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A Week In San Francisco, CA, On A $75,000 Salary


Welcome toMoney 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 healthcare professional who makes $75,000 per year and spends some of it on Everlane work pants.

Occupation: Healthcare Professional
Industry: Medical Field
Age: 25
Location: San Francisco, CA
Salary: $75,000
Paycheck (Bi-weekly): $1,943

Monthly Expenses
Rent: $1,280 for a room in a two-bedroom apartment. (One of my roommates lives in the "living room.")
Student Loan Payments: $0. (I was fortunate to have college paid for by my parents.)
Phone: $0. (Still on my mom's plan.)

Health, Dental & Vision: $74 pre-tax
Internet & Electricity: $30
ClassPass: $15. (I recently cut back to one class per month to hold my membership.)
Spotify: $10
iCloud Storage: $2.99
Amazon Prime & Netflix: $0. (My sister lets me use her accounts.)
Savings: $500-$1,000. (I currently have $25,000 in savings.)

Additional Expenses
Retirement: My company has a pension plan that auto-contributes 9% of my pre-tax earnings. If I stay at this company for my entire career, I will retire with my full salary for the rest of my life.
Therapy: $160 per session. (I have been going weekly for the last few years but am cutting back now. I pay out-of-pocket but am reimbursed 90% by my insurance.)

Day One

7 a.m. — Request an Uber Express Pool to work but the driver cancels after I walked two blocks to the meeting location. The next driver is picking me up from my apartment so I walk two blocks back. Ugh. Monday. $4.52

7:30 a.m. — Arrive at work and get coffee and breakfast. We get free coffee at work and a meal credit for $11/day, which usually covers my breakfast, lunch and sometimes even a snack! The food is surprisingly unhealthy for such a well-respected hospital, but oh well, I can't complain about free food!

2:30 p.m. — It's a busy day and the hospital is at full capacity lately because of flu and cold season. I've been running around visiting patients and meeting with the medical teams all morning. I grabbed a quick lunch but now it's snack time and I've already used all of my meal credit. Use Apple Pay to buy Boom Chicka Pop. It's SO addicting — the sweet and spicy flavor is dangerous. $4.50

5 p.m. — Finally off work. I've been sitting and charting notes all afternoon and I am sore from sitting so much. (I have sciatica.) I try to take a walk at lunch every day, but on busy days like today, that's just not possible. I take a hospital shuttle across the city (free!) to a location that is closer to my apartment. From here, I walk the last bit home, about 25 minutes. The distance isn't bad, but the walk is straight uphill and then straight downhill, which is challenging to do in my work flats. I usually bring my Nikes to walk home in, but it's Monday and of course I forgot. This routine saves me a lot of money on my commute. Public transportation in SF is not ideal, so I find that taking an Uber to work in the morning and walking home is the best compromise.

6 p.m. — Make scrambled eggs with salad for dinner (purchased on my Whole Foods run last week). I do a few stretching exercises, catch up on a book that I'm reading with friends (we started a book club!), and get to bed early.

Daily Total: $9.02

Day Two

7 a.m. — Uber to work, have coffee and breakfast, and catch up with my coworkers in the office. I am lucky to work with a group of amazing women of various ages, who are all so intelligent, unique, and interesting. We have fun gossiping about our love lives, venting about work issues, and complaining about how hungry we are. $5.12

12 p.m. — Lunch time! It's a gorgeous day in San Francisco: Karl the Fog is MIA so a coworker and I sit outside. Vitamin D is just what I needed. We take a quick stroll after finishing lunch.

5 p.m. — Once I'm off work, I take the shuttle to meet my best friend for happy hour. We meet in NOPA, an up-and-coming neighborhood in SF that is flourishing with new bars, restaurants, and shops. We stop by a bar that has Pliny the Younger (a cult beer that is brewed once a year and requires waiting in long lines to purchase) on tap. Of course, it is already sold out. We leave and go to one of my favorite restaurants, Nopa, for dinner. We both get a drink and split the butter beans, warm marinated olives, and tagliatelle Bolognese. Our tummies are full but our hearts are happy. My friend pays and I Venmo her. $46

8:30 p.m. — Uber Pool home after checking out my friend's new apartment. It's so cute! We brainstorm ideas for decorating. If I ever decide to change careers, I will be an interior designer. $5.50

10 p.m. — Watch The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills (my guilty pleasure) before falling asleep. Dorit is so obnoxious and narcissistic. This season is intense!

Daily Total: $56.62

Day Three

7 a.m. — Same morning drill except I bring my own coffee to work. SF has kind of turned me into a coffee snob. We have Peet's Coffee at the hospital (which isn't bad), but sometimes I wake up craving a cup of home-brewed coffee. If I'm feeling extra fancy, I'll use my Chemex, but today, I just used my roommate's drip machine. $4.40

5 p.m. — Another busy day! At least it keeps me busy and away from my iPhone. (My Instagram addiction is a real problem.) I packed a change of clothes this morning so I can go straight to my power yoga class after work. I purchased a discounted package last week, so each class is only $12.60. I take the shuttle and walk to my class. This yoga instructor always kicks my butt! I leave feeling rejuvenated and knowing I'll be sore tomorrow.

7:30 p.m. — On my walk home from yoga, I stop by Mixt for a salad. The line is super long, but I have no food at home. I really need to start grocery shopping more often but it's hard because I always end up wasting so much food. I usually only eat dinner at home two or three days each week and I get free food at work, so it really just ends up being a waste when I buy groceries. Mixt charges a ridiculous amount for their salads, but the toppings are amazing (the roasted squash and kalamata olives!). Plus, it's close to my apartment. $14.95

9 p.m. — Do some online shopping. I'm in dire need of work clothes and Everlane just released new work pants. I have a different pair that I live in, so I will give these ones a shot. I've also wanted one of their “100% Human” shirts for a while now, and Everlane offers free shipping over two items, so I go for it. $78.10

Daily Total: $97.45

Day Four

6 a.m. — Wake up early this morning. I need to shower and pack for the day. I have a date tonight after work and won't go home before, so I want to make sure I have everything I need. I take an Uber Express Pool to work after my usual routine. $4.52

5 p.m. — My coworkers and I head out for happy hour at an awesome food truck spot that has the best happy hour: $10 pitchers of sangria. I get the first round and my coworker and I split a pizza. Can't get too tipsy before my date! $18

6:30 p.m. — Uber Pool to my date. There is major traffic so I text my date and let him know I may be running late. I am usually very punctual and being late gives me anxiety, but he was late for our first date, so I don't feel too guilty. I end up arriving right on time. $6.56

10 p.m. — We went to a museum, and then had drinks at a bar down the street where we debated about politics for a solid hour. I offer to split the bill but he pays for everything. After two dates, I'm still not sure how I feel about this dude. He checks off all the boxes but I still don't feel any chemistry with him. He kisses me goodnight and tells me he hopes to see me again. Maybe I'll give him one more chance? Ugh, I'm really bad at this whole dating thing. I take an Uber Pool home and quickly fall asleep. $4.45

Daily Total: $33.53

Day Five

5 a.m. — It's Friday! Up early this morning because I'm taking a weekend trip to Tahoe with a group of friends. $4.31

3 p.m. — Got everything done on time and go to my friend's place. (They're driving us to Tahoe.) My Uber driver is extra chatty and we have a great conversation about fun things to do in San Francisco. I love playing tour guide! I was born and raised in the Bay Area and am always happy to share my love for this city with others. $6.78

4 p.m. — On the road and there's already major traffic. This is gonna be a long ride. Good thing we have a lot to catch up on! We listen to every single Taylor Swift album from start to finish. Isn't it amazing how your brain remembers lyrics to songs you forgot existed?! We stop at Chipotle for dinner and then go to Trader Joe's for wine and snacks. $55

10 p.m. — Finally arrive in Tahoe. We didn't make it through all of T. Swift's albums, but vow to continue on the ride home. We pour ourselves vino, catch up, and play card games.

Daily Total: $66.09

Day Six

8 a.m. — Wake up to a beautiful view. Even with the lack of snow this year, the scenery in Tahoe is still stunning. We have a leisurely morning, make breakfast at the cabin, and go for a long walk.

2 p.m. — We finally get ourselves together and go to a restaurant on the lake for a late lunch. We all get drinks, and my friend and I split chicken lettuce wraps to offset the large portion of French fries we ordered. I am teased on my ketchup usage and finally come to terms with the fact that I am addicted to ketchup. $37

10 p.m. — We spend the rest of the day at the cabin playing games, listening to music, and joking around. I discover that I am really bad at Heads Up, except for the “body parts” category. We end the night outside stargazing on the back porch. Living in a big city, I forget how breathtaking the stars can be. My friend sees six shooting stars but I only see one. I make a bold wish, and we go to bed early after a long day of beer and wine.

Daily Total: $37

Day Seven

10:30 a.m. — I wake up, get coffee, and get going. We stop on the way home to meet my friend's parents for brunch. (Their treat – gotta love parents!) We finish the latest T. Swift album just as we get back in the city. Success!

3 p.m. — I unpack, hang out at my apartment for a little, and talk with my mom, who asks if I want to meet up for dinner. I drive back over the Golden Gate Bridge to Marin (I have FasTrak for the $7 bridge toll) and meet my mom at our favorite Mexican restaurant. We each get a glass of wine, and I get my favorite dish, the shrimp tacos. We have a wonderful chat about random life things. My relationship with my mom has really blossomed over the years. We can speak openly and candidly now, and we've developed a friendship these days that I know we both value. She gives me a Valentine's Day gift, tells me about her new boyfriend, and treats me to dinner. $7

9 p.m. — I Venmo my friend for gas ($32), another friend for food in Tahoe ($15), catch up on my book club book, and go to bed early. $47

Daily Total: $54

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