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I’m 34 years old and will make $184,000 this year (total HHI approx. $220k), live in Boston, MA and work as a self-employed Informatics Consultant
Section One: Assets and DebtGeneral household background: My husband (T) and I got married last year and haven’t fully combined our finances. We have a joint savings and a joint credit card for shared expenses. We each have separate personal and business accounts. When we met, I made much less than him and six years later, I make much more but I came to our relationship with a ton of student loan debt and embarrassingly bad credit. He had zero debt and very strong credit. There have been times through the years when we each prop the other up financially. We have also both been with abusive, manipulative people in the past that made very irresponsible financial decisions, so we are probably slower to go fully combined than many other couples.
For the purposes of this MD, I am including T in some places because our habits do have an effect on the other, but he is responsible for his own accounts and I won't include his expenditures that affect his personal or business accounts. He maintains his own emergency savings and as of today, I am the only one saving for retirement. We will both contribute once we buy a house.
My pre-tax income: Approx. $288,000/year, but since I changed jobs this year and took time off between jobs, my income in 2020 will be more like $184,000 – I’m a fully independent 1099 contractor charging $160/hr for my consulting services and aim for a 12-month invoiced average of $24,000/mo.
T’s pre-tax income: Approx $36,000 this year– he works in the restaurant industry and was furloughed in March due to the pandemic. He’s gotten creative this year to keep himself busy and keep some money coming in.
SEP IRA: $12,280 - The bulk of this is rolled over from my last employer's 401K account. I have prioritized student loan debt repayment, house down payment and emergency savings for now. These are almost met so I will get aggressive with contributions here soon.
Emergency savings balance: $16,106 – contributing to this until I get to $30k; the balance was at $20k and then I depleted this down to $8.5k while I had no income for 3 months earlier this year
Joint HYSA: $63,064 – This is the account earmarked for a house down payment. We have contributed $48k to this between the two of us. T's parents gave us a $20k wedding gift and we used $5k to pay off the last of my >7% student loans and the other $15k is in here.
Checking account balance: $20,928 – All of my accounts are tied to this one and there’s more “slush money” in here than usual at the time of writing this. I maintain $3,000 in this account as my "spending money". This week I transferred my "income" from my business account, which is why it's so high. My auto-payments, savings, credit card payments, etc. all come out of here.
Investment account: $5,222 – Opened a Betterment account with high-risk asset allocation last year mostly as an experiment. I would like to contribute more once the house is purchased.
RSAs: I have 5,000 shares from one of the companies I consult with that I started working with when they were still incubating. These will fully vest in January next year. I do not include this in financial planning as it may amount to nothing.
Life Insurance: $200,000 - 20-year term policy (not counted in my Net Worth). I got this after college to protect my student loan co-signer. Even though I now owe far less in loans, I keep my mom as my primary beneficiary because she is likely to need financial assistance in retirement, and if I am alive I will help, but if something happens to me, she'll get this. That peace of mind, for me, is everything.
Business savings account: $39,900 – I think of this money like it doesn’t exist and don’t factor it into my Net Worth calculation. This is 35% of every invoice that I put aside for all of my estimated income and employment taxes. I’ll feel a lot better next year when I figure out what my tax burden is. If I don’t use all of this, I’ll be pleasantly surprised and I’ll put it directly into savings in some form.
Business checking account: $2,000 – This account exists as my central business account, to auto-pay my business credit card in full and to receive payments from customers.
Credit card debt: $0 - Paid in full weekly.
Student loan debt: $56,966 - Graduated with a life science degree and $130,000 in debt
Car: $3,000 approx. - 8 year old car, fully owned and bought with cash. KBB is actually more than this value but I don't plan to replace this car for a while, so I'm estimating what I think it could be worth when I sell it to upgrade.
Net worth: $65,634 (including the joint savings account)
Section Two: IncomeMain Job Monthly Take Home: $15,600 - Average expected transfer from business account to personal account after I take out taxes
Section Three: ExpensesRent: $1,100 - $2,200 total, split equally with T. We have a large two-bedroom in the Camberville area. This includes laundry, heat, hot water, and gas.
Emergency savings contribution: $2,000
HYSA contribution: $3,000
Student loan payment: $3,000 - Includes overpayment; minimum is $601
SEP IRA contribution: $1,000
Health insurance: $470
Dental insurance: $21
Car insurance: $94
Other car expenses (gas, oil changes): $25 - Average of last 6 mo, WAY down because I left my commuter job and I now work from home most of the time. I expect this to stay low for a while.
On-street parking pass: $40 - Annual
Rental insurance: $13
Life insurance: $11
Electric: $37 - My half; average of last 12 mo
WiFi/Cable + HBO: $60 - My equal half
Cell phone: $89 - My half; we combined separate carrier plans to a family plan last year and replaced T's awful phone and upgraded mine using a BOGO deal and that is included - interest free - in the monthly payment
Cat: $86 - Average of last 6 mo, doesn't fluctuate much. Annual vet visit is $85. No insurance. T has a dog he brought into the relationship and he covers all expenses for him.
Physical therapy: $137.50 - Bought in packages of 8 ($1,100) for a discount off single-visit prices. I have a monthly appointment.
Personal care: $152 - Average of last 6 mo
Groceries: $70 - Average of last 6 mo. My half.
Dining out/delivery: $151 - Average of last 6 mo. My half.
Donations and gifts: $200 - I pick different orgs for this. This month will be METAvivor to support breast cancer research.
Subscriptions: $199 - Netflix ($13), Hulu ($6), Spotify Premium ($10), iCloud storage ($3), PlayStation Network ($60/yr), Adobe Creative Suite ($11); VSCO ($20/yr); QuickBooks ($12.50), Rent the Runway ($139)
Money Diary:Sunday - $125.63
10:00am - Wake up, peek at my Apple Watch - basically just my alarm and sleep/fitness tracker at this point. Very happy I was able to sleep late. Text with some friends, check in on a cell phone game I play (Covet Fashion - anyone else?), and Reddit.
11:00am - Decide coffee is more important than cuddling with pets and reading at this point. Get up. Feed our cat. Make French press coffee with fresh roasted beans.
12:00pm - I tidy the house a little as a procrastination tactic to avoid working out. T comes in from walking our dog and has mail. In it is a letter from my bank explaining why I was denied a credit line increase. Cue me spiraling about how my old financial issues seem to follow me no matter how good I am today. I frequently feel behind my peers, and that line of thinking is a trap, I know. I’m extra emotional about this because I’ve also just received the news that lenders may not want to give us a mortgage because of self employment. I worry out loud that I'm holding us back. (This is the internal dialog of a probably PMSing person going into an emotional spinout.) T, as usual, shrugs it off and says we’re fine. We’ll figure it out. We always do. Gives me a pep talk that’s more pragmatic than my brain wants to be right now. I mope for a little longer and play Covet.
2:00pm - Decide I need to stop feeling bad for myself and do my PT and a workout. I’m supposed to do a 30-40 min routine a minimum of 5 days a week. I’ve also recently been cleared to get back into some cardio so I decide to add on a mixed cardio workout from YouTube.
3:30pm - Finish workout. Glad I did it because I do feel better. I take a moment to affirm my gratitude for having a pain-free day and easy movement. The money situation will be resolved and is less important than my health. Time for a shower though. Wow, is it hot and humid today!
4:00pm - Give myself an at-home facial. I had awful acne, sometimes cystic, for most of my life and I don’t take a single clear skin day for granted. Before COVID I went to an esthetician every other month for a facial ($120/visit+20% tip). I had actually bought a pack of 6 visits for $600 in February. Due to the pandemic, they closed soon after and I haven't used it. The salon has just recently reopened though so I keep considering going back. But for today, I use a pumpkin enzyme peel, a hydrating masque, and then finish with my normal skincare routine. We’re going out to eat tonight so I put on makeup for the first time in months and I spray my hair with dry shampoo followed by a curling mist and pin it up to help it not look slept on. Then I get dressed. I’m wearing a shirt rented from RTR that has an open back so I go braless, which feels very on-trend for COVID.
5:00pm - Feed our cat first dinner while D walks our dog, then I water and groom my house plants.
5:30pm - Sign into QuickBooks to check whether my last client paid their invoice from last month, and they did on Friday. I update the invoice and send them a receipt. But then I notice an issue with my QB subscription (I recently changed versions) and since it’s the end of the month, I need to clear this up ASAP. I add a reminder to my to do list to call them tomorrow.
6:00pm - Leave the house to drive to Providence for a dinner reservation with friends; T drives us in his car. Realize I forgot Lactaid. I’m running low at home anyway so we stop for gas (T pays with his money) and I run into the grocery store next door. Grab deodorant and my vitamins at the same time because I’m almost out of both of them too. - $31.63
7:00pm - Get to dinner and meet our friends. We drove an hour away for this meal because the restaurant is going out of business due to the pandemic. T knows the owner well and we visit at least a couple times a year. They scaled their menu way back to feed people safely outside and while it’s amazing, I’m reminded of how the restaurant industry is just getting absolutely pummeled. But this meal is an amazing send off. We pay the bill and add a generous tip for a total of $442 for 5 people. T puts it on the joint card, and $94 will be my portion. - $94
9:45pm - We zip across town to try to get in for a nightcap at an old haunt of T’s when he lived here. Order a round of drinks at the window. T’s friend pays for us to thank us for driving down.
10:30pm - We part ways with T’s friends and briefly stop by another of T’s friends’ houses. She just got engaged yesterday so we congratulate her and she gives us our own congratulations cake - we just celebrated our wedding anniversary. This friend is a talented pastry chef and made our wedding cake for us, and this little one she gave us tonight looks just as beautiful as that.
11:50pm - Finally home. Move my car to make room for T’s car (street cleaning tomorrow). Feed our cat second dinner while T walks our dog. Jump into sleep clothes, then do my night routine (floss, brush, mouthwash, makeup remover, face wash, toner, serums, moisturizer, eye cream) and dab on some acne spot treatment. I’ve had about 7 deep pimples show up since yesterday and I mentally calculate that yeah, this probably is PMS related. No wonder I was such an emotional mess this afternoon.
12:30pm - Finally in bed. Set my alarm. Read a little until my eyes are heavy. Put on my eye mask. Do two minutes of deep breathing. Asleep by 1am.
Monday - $66.20
7:15am - Alarm goes off and I immediately hit snooze. I slept so poorly. One of those nights where you feel like you’re always just drifting in and out of consciousness and never really sleeping.
7:30am - Alarm goes off again. Still too early but I keep my eyes open. Check my phone to glance at my calendar and the weather. Look at my client emails to see if there are any fires (none, phew). Check Covet to see what scores I got overnight. I leveled up! Fun surprise first thing in the morning.
7:45am - Get up and get my morning routine underway. Brush teeth, shower (not a hair washing day), face routine, put on mascara, get dressed, feed our cat, make coffee. I’m almost out of coffee beans. I have this set for auto re-order but I usually go through a bag every 10-11 days, and they only offer 7 or 14 day intervals. I keep a bag of Dunkin Donuts whole bean coffee on hand just in case.
8:30am - Get on my weekly meeting with my “boss”. Where I’m a consultant, she’s not my boss the same way if I were employed by her, but she runs the group for which I primarily consult. She is a true boss lady and I feel extremely lucky to work with her. We spend the first 15 mins of the meeting talking about mortgages - turns out she actually bought a house her first year being a consultant too. She is going to refer me. Then we talk about work. I’ve been managing a very challenging project in an area I (used to) know nothing about, but then again, no one else on the project did either. I’ve finally assembled a team of experts and we are making real progress. I have nothing but good news this morning, which is a change from the last few months. Nice way to start the work day.
9:30am - Switch gears and get on a weekly status meeting with another client. Everything is going smoothly here. We end early because there wasn’t much to go through. Jump back into work for the first client - project check-ins and deadline reminders, holding a vendor accountable for fixing an issue… the usual.
10:45am - Clock out. Pack up the top I wore last night and a jumpsuit to return to RTR. Say goodbye to T and leave the house to go to my gyno for a follow up appointment to check on my new IUD to make sure it has settled in properly. I find on-street parking and pay for 1 hour ($2.90) and the co-pay for my visit is $30. - $32.90
12:00pm - Still at the doc. IUD is all good but I said yes to getting a free flu shot while I’m here and they’re taking forever to bring it to me. Check my parking and it’s about to run out. Add another 14 mins just as the NP comes to apologize and say she’ll be back in 5 mins. I say it’s okay and she warms my heart when she says, “I appreciate that but it’s not okay, you shouldn’t have needed to wait!” I love my entire doctor’s office. They come in with the shot and send me on my way. I swing by a FedEx to drop off the RTR bag. - $0.50
12:30pm - I get home and as I’m pulling into the (freshly street cleaned) spot I usually park in on the street, I notice there are oil marks on the road. I mention it to T when I get in the apartment. My mechanic retired early in COVID so T agrees to take me to his mechanic to make an introduction after my last meeting this afternoon. I need a state inspection, and I think I need my suspension and brakes replaced. This is going to be expensive, but I’ve been putting off any repairs because I barely drive my car since COVID. T then reminds me we had talked about getting a new router because I drop Zoom meetings all.the.time, and he found one he likes while I was out. It’s $200. I decide I’d rather deal with dropped meetings for now especially in the face of a big mechanic bill. He’s fine with not spending the money too. I make us deli meat sandwiches with a side of potato chips.
1:00pm - Settle back into my home office with my lunch and clock in. A ton of emails from one client came in while I was out. I eat while I catch up on the various situations that popped up.
2:30pm - Take a short (forced) break. While on a call, my cat jumped onto the windowsill and I watched him purposefully knock my baby avocado tree off to make room for himself (he truly enshrines the “cats are jerks” stereotype). I clean up the mess, hope the plant is okay, and then pick up my dishes from my lunch. I start the dishwasher, grab a Polar Seltzer can and go back to my office. Time to work on some slides. I turn on my new Discover Weekly playlist on Spotify for motivation.
3:45pm - After back and forth with a vendor, we still can’t get an issue resolved. I probably need to go to my client’s office because I can’t troubleshoot remotely at this point. I interrupt T’s gaming to ask if I can use his car tomorrow. He has no plans. I add a block to my calendar, fill out a symptom self-assessment form and notify the client office coordinator of when I’ll be onsite. Back to the slide deck, then a strategic planning meeting with the leadership team.
4:45pm - That last meeting ran late. And I’m so tired. I feel like I’m running on empty. Slides still aren’t done either and need to be done. I mentally prioritize car, slides, and then QuickBooks call. I got a voicemail from a mortgage lender but that’ll have to wait. T is still gaming with a friend so I stay clocked in to do a little more slide work.
5:15pm - Go to the shop with two cars to drop mine off. Find out they’re closed (T thought they were open until 6). He goes to the grocery store and I go back home. Park in a different spot and check the road where I had been parked moments ago. Oh yes, that is some nice, fresh, wet oil. I quickly pop the hood to check my oil level. It’ll be fine for now.
6:00pm - T comes home and spent $40.61 total on pork chops, sliced deli meats, yu choy, instant coffee, potato chips, whole grain nut bread, mayo, and pickles. I’ll transfer half of that to him when we reconcile the credit card in October. T asks what I want for dinner and we agree to reconvene for dinner at 8pm. He goes back to gaming and I call QuickBooks while feeding our cat first dinner. - $20.30
7:10pm - The QuickBooks issue was entirely user error. OF COURSE. I log in and snag the promo price for QuickBooks Online. I’ll pay monthly for the first 3 (discounted) months and then upgrade to the annual pricing. Since I have my business bank accounts open, I confirm the deposit amounts for all of my invoice payments for the month. I transfer to the business savings for tax withholding and schedule a transfer to my personal checking account on Oct 1st for the remainder, which will be my after-tax income for October. - $12.50
7:40 - I do PT and no workout. Too tired. And I'm hungry and dinner smells awesome.
8:30 - T made rice with beef, enoki and button mushrooms, green and yellow onions, tofu, egg. I put way too much chili crisp on my bowl and it hurts so good. He has a beer and I have water. He beats me to cleaning up the dishes and suddenly reappears from the kitchen with a vanilla chocolate chip ice cream sandwich. Turns out he got it a month ago from his friend that owns an ice cream shop (he and his industry friends food swap A LOT) and his man forgot to tell me it was in the freezer! I take two Lactaid and eat 3/4 of it. Heaven. We catch up about the day, then try to find something new to watch since finishing Ratched. We settle on season 2 of Marcella but it doesn’t hold our attention. We put on Twitch, I play some Covet and then read the news while he games with friends.
11:15pm - I decide it’s finally time to move the sleeping dog off of me and I can not, in fact, live on the couch with him forever. The second I move, our cat realizes it is time for second dinner. I feed him, do my nighttime routine, and get into bed. Asleep before midnight.
Tuesday - $16.00
7:45am - Alarm. I was having a really strange dream and feel like I slept badly too, but my sleep tracker says 6h45m. Not the worst but not the best. Check Covet, LinkedIn, the weather. Notice a ton of work emails - luckily it’s nothing super urgent.
8:15am - Get up and do my morning routine. As predicted, I did not have enough fresh roast coffee so I make a house special blend with the fresh roasted and Dunkin Donuts beans.
9:00am - Clock in and hop on a few client meetings. Nothing particularly exciting.
11:00am - Pack up my laptop to visit my client’s office to troubleshoot an issue. Circle the building to see if I can find on-street parking - nothing. Park in the garage instead. Take a voluntary COVID test upon arrival.
12:10pm - Leave client site. They ordered BBQ lunch while I was there and told me to bring home enough food for both T and me. Pay for garage parking on the biz credit card and this will be fully reimbursed by my client when I submit my invoice for the month. At home, T and I feast on ribs, pulled pork and chicken, potato salad, mac and cheese, biscuits and cole slaw. - $16
1:00pm - Client meeting. Runs a bit over. Clock out when I’m done and go to the shop with T in two cars for attempt #2 at dropping my car off.
2:00pm - Back at home, less one car. Check Covet. My group has been super active today. Spend a few minutes catching up and strategizing with them. And then clock back in because my to-do list just keeps growing.
3:30pm - Mechanic calls and asks if I can come to the shop so he can show me some concerns. This sounds expensive. I have no meetings scheduled tomorrow, so I decide to deal with this car stuff today and get focused work done tomorrow. I put on my shoes and decide to go for a walk.
4:00pm - Mechanic still has my car on the lift and walks me through the problem areas. There’s nothing that’s a surprise to me and I appreciate that he takes the time to do this. He hits me with a $2900 estimate. This is only slightly higher than what I expected so after talking through which parts we can get OEM and which ones can be aftermarket, I agree to the work. I’ve owned this car for 70,000 miles (bought it at 30k miles) and this is the first time I’ve ever had to do major maintenance work outside of my regular oil, fluid, belt, brake and tire changes. On my walk home, I notice I’m not even feeling badly about this and my main emotion is genuine gratitude that I can afford this. It was less than a decade ago that a serious repair on a former car caused me to need to go without some utilities and food. I wish I could tell my younger self that it will get better because I was often in a very dark place because of (lack of) money.
4:30pm - Home. Grab a can of Polar seltzer water. Clock in as I notice my primary client’s email has blown up. I really want to just be done for the day but I decide to get to Inbox 0 so I can start my day tomorrow without small tasks hanging over my head.
5:30pm - Inbox 0 achieved. I could do more but the internet went out again and T is already on the phone with them. That’s the third or fourth time today. They are sending a service person out and I hear him making the appointment for tomorrow. I’m fine with clocking out. Our cat gets his first dinner.
5:45pm - Get an email I want to follow up with right away. Add 15 more minutes of billable time while T walks our dog. Then I read the latest drama watch MD and check on Covet. I’m going to fall behind in that if I don’t submit some looks tonight.
6:45pm - I got sucked into another R29 MD and the comments filled me with anxiety about posting my own. Decide I need to put my phone down.
7:00pm - T intercepts me to proofread his menu and social posts for a takeout pop-up. It sounds amazing and we work through some revisions together. I joke sometimes that working for him is my second job.
7:30pm - Talk to a friend about logistics for a camping/hiking trip this weekend. Then throw on workout clothes and do PT. Feel more sore and tired than usual so I decide not to do a cardio workout afterward, even though that was my intention.
8:30pm - T makes dinner for us: noodles with pork belly and pulled pork, yu choy and button mushrooms. Then T calls a friend to talk about a specialty order he needs to place while I play Covet. We watch an episode of Marcella after that and the Internet goes out again. He works on a prep list and I go back to Covet.
10:45pm - Feed our cat second dinner, do my nighttime routine and get into bed. I’m so tired. Read in bed and lights off by 11:30. Can’t fall asleep though because my back pain is really flaring up for some reason. Get up to take ibuprofen, and then I finally fall asleep at 12:30.
Wednesday - $14.75
7:45am - I’ve been awake for I’m not sure how long while attempting to keep sleeping but I’m giving up now. My back is in serious pain. I'm so tired that I indulge in lots of Reddit browsing and Covet playing.
9:30am - Finally get up after making the mistake of reading news coverage of the debates last night. My sleep tracker says I got a little over 4h of real sleep. These days are much rarer than they used to be, but sometimes my back really just acts up and I don’t always know why. Also it is extremely windy this morning and I realize we left the windows open... it must have poured last night because the couch is soaked. This is... not a good morning. Can I have a do-over?
10:45am - My teeth are brushed, cat is fed, couch is disassembled and drying, and I did the dishes from dinner last night, but I am dragging today. There are no work emails and I have cramps on top of the back pain. Maybe that’s why my back hurts more. Ugh, why? I realize that I have to go easy on myself today. I eat some Triscuits because my stomach is going to have to deal with coffee and painkillers this morning.
12:15pm - I feel human again after a shower. It is a hair wash day, which always feels nice, and the Ibuprofen has kicked in. T vacuumed while I was in the shower and tells me there’s a big crack causing an air leak and it’s in bad shape. Everyone tells me they swear by the Dyson Pet so we look it up: $600! I didn’t see that coming. We decide to try to make the vacuum work with duct tape for now until Back Friday sales. Make deli meat sandwiches for us, and eat while playing some Covet.
1:00pm - Time to do work! T also goes out to get some work done.
2:30pm - T is home. I got a letter from my health insurance company that 10% of May’s premium will be refunded to me in the form of a check as part of COVID-19 premium forgiveness. I’ll take it.
3:30pm - Clock out. Today feels like I’ve mostly been herding cats. But I checked off a ton of little things on my to-do list so that’s a win. Log into Trade Coffee and my next coffee is supposed to be roasted this week and shipped next week. I decide to order a bag of coffee beans for immediate shipping. - $14.75
3:45pm - Time to get myself paid (AKA last day of the month). Log into QuickBooks and get my invoices in order and ready to send tomorrow. Put on Spotify for motivation. I’m feeling peckish and grab a few pieces of chocolate butter almond toffee.
4:50pm - Carrier arrives to check our internet. Invoices are almost ready to go but I take a break because the internet will be going in and out. Chat with friends about logistics for this weekend - looks like it’s going to rain so we may scrap the camping plan and make a day trip out of the hike.
5:30pm - Get a call back from a mortgage lender that is willing to have a conversation with us. They are not nearly as concerned about our self employment as other lenders were. We spend an hour on the phone. I feel encouraged and hopeful that maybe this can actually happen. I have a message from another lender asking if we can set up time to talk too. T and I spend a little time looking at houses. I don’t want to get too excited yet, but we’re feeling a bit better.
7:00pm - Catch up on some local news and text a bit with my friend. She just adopted a kitten and is finding super cute stuff for her online.
7:30pm - Do PT. No workout tonight. Then take our dog for a walk. T makes dinner.
9:00pm - Eat dinner: rice stir fry with brisket, yu choy, mushrooms, and corn. Watch an episode of Marcella. It’s getting better but we make fun of the characters a bit.
10:00pm - Do my nighttime routine and feed our cat second dinner. I’m not messing around tonight and take a sleep aid. Get into bed, read a bit, and am asleep by 11.
Thursday - $3211.13
7:45am - Alarm, snooze.
8:00am - Alarm again. Keep my eyes open this time. I slept through the whole night, which is an amazing relief. And I have no back pain! Check on Covet and then work email. My COVID test was negative, yay! Text a friend to wish her happy birthday.
8:15am - Out of bed, and do the morning routine. No hair wash day.
9:00am - Client meeting. Nothing noteworthy.
10:15am - Clock out. Tidy the kitchen, then proofread my invoices for services provided in September (totaling $24,594) and hit send. T comes back from his walk with our dog and noticed he’s limping. We shelled out $1200 earlier this year for a limp that ended up going away on its own with no explanation, so we're a bit concerned. We still have some of the anti-inflammatories for him though, so we give him that. I will be getting pet insurance for our next pets.
11:00am - Back to work. Nothing noteworthy. I make deli meat sandwiches for T and me while he is on a Zoom with a property developer that is presenting an opportunity to open a restaurant in 2022.
2:00pm - Take a break from work; T wants to talk about the restaurant opportunity. There’s a lot I can advise him on in business, but the restaurant industry has a lot of specialty knowledge too. Owning his own place is the end goal for T, and we also talk about how this factors in with our other goals too. I am extremely supportive of him making his own decision about whether this is the right opportunity for him. He goes back to the dining table to contact some friends and advisors, and I go back into the office/second bedroom.
3:45pm - Dragging a little. It’s a fairly quiet day for all of my clients, which is great because I can tackle projects that need more free space to think and be creative, but on the other hand, I start to lose focus if it’s too quiet for too long. Get up to stretch my legs and get a Polar seltzer. Turn on Spotify. Open the office windows. And then jump back into work.
4:30pm - Mechanic called and my car is ready. He forgot to add the alignment to the quote, and then with the addition of tax, the total damage is $3105.13 (in short, four new brakes, new struts, new bushings, one new bearing, and a new oil pan because yay salty-rusty-fun winter roads). I immediately apply an overpayment from my savings to my credit card at home. - $3105.13
5:30pm - I have every intention of doing PT but while on the way to change into workout clothes, T stops to ask me a question relating to the restaurant opportunity. We end up talking through investment scenarios, hiring strategies, and more, and suddenly an hour has passed. Oops.
6:30pm - Wash my face and put on some makeup. T and I leave to meet a friend and her SO for her birthday dinner. I expected we’d be outside, but we’re not. I don’t love sitting inside in a restaurant during the pandemic, however, I am very grateful to spend time with friends. We drop a small fortune but the steaks are amazing. We split checks between couples to pay. The bill for T and me is $212, and I will pay half. - $106
11:00pm - Back home finally. I feed the cat and do my nighttime routine while T walks the dog. He is still in pain. I take him to bed with me and try to be his comfort buddy the way he does for me when I feel crappy. I read and am asleep by 12:30.
Friday - $3.50
7:45am - Alarm, snooze.
8:00am - Alarm and wake up. Check Covet, news, weather and email. My group chat with some close friends blows up and many memes are exchanged.
8:30am - Get up later than I should have. Do my morning routine at warp speed. Glad it’s not a hair wash day. I can’t be bothered with it, so I put it up in a sock bun.
9:00am - Zoom meeting with a client. One of them is a hiker and has a background photo from a trip he took last weekend in the area I’m going tomorrow. It’s gorgeous. I get really excited, which is the energy I need to make up for what’ll probably be a 4:30am wakeup tomorrow morning. My meeting ends 15 minutes early and I use this time to place an RTR order - I could’ve done this yesterday and received the delivery today but I completely forgot. I order a cute I’m-not-ready-for-summer-to-end cropped floral top and a structured plaid peplum top that’s more professional.
10:00am - Pack my bag and head to my client’s office for an issue that has been confounding me all week. Find on-street parking to save my client some money and put the max time (2h) on the business credit card. Set an alarm so I can move my car into the garage if I need to go over. - $3.50
12:45pm - Leave my client just as I get a notification about my parking expiring. The issue is still not resolved. I’m going to have to come back next week again. Run home for my next round of back-to-back meetings.
1:00pm - Make it to my desk and on the Zoom meeting exactly on time and earlier than the client I’m meeting with. Success! Go straight into two more meetings after that. Between meetings, I am super hungry and can’t resist eating a handful of potato chips and two sugar cookies that came with the take-home BBQ lunch earlier this week.
3:00pm - Come up for air. Make a sandwich so I can eat some real food. Read documentation while I’m eating so I stay clocked in. Around 4pm, I switch to updating my project trackers and send out some week end updates to stakeholders. I have one last task I need to do before Monday but I don’t have any more time so I leave about an hour of work for Sunday. The week was really light anyway due to some of my mental health time, and I’ve only logged 32h of billable work. With the projects that are going to ramp up this month, I will likely work overtime in the coming weeks so I am not worried about this week.
5:15pm - Clock out. Quickly change into exercise clothes and get my PT in.
6:15pm - Feed our cat first dinner and then go to my friend’s for dinner and hiking planning. T stays at home to do some work. My friend is cooking and using vegetables from her garden so I bring a bottle of wine we’ve had at home forever and a quarter of the cake from our other friend and she makes spaghetti squash, turkey tomato sauce, and roasted squash seeds. We eat while making sure we're all set for tomorrow.
9:30pm - Home, feed our cat second dinner. Walk through the plan for tomorrow with T and pack.
10:30pm - Nighttime routine. Take some ibuprofen proactively. Read until my eyes are heavy and I am asleep by 11:30pm.
Saturday - $41.03
4:30am - Alarm. Question my sanity. Do my morning routine with no hair wash. Make coffee and sandwiches to go. Do some stretches and get the pets set up to be on their own for a while.
6:00am - Arrive at my friend’s house. Eat some fresh baked bread, peanut butter, and banana with them. Pack up the car and hit the road.
8:00am - Stop at a convenience store to pick up snacks: mixed nuts, bananas, peanut butter crackers and protein bars. We also get two more liters of water. We are already hungry and decide to each get an egg and sausage sandwich too. The total is $20.66 and I’ll pay half of it. - $10.33
8:30am - Arrive at the trailhead and find free parking. Triple-check our equipment and supplies, and then hit the trail.
12:00pm - Reach the summit. We’re mostly fogged in and it’s cold and rainy. Add a few more layers and a rain jacket. Find a rock to post up on and eat our sandwiches, bananas, and mixed nuts. By the time we finish eating, the wind picked up but that caused the fog to clear out a bit. We were rewarded with gorgeous red, orange and yellow views of the valley. It’s getting really cold though, and we decide it’s time to head back by 12:45.
3:30pm - Arrive at the car. Eat a protein bar. On the trek back, we all openly fantasized about having ice cold beers. As soon as we get on the road and have service again, we find a brewery that’s on the way home.
5:00pm - After one brewery is full for outdoor seating, we find another one with a table outside. I have a beer flight and T has a beer, and we split pretzel rolls, a sausage, and a chicken salad. We put my friend and her spouse’s food on the same check; I put the whole thing on the joint card and offer to cover tip so we can compensate them for gas and driving. The total check is $87 and we leave an $18 tip; after my friend Venmo’s us for their half of the bill before tip, $61.40 is the remaining and I will transfer half to D. - $30.70
8:00pm - We safely make it back to our friends’ home and grab my car, and a quick 10 mins later, we arrive home. D walks our dog and I feed our cat. My coffee arrived today (just in time because I finished the DD coffee this morning too) and my RTR bag came, which is unusual - They usually don’t deliver on Saturdays but I’m not complaining! T showers and then I shower. It’s the best shower I’ve ever had. I really want to wash my hair but don’t want to wait for my hair to dry (and don’t want to sleep with it wet either!) so just put it up in a bun to hold it over until tomorrow.
9:00pm - D makes tea for us and I grab Ibuprofen and ice packs. My knee is in some serious pain but luckily I have a video meeting with my physical therapist on Monday. I was a little over-ambitious giving the green light to this trail... We watch an episode of Marcella.
10:00pm - I do my nighttime routine and go to bed. I fall asleep as soon as my head hits the pillow.
Food + Drink: $235.05
Fun / Entertainment: $41.03
Home + Health: $61.63
Clothes + Beauty: $0
Outside of the car repairs, this week is fairly typical overall. Two expensive dining out meals in one week is rare for us since the pandemic, but we've been doing takeout at least once a week, and going out ended up replacing that. Otherwise, T is really quite good at cooking cheaply at home, and this is an area of significant savings since the pandemic. I also tend to curtail my internet shopping a lot, so the lack of unplanned purchases this week is also not unusual. I often wait a week or two after I've had a thought that I want something to make sure it's a need and not just a want. I probably go a bit overboard with this and sometimes put off needs because any purchase could make me feel anxious about spending money.
A goal of mine going into this was to confront my relationship with money, and I feel I've accomplished that this week. It's a work in progress. I admit I sometimes avoid looking at my account out of fear for what I'll find (which again, is really quite nonsensical). I never find bad news, but I think I get somewhat scared I'll let my spending get out of control, or that something terrible will happen and I'll be right back where I started. But reflecting on this... I think I'm doing pretty well with good financial habits and making progress on what has really been a rocky financial past. And that perhaps a lot of my fears are negative self-talk, or potentially even traumas from my past that I should probably discuss with a therapist. This is something I would like to focus on, and if anyone has felt similarly before, I am open to feedback!
Thanks for reading!
I am 23 years old, live in San Diego, and make $18/hr working as a fundraiser
My parents pay for my food and don’t charge me rent (for now) since I am home and taking care of my family. My finances are in a weird place because I don’t spend money on much right now, but prepandemic I was in a relationship so my expenses looked different then (spent a lot on restaurants, entertainment, and gas) so it’s hard to predict what my budget will look like when I go back to where I normally live. I am privileged to have the support of my parents even though I am also supporting them through labor. I don’t mention it much in the diary but I make all my mom’s food, take her to appointments, and do whatever she needs when she asks. I hope this peek into the life and finances of someone who is in a weird life transition is interesting and will be a cool reflection for when I get back on track.
Section One: Assets and Debt
Retirement Balance: $0 (planning to open a Roth IRA end of this yeaearly 2021 once I beef up my emergency fund)
Savings account balance: $~12,000 (although 10,000 is earmarked for student loan repayment when interest starts on January 1) For now, I have it sitting in a HYSA and plan to save up an additional $3,000 for emergencies before starting a retirement account.
Checking account balance: $500
Credit card debt: $0 pay in full every month - put almost all expenses on card to earn rewards but never spend more than I earn
Student loan debt: currently $10,000 for a BA in history. Was $19,000 when I graduated a year and a half ago but I used all my savings from working in college to pay a chunk off and eliminate some of the mental burden. Currently plan to pay the rest off when repayment starts next year. Curious if anyone has thoughts on the possibility for loan forgiveness in the near future? Would hate to pay it off and then have debt be forgiven soon after.
Section Two: Income
Income Progression: I've been working as a fundraiser since my sophomore year of college. I started out at $11/hour and was promoted several times to earn $14/hour when I graduated.
My current job pays $18/hour and I was told a couple of months ago at my annual review that the president would be evaluating raises in a couple of months (meaning now? I think?) and that my manager would advocate for a merit raise for me but to not get my hopes up as COVID has impacted non-profits substantially.
Main Job Monthly Take Home:
$2,700 per month. I selected to have my benefits be included in my paycheck rather than put in a 403b (with no matching opportunities) or health insurance since I’ll stay on my parents plan until I’m 26.
Side gig: I occasionally will receive money for participating in focus groups for movies that haven’t been released yet. It’s not much, maybe $30/month and I do it more as a hobby than for any payment.
Section Three: Expenses
Rent: $1,200 per month for a private bedroom/bathroom/patio with two other housemates. Have been paying rent even though I moved back in with my parents since mid-April. I spoke with my landlord and got permission to break my lease a month early and get my security deposit back but that’s not until next month. My parents have not been charging me rent while I have been home, but will start making me pay a small “rent” (probably $400 which was the equivalent of groceries and take out I was spending pre-COVID) when my lease is up but we haven’t agreed on a firm number yet.
Savings contribution - whatever is left in my bank account after paying rent
Donations- I will occasionally donate to the nonprofit I work for, but don’t have room in my budget for regular contributions. I had emailed an animal shelter about volunteering weekly but then COVID happened and I never heard back. Looking to be more involved when my life gets more normal.
Electric: $0 rental uses solar panels
Other utilities: ~$55/month
Cellphone: $0 parents pay
Subscriptions: This money diary forced me to see if I still had Amazon Prime and yep - it charged me and I didn’t know. $119/year and I asked for a reminder before it renews so next year I won’t make the same mistake. I mooch off my parents for Netflix, was gifted a Hulu subscription last year, and refuse to pay for music streaming.
Car payment / insurance : I drive a car that is as old as I am. No payments and to be honest I don’t know what I pay for insurance? It is an expense I pay for myself, though. In the pandemic I fill up my tank maybe once a month but pre-pandemic it was every 2 weeks or so.
Regular therapy: $0. I go weekly but since it’s a telehealth appointment my insurance covers the copay (would be $30 if it was in-person)
Day 1 Monday
7:00 - Wake up and drink iced coffee. I have a convoluted way of making it which includes making hot coffee in a Keurig, putting it in the fridge, and then moving it in to the freezer for another 20 minutes before drinking it. The crazy thing is that I have a cold brew filter, but it is sitting in a bag in the closet with other thing my ex-boyfriend gave me back when we broke up. I chat with my mom in the morning until I need to start work.
8:30 - clock in to my job and start work.
10 - have a staff meeting through Zoom. So stressful even though I never have to talk. It’s a lot of effort even though all I have to do is sit and listen. My office has the mindset that if your camera is off then your internet must not be working and something is wrong.
11:45 - make a chocolate banana peanut butter smoothie for my mom and myself. I’m doing an informal IF diet which basically means I really try to avoid eating breakfast on weekdays. I don’t get hungry until much later most days anyways so it’s not a hardship. I also get anxious as I’m packing up to leave about leaving my mom alone for half the day. She hasn’t been alone this long in awhile and I hope I’ve thought through all the stuff that I should do for her before I leave.
12 - make the hour drive to my office to pick up a huge pile of letters and envelopes that I need to stuff for my job. Blast the radio and sing along so that my voice is hoarse when I get to the office. My job has been cool that I had to move away to quarantine and make any trips to the office optional for me. I still go whenever I can because I need the break and I want to be a team player.
2 - have a check-in call with my supervisor. I give her a brief overview of my homelife right now so she understands why I might need more notice before traveling for work. She is incredibly supportive and reaffirms that as long as I’m getting my work done, it doesn’t matter the timing and I can be flexible with my hours. As an hourly employee working from home during the pandemic, I occasionally feel guilty about clocking-in but then not realistically being able to start working for another hour or so. Her reassurance that it’s okay makes me feel better. She also suggests looking into FMLA if things with my mom ever get worse.
3:30 - Stop by Del Taco for a snack while dropping off donation solicitation letters to companies. ($5.37 for a large fry, a shitload of hot sauce, and a small Cherry Coke, but guilty pleasure food is priceless imo)
4:30- Get home the same time my dad does. My mom did well on her own.
6:00 - my dad and I team up to make a meal kit meal of chicken and vegetables. Is surprisingly yummy even though I messed up the crema big time. Turns out a tablespoon of water makes a big difference when it was only supposed to be a teaspoon…
7:00 - family has been watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer at dinner for the past month and a half. Currently on season 3. Eat some hot cheetos as a dessert
8:30- take a long shower
9:00- get a message from my group of long distance friends. We have a “Virtual Sleepover Series” where we FaceTime every two weeks and have a designated topic to talk about before hand. One person hosts and preps the questions before hand. I find out that next week’s topic will be anything and everything sex. Excited to hear about my friends’ thoughts and experiences, but am nervous that I’ll have to do this call in my car so my parents don’t hear me! This seems well thought out though and my friend that is hosting even created a google form so that we can ask her questions anonymously and she can spend the time to research them.
10:30 - fall asleep
Day 2 Tuesday
6:45 - wake up unusually anxious with nothing to attribute it to.
8:00 - finally get out of bed and make coffee. I notice that my jaw hurts and put 2 and 2 together that I must have been clenching my jaw in my sleep. clock in to work.
10:00 - Put a castor oil blend in my hair and distribute it through until it’s practically dripping in oil. Once a week I like to do this and pick a day when I don’t have any Zoom calls so I can be a greaseball. I tie up my hair and let it marinate and then wash it out at night.
12:45 - do a masked up drive to a local deli to pick up sandwiches for my mom and I. My workload has increased dramatically at work the past few weeks and it’s been hard for me to handle. I do a lot of manual data entry and take it personally when my mistakes come back to me. My supervisor checks in with me on my workload and I admit to her how stressed I am about the amount of human error. She is a saint and reminds me that I’m doing a good job and that our organization is a team and has checks in place so that if one person makes a mistake, another will catch it so nothing bad can happen. I’m not usually so stressed at work so the fact that my supervisor has had to do so much morale boosting for me is unusual but I’m really thankful to have her. I get back from the deli and my mom notices that my skin has broken out in red splotches. My skin is so fair that any time I’m emotional it’s super evident and I can’t hide it. ($26.30 for two people but my mom Venmo’s me the full amount)
3:00 - I eat the last of the hot cheetos and drink my first ever La Croix. Find out that pamplemousse isn’t a gibberish marketing word for a flavor but actually means grapefruit. Mind blown.
3:30 - stuff some of the envelopes that I picked up yesterday while watching The Home Edit on Netflix.
5:15 - stop working for the day. Go on an hour long walk while listening to a podcast by a comedian.
6:00- drive to pick up dinner for my family and eat pasta and salad. Watch Buffy
8:00 -wash out the oil that’s been in my hair all day and do a hair mask in the shower and put some more oil in my hair post-shower while it’s damp. It’s very silky and happy.
8:30 - listen to ASMR on Youtube since today has been a particularly stressful day and read on my laptop until I go to sleep around 11pm.
Day 3 Wednesday
8:00 wake up refreshed and make iced coffee.
8:30 clock-in to work and tackle more of the envelope stuffing.
10:00 - My organization has a big one-day fundraiser today and we have already met our goal. I get more tasks relating to this event that are time sensitive. Oh joy.
11:00- am starving and can’t wait another hour. Eat the second half of my pasta from last night and eat a bunch of baby carrots to round it out.
1pm - eat a slice of leftover pizza we had from sunday night. Bring a La Croix with me into the bedroom and shut the door so I can make calls while my mom watches murder mysteries loudly in another room. Make a bunch of thank-you calls to donors.
5:00 - after stuffing envelopes for a couple of hours, I call it a night and go for a walk. Listen to Brene Brown while I’m walking. She is a quarantine discovery for me and I am so glad I’ve found her. I have always loved consuming self-help material and she balances the academia side with humor and realism so well.
6:00- Help my dad make another meal-kit dinner. It’s really tasty and we watch Buffy and have a good night together.
8:30- take a shower and hop in bed. I get out my laptop and do some job searching. I like that my job has purpose and is meaningful but I need a job with more social interaction with people my age. I’m the youngest person there by 10 years and it’s hard to connect when everyone is in a different phase of life than me. Also, my role is more data driven than anything and I’ve realized how much I dislike it.
Fall asleep around 10:30
Day 4 Thursday
6:45 - get up a little earlier than usual and make coffee. Today my hours are pushed back by an hour because I have a meeting planned that goes until 6 and they discourage overtime. I spend the extra hour in the morning working on my resume and job searching.
9:30 - clock in to work and prepare for a meeting.
11am - have a department meeting via Zoom that goes relatively well. I never have much to contribute to these meetings because I don’t have the experience to add much to anything that isn’t directly part of my role. I am working on speaking up a little more in meetings, especially because I think it would help my case for a raise.
12- make nachos for my mom and I with refried beans and a lot of hot sauce. So tasty but I feel so bloated afterwards. Maybe not the best decision after all…
12:30- get back to work and finally finishing stuffing all the letters! Check my phone to see that my grandma is beating me at Words With Friends.
5:00- have the meeting where all I have to do is stay on mute the whole time and take notes. Is a crack up when a leader of the community is speaking and her young son is in the background stripping. He started fully dressed and is in his underwear running around by the end. I do not envy the life of parents who have to balance work and home.
6:00 my dad gets back from work and brings home dinner. I get breakfast for dinner with biscuits and gravy with home fries and a piece of chocolate peanut butter pie for dessert. A carb dream… Watch Buffy as per usual.
8:30 get the urge to check my ex’s social media. Instead, I look up articles about why you shouldn’t look at ex’s social media. A line about not spending the energy on someone who is not in your life really resonated with me. I think about how I’ve been waiting for the right time to give my ex something of his that was left with me. There will never be a right time. I text him to see if he needs the thing back. He doesn’t but it turns into a conversation about our feelings. We were each other’s first significant relationship and broke up still loving each other but he was not emotionally available to continue a serious relationship. We had a period after we broke up where we texted and saw each other but then it fell apart when he asked if I was okay with a FWB situation. That really hurt me and we hadn’t talked since. He tells me that he wants to stay connected with me but that it’s hard to reach out because he feels really guilty about mistakes he made. Going to have to unpack this conversation in therapy…but feel weirdly better because the angry silence was eating me up and so even a hard conversation gives me closure.
Day 5 Friday
7:30 wake up and make coffee, the usual routine
8:30- clock-in and start typing up the minutes from the meeting last night.
11- my mom needs me to take her to a weekly doctor’s appointment. I load up her wheelchair in the car and drive her. I drink La Croix while I’m in the car waiting for her. We pick up lunch from an Italian place on the way back and I drop off the letters at the post office. We get home and watch an episode of the Home Edit while eating lunch. I had these hours blocked in my calendar as unavailable but I still get urgent work messages. Luckily I’m not too busy while I’m waiting around so I can answer them. ($30 for two but my mom Venmo’s me in full)
2- make some more thank you calls and have some calls with colleagues as well.
2:30- get a text from my therapist that she has a doctor’s appointment and has to reschedule our appointment that would have started in 2.5 hours from now. I sort of take it as a compliment that she doesn’t think of me as a flight risk, but it seems pretty unprofessional as a therapist to cancel so last minute. Every session I’ve had with her, she is either 5 minutes late or needs to reschedule. I like her as a person but am starting to get a weird feeling about her inability to schedule.
4:30- was supposed to have a Netflix party with some friends to watch The Devil All the Time tonight. I get a text that it is being rescheduled until next week. People are just in the mood to reschedule on me, I guess!
5- finish up work and take a walk since I don’t have to go to therapy anymore. Listen to another comedy podcast.
6- get back and help my dad with a meal-kit dinner. Pre-my mom being sick, my dad did zero cooking so having to cook is a new experience for him. He gets easily overwhelmed and when it gets time to plate the dinner he freaks out and storms off to the living room. I finish the dinner and we eat and watch Buffy and pretend like nothing happened.
8:00 - take a shower and work on job searching. Go to sleep around 10:30.
Day 6 Saturday
7am- wake up and in the mood to get coffee. I can hear that my family is up and I try and see if my dad can sneak away for a leisurely drive to go to a far-away Dunkin’ in our pajamas. There ends up being a lot of negotiating and a grocery store trip is tacked on to the outing so I hop in the car in a bad mood. Nothing a massive coffee and a cake donut can’t fix.
8:30 - watch Buffy in the morning (this is as exciting as my pandemic life gets).
10am- go through my parents’ produce drawer in the fridge and throw away a massive amount of spoiled food. I’m coming from the broke college student mindset and can’t imagine buying so much food that I’ll never eat. I don’t buy the food (although I do help plan the meals) so I have learned to pick my battles. Still sad as I throw way a grocery bag full of food.
12:30- notice my hands are shaking from the caffeine and lack of food. Make myself a sandwich with prosciutto and blueberry chèvre, all ingredients from Trader Joe’s. Would normally put spinach in there to round it out but that was something that went bad.
1:30-type up my Money Diary. During this time of instability and life transitions, personal finance has been a source of comfort as something that I can control and is forward-thinking. I consume a lot of personal finance content on Youtube and Reddit and it makes me happy. As I type I start to get worried that I include identifying information. True story: a few months ago I was looking around a niche professional subreddit and was reading a post about salaries. Based on the identifying information and the username of a comment I figure out that I had found my manager’s Reddit account and read what she said her salary is. This is how I know that there’s room in my organization for me to get a raise - thanks Reddit!
3:30- see that I got paid yesterday and move $1,000 to my HYSA.
4- Go on an hour and a half walk with my dad. He shows me a new path and we chit chat.
6- Make a meal-kit dinner and watch Buffy. I drink a couple glasses of wine while making and eating dinner and get buzzed and super goofy. I run to make a bag of popcorn and promptly spill half of it on the floor like a giggly idiot. My parent’s dog looks at me in disbelief that he gets to eat so much popcorn.
8:30- still giggly, I put on a clay face mask while my mom has on a sheet mask and we try and talk while our faces are practically immobile. It’s a nice moment and I enjoy it but it’s sad that I’ve had so few of these moments lately. I start overanalyzing why that is and catch myself before I start down the rabbit hole and try to enjoy it for what it is.
10- go to bed with smooth skin and a happy family
Day 7 Sunday
8:30- wake up, make scrambled eggs for the family while my dad makes bacon. I make my iced coffee.
I spend most of the morning applying to a couple of jobs and tracking my application for others I’ve already sent in.
12:30- my dad grabs lunch and I get a California burrito. Food coma commences.
1- A friend texts me to ask for tips about how to negotiate a raise as a department. At my previous job, I wrote a letter to my manager signed by my whole department asking for a collective raise. It worked. I am still extremely hesitant to give any advice that isn’t sharing what I did because I realize my situation was extremely unusual. I’d hate to say something that causes her to put her job at risk.
3- Go on a walk even though it’s 90 degrees and listen to another podcast episode. I start feeling really sad about the monotony of my days. I am trying to find things to spice up my days, but my whole family is high-risk so I have to be really conservative with how I choose to be in public. It doesn’t help that I occasionally read things online that refer to time right now as post-pandemic. What world are they living in?
5- I shower and start making dinner. Tonight it’s a southwestern fish taco and coleslaw. We don’t watch Buffy! We watch Father of the Bride instead.
10 - go to bed and ward off the Sunday Scaries.
At the end of each day please tally up your daily expenses. Then at the end of your diary please tally up all expenses in the following categories:
Food - $5.37 wow, that’s really it.
Lastly, reflect on your diary! How do you feel about your spending? Was this a normal week for you? Has this inspired you to make changes or has it given you a “wow I’m doing pretty good” confidence boost? Is there anything you’re actively working on? No need to answer any or all these questions but just use this space to write any thoughts you have!
This is accurate for what I have been spending during the pandemic with my family. I will spend money on clothes maybe once a month but that’s max $60. Prepandemic, I was spending about what I was making with bills and debt repayment. I am grateful to have a family to lean on during hard times and that they feel like they can lean on me. This exercise made me realize that I do more than what I give myself credit for. In my mind, all I do is work and eat. I am using this time in limbo to really evaluate what my values are and set myself up for success when I can start going back out into the world again. I want to be in a job that makes me happier and surround myself around friends that I feel really close to. I’ve been reading R29 MDs for years but have moved to Reddit for more personal finance knowledge. It gives me some reassurance that I have the means to accomplish what I want. I’d love to hear your comments and suggestions, financially or otherwise. Thank you for reading!