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 risk analyst working in financial services who makes $46,748 per year and spends some of her money this week on macarons.
Editor’s note: All currency has been converted to USD.
Content warning: This diary references a miscarriage.
Occupation: Risk Analyst
Industry: Financial Services
Location: Toronto, ON
Salary: $39,208, plus a bonus. (Last year’s bonus was a little over $7,000.)
Paycheck Amount (2x/month): $1,153.42
Gender Identity: Woman
Mortgage: $1,131 (This is my half for a two-bedroom, two-bathroom condo downtown, which I share with my husband. It includes the condo fee, water, and utilities.)
Travel Fund: $450 (This goes into a joint fund, and my husband puts in $525. We take two or three big trips a year. Large purchases for the house also come out of this fund, so it’s not strictly for travel.)
RRSP: $300 (Work contributes $220. I have about $22,620 total.)
Netflix, Internet & Cable: $0 (My husband covers these. Since we split the mortgage down the middle, and he makes quite a bit more than me, he pays for these extras, including groceries.)
Savings: Any leftover money after these expenses goes to my short-term savings, where I have about $3,700, and another $3,700 put aside for my personal emergency fund.
7:05 a.m. — I wake up right before the alarm clock and get ready. I make a smoothie, cut up a grapefruit, and prepare oatmeal to take to work. I kiss my husband goodbye and head out.
8:30 a.m. — I finish my smoothie during the half-hour walk to work, and I could still use a little something for breakfast. I grab a sous-vide egg bite from Starbucks — it’s dangerous to have Starbucks right in your office building. $4.05
9 a.m. — I make tea from my desk stash, eat my eggs, and chat with my coworkers. I’m in the office a good hour before my boss comes in, and it’s nice to start my day at a slower pace.
11 a.m. — I eat grapefruit and dried mango from home. I try not to eat lunch this early, but I’m hungry so I give up and reheat the leftovers I brought from home: farro with steak, chicken, and broccoli.
11:30 a.m. — I get a call from one of my BFFs, who’s getting married next month. I recently miscarried my baby and told her about it right away, because I’m not sure if I can mentally and physically handle flying halfway across the world to attend her wedding. She’s calling to check in, and I’m feeling all kinds of guilt. At least I’m not in the bridal party (it’s bad luck for pregnant women to be bridesmaids in her culture, so I happily told her I would sit this one out because my husband and I were trying).
12:40 p.m. — I sneak into the office snack stash for two mini chocolate bars and drop some change in the snack-fund jar. $0.40
1:30 p.m. — I have my overnight oats and more tea, this time peppermint. I always have tea, and yes, I do pay close attention to my caffeine intake, pregnant or not.
3:30 p.m. — I step out early for my ultrasound appointment. It’s super shitty because the last time I was here, I saw my baby’s heartbeat for the first time. Today’s appointment is to see if my body has naturally completed the miscarriage or not. Cue all the feels.
4:30 p.m. — I make a quick stop at the Shoppers post office to drop off my Poshmark goods. This is my second sale in a week, and I’m really liking the process so far. I have a prepaid mailing label, but I buy the bubble-wrap envelope ($1.70). I also grab a handful of dark chocolate bars because I really need dark chocolate. My husband kindly covers them ($16.59). $1.70
5 p.m. — We’re home, and I update my husband on the appointment. I have a good mope with him over dark chocolate, then we watch the Big Little Lies finale and The Big Bang Theory.
7 p.m. — My husband heads to the gym, and I’m off to meet my friend for dinner, with a quick stop at the mall to return a few things. I spot a cardigan that I want, but it’s not on sale, so I order it online where it is on sale. This way I get e-bates, too. I love online specials. $31.92
8 p.m. — My friend and I head to a new tempura place. We get an appetizer to share and a main each. The menu is small, but they do those few items really well. I leave super-stuffed and will definitely come back. $21.07
10 p.m. — Home and exhausted. I shower and get ready for bed but have trouble going to sleep. I stay up until my husband joins me. His snuggle makes everything better.
Daily Total: $59.14
7:10 a.m. — I get up and prep my smoothie, grapefruit, and overnight oats to take to work. My skin-care routine is usually just hydrator and sunscreen before makeup. Today I add an extra layer of moisturizer.
8:45 a.m. — I get to work a little late, but I’m still the only one here. I’m buying lunch today, so I resist Starbucks eggs.
10 a.m. — I make green tea kombucha from my desk stash and call to cancel the last of my pregnancy-related appointments. Some people know exactly what to say to make me feel not terrible about this, and I have a quick cry about it in the kitchen.
11:30 a.m. — My coworker and I step out for lunch. She’s been raving about an ah-mazing Cobb salad from a nearby pierogi place, so we go there. The pierogis look great, but I have to see if this salad lives up to the hype. I get a chocolate-chunk cookie, too. $12.78
3:30 p.m. — The salad is surprisingly filling and gets me through to my afternoon snack, which is a grapefruit. Oh, and the chocolate-chunk cookie? That didn’t last past lunchtime. I take a quick break to doodle in my abandoned journal. I’m not organized enough for bullet journaling, but I do like habit trackers, so I prepare a tracker for the next month. I track exercise days, shopping days, flossing days, and days when I spend zero on coffee and lunch.
4:30 p.m. — I survived hump day! I make a quick stop at the grocery store for roasted peppers, chickpeas, bread, ground pork, kombucha, and frozen mangos. The bill comes to $21.93, but my husband covers groceries.
5:30 p.m. — I’m home alone, while my husband is out at a Jays game with his buddies, so I turn on Grey’s Anatomy and make a pork chop I pre-marinated. I spend the rest of the night with Netflix and also making tomorrow’s salad: chickpeas with homemade vinaigrette, radishes, basil, cucumbers, roasted peppers, and feta cheese.
7 p.m. — A while back, I got a dress on sale at Aritzia, and I loooooooove it. I’m contemplating getting the same one in a smaller size to wear in the winter with tights. Is this dumb? I wish the dress came in more colors, which would make this purchase much more justifiable. I put it in my shopping bag for now and will sleep on it.
9 p.m. — The Artizia purchase is now on hold, because I see that a Free People dress I’ve been eyeing for the past year is finally on sale. I hit purchase without missing a beat. This is a shopping-heavy week, but I typically go weeks without any purchases because I’m big on waiting for sales. When they happen, I go a little crazy. I’ve also gone overboard lately in the name of self-love. $65.35
10 p.m. — My nighttime routine is not that different from my morning one. Typically, I use toner, then hydrator. Today I add moisturizer and face oil. My husband comes home just in time to kiss me goodnight.
Daily Total: $78.13
7 a.m. — I wake up a little before my alarm goes off and play around on my phone. I make my smoothie and grab the salad I prepared, along with a grapefruit and overnight oats, then head out the door. But not before I jump in bed to say bye to my husband.
8:30 a.m. — I arrive to a calm office before the storm. I make genmaicha tea from my desk stash.
10:55 a.m. — I should have meetings more often, then I wouldn’t snack so much. I’m only eating my overnight oats now.
1:30 p.m. — Lunch is chickpea salad and chicken that I brought from home.
4:30 p.m. — Another day done, I go to a doctor’s appointment to get the result from the ultrasound, and it’s not the good news that I was hoping for. I have to go back for another ultrasound in three weeks and do more blood tests.
6:30 p.m. — At this point, my willingness to make dinner is zero, so I pick up a kalbi beef taco for dinner and macarons for dessert. I get lavender, Earl Grey, and white chocolate–strawberry. $10.62
7 p.m. — At home, I update my husband on the doctor’s appointment. He’s forever positive, and that’s exactly the energy I need right now (this five weeks of no sex is really, really hard). I eat my taco while we watch The Big Bang Theory. I also send my mother a quick message to update her. They say mothers feel their child’s pain more intensely than their child, and I want to make sure she knows I’m okay.
8:30 p.m. — My Sephora package arrives, and this reminds me how much money I’ve been spending. My wallet is screaming at me to get it together — no more moping! I’m exhausted but prepare lunch for tomorrow — the same chickpea salad from today.
10 p.m. — I talk to my bride friend to confirm that I’ll be missing her wedding, and she insists that I focus on my health. I start brainstorming the care package I want to send her. I hate that I have to bother her with my shit when she should really be enjoying her pre-wedding bliss.
11 p.m. — I shower, do the same skin-care stuff, and Google what to do with my new Sephora purchase. Apparently serum goes on before moisturizer. Who knew?
Daily Total: $10.62
7:10 a.m. — Alarm clock goes off, and I start getting ready. No smoothie or oatmeal today. I put the finishing touches on my salad and make avocado toast with smoked salmon to take to work. I kiss my husband goodbye.
8:30 a.m. — I stop to get an iced vanilla soy latte from Starbucks since I’m without a smoothie today, then settle in at my desk with my avocado toast. It’s payday, so I transfer my part of the mortgage to my husband. $4.90
10:20 a.m. — Tea and grapefruit time. I’m doing groundwork for an investigation today — the work we do definitely doesn’t make us popular, but it has its exciting moments.
12 p.m. — I make myself a plate of avocado, chickpea salad, chicken, and smoked salmon. Delicious.
3 p.m. — It’s Friday before the long weekend, and the office is practically empty. My manager lets us off early, so I bounce.
5 p.m. — I’m supposed to be meeting my friends for dinner, but one is still stuck at work, and I’m already comfortable on my couch sans pants, so we reschedule. I spend the rest of the night like a teenager, eating junk with no nutritional value for dinner. I put away the laundry that my husband started and straighten up the house with Grey’s Anatomy in the background. Husband is at his weekly basketball date with his buddies.
Daily Total: $4.90
7 a.m. — We’re expecting our cleaning lady at 9 a.m., so I get up early to finish tidying. My husband is always confused about why I do this when our cleaner is paid to, but I don’t want her wasting time on tidying up when she can focus on cleaning. I also want to make sure I can find things by putting them away myself. I have the last of the chickpea salad and the pork chop left behind from a few days ago for breakfast. I leave cash on the table for the cleaning lady, the cost of which my husband and I split. $22
9:30 a.m. — We’re driving to cottage country later today, so I go to the mall early to pick up an online purchase and exchange a cardigan. (When you’re going for an oversize look, sizing is hit or miss.) I also stop at Shoppers to get dishwasher detergent, shampoo, multivitamins, kombucha, and chocolate for the road. ($36.19, covered by my husband)
11 a.m. — I get home to a squeaky-clean place! I eat the last of the grilled chicken, a fried egg, kimchi, a couple of bites of my husband’s steak, and we are on the road! Obviously, everyone had the same idea — traffic isn’t great. We stop for cheeseburgers. ($8.66, covered by my husband)
2 p.m. — We check in at our resort and head down to the lake. The lake activity rental stuff is free for resort guests, but all the paddle boards are in use, so we take the canoe out instead, which I enjoy because we get to talk the entire time. It’s a beautiful day.
5 p.m. — We get cleaned up and head to the resort next door. Some of the units there are for sale, and my husband has been wanting to purchase one as a rental/investment property. He’s a true Ontario boy and lives for the cottage life during the summer. As a city girl, I need more convincing. We check out the property, which is absolutely beautiful, with SO MUCH to do, both for kids and adults. We have dinner at one of the restaurants in the resort. We share a pork-belly appetizer, prosciutto-pear flatbread, pickerel, and s’mores for dessert. Husband drinks two beers. I used to love drinking, but I want to be kind to my body after what it’s been through, so I stick with water. ($90, covered by my husband)
8 p.m. — At my request, we check out the town. The dessert place I was eyeing is closed (at 5 p.m., like whaaat?), but we find another place, and I get a batch of chocolate stroopwafel, two raspberry shortcake chocolate bars, a box of dark chocolate peanut butter cups, and a bunch of speculoos. $26.12
Daily Total: $48.12
7:10 a.m. — Why am I up so early? I head down to the gym, and my husband eventually joins. I do a solid one-hour workout of cardio and weights.
10 a.m. — We go for brunch in town, and I get a breakfast skillet with eggs, bacon, and mushrooms. Coffee is tempting, but they only have almond milk, so we both stick with water. ($26.39, covered by my husband)
12 p.m. — I’m so very full, but we’re going for a couple of hikes. The first one takes a little over an hour, wrong turn included, and the second one is maybe half that. My husband covers the $15 parking fee, and I buy a bottle of water. $1.89
2:30 p.m. — We make a quick stop at a bakery because we haven’t eaten since brunch. We get a salted caramel bar, apple beignets, a key lime tart, and a pecan butter tart, which I pay for. $9.46
3 p.m. — Back at the resort, we paddle board, then kayak for a long time. My arms would be so toned if this became a weekly thing.
5 p.m. — Back in our room and showered, we enjoy the beers we brought from home. I have a non-alcoholic Radler, which hits the spot.
7 p.m. — For dinner, we try a dinner buffet we heard about yesterday — and it doesn’t disappoint. ($75, covered by my husband)
9 p.m. — We stick around to see end-of-summer fireworks, and they are totally worth the wait.
9:30 p.m. — My husband wants to get one last drink at the resort bar. He gets a beer, and we daydream about our next vacation.
Daily Total: $11.35
7:20 a.m. — I’m up early again after a bad sleep, but play on my phone until it’s an okay time to wake up my husband. I’m way too hungry, despite how much I ate the night before.
9:30 a.m. — The weather is gloomy, and the forecast says it’s supposed to rain today. There’s not much to do here if it’s raining, so we drive home early. Hopefully, this means we beat the traffic. We paid for the stay already — $500 and change for two nights, which comes out of our travel fund.
10 a.m. — Most places are closed because it’s a public holiday, but we find a diner. I get French toast with home fries, and he gets scrambled eggs, bacon, ham, sausage, and home fries. ($24.26, covered by my husband)
12 p.m. — Oh, my goodness, this drive is long! I loved the cottage weekend, but the trip is seriously discouraging. We try to listen to podcasts, but I keep falling asleep. Bless my husband’s heart, I’m a terrible road-trip companion.
3 p.m. — We’re home, and it’s going to be a do-nothing afternoon. First we watch Bachelor in Paradise, and while my husband is a picture of health and heads down to the gym, I don’t move from the couch. Except to pick up a package from the concierge. It’s the Free People dress, and I’m in love. It’s totally worth the splurge.
8 p.m. — I finally face the fact that I have to work tomorrow, so I unpack.
10 p.m. — I shower and get ready for bed, putting extra love into my skin-care routine with an added exfoliation step.
Daily Total: $0
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