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: an Engineering Manager working who has a $365,000 joint income and spends some of her money this week on non-stick pans.
Occupation: Engineering Manager
Location: New York, NY
My Salary: $175,000
My Husband’s Salary: $190,000
Net Worth: $650,000 (my husband owns an apartment which we’re renting out and we combined our finances when we got married)
Paycheck Amount (2x/month): ~$4,000
Husband’s Paycheck (2x/month): $4,500
Mortgage: $905 for my husband, D.’s, mortgage not covered by rental income
Loans: $0 (undergrad for both of us covered by scholarships and parents. Don’t own a car.)
Water/Electricity: ~$100 (depends on the month)
Netflix: $0 (mooch off of my family)
Cell Phone: $0 (we’re both on our respective parents’ plans)
Spotify: $17 (share with D.’s brother)
NYT Subscription: $0 (mooch off of his family)
The Wing All Access: $285 (paused during coronavirus, they will reimburse us the amount once quarantine’s lifted)
ClassPass: $0 (paused during coronavirus, usually $29)
Rent the Runway Unlimited: $0 (paused during coronavirus, usually $170)
Patreon: $2.99 (shoutout CommentsByCelebs!)
Project Wren: $27 (climate change contribution)
D.’s Gym Membership: $60
Renter’s Insurance: $15
iCloud: $2.99 (idk what this is for)
D.’s Google Storage: $1.99
Disney +/Hulu/ESPN: $13 (share with our families)
Savings: ~$2,000 (we don’t actively put anything away, our paychecks go directly into our high yield account)
Amazon Prime: $119 annually
Chase Credit Card Fees: $550 annually
11 a.m. — Wake up leisurely with a slight headache. We split a bottle of champagne last night because wine not? Do my daily update on Instagram and Twitter, then lay on couch while B. does the dishes from yesterday. While scrolling, I come across a set of non-stick pans that are on sale on Amazon from an influencer I like, so I buy them. Ours is in dire need of replacement. $41.47
12 p.m. — Brush teeth and do my “morning” skincare routine — Vitamin C serum, moisturizer, and sunscreen. D. makes us coffee and we attempt healthy pancakes from Tone It Up — not bad! Then we put on Get A Clue (OG Lindsay Lohan/Disney Channel fans know what’s up) since we fell asleep watching it last night.
2:30 p.m. — Movie over, breakfast over. We Zoom chat with D.’s family. His brother and his girlfriend also live in New York so we’re deciding if we should all go to Pittsburgh to be at his parents’. It’s safer than NYC right now and they have space, but we’re still not sure.
4 p.m. — Zoom birthday party for a college friend! We play around with the Zoom backgrounds and have so much fun catching up.
5 p.m. — D. and I decide it’s time to move from the couch, so we do some old dance routines (we were on a dance team in college) and a few other exercises. I shower after and heat up leftovers for linner (late lunch/dinner). D. plays his new video game while I surf the internet and listen to Spotify’s Top Hits playlist. I actually recognize all of these songs because of TikTok! I downloaded it during quarantine and am never going back.
8 p.m. — We hop on another Zoom Happy Hour. It’s a reunion of the bridal party for my friend’s wedding a few months ago in Cabo. It was such a blast, and while the rest of the party all went to college together, we ended being good friends with them, too. I went to high school with my friend and we hung out all the time when we both moved back to Seattle for our first jobs. D. and I go through two-ish bottles of wine (we have 12 in stock) and end up ordering Taco Bell at 11. We watch the new season of Schitt’s Creek and I do my nighttime routine (Osea cleanser and Curology moisturizer — I’m testing a new routine of fewer products) and fall asleep around 2. $47.11
Daily Total: $88.58
11 a.m. — Wake up and see D.’s already up and has coffee ready for me, bless him. I get an email that our wedding albums have shipped! We got married a year and a half ago but just got around to making the albums now. I found someone who would make really nice albums if I gave her the pictures but she was SO expensive (like $500-600 per album minimum). Given that I had already done the work of finding what pictures I wanted, it wasn’t very hard to make the albums using an online photo book maker and ended up being almost half the price. I also bought sets for my mom and mother-in-law which we’ll ship to them. We had a big fat Indian wedding so I made an album for each event (six total). This doesn’t include our extra receptions and pre-wedding events, sigh. We paid for this out of our wedding money. I do my morning routine and brush teeth once I’m out of bed.
12 p.m. — We throw on Schitt’s Creek and start budgeting. I’m starting a new job tomorrow (!!!) and our lease is up in a month so we’re figuring out what we can reasonably afford for rent. Prices haven’t gone down during the pandemic as I expected and with so much job uncertainty I’m worried about changing our budget even with my new income. We’re both very lucky that we’re in fields that aren’t likely to be affected by lay-offs (engineering) and that I even got a job during this time. I make myself a quick smoothie (frozen berries, banana, spinach, almond milk, and protein powder) and heat up leftovers again.
2:30 p.m. — We’ve applied to an apartment we like that’s more expensive, so I email the owner to see if we can negotiate then read today’s MD. It reminds me to check in with my therapist — we’ll have to change our appointments from the middle of the day since I’ll have to actually work now. I’m thankful that I found a good therapist covered by my insurance (through D.’s work) and meet with her weekly. Quick background on why I wasn’t working — I quit my first job as an engineer turned manager to start my own company. I was running that for two-ish years and in between got married and moved to NYC for D.’s job. All of it combined with being a solo founder was incredibly stressful and I found myself the most unhappy I’d ever been, so I decided to shut it down in October of last year. I gave myself three months then started job hunting again and thankfully had my last interviews right before quarantine went into place.
3:30 p.m. — I lift myself out of the couch to do laundry in the basement (using pre-paid laundry card), wipe down the counters, vacuum, and Swiffer our one main room.
4:30 p.m. — Do a quick yoga stretch video and D. gets down for a nap. It still makes me sweat though, so after moving the laundry over I jump in the shower.
6 p.m. — Heat up the rest of my leftovers and I’m STUFFED. Like not the good kind, I definitely ate too much. I get the laundry from the dryer and start a Netflix Party with some friends from home. We’re watching a Bollywood classic. I obviously need a warm cup of chai to go with it! D. heads to Trader Joes during this, but shortly after tells me that they’re closed for Easter -____- He goes to a nearby store and gets meat (idk what kind, I’m vegetarian), yogurt, bell peppers, ginger, broccolini, red onion, blueberries, a mini cake, and some other things. $61.11
10:30 p.m. — Movie is over (Bollywood movies are great but LONG), and I get ready for bed with my usual night routine, this time adding Alpha H serum (only a few times a week). I buy a new Kindle book (The Wives) and can’t fall asleep until 3ish :/ $11
Daily Total: $72.11
9 a.m. — D. wakes me up with a cup of coffee and breakfast, but I can barely open my eyes. I take a few bites and get ready with my morning skincare routine plus makeup — concealer, blush, contour, eyebrows, eyeliner, and mascara. I wear a new Summersalt sweatsuit because ~~comfort is key~~. My meetings start right at 10!
12:15 p.m. — I have 15 minutes for lunch so I make instant noodles with an egg. The ultimate comfort food in this rainy, cold weather.
4:30 p.m. — And I’m done! It was fun virtually meeting everyone but a long day of listening through presentations. My body hurts from sitting for so long. I make the same smoothie because my stomach is grumbling, then D. and I do the last day of an abs challenge that admittedly, I stopped doing days ago.
6:30 p.m. — Shower and start cooking while listening to my podcasts (Comments By Celebs, The Morning Toast). D.’s parents sent us an extra Instant Pot they had so I try my hand at khichdi (an Indian comfort food staple that’s getting big in the states) — half rice, half lentils, a bunch of random veggies, and spices. Yum! I watch The Cheetah Girls while eating and loudly sing throughout the movie. Poor D. He also eats the khichdi I made which is rare. I’m a vegetarian and he’s not so we usually make our own meals.
9 p.m. — D. and I each have a glass of wine and I FaceTime with my high school group of friends. I hop off early after an hour to get ready for bed. Normal night routine, have another glass of wine, and read in bed. Pass out by midnight.
Daily Total: $0
8 a.m. — Up and at ‘em thanks to the sunlight streaming in. I see a disappointing email that we didn’t get the apartment we applied for, but that’s okay. I do my morning routine, a short Tone It Up workout, shower, and make my smoothie. Quick makeup — powder, contour, blush, highlighter, eyebrows, eyeliner, and mascara. It sounds more but it’s all light makeup. Decide to wear a real shirt today but still wear leggings so it’s a weird quaran-look. Get to work on some of the onboarding tasks from yesterday and prep for today — another day full of meetings!
1 p.m. — Quick break for lunch! Heat up leftovers and put on old RHONY episodes. I’ve watched all of RHOBH and heard this is a good one to get into now.
3:30 p.m. — I break for a quick walk around the neighborhood (masks and gloves on). It’s such a nice day outside it makes me sad we can’t enjoy good NYC weather. I listen to The Morning Toast while walking. On my way back, I grab our Grove package and wipe everything down. I used my friend’s referral code and got a bunch of much-needed cleaning supplies. I’ll probably cancel the recurring shipments.
4:30 p.m. — Back for my last meeting and get some more of the onboarding tasks done. I’m hungry so I grab a small pack of gummy bears (my vice) and a protein bar from the pantry….then grab three more gummy bear packs. I also eat a leftover Taco Bell taco that isn’t terrible but definitely not good. I proceed to lay on the couch to digest and watch more RHONY.
6:30 p.m. — Get ready for our “date night”! It’s our nine-year dating anniversary, so we dress up a little. D. sets out a cheese board and we order pasta from a fancy NYC restaurant that we would never get reservations to in the real world. We have a nice dinner, finish the bottle of wine from yesterday, and have a fun evening 🙂 I do my nighttime routine and we watch Schitt’s Creek in bed. $92
Daily Total: $92
8 a.m. — Snooze for 30 minutes, it’s so hard to get up in the mornings! Do my morning routine, put on even less makeup than yesterday (idk how working women have been keeping this up for weeks) — eyebrows, mascara, blush, and a little bronzer. Back to the sweatsuits! This one is Abercrombie and so comfy, cute, and cheap compared to other brands. Highly recommend. I’m hungry but want to save the smoothie for after I workout, so I make two soft-boiled eggs and pour a cup of coffee. Get prepped for the day before meetings start at 10.
12 p.m. — Break for lunch (leftover khichdi again) and another cup of coffee. D. is baking (?) salmon for himself. I watch yesterday’s Vanderpump Rules while eating. Back online at 1 for my first All Hands!
3:15 p.m. — Quick 15-minute break. I stretch my legs and grab the last “healthy Twix bar” I made last week following an influencer’s (@rachaelsgoodeats) recipe. It’s really good, which makes me wonder how healthy it actually is.
5:30 p.m. — D. and I stop our workdays to talk finances. Our apartment search has been frustrating because prices are so. damn. high. Now that I’ll be making an income, we know we can spend more, but I’m worried that we’re not actively saving enough and don’t want to adjust our budget for two incomes just yet (D. works in sports and with no sports right now/for the foreseeable future his company’s future is uncertain). We discuss what would be a good rent budget and I email back and forth with a few brokers.
7:15 p.m. — I force D. to do a workout with me — the Instagram live from the same person who made the healthy Twix bars! It is SO HARD, we both almost throw up, lol. I shower first because I’m quicker.
8:30 p.m. — I get dinner started (green beans Indian style, rice, and rasam, a South Indian soup) and FaceTime my college friend — she’s still on campus since she’s doing her PhD in marine biology. It’s really great to catch up and we promise to chat again soon. D. eats his salmon and other leftovers for dinner.
9:30 p.m. — Eat my dinner and watch the new Little Fires Everywhere. It’s getting good! I read the book a long time ago but don’t really remember it. I update my planner for the rest of the week, do my nighttime routine, eat four more gummy bear packs somewhere in there, listen to today’s The Morning Toast, and read in bed. Eyes shut by 12:30ish.
Daily Total: $0
8 a.m. — Another day, another sweatsuit! This quarantine has really expanded my matching sweats wardrobe. I put on full makeup today to look/feel alive — concealer, contour stick, blush, mascara, and lipstick. I make a cup of chai (Oregon Chai Latte mix is so good), catch up on emails/Instagram, and prep for meetings. Today is the last of onboarding and 1:1s with my new teammates!
12:15 p.m. — Meeting ended early so I have 15 minutes! I quickly heat up leftovers from yesterday’s dinner and pour a cup of coffee.
1:15 p.m. — Meetings are over for the day and now I actually have the afternoon to work! It’s still a bunch of onboarding, so I mainly need time to read and digest everything. I first set up my new 401(k) and start the rollover process from my old corporate 401(k) account. I haven’t contributed to this for the two-ish years I was doing my start-up, so it’s nice to be able to actively save again.
2 p.m. — Put on yesterday’s RHOBH premiere episode while I get to work and eat a protein bar.
6:30 p.m. — Take a welcome break from work/apartment application stuff to chat with a college friend. I love these friendships — they’ve stayed so strong over the years and there’s a big group of us that whenever we get together it’s just straight laughter and fun. I miss them.
7:30 p.m. — I’m starting to feel really anxious about going to Pittsburgh on Sunday and tell D. He reassures me that we can go a week later if needed but I know his family will blame me if we delay by any means. Right on cue, his mom calls him and argues with him to come now, completely ignoring any of my worries. I give myself a hefty pour of wine and stress eat a pack of gummy bears.
8 p.m. — Keeping Up time! I’m a religious fan of the Kardashians, don’t at me. Especially during quarantine, it’s a welcome reprieve from stressful real life. I have a glass of wine while watching and eat the last of my leftovers. I also see that Harvard is offering some free online courses, so I sign up for Intro to Hinduism (always wanted to learn more about my religion) and Justice. I send this to my Seattle friends that I watched the movie with and we agree to “take the classes” together to stay accountable.
9 p.m. — Put on Sex and The City and do some more work. D. starts packing and works. Go to bed around midnight after the usual nighttime routine.
Daily Total: $0
2 a.m. — I’m woken up by slight cramps and voila, my period is here. I tell myself that’s why I ate so many gummy bears this week. I always get terrible cramps, so I pop Tylenol, put the heating pad on, and watch random things on my phone (quietly) while waiting for the pain to go away. I fall back asleep at 5.
8:30 a.m. — Awake but so tired. Do a quick morning routine, eat a protein bar, and take more Tylenol because cramps are still killing me. D. makes us coffee because it’s extra necessary this morning. I wear my last matching sweatsuit and watch the Disney Singalong from last night while getting ready, it’s so happy! Today’s makeup is concealer, blush, eyeliner, and lipstick.
10 a.m. — Online therapy session. I talk about a mix of things, but know that my general energy levels are low right now because of my period. I hate how periods are a monthly thing that I can’t really control. I’m super thankful that my job is so flexible that I can do this during working hours. Insurance covers some but I still have co-pay. $30
1:30 p.m. — Break for a quick lunch, which is the remaining leftovers in the fridge for both of us. A quick check on packages shows that everything (Container Store, wedding albums) will deliver after we leave 🙁 This sucks because they’ll be sitting in our building’s entrance for over a month now. I, of course, have two gummy bear packs as dessert and put a bralette on for the first time…all week?…because I can feel my boobs slowly moving to the ground.
4:30 p.m. — I’m exhausted and can’t work anymore. I also conveniently remember that the Sephora sale started today…an hour later my cart is well over $500 welp. I’ll come back to it later and edit. I throw a random movie on TV in the background.
6:30 p.m. — I order Thai food from Caviar for D. and I. My friend sent me a $25 gift card for starting a new job so I use that and pay the leftover. $18.75
8:30 p.m. — Food is finally here. We’ve opened up a bottle of champagne in the fridge and I’m deep into packing. D. puts the laundry in the washer then dryer and I keep packing, interspersed with RHONY in the background, FaceTiming my parents, and scrolling on my phone. Head to bed around 1.
Daily Total: $48.75
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