A Week In San Diego, CA, On A $112,500 Salary

Welcome to Money 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: an HR manager working in pharmaceuticals who makes $112,500 per year and spends it on Drunk Elephant C-Firma serum.
Occupation: Human Resources Manager
Industry: Pharmaceuticals
Age: 30
Location: San Diego, CA
Salary: $112,500
Paycheck Amount (2x/month): $2,759 (after employee stock and medical deductions)
Monthly Expenses
Mortgage: $2,250, plus the $300 HOA fee. (My sister lives with me and pays $400/month.)
Student Loan Payment: $455
Car Payment, Insurance & Phone: $350
Internet & Cable: $0 (My sister pays this.)
Netflix: $10.99
Wine Membership: $32.50 for my portion. (I split with a friend.)
ClassPass: $50
Savings: I put in whatever I have leftover at the end of the month. I'm rebuilding my savings after buying my place.
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Additional Expenses
CSA Box: $35/week

Day One

5:15 a.m. — Alarm goes off — ugh. I set it last night, hoping it would motivate me to go my boxing class. My boyfriend, M., and I went away this past weekend and had a late flight back, so I'm still recovering. I hit snooze and go back to bed.
6:30 a.m. — Pull myself out of bed and hop in the shower. My morning routine isn't too crazy. I shower, wash my face, put on makeup, and straighten my hair. I am moving slowly this morning, but decide I need to go to the gym, so I pack a bag that will work for yoga, spin, or whatever I decide. I'll check ClassPass later for classes.
7:15 a.m. — Scramble two eggs with bacon and goat cheese for my breakfast. Pack my lunch (leftovers from last night) and put a few dishes away from the dishwasher. Looking in the fridge, I realize I don't have coconut creamer, so I stop at Starbucks for a coffee on my way to work.
7:30 a.m. — Get an iced cold brew with coconut milk and sugar-free vanilla and begin my morning commute. It normally takes about 35 to 45 minutes in the morning and, for some reason, an hour on the way home. $3.45
8:05 a.m. — Head into work and realize my drink has spilled all over the inside of my work bag! Ugh, my Moleskin that I use for work meetings is completely soaked and so is my calendar book, check book, and laptop. I spend the next few minutes sopping up the mess.
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8:30 a.m. — Luckily my laptop turns on — crisis sort of averted. I eat my breakfast while skimming my work emails and send a quick note to my nutritionist asking to reschedule my appointment for this coming Friday. I also send her my food journal. A few months ago, I was diagnosed with a rare autoimmune condition. As a result, I was put on several medications, including steroids. After a countless number of tests, the doctors still aren't able to figure out what happened. Luckily I am in remission now, but I am taking a lot of preventative measures to ensure I don't have a relapse, like seeing a nutritionist who specializes in folks with autoimmune diseases. I take several prescribed medications as well as a women's probiotic, Vitamin D, Vitamin B12 and a calcium supplement.
9 a.m. — M. sends me a snap of his new work screensaver, which is a picture of us taken this past weekend on a hike we did in Arizona together. I send him a sassy text back asking who bae is. He just learned what "bae" meant — so I know he will get a kick out of it. We have been together for 10 months and just did our first trip together — and we still like each other!
9:30 a.m. — My boss sends me a reminder to book my travel for an upcoming work conference we're heading to in June. I already booked the hotel but need to coordinate the flights. I glance at the flight options and make my selection (Southwest – gotta get the rewards!) and then make a mental note to tell my mom. She wants to tag along and explore the city while I work.
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10:45 a.m. — Reading résumés and scheduling interviews has made me hungry. I grab a chocolate chip Rxbar and eat it while posting a new job.
11:40 a.m. — My boss swings into my office and asks me if I want to grab lunch. I tell him I have an interview in five minutes but will be done at 12:15 p.m. He has a meeting at 1 p.m., though, so we agree to reschedule later this week.
12:30 p.m. — Heat up my lunch of stuffed bell peppers. My sister and I cooked them last night and they are easily my favorite lunch to bring. I normally stuff them with spicy chicken sausage from Sprouts, add in whatever veggies we have, and put cheese on top. Yummy! I also eat fresh strawberries from my CSA subscription box. They're so sweet they taste like candy!
1:15 p.m. — My best friend sends a group text with the details and cost breakdown for the upcoming T. Swift concert we're going to. I paid for the tickets months ago, so now I just Venmo her for the hotel. $33
3 p.m. — Several fires to put out today, so I'm rescheduling candidates and figuring out the glitches in our processes and offer negotiations. I love my job since no day is ever the same, but everything always seems to hit at once.
4:15 p.m. — My calendar and Moleskin are still soggy, and my checkbook is definitely a goner. I decide to leave them in my office overnight, hoping they will dry out. I realize I left my gym shoes at home, so I make a detour to my house before my workout.
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4:20 p.m. — My sister calls and lets me know that our Blue Apron box hasn't arrived (it was supposed to) and gives me a rundown of items we have in the fridge. I do most of the cooking and grocery shopping and was gone this past weekend, so I was counting on Blue Apron for dinner tonight. Based on the amount of veggies (thank you CSA box) and the protein we have in the freezer, I decide to skip the grocery store.
5:15 p.m. — Finally home — the commute was awful. I skim ClassPass to see what options I have and instead decide to sign up for a class tomorrow morning. Since I couldn't bring myself to go to the store and I need coconut creamer for coffee tomorrow, I text M. asking him to bring it, since he's coming over tonight. I skim the fridge and freezer and pull out frozen chicken breasts to defrost. Then I start to unload the dishwasher and realize there's water floating at the bottom. Ugh! Hoping it's a quick fix, I clean the grate, but it doesn't do the trick. I run the disposal thinking it's backed up, and still nothing. Finally, I crawl under the sink with a flashlight and check the water hose line, which also looks clean. I decide to unplug the dishwasher and hope it will reset itself. Voila. Once it's plugged back in, it drains. Thank goodness. I didn't want to call a plumber.
6 p.m. — With the dishwasher fixed and the chicken defrosting, I decide to do a quick 15-minute yoga video. I like Yoga by Candace and find her videos easy to follow along. My sister wakes up — she had an early day so she was napping when I got home, and we catch up while watching CNN.
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6:30 p.m. — My sister decides to make spaghetti squash (which I don't like), so we both head to the kitchen and she cooks her meal while I work on the chicken. We bought an Instapot a year or so ago and I use it pretty often. The chicken is still a little frozen, but luckily they're cutlets, so they should be fine. I sauté the chicken in a mix of herbs and olive oil butter. Once the chicken is sautéed on both sides, I adjust the setting to pressure cooker on high for 20 minutes.
7 p.m. — Chicken is done. I heat up frozen brown rice , which I always have on hand, and leftover roasted veggies from last night. I throw it all together and add ponzu sauce. I love ponzu and am convinced it makes every meal better. While eating, I email Blue Apron and let them know the box was never delivered despite the tracking information confirming it had been. I had never used Blue Apron before but I received a promo code and decided to give it a shot. I am regretting the decision. Oh well! I hope whoever got my box is enjoying it.
7:45 p.m. — M. arrives with his rescue dog. He had a late day but still managed to pick up the coconut creamer. He picked up two — one for my house and one for his, since he knows I can't drink coffee black. We both grab a glass of wine and sit down with my sister to watch Jeopardy!. We are terrible and none of us do well tonight. There was an entire category based on owls?!
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8:15 p.m. — My sister heads to bed and I grab a second glass of wine and put on Imposters.
10:15 p.m. — M. leaves and I wash my face and head straight to bed.
Daily Total: $36.45

Day Two

4:30 a.m. — Wide awake with a headache. Those two glasses of wine were a bad idea. I drink water and close my eyes for another 30 minutes.
5 a.m. — Alarm goes off — why do I this to myself? I snooze for five more minutes and throw on my gym clothes. Then I wake my sister up to come to the class with me.
5:30 a.m. — Checked in and I am surprised to see so many chipper people here. I am struggling to keep my eyes open.
6:20 a.m. — Whew! All done – I feel like I am going to throw up. We head back home, and I actually do throw up and am now really regretting that wine! While my sister is in the shower, I pack my lunch, eat a blood orange, and assemble my overnight bag, since I am staying at M.'s tonight. I hop in the shower, blow-dry my hair, and throw on my work clothes.
7:20 a.m. — I make my usual breakfast: two eggs, a piece of bacon, and goat cheese. I have cold brew in the fridge, so I put that in my to-go cup with creamer (obvi) and head out the door with all my bags.
8:10 a.m. — Sit at my desk, break out my breakfast, have a quick text exchange with M., and start to read through my emails. My boss lets me know he's working from home and thanks me for a bottle of wine I gave him at Christmas, which he just opened last night. I sent him a quick update on offers I have pending, and we agree to do our afternoon meeting via Webex.
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11:45 a.m. — I'm starving, so I pull out my Justin's Chocolate Hazelnut pretzel pack. I scarf it down while organizing my candidate folders.
12:15 p.m. — I'm starving! I heat up my chicken, leftover brown rice, and roasted veggies. There's a line at the microwave, so I wait a few minutes for my turn, and then eat at my desk. I'm still hungry, so I eat what's left of my strawberries.
12:30 p.m. — Open my grapefruit La Croix and get back to work. My boss and I are meeting at 1 p.m. to go over the past quarter's results, and he needs an update on a critical role. When I wrote my goals for this year, he thought the metrics I put in were too aggressive, and was worried we wouldn't be able to hit them, but after pulling the data, we are more than on track, so I'm hoping for a big thumbs up!
2:20 p.m. — The meeting went well! He was very impressed. He asks me to make a few tweaks on my presentation for the leadership team meeting in a few weeks. This will be my first time presenting to the team as a whole, so I am excited. I started here about four months ago, and this is my first opportunity to show them the results of all the work we've been doing. We also talk about my development, and I get put on a larger project that my boss was going to tackle solo. Sweet!
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3:45 p.m. — I call Blue Apron, since no one has responded to my email regarding my delivery. Apparently, it was delivered to the wrong address , so they refund my credit and add in an extra week. Based on this experience, I probably won't keep the service — grocery shopping is much more reliable.
4:20 p.m. — I am starving and didn't pack any afternoon snacks. I find raw almonds in my office drawer and grab a handful, plus two mini peanut butter cups from the candy bowl in the lobby. Then I hop on Amazon and order a four-pack of Dang Coconut Chips with a 50% off coupon. I choose the no-rush shipping option, so I get $1 in digital credit. $11.41
5:15 p.m. — I wrap up the last of my emails and pack up for the day. I send M. a quick text letting him know I'm heading his way.
6:15 p.m. — Schlep all my bags into M.'s place and we catch up for a minute before we head to sushi. Sushi is always a go-to for me, so I was happy when M. suggested it. We beat the dinner rush and get a table right away. We order two rolls to share, plus M. gets a spicy scallop hand roll, and I get a crispy rice appetizer. We split a large Sapporo. The music is really loud for some reason and we joke that we're in a nightclub since we can't hear each other. The bill comes and M. pays, since he claims its his turn. We try to keep things pretty even, so we take turns paying for dinner/activities.
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7:30 p.m. — Full from dinner and exhausted from my workout, I collapse on his couch. M. searches for movies and decides on The Royal Tenanbaums, which I begin to fall asleep too. Since he's seen it a million times, he switches it to Along Came Polly.
9:30 p.m. — M. wakes me up from my nap time and off to bed we go. I quickly wash my face, brush my teeth, and ask his Alexa to set an alarm for me. I fall asleep immediately after climbing into bed.
Daily Total: $11.41

Day Three

6:30 a.m. — Alexa goes off, we immediately hit the snooze button and close our eyes for a few more minutes before I climb out to shower.
7:20 a.m. — M. gets up while I get ready for work. He starts his days much later than I do, so he can take his time moseying around. He makes me a to-go cup of iced coffee, and I head out for the day. M. is a typical bachelor, so the only thing he has in his fridge is a Brita, which he can never remember to fill, and butter. When I stay the night, I can never pack a breakfast or lunch. I stop at Bruegger's, my favorite bagel store, and grab a Skinny Zesty Egg White on an everything bagel. $5.90
8:15 a.m. — At my desk, I begin my normal routine of skimming emails, eating breakfast, and taking my meds. I text M. to let him know I made it to work and that it rained on my way in. The weather is so wacky these days.
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9 a.m. — I log into my personal email and see that the company refinancing one of my private student loans has fully paid out that account. Yippee! I've been meaning to do this for months but kept putting it off, until my interest rate hit 11.375%, which is insanity. Through refinancing the loan, I dropped my interest rate to 5% and changed the repayment to five years versus seven. This should save me about $4,000 over the life of the loan. I went to a small private college, where I had a scholarship for four years and the rest was covered by loans. I will pay about $40 more a month, which I am happy to do, since a greater portion will go to the principle.
11:15 a.m. — It's already been a frustrating morning. A scheduling snafu and complications with a high level role have put me in a grumpy mood. I take a break to skim my email, and notice that Sephora is having a promotion on some skincare items. I hop on and find a watermelon sleeping mask I've been wanting, plus an eyelash curler, since mine broke a few weeks ago. I also use the promo code to add in two more trial items: a vitamin C serum by Drunk Elephant (I love their products and have been wanting to try this one) and a hydrating primer by Tatcha. For my three free samples, I pick a perfume, a sunscreen, soand another primer. I normally use these samples when traveling so I don't have to pack as much, or on nights when I stay at M.'s. $58.19
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11:45 a.m. — I hop out to grab lunch, since I didn't pack anything today. I'd normally venture over to Whole Foods to grab a salad and a juice, but instead venture over to Mendocino Farms, which I haven't tried yet. I decide on a chicken and prosciutto salad. I eat at my desk while reading/editing my presentation for next week. $14.89
3:50 p.m. — I snack on the whole wheat tortilla that came with my salad earlier and listen to Pod Save America while mentally going through my checklist. I may have to work this weekend so I can really focus on how to launch the programs well.
5:05 p.m. — My sister texts me and our neighbor to see if we're up for wine later. I'm a bit tired, but a catchup session sounds perfect. I pack up my desk and head out. My aunt calls me on my way home and checks in on me to ask about my health. Since my parents live out of state, she visited and took me to my appointments when I got sick. I let her know things are going well, and we catch up on life.
6:15 p.m. — At home, I unload all my bags and see I have packages that arrived yesterday. My probiotics from Amazon and an Anthropologie package, which has three shirts I ordered. I love Anthropologie, but I only shop their sale section and keep an eye on key items. I do a quick try-on session and love them all! Perfect! I change quickly, and my sister, her boyfriend, and I head out to meet our neighbor at a winery down the street.
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6:30 p.m. — We grab menus from our favorite bartender and grab a table. We order four glasses of wine (reds and a rosé) and decide on a meat and cheese board and Mediterranean nachos. After catching up for a few minutes outside, we get cold and snag a table inside. We devour the yummy food, and my sister and her boyfriend grab an additional glass of wine. My sister pays for the food. Our wine is free as part of our monthly membership. I grab our two free bottles for the month.
8 p.m. — Our neighbor, K., and I make our way back home while my sister and her boyfriend head over to grab McDonald's. K. let us know over dinner that she'll be relocating across the country to be with her boyfriend, so these nights will soon become less frequent. I am so happy for her, but will miss having her down the street.
8:30 p.m. — I steal two chicken nuggets from my sister and head to my room to unwind. I wash my face, brush my teeth, and pull out a Korean sheet mask, since my skin has been feeling a bit dry. I light candles and pull out my book, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. It's really good.
9:40 p.m. — I put away my book, blow out my candles, and make a quick call to M., who is out with his dad. He doesn't answer, so I send him a quick text letting him know I'm heading to bed. I'm asleep within five minutes.
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Daily Total: $78.98

Day Four

6:20 a.m. — Wake up! My throat is dry and sore. Oh no! I really hope I'm not getting sick. I hop in the shower, take a cold remedy, and do my normal morning routine.
7 a.m. — My sister and I are both in the kitchen organizing our coffee/lunch for the day. She's heading out of town this afternoon and I'm dog-sitting for her friend, so she gives me the details about pickup/drop-off. Luckily she went grocery shopping, so I have options for breakfast and lunch. I make my normal two eggs, add in buffalo chicken meat she grabbed from the deli, and throw salsa on top. I grab an Amy's frozen burrito and an avocado for lunch. And for snacks, I bring leftover blueberries, hummus, a diced-up orange, and pretzel chips. I make my cold brew and am out the door by 7:20.
7:50 a.m. — Get to work. My throat is really hurting and I'm feeling warm. I eat my breakfast and skim my emails. My boss sent me an email last night that throws me for a loop. He and I work well together, but I can tell we're going to disagree on this front. I take my meds and look at my agenda for the day. I have phone calls all morning and meetings until the early afternoon.
10:30 a.m. — Quick text exchange with M. We're going to dinner with his dad tonight and it's my first time meeting him, so I'm a bit nervous. I munch on my blood oranges and chat with one of my colleagues who is also not feeling well. We worked on a project yesterday afternoon together, so I joke with him that he got me sick. He offers me cold medication, but I'm hoping I can fight this off without taking anything.
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11:45 a.m. — Take a quick break from reviewing résumés and updating spreadsheets to make myself a green tea from the break room. Someone has brought in sweets, so I grab some to go with my tea.
12:40 p.m. — My boss and I finally sync up and he pushes back on me a bit on the project, but after hearing my concerns, he agrees. Perfect! Following the meeting, I heat up my burrito and cut up the avocado. I need to eat at my desk again today so I can tackle the additional tasks. My boss knows I'm not feeling well, so he tells me to leave when I want. I worked with him previously before taking this job and he trusts me to get my work done, which I appreciate.
2:30 p.m. — My last meeting of the afternoon gets cancelled and I am 90% done with the data I need for the project — just waiting on finance to send me budget allocation numbers. I call my boss to let him know I'm heading home and will be online in 30 minutes. I hate working from home, so he knows if I'm heading home it means I'm not feeling my best.
3 p.m. — Home, and I'm greeted by the sweetest little guy I'm dog sitting. I change quickly into lounge clothes, throw my hair in a bun, and grab my work laptop. The pup curls up next to me while I type away, which lifts my mood. Pups are really the best!
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5:15 p.m. — Wrap up my work day and take the dog on a walk. M. lets me know he's on his way, so I scramble to fix my hair and get dressed.
6:30 p.m. — We meet his dad at a steakhouse and grab a table. He's pretty easygoing, and M. has told him a lot about me, so the conversation flows easily. We all order steaks, salads, and drinks. M.'s dad pays. After we wrap up dinner, they want to play pool, so we walk over to a bar and grab a pool table. M. orders a round of drinks and we play a game of “Cutthroat.” I don't play pool usually, but I join in. To everyone's surprise, including my own, I win the first game. We play two more rounds and M.'s dad wins the other two. It's pretty late and I have an early spin class tomorrow, so we head home. M. pays the pool bill.
11 p.m. — Back at home, I take the pup out, drink a glass of water, wash my face, and climb into bed. I use a coconut micellar cleanser from Sephora to take off the day's makeup and any grime. I follow up with my Origins cleanser and put on a nighttime lotion by Fresh.
Daily Total: $0

Day Five

6:45 a.m. — A friendly little face wakes me up. He snuggles up on my chest for a few minutes before I get up to wash my face and throw on my gym clothes. I take the dog out for a long walk.
7:45 a.m. — Head out to my spin class, where I'm meeting one of friends/former coworkers. We both love spin and try to meet twice a month for class.
9:15 a.m. — Class is great! The instructor is seven months pregnant and she rocked the class! She reminded us to appreciate every amazing puzzle piece we have and not to worry about finding the last piece. How is it that I always hear the right message when I need it?! Amazing. The best part of class is getting the cold eucalyptus towel at the end!
9:30 a.m. — We walk over to Better Buzz, a tradition of ours, and order iced coffees, plus I get avocado toast with an egg and bacon. I treat. We catch up about life and work, and coordinate details for an upcoming festival we're heading to. She and I worked together for four years, and I definitely miss my old coworkers, but luckily we're pretty good at organizing happy hours and lunches. $22.28
10:45 a.m. — I head back home, walk the dog, chat with my neighbor, and hop in the shower. On the weekends when possible, I take my time showering and getting ready. I swear I do my best thinking in the shower. It's pretty warm outside, so I make sure to add lots of lotion and sunscreen to my face.
11:30 a.m. — I text M. to coordinate our dinner plans for tonight. His dad wants to take us out again, so we decide on a place in Little Italy. His dad also invited me to join them on Sunday for the Padres game. I'm tempted, but with being gone last weekend and the busy week I have coming up, I need a day to get everything together. I spend the next hour sweeping the floors (I have dark hardwood floors that are unforgiving when it comes to dust/dirt), organizing my closet, and cleaning my bathroom.
1:45 p.m. — I take the dog out quickly and then hop in the car to head to the beach, where I'm meeting up with one of my good friends who is in town. There's a big group of us all who are connected through friends of friends, so we spend the next few hours hanging out. I order grilled fish tacos and a Bloody Mary. $22.57
4 p.m. — Walk the dog and take a quick cat nap before I need to get ready for dinner tonight. My sister sends me a text asking how the pup is and how dinner went last night. I spend a few minutes updating her and fall back asleep.
5 p.m. — Post nap, I get ready for dinner. M. is driving to the restaurant but he's running late, so I let him know I'll grab an Uber and meet him there. $10.12
6 p.m. — It's a perfect night out, so we grab a patio table. M. gets an Old Fashioned, his dad gets a beer, and I get a rosé cocktail mixed with grapefruit sparkling water. I'm not super hungry since I had a late lunch, so I decide on a small citrus salad. M. gets a spicy chili chicken dish, his dad gets lamb, and we share grilled oysters (yum). His dad pays, despite me protesting.
7 p.m. — Head to a nearby tiki bar, where I get a really strong tequila drink. I take my time sipping it. M. and his dad get Bourbon drinks that are even stronger than mine. His dad pays yet again. We told him we'd like to treat, and he just waved us off.
8:30 p.m. — I am exhausted and ready to go to bed. We walk his dad back to his hotel and head back to my house. Then we walk the dog and play fetch with him. M. talks me into watching Dexter, so we watch the first episode, but I'm not convinced this will be something I watch often.
10 p.m. — It's late and we're both tired, so M. leaves and I get in bed.
Daily Total: $54.97

Day Six

6:45 a.m. — Ugh — why am I up? My throat hurts. I guess I didn't fight the cold off. The dog is anxious to get up, so I let him outside on my back patio and doze back to sleep for another 45 minutes.
7:30 a.m. — I guzzle water and throw on a jacket over my pajamas to take the dog to the park. Since it's early, there are only a few dogs around, which I prefer because it's easier to keep my eye out on the little guy. We stay for about 15 minutes and then make our way back to my house.
8 a.m. — I want so desperately to go back to bed, but I need to go the market while it isn't too busy. As predicted, there are only a few cars in the lot, so I know it won't take me forever. I'm hosting a friend dinner later this week, so I need all the fixings for pollo asado tacos. I don't really plan ahead for meals, but rather look to see what's in season and go from there. I grab butternut squash, kidney beans, ground turkey, berries, Japanese eggplant, tofu, shrimp, chicken sausage, eggs, bacon, tortilla, hummus, kombucha (they were buy one get one free), smart bagels, and zucchini for zoodles. $154.32
8:45 a.m. — Clean out the fridge for any items that have spoiled over the week. I hate wasting food, so this always make me a bit sad, but we are generally pretty good at eating through leftovers. I put everything away, start the dishwasher, and make myself an everything bagel with avocado, cream cheese, and tomatoes for breakfast. Two of my friends text me asking if I'm free, but I don't feel great and I need a day to decompress. A year ago, I said yes to everything, and as a result, I overextended myself professionally and personally, so I am really focusing on making time for myself and being able to say no. So instead of a year of yes, I am calling this a year of no. I know it sounds awful, but it's important for me to focus on my health, both physical and emotional.
11 a.m. — Hop in the shower, throw my hair up, and head out the door to head to work. I need to get some items done and my VPN isn't working, so I have to go into the office for a bit. I won't be there for longer than an hour — or that's what I tell myself.
1:30 p.m. — I get through some of the items I needed to get done so I feel better about Monday. My boss and I have a few more email exchanges before I decide it's time to call it quits. I head home and stop to grab gas since I know I'll need to fill up this week. $42.87
1:30 p.m. — Run into CVS to grab my prescription ($40), facial rounds, and razors. My car is filthy and needs a good vacuuming. There's a do-it-yourself car wash by my house, so off I go to vacuum and wash it off ($10). $74.93
3 p.m. — I throw in a load of laundry, take the dog out for fresh air, and start on lunches/dinners for the week. I'm making a butternut squash turkey chili. It's technically more of a winter food, but it holds up really well and is super easy to cook. I dice up red and yellow onion, throw it in the Instapot with olive oil, and let it sauté for a few minutes before adding in the ground sweet Italian turkey to brown. Then I add canned tomatoes, tomato sauce, kidney beans, squash, and my chili mix (chili powder, garlic salt, red pepper flakes, paprika, salt, and pepper). I set the timer for 40 minutes on the chili setting and let it cook. The Instapot makes everything easier; it's the best kitchen investment I've ever made.
4 p.m. — I serve myself a bowl of chili with diced up avocado and grated cheese. Yummy. Then I veg out watching Bravo.
5:30 p.m. — The dog's momma arrives with my sister to pick up the lil guy. She gives me a $50 Starbucks gift card for watching him, which is way too generous. I would watch him for free! They say their goodbyes and I spend a few minutes catching up with my sis. I'm still not feeling super great, so I intend on taking it easy the rest of the night, which I do. I paint my nails, do a face mask, light candles, and read.
9 p.m. — M. calls to say goodnight and check in about how I'm feeling. After we chat for a few minutes, I fall asleep.
Daily Total: $272.12

Day Seven

6 a.m. — My alarm goes off and I hit snooze before getting up and taking a shower. I wash my face, do my makeup, and put my hair in a ponytail because it's Monday and I can't be bothered to do anything more.
7:20 a.m. — Pack leftover chili, snacks, coffee, and breakfast, and head to work.
8:10 a.m. — Eat at a bagel with avocado, cream cheese, and tomatoes at my desk while skimming emails. It's Monday, which means new hires and a busy morning.
9:45 a.m. — Back at my desk from a busy morning and my colleague has left a bowl of Starbursts for me. I love chewy candy like any five-year-old does. I laugh and send him a quick thank you email.
10:30 a.m. — Our team coordinator swings by to drop off the final version of a project I gave him last week, and it looks awesome. I make a note to tell my boss so he can give him props later this week! I am a big fan of giving people recognition when they go above and beyond.
12:05 p.m. — Heat up my chili and add the leftover avocado in it from this morning. Eat at my desk while checking my personal email. I get an email from my tax accountant letting me know that my parent's taxes are ready. I also send a quick note to my friends regarding our get-together this week — it's a monthly girls dinner party we just started, and I'm hosting the first one.
2:45 p.m. — Snack on pretzel chips while meeting with my boss to go over last week's projects. We have a tight timeline to get things done, so we dive into the data and come up with a game plan to meet the deadline. It's going to be a busy week!
4:45 p.m. — I need to leave to grab my parents tax documents and head to get my CSA box. I'm hoping for strawberries or berries. Fingers crossed! I'll have to work later tonight, but I would prefer to do that from my couch in my PJs.
6 p.m. — I bring in my CSA haul (cauliflower, lot of oranges, celery, avocado, asparagus, and spinach), the tax documents, and grab the mail. My Sephora shipment arrived – yippee! Time to start dinner, so I grab the Japanese eggplant, firm tofu, onion, canned baby corn, and water chestnuts. I dice the eggplant and onion and cook it in sesame oil for a few minutes before throwing in cubed tofu and veggies. Then I add a teriyaki stir-fry sauce, hoisin sauce, and a garlic chili paste. I let it all my simmer for about 15 minutes. I heat up both brown rice (for me) and cauliflower rice (for my sister) and pour it all over the rice. Delicious! We sit down and watch Last Week Tonight with John Oliver before switching it to Jeopardy!.
8 p.m. — I need to catch up on my work, so I head to my room, throw on trashy reality TV for background noise, and hop online. M. texts me shortly after, asking if he can swing by on his way home. I finish my work before he gets there, and we spend time catching up while I force him to watch terrible reality TV.
10 p.m. — M. leaves. I wash my face, apply my new night lotion, and set my alarm for 6 a.m. Fingers crossed I don't hit snooze.
Daily Total: $0
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