Welcome to Money Diaries where we are tackling the ever-present taboo that is money. We’re asking real people how they spend their hard-earned money during a seven-day period — and we’re tracking every last dollar.

Today: a software engineer working in tech who makes $82,400 per year and spends some of her money this week on a ticket to see Priscilla.

Occupation: Software engineer

Industry: Tech

Age: 25

Location: Dallas, TX

Salary: $82,400

Net Worth: $19,957 (checking: $1,522.50; emergency fund HYSA: $9,040.73; car HYSA: $4,200.26, fun HYSA: $137.44; Roth IRA: $723; employer Roth 401(k): $12,000; Robinhood investments: $243; car equity: $31,000)

Debt: $38,910 ($13,362 in federal student loans and a $25,548 car loan)

Paycheck Amount (biweekly): $2,542.56

Pronouns: She/her

Monthly Expenses

Rent: $1,497 (This is for a one-bedroom by myself. I’m moving into a slightly cheaper one-bedroom for $1,415 at the end of the month.)

Electricity & Water: $100–$225

Phone: $46

Internet: $0 (I get $80 a month from work for the internet.)

Student Loan: $150

Car Loan: $500

Health, Dental & Eye Insurance: $53.75

Pole & Aerial Studio Unlimited Membership: $150

Spotify: $11.90

Hulu & Disney+: $11.64 (cost split with my brother)

Max: $17.31

HYSAs: $650

401(k): $380.30 (matched 4% by my employer)

Annual Expenses

Chase Sapphire Credit Card Fee: $99

Renter’s Insurance: $195

Car Insurance: $2,007 (This will probably go up next year because of the accident.)

Amazon Prime: $50 (I split the cost with my mom and brother.)

Was there an expectation for you to attend higher education? Did you participate in any form of higher education? If yes, how did you pay for it?

Yes, both my mom and dad have degrees, and I remember my dad studying for his bachelor’s degree when I was a kid. They always told us that we needed to go to college and that they would help as much as they could. I loved science and coding and am decent at it, so I decided to study computer science. I chose the college that offered me the most scholarship money but still had to take out federal student loans. My parents helped me by sending me money when I needed it, but I took on the bulk of the expenses. I also received some Pell Grants after my dad passed away during my junior year of college.

Growing up, what kind of conversations did you have about money? Did your parent/guardian(s) educate you about finances?

My mom was an educator at a private elementary school so she was criminally underpaid. My dad was the primary breadwinner for our family and would get stressed about finances, so my mom handled them. They always stressed saving money and the difference between wants and needs. They also made sure we didn’t take out non-federal student loans in college. I didn’t learn anything about retirement savings or investing until I graduated college, when my mom gave me some advice, and I educated myself.

What was your first job and why did you get it?

I did some babysitting and dog sitting starting at age 13. But I got my first job on the books when I was 16, working for minimum wage at the mall. I used the money mainly to buy trendy clothes, pay for gas, and do things with my friends.

Did you worry about money growing up?

No, if my parents worried about money, they hid it from us. There was one time my dad got laid off, but he was hired back two weeks later. We were comfortably middle class, and my brother and I never went without our needs being met. We didn’t really get our “wants” unless it was Christmas or our birthdays. We could afford luxuries, like family vacations, but they were always on the frugal side, like camping and road trips.

Do you worry about money now?

Recently, yes, because I bought a new car. I got into a bad auto accident a month ago, and it was very traumatizing, but I’m thankful I walked away uninjured. Used car prices are still jacked up, so I bought a new car and taking on that loan has stressed me out. But I do love my new car and I know I have a lot of room to earn money with software engineering. Layoffs happened in my company earlier this year but they have stopped now that our earnings are up. Talk of layoffs was a wake-up call for me to start an emergency fund.

At what age did you become financially responsible for yourself and do you have a financial safety net?

At 24, when I got my first big girl job and moved out of my mom’s house. I have my emergency fund that I contribute to every month that I would use if I lost my job. I know I could always move back in with my mom if necessary but I’d never ask her for money. She received a large sum from my dad’s life insurance policy when my dad passed, and I’m so grateful she has that to rely on for retirement, even though we would all rather have my dad here.

Do you or have you ever received passive or inherited income? If yes, please explain.

When I was 18, my parents gave me my dad’s used car. When I got in my auto accident, I used the insurance payout for a down payment on my new car. My mom has told me she has $10,000 saved for me that she would give me to help pay for a wedding or a house, but I have neither of those things yet.

Day One

8:20 a.m. — I wake up refreshed but don’t want to get up yet so I alternate between scrolling on my phone and reading on my Kindle. I’m currently reading a western romance novel called Flawless. I don’t care if it’s not academic; I’m enjoying it in all of its cheesy glory. My older cat cuddles with me while I read.

11 a.m. — I finally get up and put in my contacts and wash my face. I make protein pancakes using Kodiak pancake mix and add mini chocolate chips. I also air fry a hash brown patty and turkey bacon, then make a matcha latte. I watch RuPaul’s Drag Race while eating, then feed the kitties their wet food.

12 p.m. — I clean up everything and head to the grocery store for two avocados, a cucumber, bananas, raspberries, a jalapeño, mini marshmallows, Rice Krispies cereal, beef stock, chickpeas, canned coconut milk, unsalted butter, carrots, apples, Worcestershire sauce, chuck roast, oat milk, bread, mini potatoes, spring mix, and an onion. I use coupons in my grocery app to save $13. $61.58

12:50 p.m. — While leaving the store, my brother calls me on Facebook Messenger to tell me he lost his phone and didn’t close out his bar tab last night. He asks me to call the bar and see if his card is there, and I say yes. We haven’t always been the closest, but I am glad we’ve gotten closer in the past year.

1:10 p.m. — I get home and unload the groceries and call the bar. Nobody picks up, and I call my brother and tell him. We video chat via Facebook Messenger, and he tells about his messy relationship with his recent ex-girlfriend and how he’s embarrassed he lost his phone last night. I lend a sympathetic ear and give him advice. He’s had a lot of unresolved grief since our dad passed from COVID-19 in 2020 and he’s finally getting therapy for it. I’m proud of him for recognizing what he needs emotionally. Our extended family likes to act like emotions are a weakness, especially in men.

2 p.m. — I eat a turkey sandwich with provolone and cucumbers. I make Rice Krispies treats and watch RuPaul’s Drag Race. After I’m done, I get ready for a pole class.

3 p.m. — I started pole and aerial lessons about a year ago and love them. Membership is definitely pricey, but I have made awesome friends, and it keeps me physically fit.

4:30 p.m. — After class ends, I’m super worn out. On the way home, I call my boyfriend, P., and ask if he wants to come over for dinner. Once home, I make a smoothie with a banana, protein powder, creatine, frozen cherries, spinach, mango, and almond milk.

5:30 p.m. — I start on the chuck roast we’re having for dinner, prepping the vegetables and the spice rub. P. arrives and helps me sear the roast in my Instant Pot. We put the onions, carrots, potatoes, beef stock, and Worcestershire sauce in the pot and set it for an hour. P. washes the dishes while I shower.

6:30 p.m. — We put on Blade II while waiting for the roast. We watched the first one a few days ago so obviously we must watch the second one. The roast goes off, and I take all the veggies and meat out to make gravy from the stock. We impatiently add a lot of cornstarch to thicken it faster because we’re hungry. P. makes the salads, and I plate the roast and veggies with the gravy. The meal turns out super well, and we finish the movie. I don’t like it, which is unsurprising because most sequels are bad.

7:45 — We spend the rest of the evening eating the Rice Krispies treats I made, cuddling, and playing the new Super Mario Bros. Wonder game. It’s very fun, but some levels are kinda hard. We also give each other massages and play with the cats.

10:30 p.m. — P. leaves, and I send him home with Rice Krispies treats. I take out my contacts, brush my teeth, and do my evening skincare routine, which consists of witch hazel toner, Good Molecules Niacinamide Serum, First Aid Beauty face cream, and Elf eye cream. I read until I fall asleep.

Daily Total: $61.58

Day Two

7:50 a.m. — My alarm goes off, and I begrudgingly get out of bed. I log into my work computer and join my team’s daily meeting. I have no updates because I haven’t received new work for a week due to a recent re-org. My tech lead apologizes and says he’ll get with me soon, but I know “soon” actually means “a couple of days.”

8:30 a.m. — I make breakfast, which is leftover pancakes, a hash brown patty, turkey bacon, and a lavender London Fog. I clean up my dishes afterwards, and the cats want attention, so I play with them.

9:45 a.m. — I put in laundry and change the sheets on my bed. Then I spend the rest of the morning independently studying my team’s tech stack. My team has been waiting for the re-org to finalize before starting new work. It’s been nerve-racking, but I’m obviously happy we’re finally moving forward, and there are no more layoffs.

12:30 p.m. — I get changed out of my PJs (oops) and go for a lunchtime walk. When I get back, I put frozen black bean tacos in the air fryer and warm up homemade queso I made over the weekend. I don’t know how my stomach will feel about this later. I eat the tacos with queso, tortilla chips, salsa, and sour cream. I also drink sparkling water with lime.

1:20 p.m. — Back to work, aka more self learning. I give the cats wet food. They have an automatic feeder that gives them dry food throughout the day but they get wet food for the moisture. I mix a sedative the vet prescribed into the food for my younger cat. She has a check-up today and gets very stressed at the vet.

3:20 p.m. — I finish up studying and corral the cats in the bathroom while I set up their kennels. I’m amazed by how chill my younger cat is with the sedative — usually it’s a WWE wrestling match to get her into the kennel.

4 p.m. — I arrive at the vet and check in. As part of their annual exams, both cats get weighed, their blood drawn, and their urine sampled. The vet tells me both cats look very healthy and are “very soft.” The total comes out to $482.80, but I already paid $100 to reserve the appointment, so the total today is $382.80 — worth it to make sure my babies are healthy. $382.80

5:30 p.m. — I get home, let them out of their kennels, and feed them lots of treats. I change into my pole shorts under my leggings and eat a handful of raspberries before leaving for class.

7:30 p.m. — The class isn’t as brutal as yesterday. After, I talk to my friend, N., who has been gone for a month on her elopement and honeymoon in Europe (I make a mental note to do this if I ever get married). She shows me pictures of her trip, and I give her and another friend Rice Krispies treats I brought for them.

7:45 p.m. — I stop by my mom’s house because she wants to eat dinner together. She gets us Thai food, and I order a red curry with jasmine rice. I chat with my mom about family stuff and work. She pays for the food, and I thank her. We watch the latest episode of The Golden Bachelor. I’m a sucker for anything reality TV, and The Golden Bachelor has been amazing. I’ve definitely cried during some episodes.

9:30 p.m. — I get home and make a protein smoothie with pea protein powder, creatine, banana, frozen mango, cherries, and spinach. I feed the cats wet food and run the bath. I light every candle I can find, eat a Rice Krispies treat, and drink my smoothie and read Flawless in the bath. I wash my hair, then do a face mask with Peach Slices Snail Rescue Intensive Wash-Off Jelly Mask. I don’t really like it, but I’m almost done with it and won’t be repurchasing.

10:30 p.m. — The bath drains, and I get ready for bed. I’m almost done with Flawless so I stay up reading it. The ending is cheesy, but it’s a romance book, so that’s expected. I text with P. and fall asleep.

Daily Total: $382.80

Day Three

7:25 a.m. — My alarm goes off, and I roll out of bed after waking up every two hours during the night. At least I went right back to sleep after each wake-up. I log in and join a department-wide Ask Me Anything meeting talking about the recent re-org and what we can expect.

8:30 a.m. — I hop to another meeting. Everyone introduces themselves because we’re absorbing another team. We talk about what work we’ve been doing and what we want to continue working on. I put a hash brown patty in the air fryer during the meeting, then make scrambled eggs with feta, a Greek yogurt parfait with pomegranate seeds and a persimmon, and a raspberry matcha latte with blended raspberries and oat milk.

9:45 a.m. — I do some self learning and message my tech lead to see if he’s free for a meeting to discuss my work. He doesn’t respond.

12:05 p.m. — As soon as I’m about to take lunch, my tech lead calls me and fills me in on how my work will be pivoting. I’m happy to actually get some direction because I’m tired of self learning. After we finish talking, I put on my tennis shoes and walk to the recreation center near me to vote. I’m the only one there besides the poll workers.

12:40 p.m. — I get home and reheat red curry leftovers. There’s not much left, so I eat a small bag of pretzels, too, while I watch RuPaul’s Drag Race.

1:10 p.m. — Back to work. I finish up the self-learning project I was doing before lunch. I have a meeting for the new grad program council I’m a part of. We’re organizing a conference in a few months, and I share my updates and clean my desk because she’s dusty.

4:15 p.m. — I’m feeling antsy. I love working from home but sometimes I feel cooped up in my apartment. I also don’t love where I live because it’s very suburban, so I’m moving to an area I like much better. I do a quick face of makeup and put on a vintage T-shirt, some Levi’s, and my Dr. Martens Mary Janes. I log off and start the drive to P.’s apartment — in Dallas rush-hour traffic.

5:45 p.m. — I get there and cuddle P. We decide on pizza for dinner, and he drives to pick it up.

6:45 p.m. — We split a large pizza. I have a Topo Chico, and he has a frozen pinot “freezio.” I steal some of his drink, and it’s very good. P. pays. We stop by a PetSmart near the pizza place and look at the kitties for adoption. I wish I could adopt them all, but two cats are more than enough.

8:30 p.m. — We go to a dive bar near his apartment because we want to play pool. There’s a pool table open, so I set it up, while P. gets himself a beer and a High Noon for me. We play a couple of rounds: He wins one, and I win one (barely). We sit and talk and watch the other people play pool.

10:05 p.m. — We say our goodbyes, and I drive home. I can’t wait until I move and live closer to him.

10:30 p.m. — I get home, and the cats are mad that I’m 30 minutes late with their wet food. They get fed, lots of apology pets, and a few treats. I eat a Rice Krispies treat and make chocolate overnight oats for tomorrow morning with rolled oats, cocoa powder, flax seeds, agave syrup, and soy milk. I take a shower and get ready for bed. Wanting to unwind, I start a new book that I checked out from the library, Dead-End Memories by Banana Yoshimoto. I fall asleep eventually.

Daily Total: $0

Day Four

7:50 a.m. — I get out of bed after being woken up by my older cat pawing at me. I log in and join my daily meeting. It goes very long because it’s our first one in our new combined team. My tech lead seems annoyed that we have to change some of our methods because of the re-org. There’s definitely going to be growing pains.

8:50 a.m. — I get out my overnight oats and top them with raspberries and mini chocolate chips. I also make a London Fog with soy milk and eat a banana. I text my friend R. about the concert we’re going to tonight (already paid for) and offer to drive if she meets me at my apartment. She happily agrees because I know she hates driving in Dallas. Every day, I wish Dallas had more reliable public transport, but it’s kind of a joke. Also, the show will probably end at 11ish, and we’re definitely not comfortable taking the DART that late.

9:25 a.m. — I resume work on a project that was assigned to me yesterday. A maintenance person comes by because I have a few blinds that aren’t working. I figure I should get them fixed before I move out so I don’t get blamed for breaking them. I’m embarrassed because he thinks I just woke up since I’m still in my PJs. He fixes them, and my blinds work again! The kitties are happy now that their favorite window can let in sunshine again.

10:05 a.m. — While trying to download some new code frameworks, I run into issues. After trying to debug by myself, I message a fellow engineer, and we debug the issue together.

12:15 p.m. — I stick a piece of defrosted salmon in the air fryer with a soy glaze and start sushi rice. I clean my kitchen while I wait for it to cook. After everything is done, I eat half of the salmon with half of the cooked rice, half an avocado, cucumber slices, dried seaweed, and sriracha mayo.

1:30 p.m. — Back to work. I mess around with the new frameworks and do my daily LeetCode question. I want to job hop in a year so I’m preparing by brushing up on LeetCode. I get stuck and have to look at the solution, which is way easier than I thought. I’m kinda annoyed that my brain didn’t figure it out.

3 p.m. — I take a break and do some online shopping. I see an extremely cute dress from Universal Store, but the shipping is $17, and I cringe. I add it to my wish list. If I still love it in a couple of weeks, I’ll buy it. I get back to noodling on code.

4:28 p.m. — Log off and do my makeup. I fix my bangs using my Revlon hot brush and get dressed in red flare leggings, my platform Converse, a black crop top, and my Carhartt fanny pack. I eat leftover pot roast from Sunday and a spring mix salad, then pack the rest in a to-go container for tomorrow.

4:45 p.m. — While doing my makeup, I get a call from the vet about the bloodwork for the cats. They’re both healthy, but my older cat has slightly high kidney counts, which suggests she may be a little dehydrated. I get concerned because I feed her wet food everyday for the moisture, but the vet tells me it’s nothing to worry about if she’s not acting weird.

5:45 p.m. — R. gets here and we leave. We park at the venue, and she pays.

6:50 p.m. — We get in line to buy a T-shirt, and I tip the merch seller. I definitely think tipping culture has gotten out of hand, but for small bands, the merch person is also the person who sets up the band’s equipment and sound. The shirt is $35, and I add a $5.25 tip. $40.25

7:30 p.m. — The show starts, and the opening bands plus the headlining band are super good! It’s a very small venue and a sold-out show, but everyone is being courteous and chill.

11 p.m. — We get home, and I say goodbye to R. My body hurts from standing on concrete for four hours, and I feel old. I’m greeted by the cats who are annoyed that their wet food is late (they’ll survive). I feed them and eat a bowl of Rice Krispies with toast and jam.

11:40 p.m. — I take a quick shower and get ready for bed. I text P. about the show and send him videos. My bed feels heavenly on my hurting back.

Daily Total: $40.25

Day Five

7:20 a.m. — I wake up to my younger cat laying on the pillow next to me and wanting attention. I log onto my work laptop and join my daily meeting, then check my bank account and see an Amazon Subscribe and Save order for wet cat food was charged. It’s $39.06 for 24 cans — unfortunately, my older cat is a picky eater and will only eat the good stuff. $39.06

8:25 a.m. — The meeting ends, and it’s a gloomy, rainy day. I put a winter jazz ambiance video on my TV and pretend it’s actually winter in Texas and not 70 degrees. I air fry a hash brown patty and turkey bacon. I also make a London Fog with soy milk and a Greek yogurt parfait with a persimmon, raspberries, and cinnamon.

9:30 a.m. — The rainy weather and going to bed too late for the past few days has me feeling very tired. I really don’t feel like working today. In an effort to wake up, I chug water and put on Good Molecules caffeine eye cream.

12:30 p.m. — The cats are looking at me hungrily, so I feed them. I reheat the last serving of pot roast and make a spring mix salad with diced apples and walnuts, which I eat while watching RuPaul’s Drag Race.

1:30 p.m. — Back to work after cleaning up the dishes. I make a mug of peppermint tea. Apparently, nobody is in the mood to work today because I have received no messages.

3:30 p.m. — I work on my daily LeetCode question and eat leftover Halloween candy. My older cat sits in my lap and warms my heart. I feel brain dead and can’t figure out the question. Defeated after 30 minutes of trying, I look at the answer and feel dumb. I guess that’s what practice is for.

4:36 p.m. — I log off and shut off my work laptop and personal laptop. I roll out my yoga mat and do some gentle yoga because I feel very stiff. I change into my workout clothes and watch RuPaul’s Drag Race until it’s time to leave for class. I’m doubling up on an aerial hammock class and pole class today.

8:45 p.m. — I feel so tired after double classes. I get home and make a smoothie with my go-to ingredients. I also eat the rest of my salmon leftovers and feed the cats.

10 p.m. — I shower but skip washing my hair because I want to do “overnight” curls tomorrow morning. I’ve tried to sleep with them in, but it’s never comfortable, so I do them in the morning, let them dry, and my hair looks the same. I scroll on my phone and text P. until I fall asleep.

Daily Total: $39.06

Day Six

8:30 a.m. — My alarm goes off, but I don’t have a meeting until 9 so I just lay in bed feeling very cozy.

8:55 a.m. — I login and join a team chat. We all share our interests because we’re a new team and still getting to know each other. I never know if I should mention that I do aerials or not (I will never tell my colleagues I do pole — that’s too weird). Instead, I tell them I do “circus classes,” which is not really a lie.

9:31 a.m. — I join my second meeting, which is very basic and covers everything I’ve already taught myself this week. The presenter gets stuck, and his program is not working, so we all awkwardly watch him debug for 30 minutes. While he debugs, I make myself an avocado toast with a sunny-side-up egg, turkey sausage patties, and a raspberry matcha latte.

10:55 a.m. — The meeting finally ends, and I wash my hair. I use Acure Curiously Clarifying Shampoo and a Verb hair mask to give my strands some extra love. Afterward, I towel dry and spray in It’s A 10 Blow Dry Miracle H20 shield, then apply Briogeo Farewell Frizz leave-in conditioner. While scrolling instagram, I see a tattoo artist I love has a cute design for grabs. I send her a DM to ask about it.

11:30 a.m. — My hair is slightly damp, so I wrap it in a robe tie to let it “curl.” TikTok definitely rots my brain, but this is the best thing I’ve learned from it.

1:15 p.m. — I heat up chicken broth on the stove to make a non-authentic miso soup. I also make a grilled-cheese sandwich with Monterey Jack and cheddar and use mayo to toast the bread (it makes the bread cook so much better than butter). Once the chicken broth is heated, I add frozen chicken wontons. After they cook, I add a couple of tablespoons of white miso and green onions. The tattoo artist responds and quotes me $400 with a $100 deposit that will go towards the total cost of the tattoo. I’m super excited! I love tattoos but limit myself to two a year so I don’t go crazy (my last one was in January). I send her $100 dollars from my “fun fund” for the deposit. $100

2 p.m. — I work on my daily LeetCode question. After a few hours, I do my makeup and blowdry my curls, then pack stuff to stay overnight at P.’s place. The kitties get treats, and I set their automatic feeder to give them extra dry food for the night. I log off at 4:37 p.m. and leave for P.’s place.

5:20 p.m. — Traffic is bad on Fridays, so it takes me an extra-long time to get there. We cuddle and talk about what we want to eat. We go to Costco for a rotisserie chicken, and I get more wet food for my younger cat. It’s $33 for 45 cans, and you can’t beat the price and the quality ingredients. I wish my older cat liked it. I venmo P. for the cat food. On the way back from Costco, we stop by a home-style cooking place and get sides of mac ‘n’ cheese, mashed potatoes, creamed spinach, rolls, and banana pudding. P. pays. $33

6:45 p.m. — After eating, we watch the new Jujutsu Kaisen episode, and it’s amazing. I’ve read the whole manga series, and I’m obsessed. I want to see the new Priscilla movie, so I look at show times at the theater near us and get us two tickets. My ticket is free because I have one more week of AMC Stubs before my canceled subscription runs out. I pay for P.’s ticket. $15.68

9:40 p.m. — We go to the movie, and I really enjoy it but watching some scenes makes me very uncomfortable. P. feels uncomfortable, too, and we talk about how messed up it is that Elvis pursued a 14-year-old girl. No argument in the world can make that okay with me.

12:20 a.m. — We get home, shower, and go to bed.

Daily Total: $148.68

Day Seven

9:30 a.m. — We wake up and cuddle before P. gets up to make me breakfast. I offer to help him, but he tells me to relax while he cooks (he’s the best). He makes us eggs, biscuits, hash browns, sausage, and pancakes. I do my morning routine and makeup while he washes the dishes.

11:45 a.m. — We head to the farmer’s market. It’s very crowded, so I get a bit overwhelmed. I buy a chai latte with oat milk and a pistachio croissant. P. buys hot sauce and a matcha milk tea. We find somewhere to sit and people watch. The chai latte is good but kinda small for the price. We walk around to shops and a plant store. $13.22

1:30 p.m. — We leave the farmer’s market and drive to the car dealership so I can pick up my non-paper license plates. Back at P.’s place, we play Mario Party on his Switch and snack on leftovers from dinner last night. P. beats me, and I feel salty.

5:05 p.m. — We meet friends for dinner at a Mediterranean place. I get a chicken kabob plate, and P. gets a grilled lamb plate. It’s been a while since we’ve all seen each other, so we catch up. One of my friends pays because I picked up the tab last time.

7 p.m. — We all head over to my place to play board games. I make us drinks with rum, cherry juice, sparkling water, lime juice, and agave syrup.

9:30 p.m. — Everyone heads out, and we say our goodbyes. P. and I hit the couch and watch “The Women Tell All” episode of The Golden Bachelor. There are lots of tears from both P. and me. We cuddle, and P. says his goodbyes because he has to work tomorrow morning.

11:30 p.m. — I shower and still feel wired from hanging out with everyone, so I make toast and watch Rupaul’s Drag Race. I take half of a melatonin and go to sleep.

Daily Total: $13.22

Money Diaries are meant to reflect an individual’s experience 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.

Do you have a Money Diary you’d like to share? Submit it with us here.

Have questions about how to submit or our publishing process? Read our Money Diaries FAQ doc here or email us here.

Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?

A Week In Louisville, KY, On A $81,098 Salary

A Week In Vancouver, Canada, On A $50,580 Salary

Feel Good Diary: Gardening & Going For Walks

2023-11-27T16:31:08Z dg43tfdfdgfd