Money Diaries

Money Diaries: May Week 4

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9:00 AM: Casual Carpool into the city. $1

10:00 AM: Breakfast at work! Trying to lay off caffeine for a bit…I’ve been getting strange headaches. $0

12:00 PM: I still have leftover curry from last week’s restaurant outing, but I buy a little bit of rice at the deli nearby as an accompaniment. The lady seems pretty annoyed that I’m charging such a tiny amount on my card and tries to get me to buy more food. $1.70

12:30 PM: We’ve run out of laundry quarters at home so I withdraw $20 of quarters at the bank around the corner. I split this with my boyfriend. $10

6:00 PM: Bus back home. $4.20

7:00 PM: Need some random groceries we forgot to buy last week, so I hit up Trader Joe’s nearby. $19.21

Commute: $5.20
Restaurants: $1.70
Bills & Utilities: $10
Groceries: $19.21

Total: $36.11


7:30 AM: Blog time at a coffee shop nearby, I get a croissant as my admission. $4

9:00 AM: Carpool into the city. $1

10:00 AM: I’m in the process of planning a camping trip at Lake Tahoe for the long weekend. This is super last minute and all the campsites are booked. I always get worried about attempting to get a walk in campsite, so I settle on a glamping camp site that’s $50 a day (not the cheapest camping there is…). They require a first day’s deposit. $50

1:00 PM: Hit up the deli for lunch. $7.05

6:00 PM: One of my friends/old coworkers from NY is in town! So we decide to meet up for dinner. Bus over to the greek restaurant we’re meeting at. $2.25

6:30 PM: Dinner at Souvla, this place has the most amazing kebab salads! $15.19

7:30 PM: Hop over to ice cream place nearby for some dessert. $5

8:30 PM: It’s freezing outside so we decide to go to a bar. We all get a beer so we aren’t just freeloaders. $4

9:30 PM: Lyft line back home. It’s too late to suck up a long public transit commute back home…Actually had 2 cars cancel! Eventually I get a car that’s actually willing to take me! $9.90

Commute: $13.15
Restaurants: $35.24
Travel: $50

Total: $53.39


7:00 AM: Work on the blog at our usual coffee shop. Boyfriend pays. $0

9:00 AM: Carpool to work. $1

10:00 AM: I order an air mattress pump for our camping trip this Friday. Last time we went camping, I borrowed my old roommate’s, but he’s moved to LA now. Have to pay for next day shipping too, but it’s still cheaper than purchasing it at a brick and mortar store. Love that this one is a rechargeable one and doesn’t require batteries! $19.98

2:30 PM: Because of a bunch of lunch meetings, I get to the deli right when their 50% off sale is! Finally get to test this out! I pick up enough food for both today and tomorrow. $6.87

3:00 PM: We’re out of carpool money, so I withdraw $50 at the bank and split it with my boyfriend. $25

6:00 PM: Take BART over to the climbing gym. $1.95

9:00 PM: Lyft line home. $16

Commute: $19.95
Shopping: $19.98
Restaurants: $6.87
Bills & Utilities: $25

Total: $71.80


7:00 AM: Work on MMD at the coffeeshop. Boyfriend pays. I finally added Google Adsense and Infolinks to my blog! Even though I’m not getting enough traffic to actually make money, I’ve always been curious how these work. $0

9:00 AM: Carpool into the city. $1

10:00 AM: Breakfast at work. $0

12:00 PM: Lunch from the previous deli half off day! I’ve got to do this again, it’s such a good deal. $0

6:00 PM: Transbay bus home. My chairs have arrived and I spend all night assembling them. They look so good!! $4.20

Commute: $5.20

Total: $5.20


7:00 AM: Coffee shop time! I love these mornings to work on my personal project. I pay for our coffees this morning. $8.10

9:00 AM: Carpool into the city. $1

12:00 PM: Free lunch at work! $0

2:30 PM: Head home early to work from home. I have to pick up the rental car from the airport for our trip. The daily rate for the car was $60-70 a day but I randomly hit on a perfect time range (5/25 5PM – 5/29 8 PM) for only $30~ a day. $4.20

4:30 PM: Lyft line over to the airport to grab the rental car. The rental car was “free” because I used my Chase Sapphire points to pay for it. Yay for credit card rewards! I hear owning a car is a hassle, but honestly having to pick up and drop off a car that’s not near you is a pain too. $13.30

7:00 PM: After packing everything into the car, we make a grocery run to get food for the weekend. I haven’t gotten around to splitting this out yet, but my boyfriend paid for everything. I hope to get all these venmo charges sorted out by the time my May budget closes! $0

Commute: $18.50
Restaurants: $8.10

Total: $26.60


9:00 AM: Check in to the campsite and pay the balance on our reservation. $112

9:30 AM: We need to pick up some charcoal and a lighter for our campfire. $17.18

10:00 AM: We decide to eat breakfast at a local cafe nearby instead of fussing with starting the campfire and cooking because we just want to get our day started. Still need to split this with my boyfriend. $0

12:00 PM: Ended up getting into a long discussion about something at breakfast and leave late. Bah, so much for saving time! We have to run to a nearby sports supply store to ask about the best climbing practices for the area and the best areas to climb. We end up walking out with some lighter fluid for our charcoal as well as a climbing guidebook for the area. Usually climbing trails aren’t very well marked so it is actually pretty difficult to navigate without a guidebook. Still need to split this as well… $0

4:00 PM: We end up getting lost off trail for 3.5 hours while trudging through waist high thorn brush. At least we ate the lunch we prepared…We end up too exhausted to climb, and actually end up having to abandon some equipment. 🙁 We head down in fear we might lose the sunlight. $0

6:00 PM: Scraped up ankles and sore backs and legs require a reward at Starbucks. Boyfriend pays. $0

7:00 PM: Cook dinner at the campsite. $0

Travel: $112
Shopping: $17.18

Total: $129.18


8:00 AM: Cook eggs and bacon at the campsite. $0

10:00 AM: We decide today we won’t do any rope climbing as this usually entails more hiking (and opportunities to get lost…). We have to stop back at the sports store to get another guidebook for bouldering. I still haven’t worked out a good system for what to do when we go to new areas because we always end up buying a ton of guidebooks. We definitely have to revisit a lot of these places or else the books wouldn’t be worth it at all. Again, we need to split this! $0

11:00 AM: Head over to the grocery store next door for some sunscreen. Yesterday we realized we didn’t bring any and were too lazy to buy some…of course we ended up burnt! $7.53

12:00 PM: We do a nice short hike and some very mild climbing, as well as eat our prepared lunch. $0

3:00 PM: We’re both so tired from getting lost the day before that we end up heading to Starbucks to lounge around for a few hours. There’s not a single spot on my legs that don’t hurt…and my back hurts…and my shoulders hurt. I pay. $7.70

7:00 PM: Prep dinner at the campsite! $0

Shopping: $7.53
Restaurants: $7.70

Total: $15.23

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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