Thanks to Monroe of FashionSteelNYC I’ve become fascinated with the Refinery 29 Money Diaries.  Partially to use it as a barometer for my own spending and generally just to see what other people spend their money on.  I wouldn’t say I’m super nosey but I have a healthy curiosity about what people feel is worth their pennies.  Especially when it comes to food in other cities!  And after polling my Instastories last month an overwhelming amount of you have that same curiosity about my spending.  After tracking my money for a week I’m a little sad to see how boring my weekdays seem but I’m also proud that they are, usually, filled with very little spending.  Not surprisingly my unexpected purchases involved food, plants and clothes.  Though I have been working to implement some new shopping habits, more on that here Full disclosure I’m aware that this glimpse into my spending, especially the first week of the month where all my bills are due, looks like I’m living irresponsibly.  And I also know what I pay for somethings is a lot.  But I have worked hard to be debt free and to put myself in a position to enjoy my earnings by budgeting my money so I don’t have to swipe a credit card or dip into my savings, unless it’s for something unexpected.  I’m really excited not only to be seeing others open up to have this conversation about money but to be able to contribute myself.  That being said I’m definitely not looking for feedback on how I choose to spend my money.  So please keep any judgements to yourself.  I want this to be a safe area where we can discuss our finances and help one another reach what success looks like for you. 

About Me

Occupation: Service Parts Engineer(5 years)

Industry: Engineering-Automotive

Age: 27

Location: Royal Oak Michigan (Metro-Detroit)

Salary: $78K (Pre-tax)

Monthly Expenses
Rent: $1710 (825 sq ft + 185 sq ft terrance with in unit washer & dryer, no monthly fee for dog or cat and within walking distance of downtown Royal Oak)
Student Loans: $0 (Paid off as of 2016, see how I did it here)
Car Loan: $0 (Paid off and debt free as of 2018, more on that here)
Renters Insurance: $0 (Probably should get that)
Electricity: $40 (This is the highest it usually gets)
Gas: $30 (Also the highest it usually gets)
Wi-Fi: $40 (Through Xfinity/Comcast with no special deals)
Hulu: $11.99
Netflix: $12.99
Pandora: $12.99
Car Insurance: $685 (Through Progressive, this is the paid in full amount for 6 months. Monthly it would have been $141, thanks no fault!)
Phone: $0 (Still on my mom’s plan, she loves me)
Health & Dental Insurance: $58 (Blue Cross Blue Shield Basic plan through my company, taken from my paycheck)
Gym: $64.99 (LA Fitness including additional guest fee)
401(k): 7% pre-tax, per month and 2% taxed (A little over $5k/year which doesn’t include company contribution)
Savings: $500 (Auto-deposited every month)
Stash: $21.99 (I invest $20 and the subscription fee is $1.99)
Other: $200 to my mom to help her with student loans



Even though my first alarm goes off at 6:45AM, I don’t wake up until my second at 7.  Like all my weekday mornings I make myself protein chocolate chip waffles, pack my lunch, let Ana, my dog, out and head in to work.  For lunch this week I made my homemade makeshift burrito bowl with ground turkey, peppers and avocado.  Around 3PM I enjoy my pre-workout snack of fat free yogurt with a cup of berries.  While I had every intention of working out when I left work by the time I got home I just was not feeling it so I curl up in my egg chair to enjoy the pitter patter of the rain and read “Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud”.  When I come out of my reading haze for dinner I remember that I made a galette over the weekend that I still had left over.  While enjoying my meal I take a quick glance at my email and see that my bi-weekly auto-deposit for $10 to Stash has gone through, fingers crossed my investments keep growing.

Total Spent= $10


As usual I awake like clockwork to my second alarm and go through my routine.  For lunch I have the same thing as yesterday.  After work I head to the gym for upper body and cardio.  For dinner I pull out my leftover short ribs from the weekend and make my boyfriend and I protein mac and cheese with short ribs.  Instead of grabbing my book, I fell into my usual post workout routine of online browsing.  A major source of my continuous, unnecessary shopping.  In my scrolling fever I finally break down to purchase some beach themed hair accessories I’ve been eyeing up for a month or so at Free People, $36+tax+shipping turns into $54.56.

Total Spent= $54.56


I awake to a text alert that my external transfer of $1710 is over my $125 limit, my monthly sign that the rent has been paid.  I continue on with my usual daily routine.  Shortly after lunch I glance at my phone to check my balance and notice that Hulu and my Energy bill also got auto-paid, $11.99 and $27.82 respectively.  After leg day at the gym I head over to Westborn to pick up a few groceries to make Greek inspired quesadillas totaling $10.78. As I head to the exit I stop in their floral section to pick myself up some eucalyptus and impulsively purchase a nephthytis plant for my bedroom, $56.15.  Around 8PM my phone buzzes for a group FaceTime with my sorority sisters to choose excursions for our cruise in June.  Since some of us hadn’t talked to each other in a while we were on the phone for hours just catching up on life.  Before I knew it, it was bedtime.

Total Spent= $1816.74


Today I’m working from home for the morning which is out of the norm for me but I didn’t want to go into the office only to turn around an hour or so later to get to my doctor’s appointment.  I figured I was better off going in afterwards.  So I switched up my morning routine to have protein pancakes instead of waffles. After a few hours of work I went to my doctor’s appointment for my knee surgery follow up.  I’m happy to report that my knee is stable and healing as expected!  I stop by the gas station to fill up my tank, $42.97, then enjoyed my Greek quesadilla for lunch before heading to the office to work for the rest of the afternoon.  Afterwards I hit the gym for another upper body and cardio day.  As soon as I’ve showered and dress I head downtown to WeWork to attend an informational session the the 2nd annual Fashion Hackathon.  Luckily I find a spot on just down the street so I only have to pay $2 for parking.  Once the excitement about participating in the hackathon wears off I realize haven’t eaten since lunch.  I stop to pick up a sandwich for me and a cheesecake for bae from Crispelli’s for dinner $21.20. I also noticed my Netflix account had been charged $12.99.

Total Spent= $77.16


I don’t usually get to work from home for more than one day but this week is a rare occasion.  Typically when I do work from home I like to do so on Friday.  I love not having to drive into work or worry about beating traffic back as I head into the weekend.  Plus hanging around the house in my PJs without the distractions of office chatter is nice too.  Again I make myself protein pancakes and hop right into work.  For lunch I make myself another quesadilla before stopping over at the tailor to pick up my things and drop off some other items, $55.  Once my work from home day ends I start filming my YouTube video for Sunday.  Check out my channel here.  Unfortunately much like my week, I’m in for a rather uneventful weekend as well.  With no plans on deck I make myself a smoothing and decide to start reading a new book “The Like Switch”.  A few hours later, I take myself to bed.

Total Spent= $55


I’d like to say I sleep in on the weekends but my body has turned into an early riser.  Around 7:30 AM I wake up, let Ana out, get dressed and head to my favorite coffee shop to have a rose latte and work on blog things $5.03 + tip.  A few hours later I go back to the house to make myself a smoothie before editing my YouTube video.  My boyfriend shows up around 4PM and we head to the gym for leg day.  After returning home to shower we have the debate that every couple dreads: what should we have for dinner.  I pull out my list of places to check out and we agree to try Mudgie’s Deli. A side of unconventional yet really delicious spinach salad and two sandwiches later it’s clear we made the right choice for $40 including the tip.  Bae heads home because he needs to get up early to work and I settle in for another slow night with my book.  I glance to see if anymore auto-payments happened on my account and see my TJ Maxx credit card bill has been paid in full, $432.53.  Damn that amazingly comfortable Opalhouse egg chair, so expensive but worth every penny!  

Total Spent = $478.56


Personally I like to get a head start on Sunday so that I can actually relax and enjoy the day.  Like Saturday I’m up around 7:30AM, I upload my video to YouTube, get dressed then head over to the grocery store to stock up for the week.  Thankfully I had some leftovers to get my through most of the week so I don’t need much $51.06.  I thought by the time I returned home my video would have been uploaded but it wasn’t so I take Ana for a short walk.  Once  we get back my video is laded and I some clothes in the wash and prep for my photoshoot.  Around 9:30AM I head to my coffee shop to read a little and grab a latte before my photographer shows up, $5 + tip.  After the shoot I go back home to meal prep and swap out my clothes in the washer.  Since the weather is so nice I grab a new book and layout on the patio to sun bathe.  Once the sun has set on my patio I decided for dinner to treat myself to a burger from Vinsetta Garage, $21.  Before I can settle in for the evening I get a request to meet up so I can sell my mannequin that I posted on the Facebook Market place, a welcome $25.   Once I get home, I do the dishes, prep my meals for Monday then sit back and enjoy my book before bed.

Total Spent = $78.09

Total Spent= $2570.11

This is the most I’ve spent in the first week of any month this year.  Typically my credit card bill is under $100.  Again, damn you Opalhouse Egg Chair!  And usually I visit the tailor every 6 months.  I’ve had a few pieces that needed to be tailored for a while now and with the weather warming up I decided it was time to take them over.  Anyways hopefully you found my money diary insightul or at least learned a little more about me.

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