A Week In Marina Del Rey, CA, On A $75,000 Salary

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Today: a head of product development and production working at a men’s fashion company who makes $75,000 per year and spends some of her money this week on a KIND bar.

Occupation: Head of Product Development and Production
Industry: Men’s Fashion Accessories
Age: 32
Location: Marina Del Rey, CA
Salary: $75,000
Paycheck Amount (Every Other Friday): $2,031.39
Gender Identity: Female

Monthly Expenses
Rent: $900. I live with my boyfriend, and he bought the loft we live in before we ever met. When we met, I had been sharing an apartment with my best friend that was under rent control for nine years. In L.A. that equals WAY below market. Since he makes two and a half times more than I do, we came up with this number to include rent and all utilities before I moved in. We share this place with his dog and my two cats.
Loans: I have two separate student loans. A private loan that is $106 a month and my federal loan, which is $265 a month.
Car Lease: $230
Car Insurance: $260 (It is this high because of a couple of tickets that I received, one after another. After over a decade of driving without tickets, I suddenly got three in a matter of a year and a half.)
Phone: $152 (Includes a monthly fee for my Apple Watch as well.)
Hubble Contacts: $36
Spotify: $9.99
Apple Music: $9.99 (This is one of the dumbest things I waste money on each month. I have it just so I can stream music with my Apple Watch while I am out running without my phone. As soon as Spotify updates the watch app to allow direct streaming from the watch, I’ll be canceling this.)
Sweat App: $19.99 (I’ve been a BBG diehard since August, and I love this app so much. We have a gym in our building, so that is how I justify paying this much each month for an app. It really does help keep me accountable!)
Netflix/HBO GO: $0 (Covered by my boyfriend.)

Day One

7 a.m. — My alarm goes off at 7, but I spend time snoozing in bed, cuddling with my girl cat and the dog. It is our morning routine. My BF gets up much earlier than I do, and I can smell that he made himself some coffee from our French press. I begrudgingly pull myself out of bed and into the shower. I’m usually not that hungry in the morning, so I don’t eat or drink anything until I get into the office. I have a MONSTER of a commute. I’m out the door by 8:30.

9:30 a.m. — I finally get into the office. It is quiet, I make myself a cup of coffee and grab a granola bar from our community kitchen. This place typically has really great snacks stocked at all times. I settle in and try to do some work. Truth be told, it is super-duper slow these days and I find myself really lacking motivation. I’ve only been at this company for seven months, and I feel as though they aren’t utilizing me properly. The company is tiny, and I’m the first person they’ve had in this capacity. That being said, I try my best to keep busy.

12:00 p.m. — Lunchtime! The ladies in the office all like to eat lunch together a lot. We head to Kaju Soft Tofu for Korean soft tofu soup. It’s a little cold and rainy for Southern California, so this totally hits the spot. We have a great lunch. One of my coworkers is a little short on cash, so I cover her tip on my card. She offers to Venmo me, but I tell her not to worry about just a few dollars. $19.10

12:45 p.m. — Before we head back to the office, we stop off at Almond Haus and I get a Sea Salt Iced Coffee — it’s so delicious! $4.37

5 p.m. — The day drags by. At this point in the day, the bosses have both left. I get a GChat from one of my colleagues asking to speak with me outside. This seems a little weird, so I’m a little bit worried I’m about to get some bad news. My suspicions are correct. He confides in me that our boss, the CEO, told him that tomorrow he is going to be laid off, as they have to eliminate his department, and that the owner of the company doesn’t know he’s getting this heads-up. He is a little distraught about the whole thing. He’s only 24, so I feel like a bit of a mother hen toward him and tell him he’ll be all right. Then I head out shortly after our chat.

7 p.m. — Finally home! As soon as I walk in the door, I change into my workout clothes and hit the gym. I start with a quick half-mile warm-up on the treadmill, then complete a BBG Stronger Leg workout. I was letting my eyebrows heal from my microblading touch-up session, so this is actually the first time I’ve worked out all week and I’ve missed it! My boyfriend and I make a Blue Apron meal of prosciutto quesadillas and roasted carrots, and we open a bottle of wine. We cook together and fill each other in about our days, then zone out while watching murder docs on the Investigation Discovery app on Apple TV.

Daily Total: $23.47

Day Two

7 a.m. — It’s Friday! Same morning route: animal cuddles, shower, hour commute, then work. As I’m about to walk out the door, I let out a big sigh and say out loud to my boyfriend, “Maybe they’ll just lay me off, too.” He knows that I’ve been bored to tears lately and gives me some encouraging words before kissing me goodbye. We also make plans to hit up a new restaurant that just opened on Abbott Kinney tonight, and I can’t wait. Once I get to the office, I settle in with a cup of coffee and feel uneasy knowing what is about to happen to my coworker. The deed is done, and he quietly packs up the rest of his belongings and says his goodbyes. It is super awkward in the office.

11 a.m. — I’m sitting at my desk plugging along when the owner of the company approaches my desk and asks me to meet with him and the CEO in the conference room…and what do you know, I get laid off! I channel my inner RBG while meeting with them. They very severely mismanaged their cash flow, and as such need to make a series of layoffs today. I see a stack of a few more termination folders, so I know Winter Is Coming for a few more folks. I leave them with a few calls to action to help them weather through this, turn in my badge and my laptop, and say my own goodbyes. A few of the more junior employees start to get misty-eyed, and I tell them to keep it together. A very close friend of mine is actually the creative director here and helped me get the job, and he is rather bewildered by all of it. He asks if I want to go get a drink right then, but I decline and tell him I’ll see him on Sunday.

11:30 a.m. — I get in my car, call my boyfriend, no answer. I call my best friend, no answer. So I text my boyfriend that I was just laid off, and he calls me back in a couple minutes. While we are chatting, my best friend calls me back, so I switch over lines. She was napping while road-tripping down to Arizona and suddenly needed to wake up and saw that I called…she just knew. I tell her what is going on, and she is very supportive. I call my BF back and we continue our chat about what is going to happen. I offer to pick our dog up from daycare so I can have some puppy cuddles. Then I call my mom (did I mention my commute is awful? It is literally 40 miles one way — thank goodness for Bluetooth). She mentions filing for unemployment, which hadn’t yet occurred to me.

1 p.m. — I get home and the dog immediately crawls into my lap on the couch. And let’s be clear he isn’t a lap dog, he just knows I need some love right now. I’m hungry and we have no food in the house, so I walk down to the market to pick up something I can make. On the way, one of my coworkers who had been with the company for ten years called to say she had also been let go. She was like the mother of the company, so that’s a tough thing to hear. She also filled me in on the four other people who were let go. Man, what a shitty Friday. I finally make it into the market and buy some ham, cheese, and a kombucha to make a quick sandwich. I eat two rows of Samoa Girl Scout cookies, because right now chocolate is all that matters. I also open up a bottle of rosé and drink two glasses while sitting in the sun on our deck. The rosé makes me a little sleepy, so I decide to take a nap. Emotions, man. $13.40

7:45 p.m. — The boyfriend gets home and gives me a big hug. In a weird way, I feel this great sense of relief. I tell him that maybe we shouldn’t be going out to a fancy dinner, but he insists that it’ll be his treat. We head to this new place called Yours Truly and have a wonderful meal. We each have two glasses of wine and some really great food. We talk a little bit about the day and have a great evening. Then we head home and watch some more murder docs. I take a couple hits of our Bloom pens (Pineapple Express!) and zone out.

Daily Total: $13.40

Day Three

9 a.m. — My boyfriend and I are awake and figuring out what we want to do with our day. We decide we’re going to take the dog down to Rosie’s Dog Beach in Long Beach. I feel like some iced coffee, so I walk down to Le Pain to pick up two coffees and two croissants for us before we head down. $16.46

11 a.m. — As we’re going down to Long Beach, BF remarks that he forgot to grab a couple of balls to throw with the dog, so I navigate us to a pet store that’s on the way, which is perfect because I need cat litter for the kitties anyway. We pull in and BF picks out a few new things for doggo, and I grab my cat litter. We pay separately. Typically, he covers most things for the dog and I get all the things for the cats. I’ve had my cats for ten years, but we only integrated the cats and the dog together a year ago when we moved in together. The dog is still young, only two, so he is all about playing with the cats, and they want NOTHING to do with him. That being said, I love my blended little fur family. $13.22

1 p.m. — The dog has a blast at the beach. He just loves running and swimming so much. We leave the beach and decide to get lunch at one of the nearby pubs that has outdoor seating. We order burgers and beers, and again BF is determined to pay. We talk more about what it means for me to be laid off and speak about what type of financial situation I am in. BF tells me that as long as I’m unemployed, he doesn’t want me to pay any rent, that he’d rather I just focus on finding my next job. I ask him maybe ten more times if he is sure, but he is insistent. This takes a little burden off me and makes me feel better. I also know how lucky and privileged I am to have this little safety net.

7:30 p.m. — BF already had plans set for tonight to have drinks with the guys while a friend is in town, so I’m on my own tonight. I guess I could have made plans, but I really just need some alone time to process my thoughts. I place an order online with Tender Greens for a steak plate with roasted veggies and mashed potatoes, then walk to go pick it up. While I’m eating, the doggo and I decide to watch the new Amy Schumer special. I also eat the rest of my Girl Scout cookies, because fuck it. $14.24

9:45 p.m. — BF comes home and I remark that he is earlier than I expected him to be. He said it was because he’d rather spend the time with me…awww. We get into what I’ve nicknamed “hygge clothes,” which are just comfy PJs, and settle in on the couch snuggling while we watch some horrible murder/disappearance again.

Daily Total: $43.92

Day Four

9:30 a.m. — We’re up cuddling in bed with one cat and the dog again. I swear I have another cat, he just doesn’t like to come out much. The plan today was to head up to Malibu Wines with some friends and day drink. I decide to go on their site to see what type of food trucks they have or if we should get sandwiches from Bay Cities. Well, really glad I did that, because apparently Malibu Wines’ tasting room is closed for the season, so there’s that. I call up my friend, and we decide to change our plans to picnicking and sneak drinking at Echo Park Lake.

11 a.m. — BF and I drive to Echo Park with the doggo and pick up my good friend and his GF. We park the car near their place and decide to walk to the lake. On the way, we stop at Andante and I pick up iced lattes for me and BF, then continue our trek down toward the lake. We stop by a sandwich shop and each order a sandwich and chips for our picnic lunch. We get to the lake and spread out two blankets. I pull out two big water bottles I filled with rosé, and we start having a lovely boozy lunch. $10.50

2 p.m. — BF knows how much I love wine tasting/talking about wine and suggests we head over to Silverlake Wines and do some tastings there. He calls ahead, and they give us the okay to bring the doggo. I call us an Uber and make sure they are okay with the dog, and we head to the little wine shop. We have some interesting tastes of wine, and we each get a glass. The place is empty, so my BF is like a kid in a candy store. Before I know it, he has about five bottles stacked up at the counter he wants to buy to bring home. $15.34

3 p.m. — I call us another Uber, again checking they will pick us up with the dog, and head back toward my friend’s place. We hang out in their backyard while our two dogs frolic around. His dog is a teeny-tiny little grump, so she doesn’t get to go on many park adventures. She barks at just about everything, but she is getting pretty old, so I feel like I can relate sometimes. $13.42

7 p.m. — We’re back home now after spending pretty much all day out. We decide to cook another Blue Apron meal, khao soi wonton noodles. It is delicious. Because we already had wine today, we decide to skip it tonight. BF gets super excited when he realizes Spring Baking Championship is back on Food Network, so we watch one while being cozy. I take some hits from the Bloom pen and get nice and zen.

Daily Total: $39.26

Day Five

7 a.m. — First Monday of Funemployment! I decide that I am going to stick with a normal schedule of getting up early to keep myself motivated. I make a cup of coffee with the French press and drink it out on the deck. Then I head over to the gym. I warm up with a 3/4-mile run, then do a BBG Stronger workout. I look for jobs while also updating my résumé for the next few hours. I reach out to several recruiters I’ve worked with in the past, and they respond right away.

12:30 p.m. — I make a quick sandwich with my leftover ham and cheese. Since I’m home all the time now, the dog doesn’t need to go to daycare, and he is starting to look bored. I strap on my running shoes and decide to take him over to our favorite little fire trail for a nice long off-leash “hike.” I use quotation marks because it is really just a mostly flat dirt path. The sun is shining and the flowers are putting on a really major show right now. We walk the full length, which is 3.73 miles, according to my Apple Watch. We’re out there for an hour before we head home.

2:30 p.m.— We have almost no real groceries at home, so in an effort to get myself to make my lunch and eat more efficiently, I take a trip to the market. I pick up La Croix, turkey, yogurt, granola, Kind bars, Persian cucumbers, carrots, Boat House ranch dressing, whole wheat tortillas, pepperoncinis, bagged salad mix, bagged kale mix, coconut-milk creamer, coffee, olive oil, bread, and cat food. I figure this will give me a good amount of lunches in the coming days. $122.67

6:30 p.m. — Boyfriend is home. We decide to open a bottle of wine that he bought, and we cook a Blue Apron meal: roasted red pepper pasta. It is so good. We talk about our days and what kinds of things I have lined up for the week. We eat dinner and watch another Spring Baking Championship episode. We also decide that it would be a good idea to rewatch season one of Game of Thrones before the newest season comes out, so we watch the first episode. There is soooo much I forgot about. We continue to have a nice evening of watching TV and then head to bed.

Daily Total: $122.67

Day Six

7 a.m. — It’s a new day! I start with my usual morning cuddles with the girl cat and the dog. My boy cat peeks his head out from under the bed and gives me a meow, so I scratch his head before he slinks back into the darkness. I have a 10 a.m. coffee date planned with my friend P. who was also laid off, and he’s been unemployed for a while now. We decide to meet at Platform. As I pull into the parking garage, I realize that there are electric chargers available, so I gladly plug in. We chat for around 45 minutes before I depart. He has such child-like wonder and is a very optimistic person, it puts me in a great mood. As I go to leave the garage, the parking attendant notices that I wasn’t there very long and lets me out of the garage for free, woo! $10.50

11:00 a.m. — I get home and hunker down for a few more hours working on the job hunt. I need to apply for unemployment, but I just don’t feel ready. It is supposed to be a rather long process, so the sooner I do it the better. I’ll get around to it, I swear.

1:30 p.m. — I make myself a wrap with ham, lettuce, avocado, cucumber, ranch dressing, and pepperoncinis and drink a La Croix while still at my desk plugging along. I get a call from a recruiter at a firm, and we make an appointment for me to come in and meet the team tomorrow. This makes me feel encouraged. BF pops over for a minute to say hello; he was just up the street grabbing lunch and had a little gap in his day. We chat for a bit and he heads back to the office (which is seriously 10 minutes away).

2:30 p.m. — The dog looks bored, and I could use some exercise, so I head on over to the fire trail again for another off-leash hike. I get home, shower, and clean up the house.

6:30 p.m. — Every week I have a standing dinner/TV night with my best friend that I used to live with. Normally, it is every Sunday night, but we rescheduled as she was out of town. I’m eager for this girl time. I grab a bottle of wine to bring to dinner, but as BF and I are about to both leave to go our separate ways, we notice there is a loose dog in the courtyard and it is not one we’ve ever seen in the building before. She is well-behaved and thankfully has tags. We call and text the two numbers multiple times with no answer. At this point we are both late for our dinners, and we noticed the HOA board is having a meeting in the gym. They gladly hold on to the dog while the owners are tracked down. I make it to my dinner, where we cook some cauliflower dish, which also happens to be a Blue Apron. We have great girl time and catch up about the events of our week, then watch a couple episodes of Queen Sugar, which btw is an amazing show and I highly recommend it.

10 p.m. — I get home and BF tells me the dog’s owner finally called and they were reunited. I hit the Bloom pen while we hang out for a bit and then go to sleep.

Daily Total: $10.50

Day Seven

7 a.m. — Same old animal snuggles. I make myself some coffee and drink it on the deck. Since I have my 10 a.m. meeting in Century City, I decide to hit the gym right away. I do a quick run and then another BBG Stronger workout.

9:40 a.m. — I get to Century City and park in the mall. I KNOW there are electric chargers here and really want to find one, but I need at least 10 minutes to walk over to the recruiter’s office, so I give up and just park in a normal spot. The meeting goes well; they specialize in placing fashion jobs and I’ve worked with them before. I’m hoping they are able to help place me quickly. I go home and work on looking for jobs, writing cover letters, and applying on my own for a couple hours. $3

12:30 p.m. — My BF texts that he has a pretty free day and wants to come home for lunch. When he gets here I make us both a wrap, but with turkey this time, and he is very impressed with how tasty it is. We talk about my meeting with the recruiter for a bit, and he encourages me to go easy on myself.

2:30 p.m. — BF is back at the office and the dog is giving me sad eyes, so we head out to the dog park. We stop at the first one, and I throw the ball with him for a little while before he gets bored of that. BF told me about a second dog park just a couple blocks down the road that I’d never seen before, so we walk down that way. Sure enough, there is another dog park, but there are only two dogs here and they aren’t interested in playing right now. We start to walk back toward the car, and the dog keeps trying to pull me down all these little streets that connect the courtyards of apartments. I have no clue what is up with him, but we eventually make it to the car and head home.

6:30 p.m. — BF is home! We open some more wine and unwind while talking about our days, then get to cooking dinner. We make the pork burgers with pimento cheese and coleslaw. It is delicious. Again, we watch Game of Thrones, followed by some murder docs. To lighten the mood, we throw on a Bob’s Burgers episode. Fun fact: I make up weird songs and sing to the animals and have several cutesy names I use with them. I’m a weirdo, so weird in fact that one night my boyfriend looked at me and realized I was basically Linda Belcher. And you know what? I’m okay with that.

Daily Total: $3

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