manhattan for my roommate’s boyfriend’s birthday celebration. I don’t know him or any of his friends too well so I get a bit anxious about the need to drink since I usually rely on alcohol when I’m nervous in social settings. $25
10 p.m. — We head to roommate’s boyfriend’s apartment and we split a nice bottle of Japanese whiskey ($30) as a gift for him. I also pick up a Red Bull ($5) to hold while at the party. The night is going well but I still feel uneasy being sober in this setting. We make it out to a random bar that’s way too crowded. $35
1 a.m. — I text Z. and he tells me to come over if I’m getting overwhelmed. I instantly take him up on his offer and perform an Irish exit. I grab an Uber since it’s late and Z. lives pretty far. We watch TV, smoke, and head to bed early for a Saturday night. I feel grateful for Z. and lay in bed filled with that cheesy happy feeling. $16.75
Daily Total: $92.25
9 a.m. — Z. and I wake up pretty early and wander into the kitchen to make breakfast. His roommates are all very hungover and we both talk about how happy we are that we aren’t hungover. We make a healthy oatmeal breakfast with fruits and eat while watching Bob’s Burgers.
11 a.m. — We decide to get some exercise and head to the gym in his building. I keep a spare set of sneakers and workout clothes at his apartment. I’m blown away at the fact that we’re up and feel well enough to work out this early. His roommates are still asleep. We spend a good hour and a half working out before heading back to his apartment.
3 p.m. — We head to a nearby Chinese restaurant for lunch. We order a bunch of soup dumplings and eat until we can’t anymore. I pay for the meal and Z. leaves a tip. We try to split expenses as fairly as possible and haven’t gotten around to the “what’s your salary” conversation. We walk around for a bit chatting about the upcoming week before he drops me off at the train station. $45.50
6 p.m. — I stop by the nearby grocery store before I get home. I’m lucky enough to live by one that has such a large variety. I pick up chicken thighs, spinach, asparagus, bananas, peanut butter, frozen mangoes, and various snacks. I get home and make three days worth of lunches. I do the usual chicken, asparagus, spinach, and rice bowl. I have enough for another serving so I eat it for dinner and get to sleep early since it was a busy weekend. $35.45
Daily Total: $80.95
7:25 a.m. — Monday. Makeup. Hoodie, jeans, and Nikes. I head to work and grab a free bagel. I throw on Kite Hill cream cheese and munch on it as I go through emails and chat with coworkers about their weekends.
1 p.m. — I eat my lunch with my coworker and we talk about the upcoming week. She’s going on a trip to Thailand soon and I recently traveled there so I recommend a few spots and share a few pictures with her. I’m super jealous and make a mental note to plan a trip soon. I hop on Google Flights after lunch and search around for cheap flights. My company has unlimited PTO so it’s very easy to take off when needed. I don’t end with a decision so I text Z. to see if he wants to go anywhere soon.
5:45 p.m. — I head to the gym and half-ass a workout. It’s one of those workouts where you give up in the middle of a set and end up stretching for half an hour. Z. calls me during my walk to the train and we discuss traveling to Mexico City in the next few weeks. It would be our first trip together. We end the call promising to look over flights the next time we see each other.
7 p.m. — I stop by the dollar store before getting home and pick up tampons, pads, and shampoo. My period should be coming this week so I like to be prepared. I got off birth control a year ago and not having the luxury of knowing when your period is coming is super annoying. I have another one of my green smoothies and finish You with my roommate. Joe is really a crazy man!!! I go to bed around 11. $25.95
Daily Total: $25.95
7 a.m. — I wake up really early for some reason and get to my office a bit too early. I sit down at a small cafe nearby and buy a croissant. I eat it slowly before heading to work. I get stuck in a conversation with the annoying coworker and can feel my day going downhill. $2.50
1 p.m. — I have my lunch at my desk since I’m slammed with work. I run out and grab a bag of gummy bears and M&M’s. $3.50
6 p.m. — After sitting through hours of interviews and meetings, I’m finally done for the day. My coworker invites me to grab drinks/dinner with him and I agree, deciding to skip the gym for today. We go to a nearby sports bar and I order a fried chicken sandwich (one of my favorite foods, if done right). My coworker and I chat about what’s been going on in our lives and at work. I don’t know him too well but he’s always been super friendly to me so I always enjoy his company. After we finish eating, he insists on paying. I leave the tip and he walks me to the train. I get home and spend 30 minutes cleaning up the apartment before showering and watching TV. $15
Daily Total: $21
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.
Do you have a Money Diary you’d like to share? Submit it with us here.
Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?