A Week In San Francisco, CA, On A $330,000 Income

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Today: a software engineer who makes $330,000 per year and spends some her money this week on boba tea.

Occupation: Software Engineer
Industry: Technology
Age: 25
Location: San Francisco, CA
Salary: $330,000 ($194,000 base + $136,000 stock)
Gender Identity: Female

Monthly Expenses
Rent: $1,400 (I split rent for a one-bedroom apartment with my boyfriend.)
Gym Membership: $135
Credit Card Fee: $42
Utilities: $50
Renter’s Insurance: $8
Google Storage: $2
Amazon Prime: $55 (Split with boyfriend.)
Phone: $0 (I’m on my parent’s plan.)
Internet: $8 (My work pays for the bulk of the cost — I just pay taxes.)
Netflix: $0 (I use my parents’ account.)
401k: $1,583 (max contribution)
HSA: $292 (max contribution)
Health/Dental/Vision Insurance: $85
Index-Fund Investment: $1,000
Savings: $2,000

Day One

7 a.m. — I wake up before my 7:30 a.m. alarm, feeling super groggy likely due to PMS. I chug a bottle of warm water along with some vitamins and then make an oat milk latte using my espresso machine. I prepped a Vitamix pitcher full of spinach, mixed berries, avocado, protein powder, and water in the fridge last night and blend that up for a quick breakfast before my 40-minute walk to work.

9 a.m. — At work, I grab myself a second cup of coffee — decaf this time — with some milk and honey to reward myself for the long commute. I choose to walk as a way to get my steps in, listen to podcasts, and also because I hate dealing with morning traffic.

12 p.m. — Tech companies like mine offer free food, coffee, and snacks, and I’m grateful not to worry about my lunch every day. I have lunch with my team and try to fill my plate with more greens than carbs. Then I snack on some Cheez-Its after lunch and make my daily post-lunch iced latte with my coworker/friend to prepare ourselves for the meetings ahead.

5:45 p.m. — The gym is on my way home, so I call a Lyft to a zone near the gym. I have Lyft credit from work that covers my rides as long as they’re within certain zones (near bus/train stations). I walk the rest of the distance (10 minutes) between my drop-off and the gym, but I missed the Monday 5:30 HIIT class due to traffic. I miss it about 50% of the time, but thank goodness my gym doesn’t charge a penalty. I take advantage of the flexibility and decide to run outside instead. One mile in, it starts pouring, so I run back to the gym and do another two miles on the treadmill.

7:50 p.m. — It’s dinnertime! I always try to cook and eat dinner at home, even though work provides dinner, too. I enjoy cooking (most of the time) and spending quality time with my boyfriend, N., or, if he’s busy at work late, the TV. Tonight, I batch-baked some miso soy sauce flounder I defrosted last night. The kind we bought this week is somehow fishier than other flounder we’ve had, so I soak it in some cold vinegar water for some time before marinating it in the miso sauce and baking it. I also prep a simple side salad with grated carrots and mixed greens dressed in a random mixture of Asian sauces, mustard, and Kewpie.

9 p.m. — I do some online shopping while watching Netflix. I don’t own much makeup, but I decided this year to put in more of an effort. And my eyeshadow from freshman year of college is probably expired at this point. I buy myself a Korean BB cream to keep in my gym bag, eyebrow pencil, lip liner, and a contour stick. $98

Daily Total: $98

Day Two

8:10 a.m. — I wake up feeling even more tired than yesterday. I blame it on the PMS and insomnia. I chug my water and vitamins and head out the door immediately. I like getting to work early because it’s the most quiet and productive time for me to get some coding done, which is tough nowadays since, as a tech lead, I spend the bulk of my day in meetings, reviewing junior engineers’ code, and putting out fires. I snack on some English muffins at my desk when I get to work.

11:50 p.m. — I get a sandwich and chicken soup for lunch, plus my daily iced latte.

4 p.m. — I have one of my more relaxing meetings during this time. I mentor a younger engineer on career growth and sometimes we just chat about whatever. I have some popcorn.

6:30 p.m. — I don’t get nearly as much work done as I wanted to today. I skip working out today and stay for free dinner at work. The soba noodles and fried chicken are actually pretty good.

Daily Total: $0

Day Three

7:30 a.m. — I wake up to my alarm. I’m feeling a little moody from the poor quality sleep I’ve been getting. Waking up earlier and seeing my boyfriend’s sleepy face brightens my morning a bit. I meditate with a free app and try to start my morning slower. Wednesdays tend to be calmer than the other meeting-heavy days I have at work. I look forward to getting into work as I sip on my homemade latte and usual smoothie. I take an extra glance at my bullet journal for the day and pack an overnight bag for work, since I’ll be heading down to the south Bay Area, where my parents live, for my mom’s birthday.

1 p.m. — Have lunch. Afterwards, I pick up some roses for my mom and force my friend to come with me to Starbucks to try Ariana Grande’s Cloud Macchiato because “I want it, I got it.” $20

4:30 p.m. — I take an early bullet train to South Bay. Work pays for our annual Caltrain passes, so I try to make it a point to visit my parents at least once a month. My dad picks me up on his way home from work, but he gets stuck in rush hour traffic. I go through some more emails at the Caltrain station while I wait for him.

7 p.m. — Mom wants to get hotpot near downtown San Jose, so my dad, grandma, mom, and I pick up my sister from badminton practice along the way and pack ourselves into the family sedan for dinner. Dinner is delicious and around $130. The owners recognize us, since we came for my sister’s birthday a couple weeks ago. I paid for that meal, so my dad picks up the tab this time. We stop by a boba place on the way home, and I buy drinks for everyone except for grandma (since she’s not a fan of sweets). $22

Daily Total: $42

Day Four

6:20 a.m. — I stay the night at my parent’s house. I share a bed with my sister, since my old room is now grandma’s room, which I don’t mind, but it does mean I have to wake up when my sister wakes up for school at 6:20. Half awake, I chug some water and take out the milk tea I barely drank from last night. My dad drops me off at the Caltrain after dropping off my sister.

8:40 a.m. — I arrive at work, but I’m not sure if I’ll be able to survive the day (PMS week), so I pour myself a big mug of coffee with some milk and honey. I also toast some bread and eat it with peanut butter and some plain Greek yogurt.

10:45 a.m. — I refill my coffee, but with decaf this time. I’m pretty sensitive to coffee, especially when I’m PMS-ing, but I’m hoping to get some placebo effect from the decaf anyway.

12:20 p.m. — I have some steamed cod with some rice and salad greens for lunch. Then I sip on some orange black tea I ordered from Singapore last week. I feel relief when I remember that I scheduled a facial appointment at 3:30 today.

3 p.m. — I get the most relaxing facial (I budget about $300/month for facials, acupuncture, and massages), especially after my face has been puffy all day from bloating and water retention this week. I had to get up and pee halfway through my facial, but my beautician was super sweet and accommodating. I pay and leave a substantial tip ($110 altogether) and book myself a lash lift appointment for next week. $110

5 p.m. — I get a lightly sweetened black milk tea with oat milk from Boba Guys. I don’t like it — I won’t get this again. As I walk past the line of white people waiting in line, I find myself fantasizing about making a fortune by selling white people trendy frozen dumplings at an absurd price, but then realize that places already do that. $4.20

7 p.m. — I have some miso baked flounder with greens and shirataki noodles for dinner while I wait for my boyfriend to come home. We are both pretty busy, so we try to find time to talk and watch TV together at the end of the day. We watch an old episode of Rick and Morty but are so tired we’re basically half asleep.

Daily Total: $114.20

Day Five

8:30 a.m. — Water and vitamins ritual. I remember my grandma telling me to eat slower and wait for my food to cool before digging in, along with some other traditional Chinese medicine philosophies, so I do a bit of tidying up while I wait for my coffee to cool. As I slowly sip my coffee, I realize it’s finally Friday — and I’m elated because I really need this week to be over, mainly because of PMS. I rant to the boyfriend for the 9,999th time about how shitty Mother Nature is to the female body. He jokes that I should just take the day off, but I seriously consider it for a moment. I hug him goodbye before heading to the gym.

9 a.m. — I love my gym’s 9 a.m. conditioning classes, so I always try to go every Friday and get to work a little late. I decide to take a Lyft to work ($12) and shower at work instead. $12

12:30 p.m. — I have to interview a candidate during lunch today, so I eat a quick turkey and lettuce sandwich for lunch with a La Croix.

3:30 p.m. — We have a boring meeting, during which my coworker and I exchange texts about weekend plans. I make myself some afternoon orange black tea and get some more coding done in between meetings nearing the end of the day.

5:45 p.m. — I’m a creature of habit. I skip work’s Friday happy hour and go home to eat the same baked miso flounder with greens and shirataki noodles for an early dinner. My boyfriend usually stays at work for happy hour but will eat again with me at home, but I was a bit more hungry than usual today.

8 p.m. — I catch up on Selling Sunset on Netflix and feel the cravings kick in. My boyfriend and I venture out to the nearby CVS in pajamas hoping to pick up some hot Cheetos but discover that store has permanently closed. We try the Bevmo next door, probably scaring the security guard since I look a bit disheveled in pajamas and messy hair. No Cheetos. We finally find Cheetos and green tea ice cream at a small convenience store nearby. I snack on a little bit of both and go to bed early. $7

Daily Total: $19

Day Six

9:30 a.m. — I wake up later than usual and sprint to my gym for a HIIT class. My Apple watch applauds me for a record high calorie burn but I’m pretty sure it’s because I’ve put on a pound or two in the past two weeks. I start a load of (mostly sweaty gym) laundry when I get home. $6.75

11:20 a.m. — I Facetime my college bestie who lives in Seattle. We catch up on her trip to India and discuss therapy, skincare, and fun adult stuff like buying a house. I take a mental note to fly out to Seattle to see her soon since I miss her so much. I snack on some greek yogurt and Sumo mandarins since I haven’t eaten today yet.

2 p.m. — I apologize to the boyfriend who has been waiting to eat with me. We Uber out to a Chinese restaurant we find on Yelp and order a braised beef squid ink noodle soup and some skewers to share ($16). Everything is delicious, and we happily venture around the neighborhood for our next bite since my boyfriend isn’t super full from the noodles and skewers. He grabs a slice of mushroom pizza, which I take a bite of, and I get an oat milk latte ($5) at a cute coffee shop. $21

5 p.m. — My boyfriend and I visit a local butcher and pick up some fancy beef for a steak dinner along with prosciutto and pork tenderloin I plan on using for a sandwich recipe next week. We split total cost of about $58 $29

7 p.m. — My boyfriend makes us sous-vide steak with a side salad for dinner. It is delicious but puts us in a major food coma. We attempt to fold the laundry from this morning and watch some more Selling Sunset to ease the pain of chores while being full.

Daily Total: $56.75

Day Seven

8:30 a.m. — I wake up super hungry. I go through my normal morning water, vitamins, and coffee ritual. I wake up my boyfriend up so we could go get breakfast at my favorite bakery. We order a tuna sandwich and my favorite butter croissant, and I pay for the meal since he is paying for some small groceries later. I don’t really like the sandwich but eat the entire croissant along with a second cup of coffee. $27

10 a.m. — I need more Greek yogurt to eat throughout the week so we take a walk to Whole Foods. My boyfriends picks up an Earl Grey chocolate chip cookie at another bakery near by and I steal a bite. He also pays for my greek yogurt along with grocery/pantry staples we needed refilling on ($30).

12 p.m. — I snack on greek yogurt and granola while I do what I call my “Personal admin” stuff like fill out my weekly budget sheet, plan for next week in my bullet journal, book all the workout classes for next week. I also finish watching Selling Sunset on Netflix and hunt for a new show to watch.

2:30 p.m. — I finally convince myself to head out to two friends’ joint birthday party in Golden Gate Park. I take an Uber Pool ($6) with M. and find our friends after wandering around different picnic tables for a while. I bring a bottle of Napa wine ($30) to share with the group. $36

4 p.m. — M. and I take an Uber Pool to a traditional Russian bakery/cafe ($5) where we pick up some rye bread, feta kale pastry, and marinated fish for dinner ($22). We Uber Pool home ($7) and watch a Chinese movie on Netflix. $34

7 p.m. — We cooked some the pork tenderloin we got from the butcher yesterday and eat that along with the pastry and marinated fish from the Russian bakery. We start watching an old Korean drama I convince M. was a good idea, and he seems to think it’s semi-entertaining so far. We clean up the kitchen and do some last minute tidying up before plopping down on the couch with some barley tea and fruit. I do some last minute review of the week ahead and add an extra face mask in my usual 5-step skin care routine for some extra pampering before the night ends.

Daily Total: $97

The Breakdown

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