A Week In New York City On $14/Hour

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Today: an intern working in public health who makes $14/hour and spends some of her money this week on a ticket to Incredibles 2.
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Occupation: Intern
Industry: Public Health
Age: 23
Location: New York, NY
Income: $14/hour
Paycheck Amount (Monthly): $1,500
Monthly Expenses
Rent: $1,600 for my share (I live with one roommate in the East Village, and our rent includes wifi and all utilities. My mom pays for half of my share because there is literally nowhere within a 30-mile radius that I could afford in addition to my other living expenses. I cover the cost of my own rent during the school year when I’m not in New York, but for this summer, she’s helping me.)
Student Loan Payment: $0 (I am currently in graduate school, so none of my loans kick in until after I graduate.)
Spotify: $9.99
Gym Membership: $25
Unlimited MetroCard: $121
Health Insurance: $0 (I'm covered by my mom's plan until I'm 26.)
Phone: $0 (I'm on my mom's plan until I finish school.)
Netflix & Hulu: $0 (Thanks, brother and best friend!)

Day One

9 a.m. — I wake up and browse through social media before getting out of bed. I make a piece of toast topped with avocado mash and a hard-boiled egg with a banana on the side for breakfast, which I eat while watching Real Housewives of New York City in bed. Ah, Sunday mornings!
11:30 a.m. — I wash my dishes from breakfast and decide to clean up the kitchen a little bit. I wipe off the counters and stovetop, take out the garbage, and put away all the dishes from the drying rack. The sink has been draining really slowly, so I find Drano in a cabinet and use that as well. Dirty kitchens stress me out, so I feel immediately better once I'm done.
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12:45 p.m. — After cleaning, I head to the gym, which is only a few blocks from my apartment. I start my workout, but halfway through, I get my period (sorry, TMI!), and since I have no feminine products with me, I decide to head back home before the cramps set in. I walk past a little market in the park that opens every Sunday, and decide to treat myself to a cookie from one of the vendors. I'm a big believer in the two-pronged period treatment: Motrin and dessert. $3.50
1:30 p.m. — After I get home and shower, I make a big salad for lunch. I LOVE big, huge salads, and this one is a bed of mixed greens topped with kimchi, chickpeas, Trader Joe's stir-fry veggie mix, roasted sweet potatoes, golden beets, a Trader Joe's salmon patty, and Trader Joe's cilantro dressing. I really like Trader Joe's, okay? I have my cookie for dessert, and lay in bed enjoying the afternoon and loving the Motrin.
2:30 p.m. — During the school year, I live in a different city. I'm just here for the summer to intern as a requirement for my degree. (I'm getting my master's in public health.) Even though I don't live here year-round, I'm really lucky that I have a pretty big group of friends from college who've been living and working here for the last year since we graduated. One of these friends, B., texts our group and asks if anyone wants to see The Incredibles 2 tonight. Um, yes! B. buys tickets for the four of us who want to go, and we each Venmo him for our shares. $16.47
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3:45 p.m. — I've been watching Real Housewives and being totally unproductive all day, so I force myself to pull up LinkedIn and start browsing jobs. I graduate in December, and am desperately hoping to find a job here in New York because I can't imagine starting my adult life anywhere else. I save a few things that look interesting and make a mental note to reach out to some people at those companies.
4:30 p.m. — I snack on an apple, a vanilla bean Greek yogurt with almonds, and a white chocolate macadamia nut Clif bar.
5:20 p.m. — I decide to window shop and explore before the movie at 6:45, so I leave my apartment extra early and head toward the direction of the theater. I pass by the Strand — one of my all-time favorite book stores, which is saying a lot, because I'm an obsessive bookworm — and I can't resist browsing the $1 carts outside. I find a like-new copy of a book a friend recently recommended to me, so I snatch it up. There are about 10 more books inside that I want, but they're all full price, so I settle for just my one cheap book and head to the theater. $1.09
9 p.m. — The Incredibles 2 was — dare I say — INCREDIBLE. I personally could've used more Edna Mode, but this was still great, and made me feel super nostalgic. I remember seeing the original for a friend's birthday party in fourth grade! All three of my friends decide to go to Shake Shack for a post-movie dinner, but it's in the opposite direction of my apartment, and greasy food this late at night will make my stomach hurt, so we part ways and I head back toward my place.
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9:15 p.m. — I notice a man following me for a few blocks, and even though I'm almost home, the block I'm walking on is completely devoid of all people and it just doesn't feel right to me. There's an Insomnia Cookies down the block, so I pop in. I already had a big cookie today, but I figure another one is way less likely to kill me than a creepy man on the street! I plan to just get one s'mores cookie — my FAVORITE — but the peanut butter cup one looks so good that I get one of those too. I promise myself to save it for tomorrow night. $7.47
9:25 p.m. — I wait until the strange man has passed the store completely and make my way back outside (after sharing my location with my closest friend in the city, L.). I make it to my apartment three blocks away safely — just in time, because it starts to rain! I wash my face, brush and floss my teeth, and get in bed with my book. I'm reading about Lassa fever right now (#publichealthnerd), and this book is so fascinating. I was studying epidemiology when I first started working on my master's, and I loved it, but I decided I didn't want to work in a research or clinical setting forever, so I switched. I'm much happier with what I'm studying now, but I still love reading about this stuff! I'm asleep by 10 p.m.
Daily Total: $28.53
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Day Two

5:35 a.m. — Alarm goes off — it's Monday morning! I'm really weird in that I both love mornings and love Mondays, and Monday mornings are kind of my favorite. I feel like they really set the tone for the whole week. I get out of bed, throw my workout clothes on, and head to the gym, where I stretch out, lift weights, and cycle while reading my book.
7:25 a.m. — Back home and showered. I make a wrap for lunch (lavash flatbread, red pepper hummus, swiss cheese, tomato, onion, spinach) and get ready. I do a full face of makeup today, but pull my hair into a ponytail.
8:15 a.m. — I grab my wrap and a Greek yogurt and head to the subway. (I have an unlimited MetroCard that I paid for two weeks ago.) I actually get a seat this morning, which is rare, so I manage to read a few pages of my book before we get to my stop.
9 a.m. — Bagel Monday! Every Monday, my office puts out bagels and pastries. I toast a sesame bagel and top half with lox schmear and half with veggie cream cheese, which I eat with blueberries and grapes on the side. I also grab a banana to have later in the afternoon with lunch. I start working on a project my supervisor assigned to me last week that will ultimately be shown to the director of my agency, so I really want to do well on it!
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12:30 p.m. — We have a new intern and two new employees starting today, so a few of the managers take them to lunch and invite me to tag along. Of course I can't pass that up! We go to a really great place next to my office, where after splitting deviled eggs and cheddar biscuits, I order a bowl with quinoa, cucumber salad, salmon, and Japanese sweet potatoes. It is totally divine. The best part of the meal is the mini soft serve ice cream cones with sprinkles they surprise us with for dessert! One of the new employees is lactose-intolerant, so she lets me have hers. Score! This is definitely better than my wrap would've been, and I get to leave the office for two hours.
2:30 p.m. — Back to work. On an ice cream high. Ready for a nap.
5:45 p.m. — I come to a good stopping point on my project and head home after saying goodbye to my supervisor. As soon as I get home, I grab my peanut butter cup cookie from Insomnia and flop onto my bed. I need to do laundry, but I'll save it for later.
6:45 p.m. — I'm nice and cozy in bed, about to turn on Real Housewives, when I remember I'm currently wearing my last pair of clean underwear, which is why I needed to do laundry today in the first place. Ugh. I grab my detergent and dirty clothes and head to the laundromat at the end of my block. Thankfully, I'm only doing a load of delicates, so I don't have to pay for a dryer because they all have to hang dry. $3
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7:30 p.m. — Doing laundry in NYC is the worst thing in the entire world EVER of all time. Okay, dramatic rant over. I borrow my roommate's drying rack and hang up all my clothes. Then I jump in the shower to wash my hair, put on my jammies, and climb into bed. I have the wrap I packed for lunch with a kiwi while I watch an episode of Real Housewives (I'm obsessed), then finish my book (also obsessed), and pass out by 9:30.
Daily Total: $3

Day Three

7:45 a.m. — My alarm goes off and I jump out of bed. I brush my teeth, make my lunch (a wrap with the same ingredients as yesterday, plus a Greek yogurt, banana, and crunchy peanut butter). After throwing on makeup and getting dressed, I head out the door at around 8:20.
8:25 a.m. — I'm feeling a little under the weather this morning, so I stop at 7/11 on my walk to the subway and grab Emergen-C. Ain't nobody got time to be sick! $2.71
8:45 a.m. — TWO TRAINS have passed through the station without stopping, and I'm worried about being late to work. I'm really big on punctuality; tardiness is maybe my all-time biggest pet peeve, so I'm usually early to any commitments I have. I think it's part of my type A personality.
9:05 a.m. — At work only a few minutes late! I hate to be there even one minute after 9, but everyone in my office is super casual, so I know this doesn't really matter. I grab a bowl of blueberries, grapes, and almonds from the office stash, and make a little parfait of sorts with my raspberry Greek yogurt for breakfast while checking my email. I also drink my Emergen-C and feel better within minutes. I'm sure that's mostly a placebo effect, but I really, really love this stuff when I'm feeling sick!
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11:50 a.m. — I take a break from working to have lunch. I'm still hungry after my wrap and banana, so I grab a bag of Skinny Pop from the office kitchen, as well as a Clif bar and Babybel cheeses to take home. After munching on the Skinny Pop, it's back to work.
3 p.m. — I'm already hungry again, so I grab an oatmeal raisin breakfast cookie and dark chocolate almonds from the kitchen. I love that my office stocks tons of snacks — it's great for my wallet — but then I always end up snacking all day and feeling super full and gross. My eyes are certainly bigger than my stomach!
4:15 p.m. — After a one-on-one meeting with my supervisor where we go over my progress on today's project, I grab a handful of trail mix from the kitchen. At this rate, I doubt I'll be hungry for dinner!
5:15 p.m. — I'm off! I enjoy the beautiful weather as I head to the subway. Once I get home around 6, I realize I have tons of energy, and I decide to go to the gym. Usually I take Tuesdays as a rest day, but I always listen to my body. If I'm feeling great, I'll work out, even if I wasn't planning to, and if I feel like crap but was supposed to work out, I'll skip it. It always evens out, and being flexible with my workout schedule has made hitting the gym feel fun and relaxing rather than like a chore I have to get done.
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7:15 p.m. — Back from the gym. I had an impromptu leg day (my favorite day) and did about 30 minutes of cardio on a spin bike while starting a new book, Sorry to Disrupt the Peace by Patty Yumi Cottrell. I hop in the shower and then make toast with avocado mash and a fried egg for dinner. I also have a little side salad of mixed greens, Trader Joe's cilantro dressing, mixed stir fry veggies, chickpeas, and kimchi.
8:15 p.m. — Two of my friends, L. and A., and I have a standing Bachelorette night every Tuesday. None of us have cable, so we have to wait until it's available on Hulu the day after it airs! We meet at L.'s house because she splurges for commercial-free Hulu.
10:15 p.m. — I walk home from L.'s place and put away my laundry that's been air drying since yesterday. Then I curl up with my book and end up reading until 11, when I'm finally tired out.
Daily Total: $2.71

Day Four

7:50 a.m. — I always let myself "sleep in" on Wednesdays, which means getting up around 8. I brush my teeth, throw on makeup, and pack my breakfast for the day. Today is a raspberry Greek yogurt with almonds, pear, and a piece of Dave's Killer Good Seed bread with crunchy peanut butter, cinnamon, and chia seeds. I have a spoonful of peanut butter as I make the toast, because my appetite is on fire this morning!
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8:25 a.m. — Out the door.
8:50 a.m. — I manage to snag a seat on the subway, so I read my book, but then I get too engrossed and miss my stop. Oops! I decide to walk the 10 blocks back to the office just to get extra steps in, but for some reason, the Maps app on my phone isn't working properly. It's still reading my location as my apartment, which is about 35 blocks south of where I actually am. Thankfully, NYC is very well-planned, and I can just look at the numbered street signs.
9:05 a.m. — I manage to keep my tardiness to under 10 minutes, but no one else is even in the office yet when I get there, which cracks me up. I fill up my water bottle and eat my breakfast at my desk. Then, I get cracking on a presentation.
12 p.m. — I didn't pack a lunch today because I have a training session with all the company interns from different departments, and lunch is provided. I grab a hot veggie sandwich loaded with feta and pesto, plus a side salad of spinach, avocado, cucumber, and onion. On my way out after the training, I grab a half a veggie wrap and a Diet Coke. I'll either have the wrap for dinner or lunch tomorrow, but the pop won't last long once I get to my desk!
2 p.m. — Diet Coke time. I knew it wouldn't last long.
3:10 p.m. — I eat half of a cashew cookie Larabar that I have in my purse. I always have an emergency bar of some kind in my purse just in case I ever get hungry, and Larabars are my favorite.
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4:45 p.m. — I eat the other half of my Larabar as I put finishing touches on my presentation. As soon as I finish this PowerPoint, I'm outta here!
5:10 p.m. — Done! I head home and pay extra careful attention not to miss my stop this time.
6 p.m. — I change into my gym clothes, and then make a smoothie to have after my workout (kale, cucumber, spinach, mango, pineapple, banana, blueberries, turmeric, chia seeds, and almond milk). My roommate isn't home yet, so I'd rather make the smoothie now and have it later. I hate using the blender when he's home because it's loud and annoying and I don't want to be inconsiderate. I throw the smoothie in the fridge and then head to the gym.
7:30 p.m. — Done with a phenomenal workout. I did a back workout, and then intervals on a spin bike for about a half hour, followed by lots and lots of stretching, which is such an important part of any workout! After I shower, I start doing very minimal "meal prepping," which tonight just means roasting a big sweet potato with olive oil, paprika, and garlic powder, and sautéing a bag of frozen southwest quinoa. I drink my smoothie while cooking, and then make a plate of sweet potato, quinoa, and an egg that I scrambled with Swiss cheese. I eat while watching a few episodes of Real Housewives, then curl up in bed with my book after two Trader Joe's dark chocolate PB cups for dessert. It's lights out by 10:30.
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Daily Total: $0

Day Five

5:45 a.m. — Alarm goes off, and I'm so tempted to roll over and go back to sleep because it's storming outside, but I drag myself out of bed anyways and head to the gym. I have a really great workout — stretching, very light lifting, and an intense cycling session. I always read while I do cardio, both because it makes the time go faster and because I love getting as much reading in as possible.
7:40 a.m. — Workout done, and I jump in the shower. I was planning to wash my hair, but since it's supposed to rain all day, I decide to wait until before bed to wash it. I pack my lunch — the other half of the veggie wrap from yesterday and a salad with spinach, chickpeas, sesame seeds, a hard boiled egg, roasted sweet potato chunks, and southwest quinoa with Trader Joe's cilantro dressing. I don't pack breakfast because our office puts out fruit and usually Greek yogurt every morning, so I plan to have some of that.
9 a.m. — I get to work, and I immediately have to run to the bathroom to wash my feet. Rain + sandals + NYC sidewalks = bad. Unfortunately my office didn't put out any yogurt today, so I opt for fruit and cereal instead. I have a combo of Honey Nut Cheerios and Special K Red Berries with almond milk, as well as blueberries, grapes, and a handful of almonds with dark chocolate chips. I start working on a presentation I'm giving to a few of the managers this afternoon.
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12:30 p.m. — Time for lunch. I eat my wrap and salad, as well as two mini Babybel cheeses that my office just put out. They also put out a big platter of carrots and hummus, so I grab some to eat later this afternoon.
2 p.m. — Presentation time! I present to my supervisor and two executives, and it goes really well. I even find out that one of the execs is originally from the same city as me and went to my rival high school! Small world, especially since NYC is 500 miles from my hometown.
3:30 p.m. — Dig in to the carrots and hummus from earlier. I also have a handful of dark chocolate almonds, which is a daily afternoon occurrence.
4 p.m. — Sit in on a brainstorming call with my supervisor and a few other colleagues. It's really unproductive and boring and goes in circles without accomplishing anything, so I spend pretty much the whole time reading an article about the all-time best Trader Joe's products, which gets me HYPED to go grocery shopping after work.
5 p.m. — Call over, and I leave the office. It finally stopped raining after this morning's weather — yay!
5:20 p.m. — I celebrated the clear skies too soon. Even though I'm only five subway stops from my office, where it was beautiful, in Union Square it is a downpour. I huddle with 100 other people at the top of the subway station until the rain slows enough that I can brave the sidewalk and make it three blocks down to TJ's.
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5:50 p.m. — After finally making it to the store, I realize reading that article earlier made me STARVING, and I want one of everything. I ultimately buy kale, mini cucumbers, a container of Healthy 8 Veggie Mix, two bags of mixed greens, two avocados, tomato, carrots, Greek yogurt, fig and walnut bites, Ezekiel bread, cheddar cheese, frozen mango, unsweetened almond milk, apple cranberry quinoa salad, ranch-flavored roasted chickpeas, Go Macro bars, a berry Rx bar, and stroopwafels (I've been obsessed with these ever since visiting Amsterdam while studying abroad). I buy way more than I intended, which is why I try to never grocery shop while hungry! $63.20
6:15 p.m. — On my way home I pass by a Momofuku Milk Bar. I black out and somehow end up walking out with birthday cake truffles and a blueberries and cream cookie. Whoops. $8.75
6:30 p.m. — I unpack all of my groceries and fight the urge to eat the entire block of cheddar because I've approached serious hangry status. Instead I make a smoothie with kale, cucumber, chia seeds, almond milk, mango, pineapple, banana, and blueberries. I also have a few bites of apple cranberry quinoa salad and a handful of the ranch-roasted chickpeas. The quinoa salad is one of my all-time fave TJ's products, but the chickpeas are majorly disappointing.
7 p.m. — I had plans with my friends tonight to get ramen for dinner at this place near one of their apartments that has supposedly been named the best ramen place in all of New York City. I was looking forward to it earlier, but after getting home, I decide to cancel because I'm just too worn out. I don't like ramen all that much, and I just spent $9 on cake truffles, so I'd rather save the money for a meal that I will enjoy more both taste-wise and energy-wise. Instead, I curl up in bed with RHONY on Hulu and a piece of peanut butter banana toast sprinkled with cinnamon.
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8 p.m. — I feel bad about flaking on my friends, and briefly consider going anyways. I always get really major FOMO and typically will say yes to everything just because I don't want to miss anything. I look up the ramen place on Instagram and decide that none of the bowls look appetizing enough to drop $20 on after just buying groceries and dessert treats. This helps assuage my FOMO, and I get back to Real Housewives feeling more content with my decision.
8:45 p.m. — Still in bed. Still watching trashy reality TV. I crack open the truffles to try one. Oh. My. God. It's an out of body experience. I don't even like birthday cake-flavored things all that much, but these are potentially the most delicious things I've ever eaten. Wow. I polish off all three.
9:30 p.m. — I start to feel really unproductive and antsy. I go to LinkedIn and start looking up companies in NYC that I could potentially apply for full-time positions at. I find one that sounds really cool and like a good fit for me, so I look it up on Glassdoor and check out the salaries and interview questions. I practice a few of the interview questions just to see how they feel. I really want to go into consulting, but I'm intimidated by how competitive it is to get your foot in the door, especially if you don't go through on-campus recruiting. I love my master's program, but because I go to a graduate public health school, not many people go into the private sector, so there's not strong recruiting on campus. After I stress myself out a sufficient amount, I read until I fall asleep at around 10:30.
Daily Total: $71.95

Day Six

5:55 a.m. — My alarm goes off, and I'm up and changing for the gym. I get there by 6:15, and finish my book while doing cardio. It turns out to be a surprisingly excellent read, and reminds me a lot of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time. I lift weights for a little, and then head home.
7:30 a.m. — Jump in the shower and wash my hair, since I never washed it yesterday. I start packing my lunch, but discover that the lavash flatbreads I use for my wraps are moldy. Damn. I manage to salvage half of one that's okay, so I use that to make a wrap with red pepper hummus, Swiss cheese, tomato, onion, cucumber, and spinach. I also make a salad with mixed greens, veggie mix, roasted sweet potato chunks, quinoa, chickpeas, and cilantro dressing. I pack a Greek yogurt to take with me for breakfast in case there's none at the office, and one of the fig and walnut bites I bought yesterday, too.
9 a.m. — I get to work and start eating breakfast. I grab a big bowl of blueberries, grapes, and almonds from the kitchen. I throw the almonds in my raspberry yogurt, and chow down.
10 a.m. — I'm still a little hungry, so I eat the fig and walnut bite I packed.
12 p.m. — The kitchen staff just set out a bunch of Chobani for snack time, and I grab two containers to take home with me.
12:30 p.m. — I have a meeting with my supervisor and one of the agency directors. I've been doing a lot of qualitative secondary research, so we're discussing my findings and the implication of that info for a client. I think the presentation goes really well.
1 p.m. — Lunchtime. I eat my wrap and salad. Afterwards, I wipe down my desk with Clorox wipes because I haven't in a few days and it just feels dirty.
3:15 p.m. — Dark chocolate almond time. Thank God my office has a dispenser with these in bulk. It's amazing but also dangerous.
4 p.m. — I'm still hungry, and I was going to have a protein bar from the kitchen, but it just sounds gross. Instead I cut up a pear and strawberries, and the pear turns out to be the most perfect, deliciously ripe pear I have ever eaten in my entire life. I savor every bite, and feel much better having eaten fruit than a protein bar.
4:45 p.m. — I'm on my way out the door when the director I presented to earlier pulls me aside and compliments me! He said my work was really well done and he was very impressed with my presentation style. This makes my whole day, and I leave with a big smile on my face.
6 p.m. — After getting home and throwing on comfy clothes, I remember I have to run to L.'s apartment to drop off a pair of earrings for her. She has a fancy work event tonight, and I'm letting her borrow the earrings to go with her dress. I walk the few blocks to her place, and then go to pick up something for dinner on my way home.
6:30 p.m. — Friday night was always pizza night in my house growing up — it actually still is whenever I'm home! I've only had pizza once since I've been in New York, and since none of my friends want to go out tonight, I decide it's a perfect night to stay in with pizza and TV. I've been wanting to try Artichoke Basille's, so I pick up an artichoke slice and a vodka slice and hope they live up to the hype. $11.98
6:45 p.m. — I realize it's not Friday Pizza Night without ice cream for dessert, so I grab some from this sweet little place on my street. It's run by the church next door, and gives at-risk kids from the area professional job training and mentoring. This ministry really does a lot of good in the area, so I feel good supporting them. Plus, the ice cream is absolutely delicious and so cheap!! I get two huge baseball-sized scoops of cookies and cream and cookie dough ice cream for only $5! Last week, I spent more than that for a single, tiny scoop from Ample Hills. $5
7 p.m. — I get home and jump in the shower really quickly to rinse off the day. Afterwards, I'm on the couch with Real Housewives playing and my pizza in front of me. I decide I love the toppings on both slices, but the crust is meh and too crunchy. I probably won't get it again, but I'm glad I can say that I've tried it.
8:15 p.m. — After letting the pizza digest a bit, it's ice cream time. So good.
10:30 p.m. — After three straight episodes of RHONY, I can't watch any more TV. I start a new book, Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides, and decide to go to sleep around 11. I'm always secretly relieved when my friends decide to stay in on the weekend, because it's rejuvenating in a way. I don't spend any money, I don't get hungover, and I get a full night of sleep! I love going out with them too, but a night off is good from time to time.
Daily Total: $16.98

Day Seven

5:15 a.m. — I wake up, but there's no way I'm getting out of bed this early on a Saturday. I check my phone and I have a bunch of texts from two of my guy friends trying to convince me to meet them out. Apparently at midnight they spontaneously decided to take a break from packing for their move and go to our favorite bar to get "srsly plastered." I was long asleep by then, so I respond with a joke about being a grandma. I scroll through Twitter for awhile, and then go back to sleep.
8:20 a.m. — I wake up for real. I call my mom and we chat for a bit. She's watching my kitten for me this summer since my sublet wouldn't allow animals, and she tells me all about how mischievous my kitty is. She loves to play with straws and pounce on my mom's cat, and apparently she destroyed almost a whole roll of toilet paper yesterday! I miss that little goofball.
10 a.m. — I decide to go workout. I feel like I have so much energy after the pizza and ice cream last night, so I want to put it to good use!
12 p.m. — Back from the gym. After showering and shaving my legs, I clean up the apartment a bit. I make my bed, vacuum, wipe down all the counters, and reorganize the Tupperware cabinet, which has been driving me crazy. After that, I make myself a nice breakfast and lunch combo meal: a piece of Ezekiel toast with mashed avocado and a fried egg, and a smoothie with kale, cucumber, chia seeds, turmeric, mango, pineapple, banana, and almond milk. I have a few pieces of dried pear from Trader Joe's while I cook.
1:45 p.m. — After eating, I decide to spend the afternoon exploring the Village. I walk through a cool market on Bleecker Street and find the perfect pair of aviators with orange lenses, but I don't have any cash with me. Ugh. I head to Washington Square Park, which is absolutely packed on this beautiful Saturday, but I still manage to find a bench in the shade, where I snap a few pics for the 'gram and read my book for a half hour or so. Then I set out in a random direction, and after a few blocks, I stumble upon the Stonewall Inn. It's the end of Pride Month, so this feels super timely. The Stonewall Inn is so unbelievably significant to the gay rights movement, and I reflect for a minute on how proud I am of how much progress has been made for the LGBTQ+ community, but also think about how much progress there still is left to go.
3 p.m. — I realize I'm really close to the apartment that was used for exterior shots in Friends. I can't NOT go see it, so I head a few blocks over to take pics of it! The few blocks around it are stunning as well, so I'm glad I ventured over here. On my way back to my apartment, I pass a Magnolia Bakery. After Artichoke pizza and Milk Bar truffles this week, I decide to continue my NYC tourist food streak and get a small banana pudding. It's really good, but my mom makes it better. $4.25
4 p.m. — I pass the Strand on my walk home, and even though I was just here a few days ago, I still pop in again. There's something about bookstores that calms me. I find 100 books that I want, but nothing that I want badly enough to buy, so after 40 minutes of browsing, I leave empty-handed.
5 p.m. — I make it back home and make a huge salad for dinner. On a bed of mixed greens, I put veggie mix, roasted sweet potato chunks, kimchi, cilantro dressing, and a Trader Joe's salmon patty. I'm a vegetarian, but I do still eat salmon because it's my all-time favorite food and I couldn't give it up.
7:45 p.m. — Since my guy friends fully move into their new place tomorrow, we decide to have one last hurrah in their old place tonight. This was their first apartment after graduating college, and they have an amazing rooftop with my favorite views of the city. We're all a little sad to lose our favorite hangout spot, so we decide to spend the evening on their roof finishing up the rest of their alcohol. I stop on my walk over to pick up mixers and chasers because I can't drink liquor straight. $6.74
12:40 a.m. — Back home and in bed after an amazingly fun night with my friends. I'm really lucky to have such a great group of people around me; I've had toxic friends and friends who've treated me like dirt before, so to be surrounded by people who love me and support me is something really meaningful to me.
Daily Total: $10.99
Money Diaries are meant to reflect individual women's experiences and do not necessarily reflect Refinery29's point of view. Refinery29 in no way encourages illegal activity or harmful behavior.
The first step to getting your financial life in order is tracking what you spend — to try on your own, check out our guide to managing your money every day. For more money diaries, click here.
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