Money Diary: Why a 31-year-old Banker Living in the DC Suburbs is Thinking of Monetizing Her Blog

In the vein of such fine publications as Refinery29, Wealthsimple, and the like, I’m going to share my with you what a week living on my salary looks like.

I have read enough of these (like two, so really more than enough) to know I am extremely indulgent because I insist on living alone. Please forgive me, I am single so I don’t have a SO to share expenses with, and I shared a room through high school so I refuse to now.

Suck it, you judgey mother-lovers, you wouldn’t live with me. And I refuse to stick with a dude who is “cool” with age-play* because he makes real cash money.

Here goes:

Monthly expenses:

Rent: $1645 (trash, water, and pet included)

Car payment: $300 (only 53 more of these to go!)

Student loans: $424 (you guys I’m down to $60,500ish left! but also my interest rate on four of my nine loans are about to jump to 12%, and I can’t even die to get out of it)

Insurance: $125 (car and renters), $114 (health- but this is taken directly out of my check)

Electricity: $95 (I keep my AC on 75 and my heat on 68 because mild discomfort is worth the cost savings)

Phone: $86

Internet: $39.99

Netflix: $10.99

Credit card debt: … let not talk about it but lets call it $300

401(k) contribution: $216.67

The week:

This past week was special- there was a federal holiday and I took a day off to visit friends out of town because I deserve it!

Sunday: I woke up and made crap coffee. I drink tons of coffee and I’m really not good at making it so I also made whipped cream (this is why I have a Kitchen Aid mixer, thanks Mom!) to disguise my inabilities. I then took the money I got from selling my old TV and went to Target. I spent $59.04 on a dress (that I returned the next day), dog food, soaps and toilet paper. I stopped at the grocery store and purchased just a few things, I had run out of butter (!) and spent $27.62. I then drove home and spent the rest of the day watching TV.

Monday: I got a text from my dog sitter at 4:30 AM saying she was on her way to work (her real job is as a nurse) and she was sorry for not getting back to me about watching my beast dog Monday night while I was out of town. It took until 10:30 AM to confirm that I didn’t have an overnight dog sitter that night, and so I spent the rest of the morning and early afternoon scrambling to find another option then backing out of plans. I consoled myself by going back to Target and returning the aforementioned dress (it fit funny and wasn’t worth the $29.68 I paid for it) and bought a sweater and a coffee drink for $27 and change. I had a good cry when I got home because sweaters are not human cuddles.

Tuesday: I woke up early to get ahead of traffic, I put on my new sweater and old jeans and headed to get a half tank of gas ($16.81) and breakfast at Starbucks where I got a coffee and a fruit and cheese box using gift card I had gotten for my birthday ($9.65). The 100 mile drive took less than two hours and I planned on coffee with one friend (but skipped, the coffee, not the friend, in favor of budget friendly conversation)  before meeting another at a museum. We stole parking from a lot near the museum because it was a weekday and no one noticed. After tooling around the museum we went to lunch, my friend’s treat, and met up with her old colleagues so she could show off her offspring. After driving home, I had tuna salad on everything bagel flavored pretzel thins.

Wednesday: I don’t remember a lot from Wednesday. But my bank statement says I bought lunch at a grass-fed burger joint- a burger and fountain drink: $10.46. When got home I had a package on my stoop, it was a shirt I had ordered from eshakti three weeks prior. I also had a meeting with a lovely business coach via the internet, I did have to confess that were are direct competitors and she laughed. I like her and will talk to her again one day.

Thursday: There was a freak snow storm (in Virginia, in November, there was accumulation and everything) that threw off my morning. I stopped at Starbucks because it was a good halfway point on my five or so mile commute and I needed to steady my nerves (I also wasn’t sure I’d make it up with the hill that I’d have to drive if I didn’t turn cut through the parking lot). I was down to less than $1 on my gift card so I reloaded my app with $10 and purchased a coffee and a sausage sandwich thing. While still in the parking lot, I assured my boss that I was most likely going to make it to work, and she told me that was great because she wasn’t even going to try… We had a pot luck lunch in the office, and it was delightful. My Sunbasket delivery (I forgot to skip the week) had made it home before I did. None of the recipes inspired me to cook so I went to bed after tea and popcorn.

Friday: It started of fairly normal, work on time, Friday morning check in with the boss. A vendor who missed a phone call, some yelling about reporting I did, someone else taking credit for the good parts of the reporting. I still owe Nadia $4 for lunch (we had pupusas). I cried during my lunch break (this is the theme of my week really). I didn’t drink when I got home from work, so small victories, but my eyes have dark circles like I’m stress, maybe not such a victory.

Today (Saturday): My apartment is cold, I spent my morning wrapped in a blanket watching an only OK Irish detective show. After talking to my mom about doing yoga, I went to run errands, I planned Target and the grocery store. I ended up at the mall when the other places were too crowded. I tried on a few dresses but remembered that I had $43 in checking. I went back to Target- I spent $41 on dog treats, coffee that I’ll fuck up, a water, and a snack… though I may have to look at my receipt to see how that was $41, I mean I did buy nuts but**?

I get paid Tuesday.

You’re reading this and you’re saying hmmm… she goes to Target too often (I do). And you may be thinking must have tons in savings if she’s this frugal. I haven’t told you how much I make though!

My salary is $65,00.00^ a year.

Now do the math…

Two months a year when the paychecks land just right, I’m filthy rich and can pay down my credit cards or buy a whole new wardrobe. Hell, if I didn’t do either I could afford a vacation!

This is from the last census if it helps with perspective. I live in Fairfax County…



*Do what you want to get off, I’m not here to judge, but remember that adult diapers are very bad for the environment.

**I bought a tub of lotion, and that stuff ain’t cheap. My skin needs it though, and I need my skin.

^It has been brought to my attention that I missed a 0 before the decimal. That was Freudian.

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