The Money Diaries: Overview | Day 1

Personal and Spending Overview:

Industry: Graphic Design. 

Position: I work at a radio station and wear a lot of hats, but my title - Creative Services Manager - implies that my primary function is to create artwork and manage marketing materials. I also freelance for 2 different organizations, but the money I make there is pretty minimal, and I only get paid every other month. I also work for the same radio station as a part time radio DJ on weekends. 

Age: 31

Location: San Jose, CA. My husband and I just purchased our first home in July.

Salary: Base at the radio station: Under $50,000 annually - Freelance: $250/month - DJ: $10.30/hour (yup, I only make minimum wage). My husband's salary, however, brings our annual income to over $100k. 

Paycheck Amount (bi-weekly): Under $1,400 less taxes and deductions: flexible spending account allocation, 401K deposit, Roth IRA, and health insurance

# of roommates: 1 (my husband)

Monthly Expenses

Mortgage: A LOT. Since this isn't anonymous, I won't be disclosing just how insane our mortgage payment is, but I will say that we opted for the impound account. Which means each monthly mortgage payment includes: Principal, Interest, Escrow (property tax, homeowners insurance, flood insurance, and PMI [mortgage insurance])

Loan Payments: Student loans: $300 - Vehicle lease for my car: $350. My husband's truck is paid off (thank heavens!)

Credit Cards: The minimum payment for all our credit cards is something obscenely low, like $40 each, for a total of $120/month. We generally pay about $200 for each card that has a balance. So $400 right now. 

Financed Items: We had to buy a refrigerator for our new house: $70. We bought a bed last year: $125

Utilities: Pacific Gas & Electric: $65 - San Jose Water Company: $85 every other month - Comcast for cable and internet: $152

Transportation: I live just 3 miles from work, but since my husband has a longer commute, I usually drive my car when we go out. I typically can get by with a tank of gas for 8-10 days. $120/month

Car Insurance: $142 for my leased car and my husband's truck.

Phone Bill: $110 - as part of a family plan with my parents.

Health Insurance: $140 month deducted from my paychecks every 2 weeks. I know this is absurdly low. The president and owner of my company is very generous this way. 

Savings: We used to be excellent at saving, that's how we bought the house. Now, not so much. Aside from my 401K and Roth IRA contributions, we can SOMETIMES save about $200 a month...

Entertainment: I have satellite radio in my car: $24. And of course, we're American, so we love Netflix: $10


Day 1

I grocery shopped at the newly opened Sprouts by our new house last night (which I am including here because I will not grocery shop for the rest of the week) and bought some staples: lunch meat, salad mixes, yogurt, pears, ingredients to make 2 meals, lunch and snack items for myself at work (my husband gets free lunch at work).  I finally splurge on 6 gluten free bagels for $5.99. Not a normal thing for me, but I am on a special eating plan for the time being and I have been REALLY missing bagels (but that's another blog post...) $50.26

6:45am --  Since I wasn't feeling that great last night I try to let myself sleep in. Today it kind of works. I don't need to do my hair, so I go about my regular routine: bathroom, get my outfit ready and watch the news for 10 minutes, and quickly shower. I put my robe on and dig into a gluten-free bagel and sip my water. I do my make up, put my hair up, and get dressed. I am out the door by 8:03am. Some mornings I grab breakfast from Starbucks or Burger King (always iced coffee and a bagel at Starbucks or oatmeal at BK), but since I had time and was craving a bagel, I skip that this morning. Plus, there's a neighbor of mine that puts her cats in shirts, so I had to take a picture to send my best friend. So no time for drive-thru breakfast. 

10:45am -- I have been in meetings all morning. One of them at 9am is standard and pretty low-key. The other at 9:45 is one of my favorites: we listen to a variety of new music and give our input on what we like and don't like, and what we want to add to the radio station. I sip water during both meetings, but by the time we're done, I'm hungry. I grab the trail mix I bought last night and sit back down in my boss's office for a quick discussion about the station presence on social media and how our team can work together to make it better. 

12:45pm -- I meet with my coworkers to eat lunch. I packed lunch meat, cheese, grapes, GF crackers, and an apple with peanut butter. I am full so I only eat a few apple slices and save the rest for later. I finish feeling good about my choices, and the fact that I actually brought lunch to work. 

3:45pm -- My boss calls us in to his office to go over concert dates and other events so we can start filling in our 2017 calendars and plan a big event series we showcase. By the time I finish I realize I haven't finished the biggest project I have today and it's already almost 4pm. I head to the kitchen and pour some coffee over ice with half a packet of hot chocolate mix and some creamer to make an iced mocha and get to work. 

5:20pm -- It's all of a sudden after 5pm and I am still at the office. My husband is stuck in traffic and still needs to vote. He is supposed to grill some steaks for dinner, but I have no idea what time he will be home. Since I only took steak out for dinner, I have to go to the grocery store (WalMart - there goes my plan for the week!) to pick up sausage, French bread, and parmesan cheese. Because I'm lazy, I splurge on already diced onions. Plus, my husband asks me for wine, I also decide I want some apple juice. $19.44

6:55pm -- Dinner is on the stove and my husband still isn't home. I will probably eat by myself if he's not home by 7:30pm because I am starving. 

Total for the day: 

Groceries yesterday: $50.26
Day 1: $19.44

Grand Total: $69.70


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