Hi, my loves! I’m attempting to get better with my finances by closely tracking my expenses. Guess what? You all are my accountability partners! Here’s how I spend my money in a week.

(DISCLAIMER: This is obviously super inspired by Money Diaries by Refinery29)

Day 1: Monday 4/1/2019

6:45 am – Woke up kinda early. Snoozed the 6:30 am alarm – one day I will make it to the gym before work! Got ready and did my current skincare routine (brows, mascara, Trader Joe’s rose facial oil). Feed my kitty and changed his liter. Walked to the train with my roomie my MetroCard is expired and my pre-tax company card hasn’t come in the mail yet so I purchase a weekly $35

8:45 am – Got to work 15 minutes early! Woo! I just started this job last week so I want to make arriving early a habit. Grabbed some fruit from the kitchen sat down at my desk and gave my tithe to my church. $37

10:00 am – Hungry again! Eating healthy makes me feel like I have to eat more. Grabbed a dairy-free yogurt and added almond granola and fruit. Love this fully stocked kitchen! Feeling so blessed.

12:45 pm – Meeting ran so long but finally out and there’s shake shack for lunch! I’m still being healthy so I opt for the VEGAN shake shack burger. That counts for something, right?

3:15 pm – Time for my afternoon tea and snack! Grabbed a maple sea salt Rx bar from the kitchen. Also grabbed a starburst (pink of course) and mini snicker from the candy drawer. Did I mention I love this kitchen?

5:00 pm – Done with work for the day! Head to Trader Joe’s to buy quinoa and black beans. I want to recreate a warm bowl I had a Sweet Green yesterday. Of course, I end up buying: hummus, 2x pita chips, 4x bananas, protein powder, 2x frozen vegan tikka masalas, 1x frozen korma fish curry dinner, quinoa, and black beans. Whew. $38

6:30 pm – After making some rookie mistakes on the train and my Trader Joe’s bag handle breaking I get home a little later than expected. I’m still stuffed from the Shake Shack earlier so I opt to marinate the salmon from my warm bowl in teriyaki glaze overnight in lieu of cooking.

7:00 pm – My roomie and I have a workout class we go to every Monday! I love having an accountability partner. After the class, she leaves and I stay to take the yoga class right after. Slowly but surely working toward my Teyana Taylor dream body!

9:00 pm – Still so full! I shower, feed my kitty, and do my nightly skincare routine (which is honestly the same as the morning routine – sue me!). I curl up in bed and research the FitBit and Apple Watch. My friend is super sweet and texts me her personal expense tracker as a guide for my own. I make a mental note to make a copy and try to start one for April. I’m apart of my company’s book club and this month’s reading is Bad Blood. I read the first chapter and I’m sleeping by 11:00 pm.

Daily Total: $110

Day 2: Tuesday 4/2/2019

6:45 am  – Rise and shine! Snoozed my 5:45 am alarm so I didn’t make it to the gym. I hope one day this week I magically turn into a pre-work gym person. One can dream! This morning I’m extra clumsy and somehow my toothbrush flies out of my mouth and on to the floor??? FYI I’m captain of the Brooklyn butterfingers club. I’m ready super early today so I clean a little more than usual.

I also flip over the salmon in the teriyaki sauce to ensure its marinating all the way through. So excited to cook tonight! A new girl moved into the apartment and she offers me some coffee she made. I’ve haven’t had a coffee maker in my apartment since I lived at home with my family! I forgot how much I loved the smell. My other roomie and I walk to the train together.

8:50 am – Arrive at work and make a bowl with fruit, granola, and dairy-free yogurt. I still need to pay my rent for this month (and last month) but I’m in an all-day training program so I just haven’t found much time to handle personal business during the day. I make a mental note.

9:15 am – a friend at work sends me links to a few financial institution partnerships specifical for black people and black women (Check them out here! Advancing Black Pathways and Currency Conversations). We also discuss podcasts we enjoy and she turns me on the Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday podcast. Did I mention she also referred me to this job? She’s great. Literally, God sent.

12:00 pm – I break for lunch and head down to the kitchen for more (free!) food. Since I just started this job they have a week-long training program for us and my company caters a special meal every day. Today it’s Greek food I have vegetable couscous, vegan moussaka, spinach pie, and a greek salad. I think I ate to much cheese.

2:00 pm – Time for my snack! Today I have veggie sticks (the chips, I’m not that healthy), a mini Snickers, a mini Reese’s peanut butter cup, and my usual afternoon tea. Keeping it light because I’m eager to go home and cook my salmon!

5:05 pm – Said goodbye to my manager and co-workers whom I literally haven’t seen all day lol. Training is a blessing and a curse. So excited to make my salmon! I put on Oprah’s latest Super Soul Sunday podcast for my commute entertainment.

6:45 pm – Oh heavenly father please hear my prayers. I do not know what’s going on with me and the MTA but I made ANOTHER rookie mistake and ended up all the way in Queens 10 stops away from my transfer station to Brooklyn. Hopped on the F instead of the M. On the bright side, I finished the podcast. It was SO GOOD!

7:30 pm – My recreation of the Sweet Green warm Fish Taco bowl is complete! It features Teriyaki sesame salmon, quinoa, avocado, blue tortilla chips (crushed), arugula, and salsa! It’s SO YUMMY. I pay my rent and send my landlord a text thanking him for his patience and letting him know I’ll have THIS month’s rent to him by the 15th. I also let him know moving forward I’ll be able to pay him on time since I now have a steady job again. I have the best landlord ever. My rent is usually $1150 but since I found our new roomie he gave me a discount for the month of March. Yeah, I know I am so blessed to have him as a landlord. $900

8:30 pm – GYM TIME! I do 30 minutes of stairs and an 8fit workout. Y’all think I’m playing but I’m really trying to look like Teyana Taylor this summer!

10:25 pm – I’m totally exhausted. During my bedtime routine, I realize I’m out mouthwash, nearly out of lotion, and melatonin. When it rains it pours! Trying to be better at my finances so I decide to rough it out until the next paycheck to replace. Trying to keep that $1,000 minimum checking account balance!

Daily Total Spend: $900

Day 3: Wednesday 4/3/2019

7:00 am – So sluggish this morning. Partially because in the middle of the night I let my kitty come in and sleep with me AND I smoked a little weed before bed. Breaking two of my cardinal rules. I let my roomie know I want to leave a little early today because I want to buy a kombucha before I head into the office. We leave the apartment at 7:50 am and walk to the train together.

8:30 am – Get off the train and head straight to Duane Reade for kombucha! I’m obsessed. And it’s on sale! $5

8:50 am – My regular breakfast of dairy-free yogurt, granola, and fruit! Training is starting promptly at 9:00 am so I grab a seat for myself and save a seat for my friend.

12:00 pm – Lunch time! Told myself I was going to do the salad bar today but my company catered Dos Toros and I couldn’t resist! SO GOOD.

2:15 pm – Afternoon snack time! I skip the tea and have a mini Snickers and a dark chocolate almond butter cup. Is it weird my world revolves around food?

4:00 pm – Just one more hour. Grab a snack bag of M&Ms to hold me over. I have a long day today and therefore I’m not having dinner anytime soon. Daydreaming of my terakyi salmon.

5:00 pm – And I’m out of here! I’m meeting an old friend I haven’t seen in years. I’m a little early and pop into a Sephora and pick up my favorite mascara Better Than Sex by Too Faced. It’s so funny how much things change but truly just stay the same. I’m trying to be more Jesus like and love and forgiveness is a huge part of that. I’m looking forward to rebuilding this friendship. Oh, also I bought a matcha latte $30

7:05 pm – It’s ALL IN TEAM NIGHT! The first Wednesday of every month my church has a special all team night of worship at the Salvation Army HQ. I live for these nights of community and worship. My friend (the God sent one who works with me) is meeting me here tonight. So excited! She’s my first All In plus one! I wait around for another friend who brings me….drum roll please…a copy of Refinery29’s Money Diaries!!!! I’m so excited. She currently works there and I used to work there with her (plus we also went to university together!). Technically, I just saved $13.

10:00 pm – What a night of worship! The message was focused on how we’re hosting Jesus in our hearts. Are we aware of how much God loves us and how much he sacrificed for our salvation? Or has the gratefulness left the building? Such a powerful message. I love my church.

I’ve recently stepped up into a leadership position within my church which means I am helping to launch a new dinner party in Greenpoint. Sadly, I’ll no longer be attending my current dinner party. I stay and break the news to a few people and mingle with the ladies I’m launching the new dinner party with.  

11:30 pm – Finally home and I am EXHAUSTED. It’s way past my bedtime and I honestly don’t even feel like doing my bedtime routine. I’m sure I’ll regret it in the morning but for now…sleeeeeep.

Daily Total Spend: $35

Day 4: Thursday 4/4/2019

7:00 am – Happy almost Friday! I switch up my skincare routine and use a bougie facial oil, my ABH brow wiz, and my favorite nude lip combo MAC’s cork lip liner and Blankety lipstick. I’m feeling very skinny today! Definitely starting to see results from the gym.

7:45 am – Feeling a little nauseous from taking my vitamins on an empty stomach. Ate a banana and feeling much better. My roomie wants to get to work early today so we head out together.

9:00 am – Guess what I’m having for breakfast? If you said Dairy-free yogurt top with berries and granola you got it!

11:50 am – Last meeting ended early and I’m so happy because ya girl is STARVING. The catered lunch doesn’t look too appetizing so I opt for the salad bar and it does NOT disappoint. Proud of myself for this healthy choice.

2:15 pm – SNACK TIME! I fall off the wagon and grab a bag of hot fires, AND had toooo many candies to count. It was so good. I regret nothing. Plus, I’m planning on going extra hard in the gym tonight.

4:45 pm – ….so everything I just said was a lie. I have a company happy hour tonight – two in fact! So sadly no gym for me, but I’m excited to get to know my co-workers better so this will be fun!

9:55 pm – I’m so drunk please send help.

11:45 pm – By a miracle of God I somehow get home! I barely manage to crawl into bed. Such a fun night it was great mingling with my international co-workers.

Daily Total Spend: $0

Day 5: Friday 4/5/2019

7:00 am – Oh wow this hangover is so real. I am so ready to wash it off of me. I turn on the shower and start brushing my teeth and get my morning routine started. The devil works so hard and there is NO HOT WATER IN MY APARTMENT.

On the bright side, the ice water killed my hangover.

8:05 am – My roomie went to work super early today (7:30 am!) so I take my time getting out the door. I pack a banana in my bag to give to a homeless person on my commute. 100% of the time I cross paths with a homeless person on my way to work. Homelessness is a real epidemic in America.

9:15 am – Breakfast today is a bagel with butter and fruit! Super yummy. Today is the last day of training. Bittersweet.

11:45 am – Training is over and we parade around the office in our caps and certificates of completion. I am completely embarrassed but it’s so fun and I am so happy I was able to experience it with my class.

12:00 pm – Lunch today is catered Italian! I have eggplant parm, a vegan hero (I added cheese lol), and spinach. I am entirely too stuffed but I still grab some candy for dessert.

2:15 pm – SNACK TIME! More candy and tea. Biding time until 5 pm. Still very new and don’t have much work yet! Meeting my mentor at 5:30 pm so it’s best if I stay in the city.

5:30 pm – Stopping by my mentor’s office to say hi and find out more about a project she’s working on. She’s helped me so much in my career I’m so happy I’m FINALLY able to return the favor. God is good!

7:30 pm – Meeting some friends at Baby Grand! An adorable karaoke bar in lower Manhattan. We all volunteer on the production team at our church so it’s nice to get to know each other in the real world.  I have a few drinks. $22

9:30 pm – After karaoke, a few of us decided to pop over to Mamoun’s on St. Mark’s. I love this place. I used to go to the original hole in the wall over on W4th. It always feels so good to support a family-owned business! $9

12:30 pm – I don’t know who I think I am staying out this late. It’s raining and I want nothing more than to call a car home BUT I am being responsible. I end up getting home around 1:30 am – thank you MTA!

Daily Total Spend: $31

Day 6: Saturday 4/6/2019

11:45 am – Good morning! I love sleeping in on the weekends. I cuddle with my kitty before brushing my teeth. 

12:30 pm – Praise the Lord my landlord had the water fixed! Taking a nice long shower. 

2:00 pm – Meeting a friend and heading to the ArtExpo going on this weekend in the city. She’s running a little behind and I’m so thirsty. I get a green juice to satisfy my thirst and help kill time $5

6:00 pm – The ArtExpo was super cool! My friend works in the art industry so it was nice to have her give me the inside scoop on artists. We head to Mickey Spillane’s for $5 drinks and loaded french fries! $26

7:30 pm – There’s a Housing Works thrift store right next door so we simply cannot pass up this opportunity. I get a fabulous J. Crew skirt and a Banana Republic blouse. Both work appropriate – score! $45

Daily Total Spend: $76

Day 7: Sunday 4/7/2019

9:00 am – Good morning! I’m very chipper on the weekends, can you tell? I wake up and remember I have a credit card payment due on the 8th. So I pay it online and head to the gym. $100

1:00 pm – Church was SO GOOD! The message was about being bold and running into awkward situations. Whew, Pastor Filmore was talking directly to me!

3:00 pm – I head to Trader Joe’s to buy kombucha and avocados. I walk out with: cinnamon apple snack sticks, multigrain fiber bread, stir fry sauce, olive oil, vegan mayo, bananas, makeup remover wipes, avocados, flowers, maple pecan shortbread mix, kombuchas, brown rice, onion, broccoli, banana date nut crisps, and mushrooms. Planning on making a veggie stir fry this week. $60

5:00 pm – I’m home and it’s time to do some laundry and get ready for the week! Lay around in bed reading Bad Blood between loads. So grateful I have a free washer and dryer in my building. I pick up my dry cleaning from the laundromat next door and drop of two blouses. $7

9:00 pm – Ready for bed! I fill my vitamin box for the week and do my nightly skincare routine. My hyperpigmentation is starting to fade and I’m really happy about it!

Daily Total Spend: $167

Weekly Total Spent: $1,319

Weekly reflection:

Wow. I had no idea I spent so much money in one week. Minus rent and a bill ($1,000) I’m at $319 which isn’t too bad. I do want to start paying bills more aggressively though and next week is a bill heavy week for me. What do you ladies think about my spending habits? Does anyone see any opportunity to cut back? Hoping once I have a little more data about my spending I can start optimizing for the most beneficial financial future.  

I have to start paying back my student loans soon and I am SO not ready for that. Debating on taking advantage of a year’s deferment this year so I can focus on paying off my credit card debt. Plus after taking a year sabbatical and not saving A PENNY I’m aggressively building up my 401K this year with 15% of my paycheck plus my 6% company match.

Hope this was beneficial to someone! See you all next week xoxo


Posted by:High Black Girl

3 replies on “Week #1 Money Diary Challenge: I’m addicted to Trader Joe’s

  1. Loved this! I teach financial literacy so reading this was just… dope af to me😂
    I recommend meal planning! It’ll save you a ton! Also, I LOVE how you’re making sure to hit your 401k match!

    Get that tax-free money girl!!


    1. Thanks love! Money is something I always struggled with. When I took my sabbatical I was DETERMINED to get better with $$$ (and learning how to cook!) these diaries help keep me accountable 🙂 Thank you for reading!


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