Money Diary #1: No more overpriced avocado toasts

One of my favorite things to read is Refinery29’s Money Diaries series. And when my friend, Luxe started recapping her weekend spending, I felt even more inspired to get in on the action. Maybe I’m living vicariously through people’s purchases, or simply trying to seek pearls of wisdom to save myself a few bucks.  Either way, the ways in which people spend and save fascinate me. And now that I am employed and can spend money (responsibly), I can finally share my first ever money diaries post. I have been waiting so long for this very moment. So let’s get right into it. 

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Monday

The day started off with a staff meeting off-site at a Chinese restaurant where we had dim-sum. While this was a nice touch, it changed my lunch plans from saving money to spending it. I knew I wouldn’t be able to put my lunch in the fridge until at least noon so I didn’t pack it.

Lunch comes around and I do a little yelp research to see what’s good around me. I grew up in this neighborhood but it has changed so much, I might as well be a tourist visiting for the first time. I decide on this sandwich place that got really great reviews. I walk there only to find that they have a “B” rating from the health department. So I had to pass.

I head back towards the direction of work and stop by this Matcha spot. At this point, I was getting so hungry that a $9 avocado toast made sense to me.

It had truffle in it so I guess I was paying for that? It tasted delicious though but I’m definitely not spending this much on something I can easily make at home, again. Good thing I was full afterwards. $9.80

On my way home, I decide to stop at Trader Joe’s and Target. I pick up some pita bread and popcorn chips at Trader Joe’s. $4.77

And some eye drops and my favorite body wash at Target.
$15.21

Monday total = $29.78 

Tuesday

Burned from my $9 avocado toast from the previous day, I decide to bring some leftover veggies and my version of a PB&J to work (I use almond butter and strawberry jam). I get hungry around 4 pm but decide to wait until I get home to snack on my favorite popcorn chips from Trader Joe’s. You know, the ones I talked about in my May favorites post. $0

Tuesday total = $0

Wednesday

I bring leftovers for lunch again and scarf it down quickly so I can meet up with my friend. She lives super close to the office and has the day off, so it was meant to be. She decides on this avocado themed cafe with the cutest decor.

She eats her “hearty toast” which basically looks like a salad on a bed of bread. And I feel relieved that I don’t have to spend any money on lunch. $0

Wednesday total = $0

Thursday

I was too tired to pack lunch the night before so I decided to treat myself. I did some yelp research and found this other sandwich shop that looked promising. I take the eight minute walk there only to find that it doesn’t open for another hour. Who knew a lunch spot wouldn’t be open by lunch time? Not me, clearly.

I walk around and find myself back at the avocado spot from the day before. I decide on this “chicken avo” sandwich.

I can’t finish the whole thing and think about taking half of it home but I knew the avocado would probably go brown. I eat as much as I can and throw out the rest. I hate throwing away food so this didn’t feel too good. But then again, neither does feeling bloated. So, the lesser of two evils won. $11.98

On my way home I realize that my metrocard is running low on funds so I refill it. I have to wait until August to have my tax-free unlimited monthly metrocard. So until then I’ll be filling my card as I go. I wouldn’t mind paying for the subway if it ran a whole lot smoother and cleaner. But alas, I do not live in Japan. $24

I do some evening browsing on TheRealReal. I find a dress and a skirt that I think will be perfect for work. They’re both an additional 20% off so I check out quickly. Only to realize today (Sunday) that I could have gotten $40 cash back if I had only used my American Express card. 🤦🏻‍♀️ $217.44

Thursday total = $253.42

Friday

It’s casual Friday! AKA the one day of the week when jeans are allowed. This is a big change for me since I was able to dress down for my previous job. Anyway, I fully lean into casual Friday by wearing my white Isabel Marant sneakers. Wearing them reminds me that I need some insurance for future accidents so I order a 30 pack of the Jason Markk wipes for on the go spot cleaning. The price you pay to have nice things stay nice.  $18.99

I have leftovers for lunch again to finish the week strong. But then during my lunch break, I decide to take a walk to Cuyana to get a proper work bag. I’ve been using a Reformation linen tote that I got for free with my purchase, and it just wasn’t cutting it anymore. I’ve been eyeing this leather tote ever since it came out a few years ago and today, I finally decided to get it.

Initially, I couldn’t decide between brown or “stone”. After a bit of contemplating, I decided to go with brown. It’s classic and perfect all year round. And, it’s less likely to show dirt or marks. I liked it so much I carried it out of the store. And my shoulders thanked me for it. $190.53

Friday total = $209.52

Saturday

Vadim and I take my parents out to dinner for Father’s day. It’s my parents’ first time trying Peruvian food and they loved it. They haven’t been exposed to much when it comes to cuisines so I promised them that everytime we go out, we have to try something new. They agreed which made me really happy. Vadim pays for dinner but I plan on paying him back once I get my first paycheck from work. $150

Saturday total = $150

Sunday

Vadim and I watch season 2 of Queer Eye while eating breakfast. The person that gets made up is Mexican-American and that reminds me of the red cap my mom wore yesterday. Her hat has the Mexican flag on it, but I still get triggered every time I see it because it’s the same color as the MAGA hat. I remember that Madewell has these really cute bucket hats and I text her a screenshot of it and asks her if she wants me to buy it for her.

She says yes and I am so relieved. A bucket hat offers better sun protection anyway. And, it looks nothing like the MAGA hat. $29.50

We head out to dinner with Vadim’s family to celebrate Father’s day. We have delicious Austrian food at one of our favorite restaurants. We end the night with some blueberry and peach cobbler. I should have taken a picture but if it sounds good to you, it was as good as it sounds. Vadim and my sister-in-law split the bill. $0

Sunday total = $29.50

Total for the week = $672.22

How much is too much to pay for avocado toast?
Would you have gone for the brown or the stone in the leather tote?
And for everyone who brings lunch to work: what are your favorite, easy to make meals? I’m running out of ideas. Help!

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Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. This is not an ad. All opinions are my own.