What I Spent in a Week in New York City

WARNING: The is a very lengthy post (but worth it)
Occupation: Doctor of Physical Therapy (9 years) & Fashion, Lifestyle & Travel Blogger (8 years)
Salary: 100K+ (Physical Therapist + Blog Salary)

I’ve always wanted to do one of those Refinery 29 Money Diaries. I find those articles to be incredibly interesting. Perhaps it’s because I’m nosy and I’m the type of person that looks into apartments while walking down the street just to see how people decorate. I like reading about how people choose to spend their money. So for the past week, I’ve been documenting my own spending habits. What I’ve learned from this experiment is that I’m willing to sacrifice basic necessities like food for the finer things in life, such as a bulk buy from the Zara Sale or an $85 dress from the Reformation Sample Sale. In all fairness, I did budget to spend an exorbitant amount of money this weekend because I hosted my BFFs bachelorette party! So I knew I had a couple hundreds that I’d blow on that alone. But here’s how I spent my money in the past week. I’ve actually done this before in Paris. I spent 6 Day’s in Paris and wrote down every single thing I spent my money on, so if you’re interested head on over to this post. Please note…this is a judgement free zone. I am also not looking for financial guidance at this point in my life. I’m already manifesting my millions and my Hamptons vacation home.

MONDAY

I made my own Nespresso coffee at home to take to work. On the way to work I stop to buy a plain chicken tamale for breakfast for $1.50. For lunch I brought fish and rice that I made last night from my Blue Apron Boxed Meals from last week. I get a Blue Apron Box twice a month which is the equivalent of 12 meals since I live alone and each meal is for 2 people. I work my shift and take the train home. I have a $130 unlimited monthly metrocard. I check the mail when I get home and FINALLY a $500 check from a brand collaboration came. I’ve been waiting on this check since May! I head to the bank and deposit it. I decide to walk a little ways to the next train station.
On my walk I discover a new Wine & Liquor store and pop in. I know I have a bachelorette party happening this Friday and decide I can buy all the alcohol now. I also score huge and find my favorite Backhouse Merlot, that I have only been able to find in Brooklyn. I end up buying 2 bottles of Barefoot Merlot and 1 Bottle of Backhouse Merlot for $24.99. I’m hungry so I stop at Harlem Shake and order a burger and curly fries with their epic smoky chipotle mayo dipping sauce. I also got an order of cole slaw and an iced tea for $23.95. Yes I ate all of it. Also note that my Vogue Subscription Auto-debited today as well for $29.99. TOTAL SPENT: $80.43

TUESDAY

Thank goodness I got paid today cause I’ve been spending money like a maniac. Every pay day I have $400 auto-debited out of my account into a savings account. I like that I never see that money. I need some cash so I stop at an ATM before work to take out $20 and I’m of course I’m hit with a $2.50 fee for a Non-Wells Fargo ATM Transaction. I take my $20 and head to my favorite dominican bakery for breakfast. I get a plain bagel toasted with cream cheese and jelly for $1.50. I brought my coffee from home. For lunch I get Pad See Ew with Chicken, a Spring Roll and a bottle of water for lunch from my favorite Thai place for $9.50. While I’m at work I buy my friend a gift from her wedding registry and round trip tickets to visit me this weekend for $211. I get off work early on Tuesdays so afterwork I head down to Herald Square to buy a gift from Victoria’s Secret.
There’s a Semi Annual Sale going on so I buy a little slip dress for me too totaling $111.49. After picking up a few gifts, I head over to my favorite flower shop to stock up on Monstera Leaves and get 5 for $16. I’m starving so on the way home I stop at Dig Inn for some roasted chicken, kale and sweet potatoes and I am astonished it costs so damn much coming in at $13. I get home and pour myself a glass of merlot and await my friend Alicia to come over. We are traveling to Bermuda the last weekend in June for an event and want to purchase our event tickets together. The tickets come up to $678. I put everything on my card and she sends me $339 via Venmo. I couldn’t sleep that night and did some impulse shopping for my trip, purchasing 3 tops from Fashion Nova for $29.09. I also decided to pay my Credit Card Bill $383.00 and my cell phone bill $138.55. TOTAL SPENT: $1250.63

WEDNESDAY
I make my coffee at home and stop at Whole Foods for some breakfast before work. I get eggs, bacon, a cream cheese biscuit and a coconut water $8.37. I barely have time to eat my breakfast before patients are spilling through the door. I finally get to eat my breakfast at lunch, so I didn’t have to spend any money for lunch today. I decide to take a Via car home because I’m tired (today is a 10 hour day) and I don’t wanna deal with people: $7.67. I get dropped off at the grocery store and buy my favorite Hazelnut Creamer, 2 Bars of Belgium Hazelnut Milk Chocolate (also my favorite), a bag of sea salt kettle popcorn and toilet paper totaling $15.96. I’m hungry so I hit up my local soul food restaurant and make myself a to-go plate of roasted chicken, rice and peas, mac and cheese, collard greens and sweet potatoes for $16.70. While back at home eating while simultaneously instagraming, I decide to purchase an upgrade for my Unfold App for $3, It’s one of the many apps I use for Instastories. TOTAL SPENT: $51.70

THURSDAY

I woke up feeling a little anxious so I did some meditating for 20 minutes before getting out of bed. I have a lot to do today to prepare for the bachelorette party. This morning I used the rest of my cash from the $20 I took out of the ATM on Tuesday to buy an order of French Toast Sticks and an Orange Juice from Burger King for breakfast $3.58. For lunch I go for the Chicken Thai Fried Rice with Vegetable Dumpling and a Water for $9.74. Both Breakfast and Lunch were covered with the spare money from my ATM run earlier in the week. After work I head to Party City to buy decorations and bachelorette things $20.12. I then run across the street to see if Rainbow has anything good. I’ve been shopping there more lately.
They do, I buy a top that I end up wearing out Friday Night and a pair of cute sandals totaling $34.96. I rush home and rip all the sheets off my bed and dump out all of my dirty clothes. I head to the laundromat with 3 medium sized piles to be washed, including my comforter. My laundry card only has $3 on it so I add $12 from my credit card to be able to wash and dry all 3 loads. While my clothes are washing I head to the liquor store and buy 2 bottles of Barefoot Prosecco $30.18. I finish my laundry around 8pm and do a little Zara Sale Shopping racking up $109.95 worth of things I don’t need. I then pay my Con-Ed and Time-Warner Cable bills totaling $200. TOTAL SPENT: $407.21

FRIDAY
Today is the day! My friend Jen is coming in for her bachelorette party weekend and my house is sparkling clean. I get off early today too so that’s great. I take my coffee to work and buy a plain chicken tamale for breakfast $1.50. After work I take the train home to await Jen’s arrival. She arrives later than expected and we only have about 30 minutes before my friend Rose picks us up and we head to dinner at Public Kitchen. The service and food are STELLAR. We each get a different cocktail and we order a smorgasbord of foods: The Black Truffle 3 Cheese Pizza, The Spiced Chicken Samosas, Grilled Octopus, Soft Shelled Crab and for dessert Dark Chocolate Cake and Pistachio ice-cream. I decided to pay the bill as a gift: $165. We then went up to the rooftop and danced the night away. Afterward we headed to Hayaty Hookah Lounge and had another round of drinks and dancing before heading home to met up with the soon to be brides sister who’d just flown in: $30. Also every other Friday my account is Auto-Debited for $59.99 for Blue Apron. TOTAL SPENT: $256.49

SATURDAY
I wake up with a slight headache and down an Alleve. I’m the first one awake so I shower and make myself a Nespresso coffee before editing a few photos for the blog. We have brunch reservations for 11am at Public Kitchen again (we liked it that much!). This time the reservations are for 5 people. I make everyone a coffee and play my favorite playlist of Soca, Reggae and Afrobeats while we all get ready. Rose picks us up right on time and we head down to Public Kitchen for brunch. I did a quick Insastories while there for a brand collaboration while we waited for our table. We ended up splitting brunch 4 ways this time for a total of $56 each. We have a reservation to look at dresses as Kleinfeld’s so I order an Uber XL to take us all there so we wouldn’t have to move the car and risk searching forever for parking: $19.87. After hitting up 2 dress venues we decide to head back to Harlem for some rest and relaxation. Rose has a date so makes her way back to her car while I Uber the rest of us back to Harlem $34.32. We rest for a few hours before going out for a low key dinner at Harlem Tavern and end up splitting the bill 2 ways: $65.32. Afterward we Uber back to my place. I lay in bed and write up half a blog post before falling asleep. TOTAL SPENT: $175.51

Photography by Rose Lazard || Editing by Monroe Steele

Fashion Nova Top get similar Here | Emerson Thorpe Culottes get similar Here | Dolce Vita Sandals | Indigo Pony Earrings | Morocco Bag | Stila Aria Lipstain

GET THE LOOK


SUNDAY
I wake up pretty early and finish writing a blog post before putting a few outfits together. I have a shoot today with Rose after brunch. For brunch we head to a cool local spot for the best huevos rancheros and in impromptu business meeting between Rose and I who have to finalize a few upcoming projects for Fashion Steele NYC. We split the bill 3 ways: $18.88 After brunch we head downtown to drop off the soon to be bride so she can head home and the rest of us continue to Soho. Rose and I shoot two outfits in about 20 minutes. After shooting we head to Chiobani where I buy a $4 lemonade followed by buying 2 $8 cookies at Vesuvio Bakery. Then against my better judgement we walked to the Reformation Sample Sale where I bought the most amazing off the shoulder white linen dress for $85. We then popped into the Zara Sale but popped right out because of the chaos. We decided to stop in Mango and I ended up buying this skirt I’d been eyeing for months that was finally on sale for $39.99 (I got the XS and it fits perfectly). Rose needed to split so the rest of us took the train back to Harlem. It’s now 9:59pm on Sunday June 24th and I’m sitting on my couch typing this up. I still have another post to write that I’ll post in the morning (well it’s already up now). This one won’t go live till Thursday (ie. Today! I post every Monday and Thursday). TOTAL SPENT: $155.87

TOTAL SPENT FOR THE WEEK: $2377.84
I’d like to note that this week was pretty extravagant. LOL. I don’t think I’ve ever spent this much in a week. But there ya have it. I also budgeted and had saved $1000 specifically for this weekend. Also note most of my money from blogging comes from brand collaborations, template sales and affiliate links.

xx
Monroe

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18 Comments

  1. Faith
    June 28, 2018 / 7:47 am

    This was really enjoyable to read! I think I ought to do the same just to see how much money I’m spending and exactly for what.

    Loving the look too!

    • monroesteele
      June 28, 2018 / 8:34 am

      Thanks so much for reading. I think its a great idea. Really helped me to be more conscious and more frugal LOL.

      xx
      Monroe

  2. mm
    June 28, 2018 / 9:04 am

    So good. I love the refinery money diaries as well. i hope they pick this up.

    • monroesteele
      June 28, 2018 / 11:01 am

      Haha, those things are my favorite! Thanks for reading.

      xx
      Monroe

  3. June 28, 2018 / 10:29 am

    This made me so happy to read lol! I love Refinery29’s Money Diaries too because it makes me look at where my money goes per week. It definitely makes you side eye yourself a little bit lol but it’s fun once you get the hang of being more conscious.

    • monroesteele
      June 28, 2018 / 11:01 am

      It was quite eye opening to see where my money was going. Definitely going to do this once a month.

      xx
      Monroe

  4. Asia
    June 28, 2018 / 11:22 am

    This was a great very real post, I have weeks I spend a lot and others where I spend none. Balance lol. I want to get into blogging, how do you get the brand collaborations?

    • monroesteele
      June 28, 2018 / 11:38 am

      Thanks for reading. I have a ton of blog posts related to blogging that you can check out with a quick and easy search, you can also check out my templates.

      xx
      Monroe

  5. June 28, 2018 / 2:30 pm

    Sounds like a lot but we all have that one season when we spend more than usual and that’s ok. After all, money is made to be spent. I am quite frugal so I might not rack up as much as you did but occasionally like this month, I have found myself spending way more than usual. I think it’s something about the summer. I love those mules btw, you have inspired me to try mules and so far, I have two. Have a great summer, girlie.

    • monroesteele
      June 28, 2018 / 3:27 pm

      You’re right it’s hard to live in NYC and not spend atleast $20 a day! But in the summer there’s so much going on I definitely spend way more money in the summer.

      xx
      Monroe

  6. June 29, 2018 / 10:39 am

    Thoroughly enjoyed this post! It inspired me to track my spending even more closely. I love that you have money taken out of your check each pay period. I do the same thing. So smart!

    • monroesteele
      July 2, 2018 / 6:43 pm

      I think I’m gonna start doing this more often to help track my own spending as well. Thanks for reading!

      xx
      Monroe

  7. June 29, 2018 / 5:51 pm

    Wow!! This was really awesome! I loved the breakdown and it was such a creative idea to share. You spent quite the bill, lol, but you work hard, you enjoy the fruits of your labor

    • monroesteele
      July 2, 2018 / 6:43 pm

      Teehee. Thanks for reading Britney!

      xx
      Monroe

  8. June 30, 2018 / 6:27 pm

    hahaha, I loved reading this post, girl that was lots and lots of money well spent. As always you look lovely and P.S, can i borrow your life? Sounds like a lot of fun to me, lol

    • monroesteele
      July 2, 2018 / 6:41 pm

      Haha,
      it has its pretty awesome moments.

      Thanks for reading love.

      xx
      Monroe

  9. Nirva O
    July 3, 2018 / 1:09 pm

    Man, I need to finish doing this. Every time i start i have to stop because the anxiety is too much. I know once i do it it will be better for me and it will be easier to manage my savings & spending habits.

    Good read as usual & thank you for sharing!

    • monroesteele
      July 8, 2018 / 8:38 am

      Thanks so much for reading!

      xx
      Monroe

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