Money Diaries

Money Diaries: August Week 4

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I just realized last week was August Week 3…


8:00 AM: Blogging over at the usual Monday cafe. $3

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

10:00 AM: Granola bars at work while viewing the eclipse from the office. It’s pretty cloudy in SF but we can take an occasional peek. Yes, I’m the person who’s probably blinded myself because I have no eclipse glasses, at least our office windows are tinted and I spend most of the time looking through my phone. $0

2:30 PM: Grab my 3 days worth of deli food. I think I took a little too much, but we’re having a team lunch this Thursday. $10.74

3:00 PM: Realized I was charged for Spotify. I gotta recruit more people to my family plan! $7.50

6:00 PM: Ran out of paper towels and detergent pods. When you’re an adult, you realize the sheer volume of random household expenses that come up…and I don’t even own a house! $19.60

6:30 PM: BART to Oakland and walk over to Whole Foods. $3.40

7:00 PM: Since my boyfriend is on a high fat diet, we literally leave with 12 avocados every time. Thankfully the avocados here are never like the dragon eggs you find in New York. I don’t think I even got anything this run. $0

7:30 PM: Uber home. $1.75

Commute: $6.15
Restaurants: $14.74
Shopping: $19.60
Bills and Utilities: $7.50

Total: $47.99


7:30 AM: Blogging at the cafe. Can’t say I’m not experiencing some serious writer’s block right now! GAH! I think it means I need to absorb more financial knowledge ASAP from a book or podcast. I also transferred $15k into my new CIT Savings Account. Now all I need to do is wait 3 months for my hundred dollars. I’m really about scooping these offers up right now, so I might try to move the 15k into Chase Savings for their $200 bonus after this! $2.73

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

10:00 AM: Yogurt at work. $0

1:00 PM: Lunch from my deli leftovers. A poke counter just opened across the street from the deli–this may be the end of me. $0

2:00 PM: Walk over to Fidelity Investments to FINALLY merge my 401ks. This was my ultimate frugal fail since I was probably being charged $50 a year for my old 401k that only had something like $2000 in it. $0

6:00 PM: Feeling a bit stir crazy and I really want to buy something. Thankfully twitter has talked me out of it. Walk over to choir. $0

7:00 PM: Today’s song for choir: Steal My Sunshine. By the way, if you want to listen to some of our recordings, check it out on Soundcloud. If any of you are in SF, you should totally join for a session! $0

9:00 PM: Uber pool home. $7.75

Restaurants: $2.73
Commute: $8.75

Total: $11.48


7:30 AM: Blogging time is getting later and later! My What to Look For in A Savings Account post is going up today and of course Bluehost has some issue with the server I’m hosting my site on. If I hit a year blogging, I may just totally move everything over to Siteground because these outages are unacceptable and as far as I know, I don’t have anything particularly funky going on from change I’ve made. $2.73

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

10:00 AM: Granola bars at work. $0

1:00 PM: Last leftover lunch from the deli. $0

6:30 PM: Bus home. $4.50

7:00 PM: Eat a quick dinner at home, we’re trying to catch a movie later. $0

8:30 PM: Uber over to the theater. There’s a hilariously consumerist ad I had to take a picture of right at the entrance to the theater. $6.99

8:50 PM: We’re watching Annabelle: Creation. I’ve developed this serious love for horror movies. This one’s pretty good! It makes me think how lonely it is to be a child…no one ever believes the poor haunted child in the movies (or in real life). Boyfriend got the tickets. $0

10:30 PM: Uber pool home. $3.50

Commute: $15.99
Restaurants: $2.73

Total: $18.72


7:30 AM: Blogging at the coffee shop. $2.73

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

9:30 AM: Grabbing coffee with my manager to discuss career trajectory. $0

11:30 AM: We go out for the largest team lunch. In the last 6 months, my team at work has gotten consolidated over and over and now it’s a huge group of people. We order an indulgent round of appetizers (grilled octopus, anyone?), and I get a steak for the entree. Preparing to be totally KO’d after the round of creme brulee and tiramisu for dessert. This lunch has literally taken 3 hours. $0

4:30 PM: Don’t think any work is getting done today because we have an improv comedy show planned for our monthly work happy hour. It’s a slide roulette comedy show where a random topic is chosen by the audience and then random slide decks are given that a poor coworker volunteer has to present on. Some of my coworkers are just hilarious. $0

6:00 PM: Bus home. $4.50

7:00 PM: Skipping dinner because I’m so ridiculously stuffed from lunch… $0

Commute: $5.50
Restaurants: $2.73

Total: $8.23


7:30 AM: Blogging at the cafe. We seem to be getting here later and later everyday, and it’s harder and harder to focus. Has the magic of cafe work worn off?! $2.73

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

10:00 AM: Granola bars at work. Really gotta churn out work from the lost time yesterday. $0

12:00 PM: Rice pilaf and various spice marinated beef and chicken. This is gonna be a good lunch for boxing for next week… $0

5:00 PM: I’ve been thinking of journaling a lot now that I’m blogging so much. It makes me reflect on my values and why I think the way I do. I’d really love to read The Artist’s Way and start writing morning pages (3 page stream of consciousness writing in the mornings). I really need to settle into a better blogging schedule first! $0

6:30 PM: Bus home. $4.50

7:00 PM: Dinner at home. $0

8:00 PM: I make my boyfriend watch the Conjuring with me because I’m on such a binge. Definitely one of the best modern horror movies! I’m so glad creepy things from horror movies don’t stick with me as easily. I always told my friends: 1. Ghosts don’t haunt loud places like urban areas and 2. Ghosts don’t haunt small apartments. That way I’m safe and sound…RIGHT?! $0

Commute: $5.50
Restaurants: $2.73

Total: $8.23


10:00 AM: We went to bed pretty late last night, so this is the first day we’re really sleeping in. It’s weird to think in college, waking up at 10 was waking up early…

12:30 PM: Uber pool over to Berkeley. $1.75

1:00 PM: We want to try something new and break out of the routine…so we end up going to a new coffee shop in Berkeley…blogging. I get a chia pudding because I’m starving. $5.95

2:00 PM: We’re both a little stir crazy and don’t really want to work anymore (on our blogs or anything else) so we leave early. It’s nice to not focus so much on the blog sometimes…does it really matter if my weekend viewership drops from 50 to 10 people in the long run? No. We stop outside one of those gourmet hot dog food trucks and get chili dogs instead. $10.50

3:00 PM: Hang around Berkeley and shop around at Warby Parker. Uber pool over to the climbing gym. $1.75

3:30 PM: Feels great to climb! We’ve been a little out of it since going to NY, especially ropes. It really gets the adrenaline pumping. $0

5:30 PM: Uber pool home. $1.75

6:00 PM: Dinner and another round of the board game from last weekend again. The basic premise is that you’re a farming family that needs to build up your farm’s resources and balance feeding your family, developing sustainable sources of food, and building your home. My boyfriend told me he thinks it’s making him think more about his finances seeing me absolutely crush resource management. $0

8:00 PM: My boyfriend owns a copy of The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up so I decide to give it a read. While I support not over consuming, I’ve never really given much thought to the yuppy minimalism movement. This book is actually doing a lot to change my mind, and she gives some fair points. For those who haven’t read it, you should definitely check it out! It’s much more than just “throw away things that don’t spark joy” (the premise that everyone already knows from the book). She gives a number of other actually really helpful tidying insights! Can’t say I don’t go on a slight cleaning binge after this and we end up cleaning our entire apartment as well as throwing some random things out. $0

10:00 PM: Continuing on part 3 of my horror movie binge, we actually order a movie off Google Play called Split. It’s a horror movie involving a man suffering from multiple personality disorder. It’s cool that the movie actually touches on actual MPD studies…things like one personality being diabetic but none of the other personalities having the same condition. It really makes you wonder what are the limits of our physiology that can be changed just from thinking. $3

Restaurants: $16.45
Entertainment: $3
Commute: $5.25

Total: $24.70


9:00 AM: Spend the morning reading some more of The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up. $0

12:00 PM: Head over to the cafe to play Agricola. It’s kind of insane the giant spread but we claim a huge table to play. Randomly, I see a coworker from my J.Crew days in New York at the same coffee shop as me. It’s such a small world. $2.73

3:00 PM: We uber pool over to Whole Foods for more avocados. $1.75

3:30 PM: Avocados, bread, ground chicken, guacamole, salad mix, bananas. I can’t wait for amazon to slash prices on the goods. $33

4:00 PM: Uber pool home. $1.75

6:00 PM: Dinner and Game of Thrones! Man I was really thinking this season’s writing and character development were tanking after the previous episode (the pace was a bit awkward and fast/not well thought out), but this finale really redeemed itself. $0

7:30 PM: Laundry and Game of Thrones withdrawal. By the way, we got these great all natural laundry pods from amazon and they smell amazing. Highly recommend the Birch Branch scent–it’s a bit musky and earthy. (Already accounted for the quarters withdrawal) $0

9:00 PM: Finish The Life Changing Magic and of course continue on with more cleaning and assessing things for donation. I caught the minimalizing bug one week late after watching that documentary. It’s both a great time to reassess possessions and a bad time. I just want to make sure I don’t get so caught up with throwing things out and end up in a cycle of throwing things out and replacing them with things I may throw out again (inevitable, I’m sure, thoughts on that with my upcoming book review) $0

Commute: $3.50
Groceries: $33
Restaurants: $2.73

Total: $39.23

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.

4 thoughts on “Money Diaries: August Week 4

  1. I want to do the Chase $200 offer, too! I want the full $500, though, so I can use it to buy a nice bag. I don’t want to spend my hard earned money on that stuff, haha.

    GoT: Good finale, but Tormund and Beric haven’t checked in on Facebook whether or not they’re safe yet! That wall…

    Also, if you’re still on a horror movie flick, my favorite is The Descent. Imagine being stuck in a cave…

  2. The full $500 would be amazing, though I already scooped up the original $200 for opening the Total Checking 5 years ago. I think to get the $300 for checking I have to open a Premier Checking account, but the minimum daily balance for that thing is ridiculous! Luxe, you read my mind! I want to buy a couple nice cashmere sweaters, but I don’t want to spend my own money either!

    Ugh I know, right?! I hope they’re ok, they can’t go down in such an arbitrary way!!

    LOVE LOVE LOVE The Descent, it’s one of my favorites too! The woman who climbs across the void, so badass! 😛

  3. I had the same situation with an old 401K account at around $2,500 that I had for almost ten years from Citi. I let it sit and get charged $55 every January until last year. I finally put it to action and transfer it to Fidelity IRA and now max out the annual contributions on that account.
    FunTimeChoir sounds like a good time to hang out and do a session, although I’m a horrible singer. =/

    1. Congrats on transferring your 401k! It’s sad because the $2000 in the 401k felt like such a negligible amount that I allowed it to accrue charges for 3 years! What’s done is done.

      FunTimeChoir is great! You should definitely come to one of the events if you’re interested, you don’t have to be a great singer at all! 🙂

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