Money Diary #5: A little luck, a lot of sweat, and some pain

Best photo of the week goes to this carb on carb situation.


How has it been four months since my last money diary post?

I don’t have a good excuse but I am back!

This week I get a little lucky, go out on a Friday night, and sweat it out at an infrared sauna session…among other things.

Let’s dive right in.


I speedwalk to UPS to drop off my Rent the Runway return ($30 referral credit/affiliate link). I drop my dress off and on the way back I’m craving a nice warm drink to get me through the training I’m about to head to. I stop into Chillhouse for a $$$ turmeric latte. I really need a travel mug… $7.62

This is the dress I rented for my father in law’s bday dinner. I’m wearing the 0 which fits well with a little room in the waist.

On the way back from my training, I quickly decide to pop into Orchard Grocer for a side of vegan mac and cheese. It’s the “cheapest” thing that I actually want to eat and it’s so freaking good. Who needs real mac when you have really really good vegan mac? $7.62

Hunger kicks in at 5:49 pm and luckily I have a snack because I’m working till 7:30 pm tonight.

Head home and feel relieved that Monday is o-v-e-r.

Total: $15.24


I have an early meeting today which is not cool BUT I am looking forward to the free breakfast. I get there and it’s a bunch of unhealthy options. I opt for a mini pineapple bun and a lemon ginger tea. And because of my ballerina like grace, I spill hot water all over the table. Classic. I also grab a banana because it literally is the healthiest option, and well, I know I’ll need it when the carbs wear off.

During the meeting, there is a trivia game and my group wins! Everyone on our team gets two movie tickets. Bonkers, in the best way!

After the meeting, I decide to treat myself and head to Jajaja, a Vegan Mexican restaurant close by. It’s one of my fave spots. A colleague spots me and joins me for lunch. I sit down and get their breaky burrito (so so good). I recommend it to my colleague and she gets it too. She also gives it two thumbs up. When I see the bill, I tell myself no more eating out for lunch this week. $17.15

Back at the office, my coworkers are kind enough to return from the meeting offsite with Doughnut Plant donuts. I grab a 1/4th of the coconut creme and wonder, what did I do to deserve all this today?

After work, I do my annual eye exam so I can get a new prescription for my contacts. Things are looking the same which is good news for me because I’m practically blind. I get a 6 month supply of the 2-week contacts and a 90 day supply of the dailies. My health insurance covers some of it and I pay the rest…$140

Finally head home and watch Queer Eye while eating dinner. Which is perfect because as I’m bawling, the salt from my tears give a little flavor to what I’m eating. I mean, crying while watching Queer Eye is just part of the experience now.

I try paying attention to Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and Mexican Dynasties on Bravo but I’m too distracted by scrolling through Rent the Runway’s selections. I impulsively order an unlimited subscription where you can rotate four pieces at a time to rent throughout the month. I’ve done it before when I was interviewing for jobs last spring. I reviewed it here. An hour later, I can’t find anything that I really want to rent so I send Rent the Runway an email hoping I can cancel my unlimited membership.

Total: $157.15 (not including the $129.56 for the Rent the Runway Unlimited subscription)


Grab a Larabar (Cashew Cookie flavor) to take with me for breakfast and my leftovers for lunch. I know I’ll be meeting up with my best friend for dinner so I decide to spend the $$ then.

This day seems to fly by because before I know it, I’m headed to dinner. We first try to go to Ruby’s Cafe but the wait is 30 minutes. We’re starving so we head to Jack’s Wife Freda instead. It’s so loud that we end up shouting over candlelight throughout dinner. We both order the pasta of the day with a side of fries. Because when it comes to indulging in carbs…the limit does not exist. We split the bill and head home. $27.07

Somehow I manage to get a workout in when I get home. It only took 7 ish minutes which seems to be the sweet spot for me. Have you heard of the 7 minute workout?

Total: $27.07


I make a peanut butter sandwich for breakfast and a salad for lunch. I bring a snack too because I know I’ll need it later.

The day breezes by and finally it’s time to head offsite to observe a cooking class (potential program to bring to our teens). My supervisor and I head there and learn that the class is making vegan dumplings. I take mental notes the whole time and am so impressed.

At the end of the class, I debate whether I should take a lyft home or take the train back into Manhattan and then back into Brooklyn. I’m already in Brooklyn but because of where I am, that just happens to be the easiest subway route to get home. I decide to save the $30 ish bucks and take the hour long train ride instead.

It’s rainy and cold as I am waiting for the train and I feel a twinge of regret. But, Vadim and I decide to order Thai takeout so there’s something to look forward to.

On the train ride home, I check my email and I see that Rent the Runway refunded me. Yay!

My stomach grumbles and I’m grateful for the Annie’s gummies in my bag.

I make it home and it’s Thai takeout and Project Runway time.

Total: $0



I feel like by Friday, everything feels manageable again and for a moment I forget what all the fuss throughout the week was all about.

I bring peanut butter with me as breakfast since I can eat it with the crackers I have in my desk at work.

I get a manicure during my lunch break. I pay more than usual for a manicure ($27) but it’s so much more convenient (this week) to go somewhere close by work than to get off two train stops early to get to my usual $15 spot. I also don’t have time to go after work today since I’ll be heading out tonight. As I am checking out, I spot a cute bracelet and decide to get it for my friend, Suzana. It’s her 30th bday shindig tonight and the bracelet seems like the perfect little gift. $85.48

Color is Essie’s tiers of joy

I pop into Reformation on my way to the train station to see if there’s anything cute for tonight’s bday dinner. I see nothing and head home.

Dinner starts at 10 tonight (who am I??) so Vadim and I eat some chicken and sweet potatoes before heading out. Somehow we stay awake and head to dinner. We have an awesome time and head home around 1 in the morning. How? I don’t know. The bday girl insists that we don’t pay and is kind enough to pay for everyone’s dinner. Thanks, Suz!

We head home and get to bed around 3 am. A new record for us.

Total: $85.48


Vadim and I rush out of the apartment to make it to brunch with my coworkers. The brunch comes with a drag show and we’re excited because we’ve never been to one before. Especially not where brunch is involved. We get there and we wait and wait for the show to start. We’re packed like sardines and eat regular, no frills brunch food. Finally after an hour, the show starts. the drag queen is funny but the music is so loud and the space so crowded that we collectively decide that next time, we want quiet and good food. Vadim pays for brunch for the two of us ($60).

Vadim and I leave brunch and head to our Higher Dose session. I booked it in the morning because my neck has been killing me and I heard that the infrared sauna might help with muscle relaxation. It’s my first time and I’m pretty excited. We have no idea what to expect but the woman at the Howard Hotel location is so helpful and our 30 minute session breezes by. We’re amazed at how bearable the sauna heat is and how sweaty we got. It felt nice to detox after the long night before. We come out feeling a little more relaxed than we came in. Will definitely do this again. $41.80

I read this article the day before about pillows being the culprit of neck pain and decide that it’s time to get a new one. After our Higher Dose session, we walk around Soho and stumble upon Coco-Mat. Vadim sees the word, “pillow” in big letters and suggests that we go inside. We walk in and I immediately feel like this is going to be a $$$ pricey experience.

I tell the salesperson my dilemma and he finds me a pillow and tells me to test it out. My neck and upper back is hurting so bad that I’ll try anything at this point. As I’m testing it out, he brings over two cups of tea for Vadim and I. Such a nice gesture. And now…we have to buy something. Just kidding.

But seriously, the natural latex pillow feels so supportive on my neck. Usually, I just sink into my pillow and assume that it’s normal. And my neck pain has become so chronic that it’s a part of my everyday experience now. I had neck and shoulder pain ever since childhood and never really thought much about getting a pillow specifically for my needs. So whenever my neck falls to one side while sleeping and it stays there the whole night, I end up with a strained neck for days. It gets so bad that I can’t even turn my neck to the side without feeling an excruciating amount of pain. I decide this pillow is different and might be the solution to my neck problem. Vadim insists on paying ($127.73). Thanks, husband!

Vadim decides today is a good day to go out for dinner. We head to Werkstatt, one our faves in the neighborhood. I order a hot cider, leek risotto, and a side of potatoes (decided that was a mistake because it tasted so bland). Everything else is delicious. Vadim pays.

We head home and end the Saturday festivities with some Queer Eye.

Total: $41.80


Ahh Sunday. We take things super slow since we’re still recovering from how late we stayed out on Friday night.

We head to the food co-op a short drive from us and pick up a few “necessities” (bread, tea, banana, berries, cereal, chips, crackers). Vadim pays. I swear, I pay for things too.

We end our day at Vadim’s parents’ for dinner and get ready for the week ahead.

Total: $0

Total for the week: $326.74

I’m pretty pleased with the amount I spent last week. I bought lunch twice and went out to dinner once, which I rarely ever do these days. I won movie tickets at a staff meeting so that was an unexpected turn of events. I stayed out on a Friday night and survived! I sweat everything out in my first ever infrared sauna. And, I finally got a new pillow that might just be the answer to my chronic neck pain. I guess pillows like anything else is not one size fits all.

What’s something you’re glad you spent money on last week/this week?

Thanks for stopping by.

See you in my next post! (Hoping that’s sooner than later 😬)

Sophie 🙂

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