Cost of living in Brooklyn

Welcome to Money Diaries, where we’re tackling what might be the last taboo facing modern working women: money. We’re asking WOMEN how they spend their hard-earned money during a seven-day period — and we’re tracking every last dollar.

Today: a Wellness Editor who makes $46,000 per year and spends some of her money this week on Levain cookies.

Occupation: Wellness Editor
Industry: Editorial
Age: 24
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Salary: $46,000
Paycheck Amount (2x/month ): $1,372
Gender: Woman

Monthly Expenses
Rent: $1,000 + ~$50 for utilities (I live in a two-bedroom apartment with a roommate)
Loans: $250
Spotify/Hulu bundle: $9.99
Netflix: I use my parents’ account (thanks mom and dad!)
Amazon Prime: Also the parents’ account (love you guys!)
Disney+: $6.99
Unlimited MTA card: $127
ClassPass: $82
Charity Donations: $240
Phone: $20 (Venmo to my parents)
Savings: $250

Day One

7 a.m. — I unhappily get out of bed and make sure my house is ready for the exterminator. We don’t have major pest issues (thank God), but we did have an incident with a mouse a few months ago. Since then, we’ve never missed the exterminator’s appointment on the first Monday of the month.

7:50 a.m. — After the exterminator comes and does his thing, I make a quick breakfast of roasted sweet potatoes, two fried eggs, and half an avocado. So good, so satisfying!

8:30 a.m. — I drop off my laundry (a little treat that greatly improves my quality of life) and catch a very crowded train to work.

9:30 a.m. — I get off the train, pre-annoyed at the day ahead. Do you ever have that feeling? I grab a large drip coffee from my favorite coffee cart to turn around my morning. $1.75

12:15 p.m. — The coworker who sits next before me, D., is leaving this week (cue tears), so a group of us get lunch to celebrate her new job. We order my favorite lunch splurge, and I have a credit on my account from being an overly loyal customer. This credit brings my $13 lamb bowl down to $4.30. I save half my lunch for tomorrow’s lunch. $4.30

1:45 p.m. — I am very tired and need a pick-me-up — whenever the exterminator comes it really stresses me out. I don’t know why, it’s probably something I should talk to a therapist about. But for now, I’m going to enjoy a square of Ghirardelli’s peppermint bark.

3:30 p.m. — Still exhausted, time for another square of chocolate.

5 p.m. — SEE YA LATER, office. I was going to go for a run after work, but after my lack of sleep it’s time to go home, meal prep for the rest of the week, get some work done on my blog, and get a good night’s sleep.

5:45 p.m. — I go pick up my laundry from the sweet lady who runs the laundromat. She is my favorite, and she only charged me $1 extra for washing my blanket (usually an additional $7 fee). My grand total is $12.35 for clean linens (the BEST feeling). $12.35

6:30 p.m. — Dinner is some goat cheese snd sun-dried tomato ravioli from Trader Joe’s, paired with a little pesto and sauteed shrimp — I know, delish.

7:45 p.m. — I work on my blog a little before bed — my weekly newsletter is supposed to come out tomorrow and it’s nowhere near ready. Sure, I don’t make any money off this yet, but it’s still a fun outlet.

10 p.m. — After an episode of NCIS, it’s time for bed.

Daily Total: $18.40

Day Two

7:30 a.m. — Those clean sheets make it SO hard to get out of bed this morning. After rolling around in my comfortable little cocoon, I get out of bed to shower and throw on clothes for the day. I grab a Perfect bar from the fridge for a quick breakfast.

8:30 a.m. — The train is delayed — looks like I’m hopping on a different line and transferring at some point. UGH.

9:15 a.m. — At the office, I make coffee from the French press I keep at my desk and enjoy a nice strong cup with my Perfect bar. I’ll be hungry in a little bit, but whatever.

10:45 a.m. — A group of friends and I have been talking about a weekend away in LA for a while…time to bite the bullet and buy the tickets. Thankfully, I find direct flights and my roundtrip total…well, it could be worse. Thankfully, one of my friends has the Disneyland hook-up so we’ll be getting into the park for free when we’re there! $322

12 p.m. — Is it too early for lunch? I usually eat closer to 1, but with a smaller breakfast than normal, it’s time to enjoy that leftover grain bowl. I don’t buy lunch out often, but when I do I ALWAYS save half for the next day.

3 p.m. — I grab a packet of protein powder from my desk drawer, grab my my shaker bottle, and go to the communal kitchen for some milk. A mid-afternoon protein shake is exactly what I need when I haven’t eaten as much as normal and I have a workout class to attend.

4:45 p.m. — I leave the office a little early to make it to my Pure Barre class (booked through ClassPass). Thankfully, my boss is pretty understanding about leaving a little early for post-work events/classes.

6:30 p.m. — SUCH a good class! I am new to the Pure Barre world, but I love the little pushes that work ALL your muscle groups.

7:30 p.m. — I head home to meal prep my lunches for the rest of the week. On the menu we have a version of a taco bowl — roasted sweet potatoes, black beans, corn salsa, and avocado with all the yummy spices. For dinner tonight, I’m lazy — an apple with peanut butter and some pretzel crisps with a laughing cow cheese.

10 p.m. — I finish all my dishes (people with dishwashers have no idea what life is actually like) and shower before bed. My roommate, T., comes home and we catch up before I say goodnight — time to sleep.

Daily Total: $322

Day Three

7 a.m. — Okay, as good as bed feels it’s time to actually get up and accomplish things this morning. I shower and make a quick breakfast — scrambled eggs, shaved parmesan, and some strawberries.

8:30 a.m. — I grab my meal prepped lunch and catch the train to the office.

10:30 a.m. — I have a monthly check-in with my manager today and I have A LOT of stuff to go over with him. Thankfully, we have a good relationship, but it’s never fun to talk about the crappy stuff happening in the office. I’m a little distracted and can’t wait for it to be time to talk.

12:30 p.m. — My meeting is over and it went fine. Not crazy good, but I know he understands where I am coming from. Time for a square of chocolate (eventually these will run out, I know) and then off to a weekly editors meeting that I lead.

1:20 p.m. — My meeting finishes up — nothing out of the ordinary. Every week I wonder why a senior editor isn’t leading it…but I’ve been told countless times that this (and other leadership things I do) will help me gain that senior position. I don’t know, it just seems like they’re taking advantage of me by saying that. Whatever, time for lunch — my meal prep from last night.

2:30 p.m. — Another square of chocolate. YUM.

4:30 p.m. — SO CLOSE to the end of the day. I need to go home and bake banana bread, I have already decided.

6:30 p.m. — I get home, excited to bake my banana bread, only to find that I don’t have enough flour. And the bananas have already been mushed! What a bummer. Instead of going back out to get flour, I make dinner — sautéed shrimp, some pesto pasta, and roasted zucchini.

9 p.m. — I watch NCIS (they finally got a new team member, I’m not sure how I feel about her yet), then an early bedtime.

Daily Total: $0

Day Four

6:30 a.m. — YIKES getting up before the sun is my least favorite thing. All for the love of hot yoga, I guess. I throw my workout clothes on, grab my tote with things to get ready for work, and hit the road.

7:15 a.m. — I get to yoga at a studio I haven’t been to before. I quickly realize they don’t have showers. This is a BIG problem since I am a sweaty mess after hot yoga (it’s like 97 degrees in there!) and need to smell better than a high school football player for work. I buy a water bottle at the studio because I forgot mine. $2.50

8:30 a.m. — Man, that class was a hot mess. Not the instructor, ME. I couldn’t balance to save my life and the stillness she wanted the class to find? Very MIA. I book it uptown to the studio’s sister studio to use their showers. I was NOT planning on making a stop on my way to the office and it now I’ll be cutting it close to getting to work on time.

9:30 a.m. — A quick little sprint-walk for the 14 blocks from the studio (and their beautiful showers) to my office and I’m only the tiniest bit late. Time to pretend to be busy for a little bit before I can justify going to get breakfast.

10 a.m. — Okay, time to get food. I’ve been up for almost four hours — I’m STARVING. I go to the deli around the corner from our office where the sandwich guys know me, and my order, very well. They have my bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich on the griddle before I can say “good morning.” I make a stop at Starbucks on my short walk back to the office — I have enough stars to earn a free drink and with how my morning went, I think today is the day. I get a grande vanilla blonde latte with an extra shot — my “treat yo self” order. $4.90

2 p.m. — WOW, this day has actually flown by. Is this what getting up a little earlier does to a person? Not that my morning encouraged waking up before the sun, but still, it’s already mid-afternoon? Time for lunch — same veggie taco bowl as yesterday.

5 p.m. — Our office is heading to happy hour in honor of D.’s last day tomorrow. Manhattan bars are the absolute worst. Aside from the German Bierhaus we frequent, all of them are majorly overpriced. My two gin and tonics ring up to $20. Absurd. $20

7:30 p.m. — Home and ready to catch up on this week’s Bachelor episode. There were TWO this week (the nerve, honestly) which means T. and I are twice as far behind. We watch the first one and I snack on an apple with peanut butter.

10:30 p.m. — I am WIPED. Time to sleep.

Daily Total: $27.40

Day Five

7:30 a.m. — Is it REALLY time to get out of bed? Looking out my window and seeing rain makes it even more unmotivating to move. Finally, I do, for the sake of a shower and some breakfast. Fact: Scrambled eggs are just that much better with a mountain of fresh parm on top. Paired with strawberries and my stomach is very happy. NOW I can go to work.

9:15 a.m. — I get off the train a stop early (in the rain, unfortunately) to stop for my large drip from the coffee cart. $1.75

12:30 p.m. — I heat up my last meal prep lunch of the week — good ole vegetarian taco bowl. Thankfully, it’s just as good as it was two days ago.

3 p.m. — We get out early on Fridays — a HUGE perk of working at a fairly flexible start-up. I go to the Upper West Side to grab a cookie from Levain Bakery with a friend, R., who has never been. How has she not been to Levain?! It’s a New York ICON and lives up the hype it receives. I get a dark chocolate chocolate chip cookie (the size of my fist) and R. gets the chocolate chip brioche. $4

3:30 p.m. — We make our way to a nearby cafe to enjoy our treats someplace warm. You’re not supposed to bring in outside food or drink, but we do so anyway. R. has been having a hard time with her depression — I know I can’t do much to help, but I CAN eat delicious treats and be a good listener. I just hope she knows how loved she is.

6 p.m. — After sitting in the cafe for a few hours, I head back to Brooklyn. It’s quite the trek, the Upper West to Brooklyn, but I make it.

7 p.m. — I’m at my house just long enough to munch on some almonds and put my hair in a messy bun — time to go to my friend’s house for game night. Thankfully, she only lives 10 minutes away from us, so it’s a convenient location (an unheard-of luxury in NYC).

7:30 p.m. — THANK GOODNESS, GAME NIGHT HAS SNACKS!! My cookie + almond combo was not enough for dinner and I am so thankfully for the pizza rolls, strawberries, and Doritos present.

10 p.m. — T. and I come back to our house from the game night and make our plan for tomorrow. We both have had emotionally exhausting weeks and it would be great to just chill, but we have things! to! do! After a quick plan and a long-ish heart to heart check-in, we both decide it’s time for bed.

Daily Total: $5.75

Day Six

8 a.m. — I could sleep a little later than normal, but there is a lot do to today! I get up, shower, and make scrambled eggs to have with some strawberries for breakfast.

9 a.m. — T. and I are catching up on the second episode of The Bachelor from the last Wednesday. Thank goodness for Hulu. We each make a cup of coffee and plop ourselves on the couch – yes, our productivity is starting with catching up on a reality TV show.

11 a.m. — PHEW, what a whirlwind of emotions that was! Now that we can check that off our list, we can get to everything else. Next up, we’re taking a pile of clothes to Buffalo Exchange in hopes of getting some store credit for new clothes. I have a huge pile, T. has three things…she is very kind to help me carry my basket. We hop on the train and head into the city.

12:30 p.m. — Okay, I am convinced Buffalo Exchange is the pickiest consignment shop known to mankind. I had some good stuff in that pile, and they only bought ONE pair of pants!? Absurd. Whatever, at least they will donate the stuff they don’t buy for you, so my closet is still clean and I earned a whole $9 in-store credit.

1 p.m. — Our reward for cleaning out the closets is trying a new pizza place for the New York City pizza crawl I have decided is necessary to my wellbeing. Village Square Pizza is a couple of blocks away from Buffalo Exchange, so that’s where we go. I get a pepperoni square and a grandma slice (patterned with pesto, marinara, and mozzarella). I add Mike’s Hot Honey to both slices because when hot honey is available, it NEEDS to go on your pizza. $10.75

2 p.m. — I head uptown to visit R. I told her I would come to hang out and help her do laundry and grocery shop before T. and I’s Galentine’s party tonight.

5 p.m. — After a couple of hours with R., I head back for the party. T. has been so helpful in doing my Trader Joe’s run for my half of the party supplies — I Venmo her $20. $20

7 p.m. — We had a much smaller turnout than expected, but honestly, after a really long week, that is probably a good thing. We hang out, eat snacks, and open the nice bottle of red that T. received as a gift a little while ago. We end our little get-together with Failure to Launch. Matthew McConaughey is just all that and then some, right?

11 p.m. — T. and I clean up the house after our guests leave and promptly go to sleep.

Daily Total: $30.75

Day Seven

9 a.m. — I wake up and decide that not too much of anything should happen today. Normally, I’m up and ready for church at this time on Sundays, but today is going to be very slow. T. won’t be back until 1 or 2 this afternoon, so the house is all mine.

10:30 a.m. — I finally roll out of bed, in a bit of a sour (read: hungry) mood and make scrambled eggs with strawberries and a cup of coffee. I also down LOTS of water — my body is always dehydrated when I wake up, probably because my landlord believes we need to live in a sauna.

11 a.m. — I map out my week, watch the newest episode of The Bold Type, and also dive into Seth Meyer’s Netflix special. It’s not John Mulaney-level funny, but I can definitely see how the two are friends.

2 p.m. — T. returns and she brings me a bagel from Leo’s. Roommate of the year!

3 p.m. — I’ve asked T. if she can use my camera to take a couple of pictures of me for my blog. She happily agrees and I go put on a cute outfit and do my makeup (for the first time in a BIT, I might add).

5 p.m. — The sun has officially gone down and it’s time to run and grab some food for the week. Trader Joe’s, while not conveniently located, is well worth the trip. I get red potatoes, Italian sausage, kale, chicken broth, eggs, sweet potatoes, avocados, black bean burritos, strawberries, and dark chocolate peanut butter cups. $28

7 p.m. — T. and I decide to start the docuseries Cheer on Netflix and are soon overwhelmed with enthusiasm for a sport neither of us participated in.

9 p.m. — I am EXHAUSTED…WHY? I had such a do-nothing day! Whatever, hopefully going to bed early will help me be ready for the busy week I have tomorrow. I read the book our office picked for book club and soon my eyes get heavy…time to sleep.

Daily Total: $28

Click HERE to read more from Refinery29

Do you believe in super being called "God"?

View Results

Loading ...
 Loading ...

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


Confirm you are not a spammer! *