I’m 24, Make $51,625 A Year & Pay $1,078 A Month For A Studio In Dallas

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.

Annual Expenses
Renter’s Insurance: $233
Amazon Prime: $50 (My sister and I split it.)
Savings: I opened a brokerage account and moved $3,000 into it. I have around $10,000 in a high-yield savings account, and I like to keep $2,000-$3,000 in my checking account.
HSA Account: $700 (My employer puts in $500 a year.)

5:20 a.m. – “Where Is My Mind” by Maxence Cyrin wakes me up. I grab my basal body thermometer and take my temp. I started practicing the Fertility Awareness Method last August and have come to love learning more about my body. Seeing my chart come together after a cycle is complete makes me so happy. My temp reads 97.5, which confirms I’m in my follicular phase.

5:30 a.m. – Next I start my skin-care routine, which consists of Kate Somerville Acne Detox cleanser, Kate Somerville Anti Bac Benzoyl Peroxide, UFO Sunday Riley Oil, Josie Maran Argan Oil, the new Sephora eye cream (amazing!), and sunscreen by Image. I brush out my brows, curl my lashes, and then move on to my closet. Today’s outfit consists of Paige dark denim skinny jeans, a gray ruffle-sleeve top, and my Vince platform slip-ons in black suede. Then I put on my gold initial necklace and my Apple Watch ( I love tracking things).

5:45 a.m. – I prepare my morning drink of eight ounces of water, a tablespoon of chia seeds, and a capful of apple cider vinegar. I mix it all together and relax on my couch for five minutes, scrolling through Instagram before I leave for the day. I say goodbye to my aloe plant, open my blinds to give her some sun, and then grab my lunch.

5:55 a.m. – I’ve got my Madewell tote on my shoulder, lunch in hand, and I’m ready to go! I make the walk to my car and turn on my Spotify. “Joy” by Bastille comes on and puts me in a good mood.

6:30 a.m. – I’ve arrived! We can arrive at work anytime we want – we just have to get nine hours in, so I tend to be an early bird so I can have more time to myself after work. I park my car, use the crosswalk (does anyone else fear crosswalks?), scan in, and then climb up stairs to my floor…gotta get my steps in.

9 a.m. – So far it’s an easy morning. Just finishing up some admin tasks from over the weekend. I eat my apple and a couple of raspberries and take a chug of water from my Hydro Flask. I tend to drink 70 ounces of water while I’m at work.

11 a.m. – It’s my favorite time of the day…lunch! I made myself a chickpea wrap with avocado, barbecue sauce, spinach, and vegan Violife cheese. I have a side of baked zucchini.

4 p.m. – My afternoon meeting is over, and now it’s time for my snack of barbecue plantain chips and cashews. After I’m done I call it a day.

4:34 p.m. – I’m meeting my friend tonight to hang out, so I decide to make a quick dinner of cauliflower gnocchi, veggies, and a pumpkin tomato sauce. I make double so I can have leftovers for lunch tomorrow.

6:30 p.m. – I leave my apartment and head to my friend’s. We talk about life, boys, and have lots of laughs! We’ve known each other our entire lives and are both about a year into our big-girl jobs. We’ve grown up together, and I love catching up.

9 p.m. – I’m back home and decide to take a shower and do my nighttime routine. I recently started using the Brazilian 4 Play body wash by Sol De Janeiro, and it smells SO good. Once I’m out, I wash my face with Sunday Riley Micro Dissolve Cleansing Oil and Kate Somerville Acne Detox (I double cleanse at night), and then exfoliate with First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads. I apply Good Genes on my forehead and chin, moisturize with Sunday Riley’s Tidal/Argan Oil, and then apply my Sephora eye cream. Next I’m off to bed.

5:20 a.m. – My usual soft piano music wakes me up, and I take my temperature. This morning it reads 97.7.

5:30 a.m. – I do my usual morning skin-care routine, brush my brows, and curl my lashes. My outfit today consists of Paige dark denim skinny jeans, a Madewell leopard pullover, Vince platform black suede shoes, my initial necklace, and my Apple Watch. I go to the kitchen to make my drink and open my blinds for my plant.

5:55 a.m. – Time to go! I grab my bag and head out the door. Today I decide to start my day off with Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Want You in My Room.”

9 a.m. – My morning meeting is over, and I eat my apple and raspberries. I daydream about margaritas and the beach, and then I’m back to work. It was fun while it lasted.

9:30 a.m. – My coworker and I were chosen to go to a baseball game, so we go pick up the tickets on the next floor. We get to go watch a game in our company’s suite, and this is my chance to network with the bosses. I’m slightly nervous for it!

11 a.m. – Lunch! I eat my leftover cauliflower gnocchi, veggies, and pumpkin tomato sauce. I’m always too nervous to use the microwave because I’m weird, so I eat it cold. Our lunch is only 30 minutes long, and I usually spend it scrolling through my phone reading news stories.

12 p.m. – The meeting that I lead begins. I remember when I first started leading meetings, I was so nervous I’d mess up and make a fool out of myself. Now it seems like second nature. I’m pretty proud of how I’ve grown these last few months. I’m still very shy, but I think I’m starting to find my place.

4:30 p.m. – I’m almost home, and some mean person behind me decides to honk at me even though it’s obvious I can’t go! I really dislike when people do this, but whatever. Once I’m home I do an ab and leg workout and then take a shower. I wash my face and apply my favorite Sunday Riley Saturn Sulfur Mask. It’s green and makes me look like an alien…aliens are real, so it’s a perfect way to show my dedication to them. Please abduct me.

5:30 p.m. – The mask is off, and I do my regular nighttime routine. I’m starving, so I decide to make a dinner of quesadillas. I make two and save one for lunch tomorrow.

7 p.m. – Time for my me time of chilling on the couch and being lazy. I watch some YouTube videos, download podcasts ( My Favorite Murder and Crime Junkies), and watch another episode of The Handmaid’s Tale. I try to walkie-talkie my sister on my Apple Watch, but she denies my request. How rude.

9:45 p.m. – Ahhh, sleep time. I always put myself to sleep by dreaming about how I want my life to be.

5:20 a.m. – My usual morning alarm wakes me up, and I take my temp. It reads 97.2.

5:30 a.m. – Skin-care routine is complete, and today I decide to wear a gray-and-white floral shirt, Paige dark skinny jeans, Vince platforms in gray suede, initial necklace, and Apple Watch.

5:45 a.m. – I mix up my daily drink and scroll through Instagram. Then I’m out the door and head to my car. I start up my playlist, and “Sleeping Alone” by Flatland Cavalry comes on…it brings on the feels.

4:20 p.m. – And I’m outta here! It’s such a nice day out today, and I enjoy the feeling of the sun after being inside all day. I decide to head to Starbucks since it’s double-star day. I already have money loaded on my app, so I get a grande iced vanilla latte with almond milk. The person in front of me orders THIRTY TWO different drinks, so my order kind of gets forgotten, which is understandable. I eventually get my drink and head to my mom’s house.

6:15 p.m. – I’m back at my apartment, and I decide to do an ab, leg, and arm workout. I love working out, and it’s a necessity for me after sitting at my desk all day. After I’m done, I prep my salmon with barbecue sauce, cut up some potatoes, zucchini, and broccoli, and throw it in the oven.

8:30 p.m. – I download a few more podcasts – Stuff You Should Know (the Tylenol murders were CRAZY) and The Shrink Next Door. I get a text from my sister, who still lives with my mom, saying that my mom’s boyfriend is drinking again. Each time the drinking starts again, it gets worse, and his behavior becomes even more repulsive. I feel sad that my sister, mom, and the animals have to be in that house with him. I’ve learned the hard way that I can’t do anything to stop the situation, but it still hurts me. I sometimes feel guilty that I finally decided to leave. I try to forget about it and to pack a bag with my outfit for after work tomorrow and call it a night.

5:20 a.m. – Time to wake up again. Today’s my last day of work for the week! We have Friday off.

5:30 a.m. – My skin care is done, and now I’m in front of my closet deciding what to wear. I choose my white snake-print top from Reformation, black Paige peg-leg ankle jeans with exposed buttons, and my trusty Vince platforms in black suede. My usual necklace and Apple Watch complete the look.

5:45 a.m. – I drink my drink and decide to unload my dishwasher so I don’t have to do it when I come home late tonight. I grab my lunch and forget my coffee, which is depressing.

6 a.m. – I walk to my car and decide to start my day off with “Suge” by Dababy. The sunrise is extra beautiful today, and I enjoy my drive.

11 a.m. – Lunch! I eat my leftover cold salmon, potatoes, and some avocado. My manager messages me and thanks me for my hard work this week, which makes me smile! I really love little appreciation messages. I sometimes still struggle with finding my place at work and making friends.

2 p.m. – Broccoli time. I just really love broccoli. I’m still working on the project I was working on this morning. I’m making progress, but it feels never-ending!

5:45 p.m. – I’ve arrived and decide to change into my dinner outfit in my car. I switch the jeans to my dark-wash ones, put on a black Zara ruffled knit sleeveless top, change my shoes to black Steve Madden Kirsten wedge sandals, and switch my bag over to my black Gucci Petite Marmont Wallet on a chain. This was a present to myself after I got my job. It’s my baby, and I love it.

11:01 p.m. – I’m home. I look at my phone and realize one of my potential love interests, C., texted me after ignoring me for four days. He said he forgot to reply…which is questionable. I’ve been trying to move on from a friends-with-benefits thing I have with another guy named E. We’ve known each other since high school, and it’s been two years on and off. Our communication is horrible, and I think we’re both scared. It makes me sad, because I actually like him, but I need to move on. I ignore the text and take a shower. I complete my nighttime routine and go to sleep.

10:45 a.m. – I park and order a latte with almond milk. The cashier is new and coos at me like a baby saying awwww, you’re so cute. I’m pretty sure she thinks I’m 15 or something. People always think I look a lot younger than I actually am. $6.45

4 p.m. – I’m meeting a couple friends tonight for dinner, so I take a shower. I wash my hair, which means a blowdry is necessary. Next I put on my Maison De Soir black kimono robe, light my favorite Diptyque candle, and turn on my makeup-applying playlist. I wear makeup about twice a week, so it’s always fun to get all made up. I moisturize and use Milk’s Hydro Grip Primer. Next I put on Laura Mercier tinted moisturizer, NARS creamy concealer, and Milk’s powder. I do my eyebrows with an Anastasia Beverly Hills brow pencil, apply NARS Laguna bronzer and Orgasm blush, curl my lashes, put on some Dior Iconic mascara, and then top it off with Buxom gloss in Rose Julep.

7:30 p.m. – One of my friends and I decide to head over to a bar nearby. He opens a tab, and I get two sangrias. He kindly pays. We swap stories, and I bring up my potential love interest, C. Tipsy me decides it would be a great idea to text him, so of course I do. He promptly responds and asks me about my day and if I want to come over later.

10:30 p.m. – My phone buzzes, and I’m hoping it’s my favorite toxic person, E. Alas, it’s C., and he asks me what I’m doing. My friends want to meet him, so I suggest we go to his apartment. C. says to come over, and my friend who isn’t drinking drives. We arrive, play pool, and chill. C. is super nice and attractive. He has his life together, and he actually likes me. I decide I should probably give him a chance.

3 a.m. – My friend drops me off back at my apartment. I take a shower, do my nighttime routine, and pass out.

10:30 a.m. – I wake up and don’t even bother taking my temp due to my alcohol consumption last night…it’ll skew my results. I’m always very anxious when I first wake up after a night of drinking, so I chill in bed, drink some water, and then do my morning routine.

12:45 p.m. – I’m starting to get hungry, so I make potato tacos with guacamole, green onions, vegan cheese, and black beans.

2 p.m. – I’m tired today, and I need to recharge my introvert batteries, so I take it easy and watch The OA while eating an orange. I’m still feeling anxious from last night, so I try to go walk it out on the treadmill at the gym and listen to an episode of The Shrink Next Door.

5:30 p.m. – I’m nice and sweaty, so I take a shower and do my nighttime facial routine. I’m not really hungry, but I make veggie fried rice for later.

9:30 p.m. – I eat some Annie’s bunny fruit snacks and then head to bed.

10 a.m. – I wake up, take my temp (97.1 – I’m still in my follicular phase), and do my morning routine. My outfit today consists of black Lululemon Hotty Hot shorts, a plain black V-neck, my gold Tkees, and my Cuyana bag. I put on gold Ray-Ban aviators and head out the door. Today is my weekly lunch date with my dad and sister.

11 a.m. – I arrive at the restaurant and order a baked potato grilled cheese with avocado. We all talk about our weeks and have a great time. My dad pays.

12 p.m. – Next we head to Whole Foods. This is our Sunday tradition dating back to when I was in high school, after my parents got divorced. My dad gives my sister and me a $50 grocery budget each week, and we all go together to shop. If I need anything else during the week, I’ll buy it myself. I snag two avocados, broccoli (duh!), green onions, spinach, mushrooms, garbanzo beans, gala apples, raspberries, vegan cheese, almond-milk creamer, cashews, five gallons of high-pH water, and barbecue plantain chips. I say bye to my dad and head to my mom’s.

4:50 p.m. – I do a load of laundry and take a shower. Tonight for dinner I’m going to have a salad with garbanzo beans, avocado, potatoes, green onion, and vegan ranch. I make extra for lunch tomorrow. I also cut up an apple and pack my snacks/coffee for work tomorrow.

9:30 p.m. – I pick out my outfit for tomorrow and pack up my bags. Time to go to bed and start it all over again.

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