Welcome to Spending Notes, where we do a weekly deep dive into how our readers spend their cash. Today: a waitress who makes $35,000 a year
Location: Chelsea, Manhattan
Salary: $35,000 (approximately $1,150 per pay period)
I’m lucky to work nights most of the time, leaving room to sleep in and scroll through social media before I make coffee. Three days a week (including today), I head to the apartment complex’s gym for some strength training or cardio (today, it’s strength). Then, I shower before heading to my computer—I’m on a mission to finally find the right therapist. I want to improve my mental health, and friends have recommended New York therapists and psychotherapy sessions. I see a potential therapist that looks like a good fit and make a note to schedule my first session soon. Mental health issues, be gone!
Next, I’m off to Whole Foods. I grab a tofu cashew korma for now, plus some groceries and a twelve-pack of hard seltzer, then head home and eat my tofu before heading to work. After my shift, I enjoy a half-off sandwich before returning home, finishing my skincare routine, then heading to bed.
I have today off, so I sleep in a bit later than usual pre-coffee. Then, it’s back to my laptop again. My best friend’s birthday is coming up, so I want to send her a gift (thanks, online shopping!). After college, she moved to Toronto, and I know she’s been looking for some wall art to spruce up her new place. I want to find the best metal wall art Canada offers, and I find just that with a 12 x 18 print of Paris. Not only am I granting her wish for metal wall art, but I’m reminding her of our time studying abroad in France, too.
My credit card payment is due today, so I schedule that then make a salad for lunch. Later, my friend S. comes by with Chinese takeout for us to share—I provide the seltzer. We get settled on the couch to rewatch Gilmore Girls (#TeamJess) and catch up. Later, she crashes on my couch, and I head to bed.
S. and I head to Starbucks for caffeine and pastries, then head to our respective homes. I open a dating app and match with an HR manager from the Bronx. We arrange for a coffee date tomorrow before logging off. Then, I make a salad and head to work. I grab another sandwich on my way out, head home, and get ready for bed.
Another begins with coffee & cardio. I take some time to look great for this date, then meet my match, L., at a local coffee shop. I order an Americano and a cookie, L. orders matcha and another warm-out-of-the-oven cookie, and we get to know each other. I pay the bill as we head out—I’m feeling lucky to match with L. amidst all the women in New York! I’m excited to spend more time with her soon but, for now, I get ready to go to work. After, I stick to my regular routine—sandwich, home, and then straight to bed.
Today’s an easy day at home. First, I wake up and make coffee, then scroll through social media. Then, while I’ve got my phone in hand, I pay my utility bill—thankfully, rent isn’t due for a few more weeks. Then, I play Pokémon with Netflix in the background and make another at-home lunch before my shift. After, I follow my standard routine.
Today, I’m mixing things up with an early shift, which calls for coffee before getting ready. After that, I work from eleven to five, grab a side salad (like my usual sandwich, at half-price!), then head home again. I scroll through social media to accompany said salad and call S. to chat for a while. Later, I order dinner in—tikka masala and naan—and watch the latest episodes of my new go-to K-drama. After, it’s time for a shower, then straight to bed.
With another day off (two in a week is a privilege!), I’m excited to meet L. for dinner tonight. I do a quick yoga workout, shower, and do some laundry and other chores before a short beauty nap. Then, I get ready for the evening and meet L. at a new sushi spot—we split a kale goba salad and avocado rolls. She tries to cover the check, but I push for a compromise: we split it. After, we walk back to my place to end the night.
Total for the week: $555.50