money diaries

Main Occupation: Senior Equipment Engineer
Location: Bay Area, CA
Salary: 125k
Paycheck amount (Monthly): $3200 ($2000 into my partner’s and my joint account)

Monthly Expenses, most split with my partner
Mortgage: $2800 per month
Internet: $80
Utilities (power and water): ~$60
Cell phone: $50 covered by my company
Yoga membership: $150
No car payments or debt.

Sunday
On most Sundays, I go to the local farmers market for my weekly produce and fruit. I started doing this after moving to the Bay Area a few years ago, and am addicted. I rarely get produce from a supermarket anymore. Today, I bought a half flat of strawberries (finally back in season!) for $22 (from hands down the best strawberry stand), 18oz of blueberries for $14 (finally back in season!), one bunch of asparagus for $4.50, brown mushrooms for $4 (priced at $4.75/lb, I think $1/lb more than the whites, but I think they have more flavor), 2 small heads of cauliflower for $2 (75c/lb at the “sort-outs” bins), one bunch of kale for $2, 3 small Haas avocados for $4 ($4.75/lb), and one onion for 50c.

After my partner and I dropped off our groceries at home, we drove to Monterey for a friend’s wedding. We went early so we could hang out in the area – happily found free parking near Fisherman’s Wharf for lunch. Paid $18 for clam chowder in a sourdough bread bowl, plus an extra 16oz chowder in a cup, plus one slide of garlic bread. The garlic bread was untasty and a waste of $1. After lunch we drove to Cannery Row (the wedding venue). Parked with the hotel valet ($10 for the entire evening, discounted for the wedding). We gave $150 for the wedding gift. The open bar drinks were sub-par, so a few friends and I went to the hotel bar for drinks. I paid for the second round – $51 with tip for 3 of us. At the end of the night we brought home one of the giant centerpieces home (probably worth $100!+, plus a vase).

Day total: $318

Monday
Went to Costco to fill up my gas tank. I drive a Honda Civic for economical reasons, and Costco gas is typically 20c cheaper than anywhere else. Well worth the membership! It was $3.79/gal for 11 gallons. I also dropped my car off at the Tire center for a flat tire repair. Since I bought my tires from Costco last year, the repair was free. While waiting for my Lift back to work, I bought an a├žai bowl and churro from the Costco food court ($6). The Lyft back to work was $9, and since I paid using a commuter card (company sponsorod) I gave a $2 tip. I didn’t eat lunch, but snacked on some “Simply Cheetos White Cheddar Jalapeno” which I got on sale last week from Target for $2.50. I ate a pint of strawberries and a handful of blueberries from the market. Later in the afternoon I took a Lyft back to Costco to pick up the car, another $9+$2 (not my money!). I taught my private yoga client in the evening, who pays me $75 per 75 minute session.

Day total: $72.19 – $75 = -$2.81

Tuesday
I practiced yoga in the Mysore room this morning. Membership at the studio cost me $899 for 6 months, but the studio owner has tacked on a free month because I travel a lot for work. Still, I’m not sure if the price of membership is justified if I only go 3 times a week. I was starving after practice, so I dropped by Noah’s Bagels and got a box for my coworkers for $15.50. I ate two Asiago bagels, my favorite. Apparently bagel boxes are $12 for all of April so I felt bad having not saved $3.50. Oh well. Skipped lunch because I was full of bagels, but had a pint of strawberries for a mid-day snack. After work, I picked up to-go dinner for my group of friends that get take-out and play board games every Tuesday. We got Indian food today -I paid and charged them on Venmo (yay points!). My Chicken Tikka Masala was $7.69, plus $1 for plain naan, plus a free plain naan for checking in on Yelp. After game night, I came home and made a batch of dark chocolate cookies. I used about 1.5 lb of chocolate chips from the bulk Sprouts (~$5/lb maybe?), three organic eggs from Costco ($7.49 for 24). I buy organic Madagascar vanilla extract, raw cane sugar, and non-organic unbleached flour in bulk from Costco, which is hard to price. I used 3 Tbsp Valhrona cocoa powder from Whole foods, which is about $20/lb. I messed up on the cookies so they weren’t up to my standards, and decided to give most of them away at work the next day.

Day total: $38.59

Wednesday
Ate 1 pint of strawberries and a handful of blueberries for breakfast. After a 5 hour training class at work, I ate in the work cafeteria, which is a rare occurence. Everything is priced per pound. I spent $5.69 on some pineapple fried rice, fried tofu, and chicken. After lunch I went to a secret break room that I know has free cereal and brought a bowl of off-brand Froot Loops back to my desk for snacking the rest of the day. After work, I taught my weekly public yoga class, for which I get paid $45 for a 75 minute class. I got home starving (as usual) so dinner was a pack of dried Chinese noodles (8 pack for $4), with some kale, mushrooms, asparagus, and seasoned bean curd (1/6 of a pack that was $5). People keep borrowing my yoga mats, so I decide to buy 2 more Jade mats (where I get a 40% discount for $85.47.

Day total: $92.41 – $45 = -$47.41

Thursday
I had some chocolate cookies for breakfast. Mid-morning snack was some of those healthy cheetos, about 1/6 of the ($2.50) bag. Lunch was cauliflower rice, asparagus, and a small piece of smoked salmon that a coworker made and gifted to me a few months ago. I had the munchies in the afternoon, so I bought a bag of off-brand gummy worms for $1.94 in the company snack store, which is always a rip-off. They weren’t tasty because I’m used to Haribo, so I gave them to my coworker. Won’t ever buy those again. I started my period earlier this week, and I use a Divacup ($25) for convenience and to reduce waste. I taught my private Yoga client in the evening, who pays me $75 per 75 minute session. Starving as usual when I get home, so I wolf down about 1/2 cup of leftover brown rice, six microwaved frozen breakfast sausages I found in the freezer, and one fried egg ($3?). Dessert was about 1/5 carton of green tea Haagen Dazs, which we only ever buy on sale for $3.50 each.

Day total: $31.94 – $75 = -$43.06

Friday
Went to Mysore practice in the morning. On Fridays, we socialize a bit over snacks and chai. I left a few chocolate cookies in exchange for a thermos of chai, since I have to leave quickly for a dentist appointment. Dentist appointment semi-annual check up is free because of my company sponsored dental plan. Dropped by Kaiser afterwards to get bloodwork done, which I requested from my doctor. Preventative checks are free under my plan. I didn’t feel like working after I got into the office so I went out for lunch with a friend – we went to a popular new Hainan chicken place, “Chicken Meets Rice” and I got a $12.95 bowl. My friend paid for me because I was late, so I Venmo’ed him back. I forgot tax, but ignored it. In the afternoon, I ate some more pseudo-healthy Cheetos (still the same $2.50 bag). After work, my partner and I decided to get Japanese food for dinner – we spent about $88 after tax and tip: “splurged” on $5.50 amberjack and $12 uni sushi, $13.95 sashimi platter, $14.95 clam udon, $23.95 fried fish combo plate. We ate all of it which impressed both of us. Went home and slept at 9:30 because I was pooped and so full.

Day total: $100.95

Saturday
I subbed for a public yoga class in the morning ($45 for a 60 minute class). Afterwards, I spend the day with my extended family to celebrate my mom’s birthday. A lot of free eating ensued for breakfast: half of a stale chocolate cookie from Dahlia’s Bakery in Seattle, 1.5 cronuts from Palo Alto Happy Donuts, 1 homemade tea egg. We moved on to lunch at Alexander’s Steakhouse, where my parents booked a private room for our large family party. They chose a $70 per person set menu, from which I ordered filet mignon. In addition to the set menu I got 2 gin and tonics, because why not? They had St George gin so I decided to treat myself. After lunch, we had 5 kinds of cake: one included in the set menu, then a burnt almond cake from La Patisserie (which didn’t seem as good as usual), a princess cake from La Patisserie, and a small opera cake and mousse from Alexander’s Patisserie. Skipped dinner and ran errands instead. I returned a pair of Rag and Bone booties that I bought from Nordstrom Rack because they gave me blisters. The cashier made a fuss because they were worn, but still issued the return for me for $155 back. I dropped by a local Thai massage place, where I paid $400 cash for a 6-hour massage package, then redeemed one hour. Went home at 9:30 with extremely sore shoulders and went to bed.

Day total: $400 – $200 = $200

Weekly total $$ spent:
$1054.08

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