Refinery29's Money Diaries offers readers an up-close-and-personal look at the financial lives of millennial women who share every detail of their spending over seven days—even the purchases they hide from partners and friends.

 

Interwoven among brand-new money diaries are valuable tips and advice on how to get rich (and afford life in the meantime) from a handpicked team of female financial advisors. You'll also find financial challenges to encourage you to take immediate control of your own money, including things like:

About the Book

With a vision of what your dream bank account balance looks like, some expert advice to help you  get there, and a powerful community of young women living it right alongside of you, you will be a step ahead to taking control of not just your wallet, but your life.

why budgets are bullshit and what to do instead


how to make loan/debt repayment as painless as possible


the first step to starting an emergency fund, even if you’re living paycheck to paycheck

 

 

what it takes to ask for a raise and get paid what you’re worth


how to have fun without going broke


the secret joy of saving for
future you

Money Diary

A Week In Brooklyn, New York, On $70,000

Occupation: Associate Account Manager

Industry: Advertising Technology

Age: 24

Location: Brooklyn, NY

Salary: $65,000, plus a part-time job paying $15/hr, roughly $4,500 a year

Paycheck (2x/month): $1,525 (full-time job) + ~$150 (every two weeks for part-time job as fitness studio coordinator)


General Financial Information:

Checking Account BalancE: $735.20
SavingS: $600 (I recently moved and spent $2,100 in moving costs (first month’s rent/security deposit + furniture). I also recently paid down another $5,000 on my college loans, which depleted my savings)

Digit Savings App: $306.31 (I typically use this to fund travel expenses. I recently bought tickets to Cuba and L.A. Next I want to go to Milan.)


Monthly Expenses:

Housing:

RENT: $850 (I have 4 roommates)

Electricity: $35.42

Gas: $24.13

Internet/Cable: $35.06
Renter’s Insurance:
$10

Phone bill: $0 (Paid for by my mom)

 

Transportation:

Monthly Metrocard: $60 (pre-tax, employer pays for half)

 

Health & Self-Care:

Health Insurance: $18.36

Dental: $1.86

Therapy: $40

GYM membership: $20 (paid for by employer)

 

Subscriptions:

NYT Subscription: $12.50

Spotify:  $9.99
NETFLIX:  $0 (I use my brother’s ex girlfriend’s dad’s Netflix. LOL.)

Amazon Prime:  $99/year

 

Debt:

Private Student Loan Monthly Payment: $652.86 per month

Private Student Loan Total:  
Federal Student Loan Monthly Payment:  $186.46

Federal Student Loan Total:  $20,733.12

Credit Card:  ~ $3,900

 

Retirement:

401(k) Monthly Contribution: $300/month

401(k) Total: ~$1,800 (I just started contributing 6 months ago)

 

 

7 a.m. — I wake up to a text from Digit with my checking account balance: $735.20. I make a bet with myself to resist spending more than $35 before Friday (pay day) to end the pay period with $700 that I can put towards my savings. I limit my chance of winning this bet by stopping to grab a small coffee with almond milk on my way into work. The barista gives me a free cookie because they’re celebrating their anniversary. Anything to make a Monday easier. $2.50

 

10 a.m. — My best friend texts me to confirm that I want tickets to see our favorite Latin American pop star Maluma in later March. Despite the bet I made with myself just 3 hours earlier, I throw in the towel and complete her Venmo request. $96.70

 

12:30 p.m. — Working in Ad Tech certainly has its perks, including daily catered lunch. Today’s vendor Latin Beet. I jump out of my desk to fix myself a plate of arugula, shredded beets, sweet potatoes, and cabbage.

 

7 p.m. — My therapist is located a 10-minute walk from Trader Joe’s. I don’t food shop in the traditional sense because I get free breakfast and lunch at work, but I do like to have a few snacks lying around to munch on while watching Netflix. TJ’s is a madhouse. Shocker. I’m already hungry from talking about my feelings for the better part of an hour so I buy two vegetarian tacos, scarf them down, and make my way to the subway home. $7.62

 

Daily Total: $106.82

 

| Day One  |

 

 

5:45 a.m. — I slept in my workout clothes with every intention of taking an early spin class. I work at Flywheel on the weekends, so I get free classes free which saves me $35/class. My alarm sounds. I avoid getting out of bed and check my email. I remember that my Italian class has been cancelled tonight. I change my bike reservation for a 6:15 p.m. class close to my office and hit snooze. I wake up an hour later to make myself some Moon Juice Power Dusted tea to sip while I read (my first Italian novel) Io Non Ho Paura (I’m Not Afraid). I’m about 8-years-old in Italian language years so you better believe my Oxford Italian dictionary is close.

 

8:15 a.m. — In hopes of scoring another free cookie, I head to the coffee shop for a coffee with almond milk ($2.50). No free cookie. I make my way to the subway and find a hoard of people waiting for the delayed train. I roll my eyes and start scrolling through my email. I get an email from St. Jude’s asking for donations for #GivingTuesday. I gladly make a very small donation of $10. $12.50

 

12 p.m. — Not only is it #GivingTuesday, It’s Taco Tuesday! I take a break from answering emails to fix myself a veggie taco salad. I get a reminder from a friend to purchase tickets to a live podcast taping this Friday. I’m a subscriber so I get 50% off the $30 ticket. $16.74 (including fees)

 

3 p.m. — Head to an industry event with my team. Before heading out I grab a “That’s It” fruit bar from the kitchen as well as a La Croix. I’ll have to head to Flywheel as soon as the meeting ends and want to make sure I have some pre-workout fuel.

 

8 p.m. — I hurry out of Flywheel to meet my boyfriend, F., at Whole Foods. We decide to make a Mediterranean dish, and salmon is on sale for $9.99/lb. We buy salmon, orzo, feta cheese, assorted Greek olives, pita chips, and hummus. F. pays because I lent him cash last week. When we get home, we find that the cashier forgot to bag the feta and the hummus, but still charged us for it. It’s cold, and I don’t want to walk 15 minutes back to Whole Foods to retrieve these items. I call customer service, and they agree to refund us for the two missing items. F. runs to the corner supermarket to replace missing items while I boil water for the orzo.

 

Daily Total: $29.24

 

| Day TWO  |

 

 

3 p.m. — After a recent failed attempt at fulfilling my dream to move to Italy to teach English, I have made travel a priority, even if that means I have to cut costs in other areas and work PT for extra cash. F. and I have been planning a trip to Paris for about five months, and he offered to buy tickets as a gift for our fifth anniversary. He gets an email from Scott Keyes offering round-trip flights to Paris for $400/per person. HE BOOKS, HE SCORES! Au revoir, New York.

 

7:45 p.m. — I return to F.’s apartment after work and find him preparing dinner – scallops and linguine. Perhaps Bœuf bourguignon would have been more appropriate, but I guess Italy is close enough to France. I’m on salad duty. We share a bottle of our favorite $12 bottle of wine.

 

Daily Total: $0

 

| Day THREE  |

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Refinery29's Money Diaries offers readers an up-close-and-personal look at the financial lives of millennial women who share every detail of their spending over seven days—even the purchases they hide from partners and friends.

About the Book
“This is about so much more than money; it's about taking control of your future.” 
#moneydiaries moneydiariesbook.com

 

 

7 a.m. — I wake up to a text from Digit with my checking account balance: $735.20. I make a bet with myself to resist spending more than $35 before Friday (pay day) to end the pay period with $700 that I can put towards my savings. I limit my chance of winning this bet by stopping to grab a small coffee with almond milk on my way into work. The barista gives me a free cookie because they’re celebrating their anniversary. Anything to make a Monday easier. $2.50

 

10 a.m. — My best friend texts me to confirm that I want tickets to see our favorite Latin American pop star Maluma in later March. Despite the bet I made with myself just 3 hours earlier, I throw in the towel and complete her Venmo request. $96.70

 

12:30 p.m. — Working in Ad Tech certainly has its perks, including daily catered lunch. Today’s vendor Latin Beet. I jump out of my desk to fix myself a plate of arugula, shredded beets, sweet potatoes, and cabbage.

 

7 p.m. — My therapist is located a 10-minute walk from Trader Joe’s. I don’t food shop in the traditional sense because I get free breakfast and lunch at work, but I do like to have a few snacks lying around to munch on while watching Netflix. TJ’s is a madhouse. Shocker. I’m already hungry from talking about my feelings for the better part of an hour so I buy two vegetarian tacos, scarf them down, and make my way to the subway home. $7.62

 

Daily Total: $106.82

 

 

 

5:45 a.m. — I slept in my workout clothes with every intention of taking an early spin class. I work at Flywheel on the weekends, so I get free classes free which saves me $35/class. My alarm sounds. I avoid getting out of bed and check my email. I remember that my Italian class has been cancelled tonight. I change my bike reservation for a 6:15 p.m. class close to my office and hit snooze. I wake up an hour later to make myself some Moon Juice Power Dusted tea to sip while I read (my first Italian novel) Io Non Ho Paura (I’m Not Afraid). I’m about 8-years-old in Italian language years so you better believe my Oxford Italian dictionary is close.

 

8:15 a.m. — In hopes of scoring another free cookie, I head to the coffee shop for a coffee with almond milk ($2.50). No free cookie. I make my way to the subway and find a hoard of people waiting for the delayed train. I roll my eyes and start scrolling through my email. I get an email from St. Jude’s asking for donations for #GivingTuesday. I gladly make a very small donation of $10. $12.50

 

12 p.m. — Not only is it #GivingTuesday, It’s Taco Tuesday! I take a break from answering emails to fix myself a veggie taco salad. I get a reminder from a friend to purchase tickets to a live podcast taping this Friday. I’m a subscriber so I get 50% off the $30 ticket. $16.74 (including fees)

 

3 p.m. — Head to an industry event with my team. Before heading out I grab a “That’s It” fruit bar from the kitchen as well as a La Croix. I’ll have to head to Flywheel as soon as the meeting ends and want to make sure I have some pre-workout fuel.

 

8 p.m. — I hurry out of Flywheel to meet my boyfriend, F., at Whole Foods. We decide to make a Mediterranean dish, and salmon is on sale for $9.99/lb. We buy salmon, orzo, feta cheese, assorted Greek olives, pita chips, and hummus. F. pays because I lent him cash last week. When we get home, we find that the cashier forgot to bag the feta and the hummus, but still charged us for it. It’s cold, and I don’t want to walk 15 minutes back to Whole Foods to retrieve these items. I call customer service, and they agree to refund us for the two missing items. F. runs to the corner supermarket to replace missing items while I boil water for the orzo.

 

Daily Total: $29.24

 

 

 

3 p.m. — After a recent failed attempt at fulfilling my dream to move to Italy to teach English, I have made travel a priority, even if that means I have to cut costs in other areas and work PT for extra cash. F. and I have been planning a trip to Paris for about five months, and he offered to buy tickets as a gift for our fifth anniversary. He gets an email from Scott Keyes offering round-trip flights to Paris for $400/per person. HE BOOKS, HE SCORES! Au revoir, New York.

 

7:45 p.m. — I return to F.’s apartment after work and find him preparing dinner – scallops and linguine. Perhaps Bœuf bourguignon would have been more appropriate, but I guess Italy is close enough to France. I’m on salad duty. We share a bottle of our favorite $12 bottle of wine.

 

Daily Total: $0

 

Order your copy
Money Diaries by Lindsey Stanberry

About the Book
“This is about so much more than money; it's about taking control of your future.” 
#moneydiaries moneydiariesbook.com

12:30 p.m. — Working in Ad Tech certainly has its perks, including daily catered lunch. Today’s vendor Latin Beet. I jump out of my desk to fix myself a plate of arugula, shredded beets, sweet potatoes, and cabbage.

Daily Total: $106.82

3 p.m. — Head to an industry event with my team. Before heading out I grab a “That’s It” fruit bar from the kitchen as well as a La Croix. I’ll have to head to Flywheel as soon as the meeting ends and want to make sure I have some pre-workout fuel.

8 p.m. — I hurry out of Flywheel to meet my boyfriend, F., at Whole Foods. We decide to make a Mediterranean dish, and salmon is on sale for $9.99/lb. We buy salmon, orzo, feta cheese, assorted Greek olives, pita chips, and hummus. F. pays because I lent him cash last week. When we get home, we find that the cashier forgot to bag the feta and the hummus, but still charged us for it. It’s cold, and I don’t want to walk 15 minutes back to Whole Foods to retrieve these items. I call customer service, and they agree to refund us for the two missing items. F. runs to the corner supermarket to replace missing items while I boil water for the orzo.

Daily Total: $29.24

Order your copy
About the Book

“This is about so much more than money; it's about taking control of your future.” 
#moneydiaries moneydiariesbook.com

Order your copy
About the Book
“This is about so much more than money; it's about taking control of your future.” 
#moneydiaries moneydiariesbook.com

Occupation:
Associate Account Manager

 

Industry:
Advertising Technology

Age: 24


Location:
Brooklyn, NY


Salary:

$65,000, plus a part-time job paying $15/hr,
roughly $4,500 a year

Paycheck (2x/month):
$1,525 (full-time job) + ~$150 (every two weeks for part-time job as fitness studio coordinator)


General Financial Information:

Checking Account BalancE: $735.20

SavingS:
$600 (I recently moved and spent $2,100 in moving costs
(first month’s rent/security deposit + furniture). I also recently
paid down another $5,000 on my college loans, which depleted my savings)

Digit Savings App:
$306.31 (I typically use this to fund travel expenses. I recently bought tickets to Cuba and L.A. Next I want to go to Milan.)


Monthly Expenses:

Housing:


RENT:

$850 (I have 4 roommates)


Electricity
: $35.42


Gas:
$24.13


Internet/Cable:
$35.06

Renter’s Insurance:
$10

Phone bill: $0 (Paid for by my mom)

Transportation:


Monthly Metrocard:
$60 (pre-tax, employer pays for half)

 

Health & Self-Care:

 

Health Insurance: $18.36

 

Dental: $1.86

 

Therapy: $40

GYM membership:
$20 (paid for by employer)

 

Subscriptions:

NYT Subscription: $12.50

Spotify:  $9.99

NETFLIX: 
$0 (I use my brother’s ex girlfriend’s dad’s Netflix. LOL.)


Amazon Prime:
  $99/year

 

Debt:

Private Student Loan Monthly Payment:
$652.86 per month

Private Student Loan Total:
  
Federal Student Loan Monthly Payment:  $186.46


Federal Student Loan Total:
  $20,733.12


Credit Card:
  ~ $3,900

 

Retirement:


401(k) Monthly Contribution:
$300/month

401(k) Total:
~$1,800 (I just started contributing 6 months ago)

Order your copy
About the Book

“This is about so much more than money; it's about taking control of your future.” 
#moneydiaries moneydiariesbook.com

Order your copy