A Week In New York City On $25/Hour

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 marketing intern working in HR consulting who makes $25/hour and spends some of her money this week on Siggi’s yogurt.

Occupation: Marketing Intern
Industry: HR Consulting
Age: 21
Location: New York City, NY
Income: $25/hr

Paycheck Amount (Weekly): $747.50, plus $100-120 every one to two weeks from babysitting.
Additional Income: On top of my intern salary, my parents give me a $800/month allowance, and my grandpa also wires me $300 every month (#blessed).

Monthly Expenses
Rent: I live in a one bedroom/one den apartment. The total rent is $4,050. My share is $2,100 (my parents pay) and my roommate’s share is $1,950. (She lives in the den.)
Student Loan Payment: $0 (I’m still in school, and my parents pay for my education.)
Health Insurance: $0 (I’m on my parents’ plan.)
MoviePass: $9.95
Sugared + Bronzed Pass: $40.76 (I get one Brazilian sugaring a month.)
Equinox Membership: $210
Phone Bill: $0 (I’m on my parents’ plan.)
Netflix, Spotify, Amazon: $0 (I use my parents’ accounts.)

Day One

7:35 a.m. — My alarm goes off for work. It’s the day after the 4th of July, and I’m beat from drinking all day yesterday. I also had a panic attack last night and am still feeling a little off. Thankfully, my boyfriend slept over and helped calm me down.

8:06 a.m. — I meditate and then pack up workout clothes and my briefcase. For breakfast, I make my classic avocado toast with feta cheese and a hard-boiled egg. I’ve found that this combo keeps me very satisfied until lunch.

8:57 a.m. — Being that everyone had the day off yesterday, I think I’ll be okay getting in a couple of minutes late to work. I stop by Whole Foods to pick up a bottle of cold brew to keep at the office. It’s the easiest way for me to not spend too much on coffee. $6.99

11:26 a.m. — I spend most of my morning working on a small project, online shopping, and journaling. Perk of being an intern is that I don’t get too much work assigned in a day. But I do find myself bored occasionally.

12:30 p.m. — I check the Albert app I downloaded last month. It’s supposed to “smart save” for you by tracking how much you make and spend. So far, I’ve saved $113 to pay for my Equinox membership next month. It’s sick! It also reminds me that I spent $55 on coffee last month. Not too bad, tbh.

12:35 p.m. — Decide to go up to the cafeteria in my building for lunch.

12:45 p.m. — I get a soup and salad ($8.13) and take my lunch outside because thankfully, it’s not that hot in NYC today. $8.13

1:05 p.m. — I sit around and do nothing until my 3 p.m. meeting.

3:30 p.m. — Quick break to eat an apple and drink some green tea. I brought the apple from home, and make the green tea in the office pantry. I hit a wall every day at this time, and green tea actually gives me a great dose of caffeine.

4:42 p.m. — Finally done with meetings. My boss is going out of town for two weeks and has left me with a bunch of little tasks to take care of while she’s away.

5:01 p.m. — I leave every day at 5 on the dot. The company doesn’t want interns working late, as it reflects poorly on them. I don’t mind, because I get to go workout and enjoy my afternoons every day. I also get to work from home tomorrow, so it basically feels like Friday!

5:45 p.m. — I attend a new class at Equinox. It’s called The Muse, and it’s a mix between barre, dance, and pilates. The instructor has some technical difficulties getting the music set up, but the class is awesome. Even though it’s way out of my comfort zone, my booty is on fire.

7 p.m. — I spend the rest of my afternoon packing for my Hamptons trip this weekend! My awesome friend always hosts my entire girl squad for weekends out there.

7:33 p.m. — I prepare dinner with random findings in my fridge. During the school year, I cook every meal in my apartment. It feels so nice to cook for myself. I whip up whole wheat pasta with vodka sauce, roasted carrots and tomatoes, and a veggie burger. So random, and yet so yummy.

11:36 p.m. — I call it a night earlier than I have in weeks. I’m so excited to sleep alone in my bed.

Daily Total: $15.12

Day Two

9 a.m. — My alarm goes off and I quickly switch on my work laptop to see if I have any emails. Per usual, I do not. I finish up packing for the weekend and head over to my boyfriend’s, since we’re getting breakfast together before I leave. I call a Lyft Line because I can’t carry my purse, weekend bag, and work briefcase on a 20-minute walk. $4.87

10:33 a.m. — After working for a bit at my boyfriend’s place, we head over to a local juice bar for acai bowls and smoothies. We had originally agreed on going to a diner, but BF got up early to go to the gym and feels like eating healthy. I don’t complain. He pays for his smoothie and my bowl.

12:15 p.m. — I walk over to Equinox for a hot yoga class. I love to exercise before weekend trips. Makes me feel like I’m starting on the right foot.

1:34 p.m. — Class was amazing. I shower and get ready for my two and a half hour car ride. I’m so thankful for the Equinox amenities. They make living on the go so much easier.

2:05 p.m. — I arrive at my friend’s apartment to meet up before we drive to the Hamptons. Before the whole group convenes, I run to Sweetgreen to pick up lunch. I make a custom salad and add tofu, because I’m so into it these days. $11.70

3:30 p.m. — We decide to pick up some wine before the trip. I buy a bottle of rosé and a Gavi di Gavi. $32

5 p.m. — Pit stop at the gas station. I buy some gum and a sparkling water . $6.65

6:09 p.m. — We arrive in the Hamptons and hit absolutely no traffic on the way. Pretty amazing for a Friday afternoon.

7:15 p.m. — All the girls staying in my friend’s house for the weekend cook dinner. We prepare a huuuuge healthy and delicious feast of scallops, salmon, potatoes, grilled zucchini and peppers, and caprese and summer salads. Dinner is followed by pie, grilled peaches, and ice cream.

9:26 p.m. — Everyone decides to stay in for the night to prepare for our full day tomorrow. I agree that it’s the move. We’re all in bed in the next hour or so. I Venmo my friend who drove for gas money. $10

Daily Total: $65.22

Day Three

8:07 a.m. — I wake up with no alarm, feeling sooooo well rested. My friend texts me and asks if I want to go on a run. I haven’t run in forever, but the idea of trotting along Sag Harbor Road sounds fantastic. My other friend books a Barry’s Bootcamp class and offers to drop us off at the beach so we can run back home.

9:30 a.m. — We make it back to the house in 40 minutes. I still can’t believe I ran 3.9 miles after months and months of not running long distances. I’m so happy I got up to exercise. By the time we get back, the rest of the girls are up making breakfast. I have avocado toast, scrambled eggs, fruit, and a coffee.

11:12 a.m. — The girl squad gets ready to go out on my friend’s boat. Her dad offers to take us out on the water for the afternoon, and I couldn’t be more excited. I grew up boating and absolutely love the ocean. A few of us bring the dingy out so we can tube and drive up to the beach later. On our way to the marina, we pick up food. I get a piece of salmon, a freekeh salad, and a cauliflower salad. $22

2:11 p.m. — Finally we arrive at Sunset Beach. The water is rough, and we wish we hadn’t taken out the dingy. I would’ve much rather been on the big boat. All the rosé is gone by the time we raft up.

3:56 p.m. — After being anchored for a little over an hour, we come back to the marina and help clean up and then make our way back to her house. All the girls pile into two cars.

4:23 p.m. — Pool and chill time all afternoon. I lay by the pool and tan until I go upstairs to shower and lay in bed for a while.

6:15 p.m. — My friend’s chef (?! I know) prepares vegan tacos, chicken tacos, and a veggie salad for all of us. Perfect pre-drinking meal. After dinner, we all get dressed up for a party tonight.

9:06 p.m. — We’re drunk and ready to go after an hour long pregame. A friend of mine let me make four drinks with her Bacardi, so I Venmo her a little money. Two Uber XLs are called to get us to the party. My friend splits it with three people (not including me). I make a mental note to pay for the car back. $5

10:35 p.m. — The party is so fun, but way overhyped. I bought a ticket a couple of weeks ago for $20. I couldn’t believe I actually let myself pay for a big house party. Then again, it has an open bar, so the ticket is like a drink voucher.

1:06 a.m. — Time to go home. The music gets shut down, even though the guys who are throwing it have a permit. I open Uber and see that an XL costs $76, so I freak out. Maybe I’ll wait and see if someone else can stomach calling it?

1:11 a.m. — My friends are too drunk and won’t leave, so I call it. I check Lyft, and a big car is only $33. Two girls in my car play dumb and don’t pay me. $12

2:06 a.m. — Finally in bed. I’m definitely too drunk.

Daily Total: $39

Day Four

7:12 a.m. — I am up and starving. I didn’t late night munch, so I wake up with sharp pains. I hate having to snoop in my own friend’s house, but I need food. I find a carton of blueberries and a yogurt in the fridge. I think this will be enough to let me sleep in more.

8:03 a.m. — I am wide awake with a brewing stomach ache. I don’t think having yogurt was the move. Two of my friend’s text that they’re up and want to get bagels. I agree to join them.

9:15 a.m. — We arrive at the bagel shop. I truly feel so nauseous. I have to sit down and let my friends order bagels for everyone. My friend requests $4 on Venmo for breakfast. I’m in desperate need of some carbs. $4

9:33 a.m. — I try to eat a bagel with all my gal friends but cannot bring myself to take a bite. I know something is wrong, as this is not my usual hangover tummy ache. I run to the toilet and puke up all the yogurt I ate. Only eat carbs after a night of drinking!

9:39 a.m. — I finally enjoy my bagel with lox and eggs. I’m so thankful I got rid of the toxic shit in my system.

10:45 a.m. — By now, we are laying by the pool and enjoying the day. We’re all extremely hungover.

12:22 p.m. — Whole group gets hungry, so we go to a local health restaurant for some food. I get a goat cheese and avocado wrap. $23

2:30 p.m. — We spend the afternoon strolling around town. I get the most delicious froyo, which I haven’t had in forever. Vegan, gluten free, added sugar free mixed berry flavor with shaved coconut, choco chips, and candied walnuts. $8.75

4:16 p.m. — Most of the girls start to head out, as they all have trains and buses to catch. I’m driving back with the same group that I drove in with, and we agree to leave later at night so we can enjoy a yummy dinner and avoid traffic.

6:27 p.m. — I pack up my bag and take a shower to prepare for the trip home. We’re all starving and decide to head back into town for sushi. The wait is 30 minutes, so we walk around town people-watching until our table is ready.

8:38 p.m. — Dinner is delicious, but the service is terrible and the food is overpriced. The edamame comes out last, and my steamed veggie dumpling appetizer is forgotten. We get individual checks because some of my friends ordered drinks and some of us got more food. My check is $45.09…I’m in shock, but swallow my pride because #HamptonsPrices. $45.09

11:08 p.m. — We make really good time back to the city from the Hamptons until we reach the airport area. There’s traffic and we’re stuck in it for at least 40 minutes.

11:56 p.m. — Finally make it to my boyfriend’s apartment. I have a mini panic attack, as I frequently do. My anxiety usually gets the best of me after vacations. I’m glad to be seeing my therapist tomorrow. Although my BF and I are excited to spend the night together, my panic attack leaves me exhausted.

Daily Total: $80.84

Day Five

7:35 a.m. — Alarm goes off for work. It can be so grueling to get back into the swing of things after a fun weekend. I get ready pretty fast because I opt out of my morning meditation and shower (not a good idea) to cuddle with my BF. I also make hard-boiled eggs for breakfast. I leave his place a little earlier just in case it takes me longer to get to work than anticipated, and buy a banana on my way to the train to snack on later. $0.50

9:05 a.m. — The F train is so slow. I drop off my mules at the shoe repair before heading into work. I want to get my shoes soled so I don’t feel as guilty when ruining them on NYC concrete.

12:45 p.m. — My morning flies by at work because I get assigned a bunch of tasks. BF offers to meet me for lunch and treats me to a Chipotle bowl. I get the sofritas but kinda wish I’d just gotten a veggie bowl.

3:30 p.m. — I snack on a Perfect Bar that I bring from home and drink a hot tea.

5:02 p.m. — I head to Whole Foods straight from work. My fridge is completely empty from eating everything before I left for the weekend. I buy salad dressing, soy sauce, olives, a salmon fillet, feta cheese, avocados, blackberries, baby kale, a tub of Siggi’s yogurt, a cauliflower head, an orange pepper, and Fuji apples. $48.24

5:45 p.m. — I get home and put away my groceries. Because I have nothing else to do, I walk to my therapist’s office instead of taking the subway. It’s a 22-minute walk, but it’s so nice out that I use the time to listen to a podcast and stroll. I really like The Skinny Confidential Him & Her podcast. I find her voice annoying (sorry!) but she has really good guests on her show.

6:35 p.m. — I have a really great session that leaves me thinking a lot. I definitely need to take more measures to keep my anxiety at bay. I reconsider taking adaptogens and applying essential oils.

8:14 p.m. — I make myself a delicious and very random dinner, per usual. I bake the whole salmon fillet, prepare a salad, and munch on plantain chips and olives. I save the rest of the salmon for meal prep and then roast cauliflower and cook brown rice for lunch tomorrow. I find having cooked grains and roasted veggies on hand extremely helpful for when I want to prepare a fast meal.

9:38 p.m. — My roomie shows up with her boyfriend, his dog, and three friends. I really wanted a chill night, but am going to just have to deal. These are the moments that make me excited to move to a new place. My place now is amazing, but way too small to have lots of people over. I end up shutting my sliding door (I don’t have a real door) and trying to relax in my room. They all leave for ice cream soon after, and I’m extremely relieved.

11:30 p.m. — I barely hear my roommate get back. Even though all the lights are on and there’s def some movement, I fall into a deep slumber. Getting to bed early really sets the tone for my day.

Daily Total: $48.74

Day Six

7:35 a.m. — Alarm goes off. I get up and meditate for 10 minutes in bed. I’ve stopped doing guided meditation on the Calm app, and instead use it’s bell function. Every five minutes, a little bell goes off to remind me how long I’ve been sitting. I really enjoy this time to myself.

8:03 a.m. — I have some vanilla yogurt with granola, blackberries, and cashew butter.

8:35 a.m. — I refill my MetroCard with $20.95. I haven’t considered getting the unlimited pass because I don’t use the subway that much over the weekend. $20.95

11:57 a.m. — I love the days when I pack a really yummy lunch and bring tasty snack options. I snack on half an avocado and love how I can just scoop it out with a spoon.

12:11 p.m. — I take my lunch of baked salmon, brown rice, and roasted cauliflower to eat outside. I chat with my boyfriend and mom on the phone while I bask in the sun.

2 p.m. — I sneak into the conference room to watch the France v. Belgium soccer game. Happy this will keep me entertained for the afternoon.

2:06 p.m. — I get an email from Bareburger with a free burger credit. So stoked. Def will be ordering it for pick up before I go babysit.

3:43 p.m. — I snack on cheese and an apple. Now to figure out what to do for the next hour I have at work. I’ve spent most of my day researching podcasts for “living your best life.”

4:05 p.m. — I order my burger, which I will pick up in an hour or so. Downloading the app gives me $12 in credit, so my meal is $7.56 instead of $19.56. I order a black bean burger with a fried egg, spinach, and tomato wrapped in a collard greens wrap with a side of sweet potato fries. $7.56

5:27 p.m. — I read outside of my office once I get off of work to kill time before I go babysit. I decide to walk there instead of taking the subway. Using my extra time to spend time outdoors instead of on the subway is such a mood enhancer. I pick up my burger before starting a night of babysitting.

8:43 p.m. — Child in bed. I snack on feta stuffed olives that they have in their fridge and turn on Netflix to watch The Kissing Booth.

9:30 p.m. — Parents come home unexpectedly early. I’m not complaining, because I’d love to go home. They pay me for the full night regardless of their early arrival (score!!).

10:06 p.m. — I opt to take a shared Lyft because I wanted to get home quicker. I usually get a lot of guilt-ridden anxiety from choosing to take cars, but I relax once I realize the subway is only $1.78 cheaper than this ride. $4.53

12:36 a.m. — I spend the rest of my night cuddled in bed with my boyfriend. I haven’t been feeling very lovey lately, and I think it’s because I’ve been craving solitude. Gonna see how the rest of my week goes before I ask him for some space. I think this feeling is a result of spending the weekend surrounded by my gal pals.

Daily Total: $33.04

Day Seven

7:35 a.m. — Wake up. Meditate. Shower. Make breakfast. I have avocado toast with a fried egg and feta cheese. I pack lunch and snacks for the rest of the day. I don’t do my makeup in the morning anymore, which cuts my getting ready time down by 10 minutes! 9 a.m. is too early to have makeup dripping down my face. Boyfriend walks me to the subway. I head to work and he walks to the library.

8:34 a.m. — I run into my friend from high school while waiting for the subway. She’s interning in the city for the summer and subletting a place down the block from me.

9:30 a.m. — I get a call from the building cobbler that my shoes are ready for pick up. I am SO content with how they turned out. Now they are perfect. I tip them extra because I’m extremely happy. $45.95

10:58 a.m. — I seriously contemplate going around my office asking for work. I’m beyond bored.

11:40 a.m. — I start getting munchies and am thankful I brought olives. I used to have a major fear of olives due to my dad force-feeding them to me at age 12. (Gracias, Papi!) Now, I love them so much I bought a fat tub of them to bring to work. Lemon garlic green olives.

12:11 p.m. — I take my lunch outside. It’s the same as yesterday: salmon, brown rice, and roasted cauliflower. I also listen to an Oprah podcast and read some of my current book, You Don’t Have to Like Me.

1:19 p.m. — I receive an assignment. Yippee! Now I can be entertained for the afternoon.

2:03 p.m. — Sit in conference room to watch the England v. Croatia game. I have no preference at this point for any team because I’m team #LatinAmericanSoccer.

3:09 p.m. — I snack on an apple I brought from home while doing work and watching the game.

4:33 p.m. — I get assigned a decent amount of work…why couldn’t this have happened hours ago?

5:10 p.m. — Finally leave work and go to Equinox for my yoga class. I am so zoned into the class, I can’t believe it’s over when we go into shavasana.

7:12 p.m. — I shower and get ready to grab dinner with my BFF, Z. She just moved down the street from me. I’m so sad I’ll be leaving the West Village in two months for a new apartment. Mainly because two of my closest friends ended up moving into this neighborhood! I love her new spot. We walk to a pizza place on Houston.

7:45 p.m. — The waiter tells us it’ll be a five-minute wait. Those five minutes pass, and then another 20 minutes pass, and suddenly we’ve been waiting for 45 minutes. In that time, a guy I used to sleep with shows up at the same restaurant with his squad of guy friends. The whole restaurant is mayhem. I just want some fooooood.

8:42 p.m. — We finally sit down at a lovely table outside. Z. and I order two small pizzas and a grilled calamari appetizer to share. I tell her that there’s no chance we leave without getting some free stuff. I suggest to the waiter that he brings us some wine on the house, and he does. He also brings us a panna cotta dessert with our check. $36.62

11:05 p.m. — I hang out at Z.’s for a little after dinner. She insists I take home the leftover pizza for lunch tomorrow, and then I Lyft home. I pick out my clothes for tomorrow, pack my workout clothes for the gym, and hit the sack. $9

Daily Total: $91.57

If you are experiencing anxiety or depression and need support, please call the National Depressive/Manic-Depressive Association Hotline at 1-800-826-3632 or the Crisis Call Center’s 24-hour hotline at 1-775-784-8090.

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