Welcome toMoney 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: a summer associate working in law who makes $28,000 per year and spends some of her money this week on dumplings.
Occupation: Summer Associate
Location: New York, NY
Summer Income: $28,000 for eight weeks at a law firm
Paycheck Amount (2x/month): $4,726 (I’m a law student, and I’m currently working at a big law firm, but soon I’ll be switching over to a nonprofit for the rest of the summer, where I won’t be getting paid. I don’t make money during the school year.)
Rent: $1,460 (I’m subletting a room in a three-bedroom apartment for the summer. I normally pay $1,600 for my apartment in California during the school year (real estate there is even more unaffordable than in NYC) but luckily I found a subletter for the full summer, so I’m not on the hook for rent over there.)
Student Loan Payment: $0 (I’ll have $160,000 in debt between law school and undergrad when I graduate. Ugh.)
Hulu: $8 (I have a dormant Netflix account. I’ll use Hulu for a couple months, freeze it, then use Netflix for a couple months, freeze that, and go back to Hulu. That way I only pay for one at a time.)
Amazon Prime: $49 (split with my fiancé)
Phone: $79 (My parents live abroad, so I’ve had an individual phone plan since college. It’s probably why I didn’t get a smartphone until 2015 — I couldn’t afford one until then!)
Donations: $20 (I donate $20/month to a different nonprofit. This month, it’s RAICES in Texas. They’re doing a ton of work to support families separated at the border.)
Subscriptions: $0 (I get a free subscription to the New York Times and Washington Post through school, but I’d probably pay for them if I didn’t.)
10 a.m. — I’m so comfortable I don’t want to wake up, but it’s almost time to check out. My fiancé, J., and I spent last night in a fancy New York hotel overlooking Central Park. There was an insane deal online where, for $45 a night, you could book a four-star hotel in a bunch of major cities, and we thought it would be fun to commemorate his visit with a staycation. Our hotel has a rooftop pool and an insanely comfortable bed, so it’s been a wonderful weekend on all fronts. I need coffee, but I can’t stomach paying the absurd room service prices, so I run downstairs (still in PJs) and get a large iced coffee from a street cart for us to split. $2
12 p.m. — We check out of the hotel and head back uptown to my apartment. We’re both a little hungover (and getting hungry) from last night, so we decide to stop by our all-time favorite hangover cure — Halal Guys! They’ve gotten more expensive over the years, but their white sauce is basically manna from the gods, so it’s okay. J. gets a chicken sandwich, I get lamb and rice, and we head home. I pay — we’re both students during the year and therefore generally equally broke, but he’s out here visiting, and I’m the one working a fancy law firm job for the summer, so I’m planning to pay for both of us this week, though I guess now that we’re engaged (it’s only been a few weeks since he popped the question) I should really start thinking of our finances as more of a joint venture. $14
5 p.m. — We spent most of the afternoon napping in a halal-induced food coma, which is much-needed, but we’re finally feeling alive again, and it’s beautiful out. J. talks me into doing something active (I’m definitely the sloth in our relationship) and we settle for biking along the Hudson River. I haven’t biked in YEARS, and it takes me a while to get comfortable (especially on the mean streets of NYC), but eventually I stop gripping the handlebars like death is imminent and actually manage to enjoy it a bit. We rent bikes from a little shop right off the path — J. insists on paying for us both, since it was his idea. They throw in free water and a basket for me so I don’t have to awkwardly bike with my purse dangling next to me.
8:30 p.m. — I AM ZONKED. Between still being pretty full from lunch, the heat, and the exertion, all I want for dinner is ice cream. I make Bae take a detour on the way home so we can try out Ample Hills Creamery — I’ve never been, and I hear rave reviews from everyone. I try a zillion flavors before settling on a double scoop of Ooey Gooey Butter Cake and Salted Crack Caramel. The people did not lie — this place is amazing. Bae declines ice cream and makes us stop for groceries on the way home so he can make himself something healthy instead. Marriage is going to be great, y’all. $5.35
9 p.m. — We make it to Trader Joe’s right before closing. J. is out here visiting for a week in between rotations, so he’ll be on his own while I’m at work. He stocks up, and I pick up baby carrots, a wedge of goat gouda, rosemary-and-fig crackers, a few cans of chickpeas, pesto, feta, and a couple red onions. Since J. is buying enough food for an army, he pays for my groceries as well, and we head on home.
9:30 p.m. — We’re home! Bae makes himself a virtuous dinner of pasta with veggies. He picked up ginger beer at TJ’s, and I have gin and limes on hand, so I mix us up a couple Gin-Gin Mules. We had them at a speakeasy in San Francisco a few months ago and now I’m hooked. We’re both big cocktail people, but what I enjoy most of all is recreating fancy cocktails at home. It’s a fraction of the cost if you do it often enough, and honestly, I don’t enjoy people enough to go to bars every weekend. We eat/drink in bed while watching our separate TV shows ( The Bold Type for me, The Office for him).
11:30 p.m. — I start settling in for the night. I’ve never had much of a skincare routine — I was one of those annoying people who basically never got zits as a teenager or young adult, but I got off the pill a few months ago for health reasons, and since then, my skin has been breaking out like crazy. As a result, I’m just starting to figure out how to treat my skin like an adult, even though I still can’t bring myself to do much. I wash my face with an anti-acne cleanser, moisturize everywhere else with coconut oil, and change into my PJs. Back in bed, Bae and I cuddle a bit before falling asleep almost immediately.
10 p.m. — I’m trying out a recipe from one of my favorite food blogs for breakfast tomorrow by combining coconut milk, a little vanilla extract, and chia seeds and setting it in the fridge overnight. If I do this right, it’ll be coconut pudding. If I do it wrong, it’ll look AND taste like frog eggs. Send prayers.
Daily Total: $21.35
7:30 a.m. — It’s extremely hard to get out of bed when J. is still all cozy and snoring. I force myself up to take a shower and notice my DevaCurl gel is running low. I have extremely curly hair, and until I discovered Deva, I was walking around with it in a giant frizzball all day. I just wish their products weren’t so expensive. I make a mental note to buy more on Amazon once I get to work. I eat some of the coconut chia pudding from last night (it’s not terrible!) and head to work.
8:30 a.m. — I have an unlimited MetroCard, so I hop on the 1 train to get to work. I have two internships this summer: I’m spending half of it at a law firm and the second half at a nonprofit doing civil rights work. Eventually, I want to be a civil rights litigator, but I’m also six figures in debt from law school and the first in my family to attend college here. I realized pretty quickly that going directly into public interest requires a lot of privilege I don’t yet have, so I’m planning to work at a firm for a few years until my loans are paid off and I’m more financially secure before making the transition back to the work I love. Luckily, my firm is a pretty humane place (especially for NYC Big Law!), everyone is really friendly, and I’ve gotten to do a ton of interesting pro bono work. It could be way worse.
9 a.m. — I spend a little time every Monday going over financial stuff — someone ran up a bunch of charges on my credit cards a few years ago and it really freaked me out, so I keep a pretty close watch on these things now. This summer is also a little weird — while I have more money in my bank account now than I’ve ever had in life, I keep reminding myself that 1) it has to last all summer, and 2) it will mostly go towards paying off loans. Feeling rich is a weird feeling, especially when it feels so conditional.
9:30 a.m. — I get a message on our internal chat system from my mentor, asking if I want to grab coffee. All the summer associates are assigned two mentors — a younger associate and a more senior counsel or partner. My mentor is amazing. She’s also a woman of color and a first-generation college student — and there’s not a lot of us floating around law firms! I have my mid-summer evaluation coming up and I’m pretty nervous, so it’s amazing to have someone I can talk to candidly about my fears here. We both get fancy iced coffees and an almond croissant apiece. She pays — the firm will reimburse her.
10 a.m. — I get back to my desk and before I forget, order more DevaCurl defining gel. Like everything else in life, it’s way cheaper on Amazon, plus I have Prime, so it’ll be here before my next shower! $37.47
10:15 a.m. — I get to work for real. My firm is working on a really interesting (and incredibly heartbreaking) immigration matter pro bono. We’re representing a survivor of domestic violence, which normally would have been a relatively smoother path to obtaining asylum. Unfortunately, thanks to a Jeff Sessions decision last month, DV no longer qualifies individuals for asylum, so we’re scrambling to find our client another avenue to stay in the country. It’s a daily reminder of how much the law shapes people’s lives, and while I’m glad to be at a firm that lets me do all this incredible pro bono work, cases like this also make me look forward to the day I can do this sort of work full-time.
12:30 p.m. — Lunchtime! I’m going out with a few other summer and full-time associates. The firm gives us a ridiculously lavish lunch budget — $70 a person — and people really take advantage of it over the summer. We go to an upscale Indian place and order a bunch of dishes family-style: chicken tikka masala, lamb chops, lobster curry, baingan bharta, and a bunch of garlic naan. I’m going to need a nap after this. Our final bill is an eye-popping $310 for five people (but everyone celebrates, because we’re under budget). An associate puts it on her card — she’ll be reimbursed.
2 p.m. — I’m back at my desk and fighting off the post-lunch Zzzs. I noticed this morning’s stocks took a real tumble — everyone is worried about a potential trade war with China. I decide it’s a good day to go out and buy a few ETFs. I’ve been investing for a few years, and my strategy is incredibly lazy — I basically ignore my portfolio until I hear news pundits shriek about the crashing market, and then go out and pick up a few low-cost ETFs. It’s a relatively stress-free way to invest, because the market (so far) always rebounds and it requires me to understand very little about how stocks actually work. I buy a few shares of a mid-cap ETF. $120.27
3:30 p.m. — All that heavy Indian food for lunch was a mistake, because I am CRASHING right now. My office mate suggests finding an associate to make a coffee run with us so we can get it expensed. Our neighbors (two first-year associates) are lovely, and always down to take a break with us, so the four of us make a Blue Bottle trip. I get another iced coffee, on the firm.
6 p.m. — I hop back on the subway to get home. I make a little detour at my stop to go pick up some library books. My commute from Morningside Heights involves spending a chunk of each day on the subway, but I treat it as my time to read for fun, so I don’t mind a bit. NYPL is amazing — you can request books from anywhere in the city and they’ll drop them off at your local branch for free. I’m currently making my way through the Crazy Rich Asians trilogy and loving it.
6:15 p.m. — I make a pitstop at H-Mart on the way home to pick up my favorite candy, lychee jellies. I could (and frequently do) eat an entire bag of them in one go. $2.17
6:30 p.m. — Home at last! J. is making himself dinner, but after my enormous lunch, I only have room for a handful of baby carrots and a couple lychee jellies. A well-balanced meal, I know.
8:30 p.m. — J. is still on West Coast time (he’s in medical school at the same university I attend out in California), so he’s happy to hit the sack early. I make myself mint tea with honey, do my minimalist skincare routine, and get into bed to pursue my latest hobby — reading wedding blogs — while he watches Netflix. (TBH, I was reading wedding blogs long before we got engaged, but it feels less awkward to do so in front of him now).
10 p.m. — We’re both asleep by 10. Wild lives, I know.
Daily Total: $159.91
8:15 a.m. — Ugh. I always sleep so much better with J. in bed that I actively slept through my alarm this morning. I scarf down the rest of my coconut-chia pudding (spoiler: it’s less tasty and more slimy on day two) and fly out the door.
9 a.m. — Of course the subway is delayed when I’m already running late. I just miss a train and then wait an unprecedented 12 minutes for the next one. When the train eventually arrives, the car I hop into doesn’t have A/C, so I’m sweating buckets in seconds. I eventually transfer to an express train, but the damage is done — I’ve been out of the house for half an hour and I already look like a mess.
9:30 a.m. — We have a training this morning, so the firm provides bagels, lox, and coffee. I grab an everything bagel with cream cheese, lox, onions, and capers and settle in. We’re learning to take depositions, and our trainer makes it seem like we’re on an episode of Law and Order. I’m into it.
12 p.m. — I’m back at my desk and catching up on emails. I accept an invitation from an associate in my practice group to grab lunch, and we go to a fancy sushi place. We split edamame and pumpkin tempura (which sounds weird but is actually amazingly good) and then each get the chef’s special sashimi. She pays — the firm will reimburse her.
1:30 p.m. — I get put on another case this afternoon, and meet with the assigning attorney. She gives me research to do and asks for it back by the end of the day, claiming it should only take a couple hours, except this is also my first antitrust case, so I end up spending way more time than I should Googling things like: “what is antitrust?” Ugh. Law school seriously doesn’t prepare you to practice law, IMO.
7:30 p.m. — Still working. We’re allowed to expense dinner and an Uber home if we work more than 10 hours in a day. It doesn’t happen often, thankfully, but I’m a little sad it happened this week, since J. is only in town for the week and I basically won’t get to see him for the rest of the summer. I order spicy salmon rolls and seaweed salad and keep chugging along. ($21.30 expensed)
9 p.m. — Finally done. I email my work back to the assigning attorney and call an Uber home. There’s crazy surge pricing — but thankfully this is expensed. J. is waiting at home with a fresh Gin-Gin Mule for me. It feels very 1950s, except with a gender reversal. I’m okay with this. ($47.21 expensed)
9:30 p.m. — I make myself a quick dinner of pesto chickpea salad. It’s super tasty, loaded with protein and fiber, and takes approximately 20 seconds to whip up. I mix chickpeas with pesto, feta, red onion, and a squeeze of lemon, and then proceed to down the bowl in under a minute. This has been my go-to dinner this summer — light and healthy, but filling enough to be substantial.
10 p.m. — J. found out a few weeks ago that he’ll have time off over the last week of my summer break, so we’ve been thinking about taking a vacation together as a little engagement trip. We decided we want to go somewhere in South America, and he found an amazing flight earlier today from SFO to Colombia. I’d love to go, and hotels look super affordable, so we decide to pull the trigger. I pay for both our flights ($470.50 each) and the cutest boutique hotel ($640) since I have the better cash back for travel. He’ll pay me back for his half. It’s definitely a splurge, but I don’t have any other big-ticket purchases planned for all the money I’m making this summer, and we’re both such big travelers that it feels worth it. Once that’s done, we collapse into bed. $1,581
Daily Total: $1,581
7 a.m. — I’m up! I’m feeling a little bloated from all the heavy food this week, and I live a couple blocks away from Central Park, so J. and I go for a quick run before work. I have to stop early because my shins are killing me. I think it’s shin splints, and I’m not sure how to deal with it (other than by not running anymore).
8 a.m. — I shower, gel up my curls, and head to work. The subway is mercifully cooperative and I get to work a little early.
9:30 a.m. — The associate I was working with yesterday stops by and asks if I want to get coffee. She apologizes for keeping me so late last night (which is totally unnecessary — the assignment clearly took me a lot longer than she’d intended), but I love that she took the time to check in on me anyway. The coffee shop we go to has pretty funky drinks, and I end up with a “Mountie” (a maple-cinnamon latte). It feels like both breakfast and dessert in one go. She pays.
1 p.m. — Today’s lunch is a big one — I’m eating with my partner mentor, which is exciting for two reasons: 1) unlimited lunch budget, and 2) she’s a total badass. She’s had an incredible career and is completely friendly and down-to-earth. We spend most of lunch talking about balancing a career with family, especially when your spouse is as much of an ambitious badass (or in my case, aspiring ambitious badass) as you are. It’s both an inspiring and disheartening conversation. We go to an Italian place and split char-grilled oysters swimming in garlic butter and the creamiest burrata I’ve ever tasted, and then I get lobster ravioli as a main course. We end up sharing three desserts because they all look so incredible we can’t choose just one. I don’t even try to sneak a peek at the receipt. She pays.
2:30 p.m. — Back at work and I’m so full I’m going to keel over, but unfortunately I’ve got too much work to slow down. I make myself coffee from our office Keurig to perk up a little and get back to work.
5:30 p.m. — Nothing else comes in, so I’m able to finish up work a little early and skip out to meet J.! I feel bad that this is the first day I’ve actually been up for doing something after work — he’s basically been cooped up in my apartment all week.
6 p.m. — We stop by Chelsea Market so J. can pick up dinner — I’m still too full from lunch. He decides to grab Thai chicken curry and rice from one of the stalls. I pay, since I basically won’t be buying any of my own food this week. $12.91
8 p.m. — We sit up on the High Line and watch the sun set while J. eats. Afterwards, we stroll up and down the length of it. It’s a little sad — I lived in New York before law school, and I remember a time before the High Line was the crowded mob scene it is now. The sheer swarms of people ruins it for me a little, but that’s just living in New York City, I guess — nothing stays tourist-free forever.
9 p.m. — J. mentions there’s another Ample Hills right under the High Line and I’m so hot and sticky at this point that ice cream sounds wonderful. We split a small cup — J. chooses a flavor with peanut butter cups, which I’m delighted to go along with. After we finish, we hop on the subway home. $5.45
10 p.m. — After we’re both showered and snuggly, J. asks if we can talk about wedding finances. His parents have offered to pay a pretty substantial amount so we can have a big, fun wedding. I grew up low-income and don’t plan on asking my parents to chip in for our wedding. (We’re not on good terms, and I have savings and will hopefully have a steady income.) I feel seriously awkward taking so much money from J.’s parents when mine aren’t paying at all, especially when I have way less to contribute (and lots of debt to pay back). We talk for several hours without really making a decision, but I’m glad it’s a conversation we’re able to have. We fall asleep way too late.
Daily Total: $18.36
8:30 a.m. — I force myself out of bed, shower, and get ready for the day. J. picked up berries from a farmer’s market yesterday, so I have a handful of raspberries for breakfast and head out to work.
9 a.m. — I have a little time to kill before my first meeting, so I end up browsing for new work clothes. Everyone at work dresses super well, and I’ve been feeling a little out of place with my scuffed heels and Express blazers. I end up on Thredup and order a second-hand Theory suit and a Diane von Furstenberg wrap dress. They’re obviously discounted a ton, but I still end up spending more money than I’d like to on clothes. I guess this is why they call them “investment” pieces? $161
9:30 a.m. — I get an email from the assigning attorney from a couple days ago — she forwarded my memo on to a partner and called it “fantastic work!” Bless you, Google, for helping me figure out antitrust law better than my extremely expensive law school.
10:30 a.m. — The women of color working here as full-time associates make a huge point of looking out for the WOC summer associates, which I love. I have a lot of dumb questions and insecurities, and there’s no one I feel more comfortable raising them with than the other women of color I work with. One of them stops by and asks if I want to grab coffee. We end up chatting about her amazing immigration-related pro bono work, and she assigns me to one of her cases after our coffee. Networking is good sometimes!
12:30 p.m. — Lunchtime again! My officemate asks if I want to tag along to a group lunch she’s on. We end up at a little place known for having incredible lobster rolls. They’re delicious but pretty tiny, so we each get two, as well as grilled shrimp and crusty bread for the table. We get to sit outside right by the water and it’s a perfect, breezy day. Sometimes I still can’t believe this is my life. As per usual, someone else pays.
6 p.m. — I work for the rest of the afternoon on my new case. Tonight we’re having a diversity social with all the other lawyers of color at my firm. I coordinate with the other summer associates heading over and we take an Uber. ($10.28 expensed)
6:15 p.m. — The diversity social ends up being crazy fun. The firm rented out a beautiful rooftop bar and set us up with frosé cocktails and (more) lobster rolls. Everyone is drinking, laughing, watching the sun set over the Hudson, and generally having a ball.
8 p.m. — I text J. and ask if he wants to come meet us — after a certain point in the night, it’s acceptable to bring significant others to work social events. He, however, is out with friends, and doesn’t text back for a while, so I end up staying. All that frosé went to my head a lot faster than expected, so I switch to water (and load up on lobster rolls) to try and get it together a bit.
9 p.m. — J. (finally) texts back and offers to come down and meet me, but by the time he gets here, the party is pretty much over. I’m still pretty tipsy, so we decide to stop for food on the way home. We end up at Xi’an Famous Foods — I LOVE their lamb dumplings more than life itself. We order a plate to share and I eat 90% of it. Oops. $9
9:30 p.m. — I order an Uber home for us. Since I was out for a work event, I’ll get it reimbursed. ($38.50 expensed)
10 p.m. — I pass out without taking off my makeup or rehydrating. Oops again.
Daily Total: $170
6:15 a.m. — Yikes. I wake up way earlier than I want to. I had four drinks over four hours, but I still wake up with a raging hangover and want to die. J. clearly anticipated this, because he left a big bottle of water and two Advil next to my side of the bed before he went to sleep. I chug the water, down the Advil, and try to go back to sleep, in hopes I’ll be magically cured when I wake up.
8 a.m. — I’m up for real, and surprise, still hungover. J. makes me drink more water, giving me a lecture on how hangovers are really just a sign that the body is dehydrated and how I’ll feel better once I get my body the liquid it’s screaming for (future doctor here, y’all). I get it together and get out the door, magically on time.
8:30 a.m. — The universe is not on my side today. Though I get onto my train on time, the trains are running super slowly, the express is running on the local line, the 2 is running on the F line… and so on. We get stuck right before 96th Street and wait for 10 minutes.
9 a.m. — Finally, finally, I manage to switch to the A train at 59th Street. (Only to be told it’s now running on the C track. Cool, cool.) This trauma would be bad any day, but with a hangover, I literally want to ball up on the floor and weep. I can feel all the water I consumed lurching around in my stomach and I’m actually worried I might throw up.
10 a.m. — I finally, finally make it to work without throwing up or weeping, which both seemed like distinct possibilities on the train — thirty minutes late. Luckily, a lot of my coworkers live in the same neighborhood as me and clearly take the same train to work, because my elevator up is packed. An associate I met at the event last night, S., sends me an email asking if I want coffee, which yes, on this day especially, yes I really do.
10:30 a.m. — We grab coffee. It turns out she’s an alum of my law school, so she spends the whole time giving me dirt on the professors to avoid for next year. I am deeply grateful. While we’re in line, my officemate texts asking if I can grab her a coffee as well. I get us both cold-brews, S. gets a latte, and I get a croissant, hoping food in my stomach will help with the queasiness. S. pays for everything.
11 a.m. — The coffee and croissant actually make me feel worse. J. texts me that coffee will actually just dehydrate me, prolonging the hangover, and he recommends switching to tea. We have super bougie tea ~sachets~ at work, so I make myself a cup of peppermint tea with a little honey and sip it slowly. It helps with the queasiness…a little. Luckily, it’s a pretty light morning in terms of workload.
1 p.m. — I’m feeling a lot better by lunch, which is good, because today’s lunch is a fun one! Since it’s a Friday, people are okay taking a lengthier lunch than usual, so we head downtown to a restaurant located on an actual boat (!!). I’m glad to see that everyone — especially the associates — look a little worse for the wear in the elevator down. Clearly I wasn’t the only one enjoying frosé last night.
1:30 p.m. — The restaurant is amazing, even if the persistent swaying probably isn’t the best call for a bunch of hungover folks. We get a big plate of oysters for the table (which I unfortunately can’t stomach at this moment), and I get a lobster roll and a strawberry lemonade. The food and citrus do wonders for my hungover self. An associate pays.
3 p.m. — My mentor asks if I want to get an afternoon ice cream because she knows the path to my heart and also it’s literally 95 degrees outside. I get coffee gelato, and we debrief about last night and chat about weekend plans. As always, it’s on the firm.
6 p.m. — I text J. on the way home to ask if we can have a quiet evening in — there’s been a little too much excitement for me lately. I get home to find a big bunch of peonies (my favorite) and a batch of his delicious Thai chicken soup. It’s flavorful and creamy and basically all I can stomach right now between a hangover and a week of extremely luxe food.
9:20 p.m. — I feel bad that J.’s only Friday here is such a lame one, courtesy of my hungover self. I know he’s been wanting to see The Incredibles 2, so I look up theaters and get us tickets for the 9:45 show at a theater close to my apartment. I only slightly cringe at paying $20 per ticket. $42.90
9:45 p.m. — We head down to the theater, which has giant La-Z-Boy seats. I get extremely comfortable right away, sob through the Pixar short (involving a female director and dumplings, my favorites!) and fall asleep in the middle of The Incredibles. J. loves the movie though, so mission accomplished, I guess.
12:30 a.m. — J. gives me a piggyback ride home (he is strong!) and I pass out as soon as he drops me on the bed.
Daily Total: $42.90
10 a.m. — We sleep in, but it’s J.’s last day in town and we’ve had so little time together this week, so I want it to be a fun one. Weekends mean brunch, obviously, so while he’s showering, I look up places. We’ve barely spent any time in Brooklyn, so we decide to venture out and make a day of it.
11:30 a.m. — One (long) train ride later, we’re in Prospect Heights! We end up at a cute little brunch spot that specializes in fried chicken and waffles. We each get a plate along with a gin and lemonade (me) and a sweet tea vodka (him). The food is a little pricey, but the fried chicken is actually seasoned! This is such a rarity in Manhattan I consider it worth every penny. I pay. $70.90
1 p.m. — J. is extremely into biking after last week’s adventures, so we end up renting bikes again. They’re way pricier here, for some reason. He pays. We spend the rest of the afternoon biking around Prospect Park (which is actually a lot smaller than I anticipated). Since there’s no traffic, I enjoy it way more than our last biking adventure.
3 p.m. — We decide to stop by the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens — I’ve never been! Since we both have student IDs, we get the student rate ($8 instead of $15) and spend a few hours browsing. I pay for both of us. It’s another ridiculously hot, sticky day and it’s actually even hotter inside some of the greenhouses. We end up taking a nap under (non-flowering) cherry blossom trees. $16
5 p.m. — We return the bikes and are heading home when we pass an Ample Hills. I drag J. in for another scoop (this is not normal for me, I promise). I get the Ooey Gooey (vanilla with pieces of St. Louis butter cake), and he gets his peanut butter concoction. We’re creatures of habit. $5.45
6:30 p.m. — We make it home. I’m wiped, so after I shower, I get into bed while J. packs up.
8 p.m. — I’m a little blue about J. leaving. We snuggle, make final Mules, and plot out our Colombia trip. I’m a little bummed that I’m not going to see him for the next two months, but the next time I do, it’ll be on a beach in Cartagena, so it’s worth it in the end, I guess.
10:20 p.m. — My best friend from high school is getting married in Seattle in a few months, and I still haven’t booked my flight. I text our third best friend — we’re traveling together and splitting a hotel room — and she hasn’t booked her flight either. Prices are already starting to go up and I’m annoyed at myself for not having done this sooner, so I buy tickets for us both, and she Venmos me back for her share instantly. $220.91
Daily Total: $313.26
Click HERE to read more from Refinery29