Money Diaries

Money Diaries: Day 12-14

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The last week has been absolutely crazy. I flew to the east coast for my 5 year reunion, and it has been a whirlwind. It was an expensive 5 days, and I definitely did some indulgent shopping that I can’t say I’m proud of. A lot of our meals have been pretty pricy. With large groups, the only places that accommodate all of us are fancier restaurants, but when it comes to spending quality time with friends who have been in your life for 9 years, it’s totally worth it. Here’s the weekend recap:

Day 12, Friday

10:00 AM: Croissant and latte at Ludlow Coffee Supply–the cost of settling in to work outside the house. I’ve been working on a blog post for MMD, but have started and re-started so many times because the approach just doesn’t seem quite right. $9.50

12:00 PM: Meet up with my friend for some amazing pastrami sandwiches and matzo ball soup at Katz’s Deli right around the corner. This is a pricy combo but totally worth it! $20.09

1:00 PM: Circle back to the coffee shop. Actually right before I left, I had overheard the girl sitting next to me talk about job searching, and had started a conversation with her. I wanted to circle back and hear her story, so I ended up getting a chai latte and chatting with her about her mentality towards career transitioning. Job searching has been on my mind since I wrote my Overcoming Mental Blockers and Imposter Syndrome When Looking For Your First Job post. $4.50

2:00 PM: Head to a different coffee shop to actually try and get my blog post finished (I failed…still can’t figure out the right way to approach this topic!) The price of admission is a hot tea. $3.81

3:30 PM: Head over to Penn Station to meet up with my college friends and take Amtrak down to Philly (I bought the Amtrak ticket super early back in January and managed to get a great deal on it!). $0

6:00 PM: We walk to our hotel on campus, but head over the bookstore for some college swag. Unfortunately this is where all my budgeting willpower deteriorated and died. I get a nice college long sleeve tshirt. $29.98

6:30 PM: We check in to the registration tent, but 80% of our friends aren’t here yet, so I end up going to get a coffee with my old roommate at this great gelato place on campus. $3.99

7:00 PM: There’s free food and drinks at the first reunion event, so thankfully I didn’t have to spend any more! $0

9:00 PM: We hit up this burger place on campus, but thankfully I resist getting a burger I can’t finish or a milkshake for the hell of it! $0

Commute: $0
Restaurants: $41.89
Shopping: $29.98

Total: $71.87

Day 13, Saturday

9:00 AM: Head over to an old favorite brunch place near campus with friends. I try to keep the brunch spending low–I’m a bit over brunch at this point to be paying tons for eggs or french toast. Short stack pancakes, a side of bacon, and a coffee + tax and tip was only $13.50

11:00 AM: We head over to a career talk that our friend is on the panel of. It’s so interesting hearing everyone’s stories of not knowing what to do next or not feeling 100% fulfilled by work. It’s so important to hear that no one has it all figured out! One huge takeaway for me, though, was that even if you are still looking for the next job or career move that will increase your fulfillment, patience is still a huge factor! $0

12:00 PM: Again, total loss of control. It’s raining and we stop into the college bookstore again for swag. We had found some 20% single item coupons, and I completely gave in to the “What can I use this coupon on?!” mentality instead of “Do I really need this just because it’s on sale?” mentality. I have been wanting some college gear to rep my school for over a year now, but every time I held back because the cost of shipping was so high. I think maybe holding out sent me a little overboard when I saw everything in person. I got a hoodie and an umbrella. $66

1:00 PM: Coffee at the old gelato spot with friends. I grab a tea to warm up. The rain is the worst! $2.70

2:00 PM: We head downtown to my favorite vietnamese noodle shop where I first discovered this amazing dish called Bun Rieu. $4

3:00 PM: My friends want to do some shopping at some boutiques nearby, but thankfully I resist purchasing anything here even though there are the cutest little knick knacks! $0

4:30 PM: I end up taking a car to a rock climbing gym in the area. I love seeing the different route setting styles at different gyms, and a friend back home had recommended this one! $4.59

5:00 PM: Gym time! $18.95

7:00 PM: Head out to catch our main reunion dinner. Unfortunately the rain has driven prices up. $14.30

7:30 PM: Full dinner with our entire group (16 of us!) Usually with a group this big, we’ve started splitting the bill evenly without calculating what each individual has gotten. It just makes it way easier that way since there was so much appetizer/sides sharing. $28

9:00 PM: Head over to the main school hosted cocktail party. People are splitting cars, but I haven’t been charged yet to pay anyone back. $0

11:00 PM: Head out from the party with a smaller group back to the hotel, but first we stop by Wawa to buy some candy… $3.58

Commute: $18.89
Shopping: $66
Groceries: $3.58 (reluctant to call candy groceries…)
Restaurants: $48.20
Health and Fitness: $18.95

Total: $155.62

Day 14, Sunday

10:00 AM: Free brunch provided by the school reunion. $0

12:00 PM: I die! We go to the bookstore again, and I got another tshirt and a wallet. GAHH!! The shirt was completely unjustified but I love baseball tees. The wallet was actually a great purchase because my old plastic one is about a month out from ripping in half. $36.40

1:00 PM: Take a nice walk with everyone to one of my favorite food places. They serve this great indian street food (chaat) there that I can’t find anywhere else. $10.50

3:00 PM: Walk over to the train station. I have to take Amtrak back to NY to fly out of JFK. I think the only reason I did this was because flights out of Philadelphia are ridiculously expensive. I’m regretting it now though because I have 8 hours of commute time ahead of me. $0

5:00 PM: Subway to JFK Airport–I still needed to pay for the Airtrain though $5

7:00 PM: One last stop into Muji at the airport. It’s just so tough to get to in SF so I figured might as well. I get a few more pens and a PVC toiletries case. I tried to do a price comparison on Amazon for the toiletries case, but couldn’t find one. I’ve been using this see through ebay case I got at NY Fashion Week 4 years ago, and it’s pretty gross despite my attempts to clean it. I’ve been wanting to replace it for months actually but couldn’t find a similar one until today! $15.73

7:30 PM: Grab a philly cheesesteak at the airport–so sad I’m getting it hear and not in Philly. It’s actually pretty reasonably priced for a filling airport meal! $10.66

12:30 AM: Technically the next day, but the flight was so rough I ended up just taking a non shared ride home. $26.78

Commute: $31.78
Restaurants: $21.16
Shopping: $52.13

Total: $105.07

Jing is currently a software engineer based in Oakland, CA. She left her job in New York, moved to San Francisco unemployed, and more than doubled her salary in 4 months.

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