Money Diaries: What I Spent in a Week of Isolation in NYC

This is a fairly long diary style blog post about how I spent my money last week. If this post will be triggering for you, I urge you to stop reading now. I am not seeking financial advice so don’t bother leaving it. Now, that I’ve said what I said…let’s get to the good stuff.

I wrote a blog post on what I spent in a week in New York City. I wrote a blog post on how much I spent in a week during New York Fashion Week. In addition to that I also wrote a post on how much money I spent in a week while on a trip in Paris. I got the idea from those money diary’s on Refinery 29 that I love reading. I’m generally a curious person and love to get glimpses into how people are spending their time and well earned moneys. So I thought to myself, what better time, than when we are all on lockdown, to document how I’m spending my time and my cash. I was actually quite afraid to do this because ignorance is bliss. I don’t avoid looking at my bank account but lately it’s been giving me the side eye. I have been spending a lot more money lately. Probably to fill some kind of void since I will be spending my birthday indoors. Yes, I’m a Taurus and like the Aries who came before us, I will be spending my 36th birthday here in my apartment alone. So you best believe I’m gonna be fly and extra AF for that reason. I’ve also taken this new found time to redecorate my bedroom. Furniture is not cheap. Thankfully, I have a very hefty savings and I haven’t seen a change in my income as an entrepreneur during this pandemic. I have 4 streams of income and I don’t rely solely on brand partnerships to make ends meat. If you’re looking for ways to make money or create passive streams of income, definitely check out this blog post.

To be honest, the only difference I’ve noticed is a dip in my YouTube revenue because many brands are pulling ads for the platform. Even so I’ve seen a major increase in my affiliate sales. Probably because a lot of people are still shopping if they are able. My revenue from my new eBook and sales from my Etsy Shop have also increased which helps to offset the dip in YouTube Revenue. I’ve also noticed that brands are actually paying more for campaigns during this time since other forms of marketing probably aren’t as effective. Advertising with an influencer will get a brand more bang for their buck and bucks have to go pretty far for brands right now. I know many people may have thought that this was the end for influencers but it seems that influencers are one the only ways to effectively market during this challenging time without being tone deaf so, it’s kind of our time to step up to the plate and create. I say all that to say I know there are a lot of people struggling. Many people have lost their jobs and it’s just a crazy time right now. So if you are going to feel a way about reading about money and how I’m spending mine, please just save this post for another time. This post may trigger you. Please note that if you respond crazy, I may have to welcome you to my block party. Always remember, it’s my money and I can spend it how I want to. This is an in depth look into the last week of my life in self isolation in NYC including how much money I spent.

Occupation: Entrepreneur and former Doctor of Physical Therapy

Location: New York City

Yearly Salary: $100,000+

Sources of Income: Brand Collaborations, Affiliate Link Sales, YouTube Revenue, Etsy Shop Sales

Number of Weeks Self Isolating: 8 weeks

Shopping Weaknesses: Shoes, H&M Home Decor Knick Knacks, Unique Denim Jeans, Byredo Bohemia Candles and Bal D’Afrique Perfume and Elemis Skincare Products

Monday April 20th

After a long morning of work and posting a new blog post all about my Skincare Routine along with filming some corresponding Instastories, I am famished. Oh and if you’re looking for the holy grail of Vitamin C Serums to help with hyper pigmentation, check out Hyper Clear and use code: monroe15 for 15% off your order. Anywho, I decide to make myself a cup of coffee to curb my hunger. I’m so happy that I have a Nespresso coffee machine at home because there is no way I’d venture out for a coffee every day. My Nespresso machine has literally paid for itself a hundred times over. It was the best thing to come out of my 2 year relationship with my ex. It was a birthday gift from him and I remember at the time thinking to myself: What the hell kinda gift is this? But…now I see. He showed me the error of my basic bitch coffee ways. But I digress… my Blue Apron meal box should be delivered later on today, so I won’t have to worry too much about meals. I need some nourishment now so I order some French Toast with Bananas and a side of eggs from this new spot on Seamless. My go-to restaurant is closed on Monday’s so I’m trying this spot out for the first time. The reviews seem good so I take a chance. The $15 (including tip) I spent was worth it. Everything was delicious. My card has also been charged for $59.94 for my Blue Apron Box for next week. They usually charge you a week in advance. I love receiving my Blue Apron boxes because it cuts down on how frequently I have to leave my home for essentials like food. I get 3 easy to cook meals with fresh ingredients. Each meal is enough for 2 people so I always have food left over for an extra meal. Honestly, at a time like this, I’m really happy to have this service. Cooking has also been therapeutic for me during this social isolation so I’m very grateful. Every 2 weeks I have $200 taken out of my checking account and put into one of my rainy day fund savings accounts. That happens today but technically since I’m not spending that money, I’m not gonna count it as such. Also anytime I make a purchase using my debit card $1 goes into another savings account. That’s my rainy day fund and boy does that add up quickly.

TOTAL SPENT: $74.94

Tuesday April 21st

I decided to take the day off and chill which basically means I’m not doing any Instastories today. Instead I plan out my content for the rest of the week and send in some captions and video to be approved for my upcoming sponsored collaborations for the week. After working for about 2 hours, I decide to venture to the grocery store. I received my Blue Apron box yesterday evening but realized I don’t have many snacks or fruit to snack on in between bigger meals. I also need to buy some tampons and some olive oil to cook my Blue Apron Meals. I just received a flower bouquet from Glam Fleur. It makes me happy because I usually go to the flower district once a month and can no longer do that. This bouquet will last me a whole year! Check them out and use code: MONROESTEELE for a discount. I get dressed, put on my mask and gloves, grab my grocery tote and head to my local grocery store at about 10am. Thank goodness it’s much quieter than it was the last time I was here 2 weeks ago. I grab some freshly baked bread, some pepperonis, aged manchego cheese, a cantaloup, some beet and blood orange juice, some tampons, some chocolate bars, some gluten free cheese puffs, olive oil, coffee creamer and some trail mix. I’m pretty sure I bought a few other things too but the total came up to $88.33. Happy with my purchases I head back home. I dined on bread, fruit and snacks until I cooked a Blue Apron meal for dinner. On this day I actually got paid by YouTube, 2 Brand Campaigns and my Etsy Shop. I put $8000 into one of my savings accounts and buy myself a pair of Manolo’s for my birthday which cost me $668.75. I had a 15% discount code! 

TOTAL SPENT: $757.08

Shop the looks here

Wednesday April 22nd

How can a person bleed this much and not die? My cramps aren’t too bad but I rub some Prima R+R CBD Cream on my lower back as soon as I mosey out of bed. I need to do some work this morning. I publish a new YouTube Video all about the Top 5 Spring Trends Everyone is Buying (based on actual data collected) and did some Instastories to correspond with the new video. I made myself a vanilla Nespresso coffee and relaxed for a bit. The light is beautiful this morning so I decide to film a fun styling video for my Instagram featuring some of my favorite colorful dresses. For lunch I eat the second portion of the Blue Apron meal I cooked last night. I just got a new fiddle leaf fig tree plant on Monday that I ordered from Wayfair last week. Today 2 of the bottom leaves fell off and now I’m spending hours googling to find out why. Both of my white birds of paradise plants have new leaves that are about to unroll. My spray water bottle broke last week so I order a new one from Amazon that costs me $13.60. I hope it arrives soon. I should have ordered a new planter too because it seems I need to repot this fiddle tree asap! My niece is turning 6 tomorrow and I neglected to find her an actual gift to mail. So I cashapp my sister some money to buy her a gift from me. Hopefully $200 goes a long way for a 6 year old. For dinner, I cook another Blue Apron meal.

TOTAL SPENT: $213.60

Thursday April 23rd

Ok so another leaf fell off my fiddle plant this morning and I am losing my shit. I call my man friend pretty early and we speak for about an hour going through the list of things that could be wrong. He has successfully raised a fiddle leaf plant and I need his expertise. If this were any other guy he’d probably think I was nuts calling him about the failing health of my new plant. After our call, I’m pretty hungry and I’m craving French Toast again. I could literally eat it every single day. So I order French Toast, Eggs, Beef Sausage and freshly squeezed OJ from my favorite local restaurant. It runs me exactly $20 (including tip). While perusing the internet I come across the shoes I bought Tuesday but in the heel height that I actually wanted. DRAT! I wanted the highest heel possible and settled for a lower version Tuesday. Thank goodness for free and easy returns, because I’m gonna order the same shoes, again, in the heel height I want. And since this online shop is also running a 20% off everything sale, I also buy another pair of Bottega Veneta’s shoes as well. I justify this buy by proclaiming that It’s my birthday…almost and I’m going to send the other pair back anyway. If you’re new here I have a birthday tradition of buying myself a new pair of shoes for every week of May to celebrate my birthday. I’m not breaking tradition this year just because I wont be able to actually wear them anywhere but to the livingroom. Both pair of shoes run me a total of $1360. I also cave and buy 2 pair of Skims briefs for $64. Yes, I give you permission to judge me. It’s my nieces birthday today! So in the early evening I join a few friends and family for her zoom birthday party! She looks extremely happy to see us all and we sing happy birthday to her and then watch as she blows out her candles and eats her cake. We then watch as she opens her gifts. We all laugh and joke while she shows us all of her presents. It’s actually really nice to see all my family members. I miss them all so much. It’s hard being in isolation alone. Thank goodness for technology. My niece says her heart feels full and I decide I’m going to get pregnant as soon as this is over. Maybe. Nah..but maybe.

TOTAL SPENT: $1424

Friday April 24th

This morning I got up early to edit some photos for todays new blog post. I had some sponsored content to promote so I did some corresponding Instastories as well. I needed something to post on Instagram so I did a quick Headwrap Video tutorial that did pretty well. I made myself a coffee for breakfast and worked up until lunch time. I ordered some nachos from a local restaurant for a late lunch and it runs me $15 (including tip). For some reason everyone is calling me today. I FaceTime with Jenee and get a first look at her new hair cut and then talk to my friend Alicia for a bit before chatting with my man friend for a bit. I then talk to my mom for a little while. I basically spent the entire day on the phone. I get charged monthly $10 for my Google Play Music account. That charge happens today. I love Google Play and how I’m able to curate my music. It’s worth every penny because I use it often for work as well as for my own entertainment. I’ve been snacking all day and not very hungry when dinner time rolls around so I just go to sleep. I’ll regret it in the morning when I wake up starving.

TOTAL SPENT: $25

Saturday April 25th

I wake up and do quite a bit of work this morning including filming a cool Sex and the City Styling Video for Instagram and doing some vlogging for an upcoming YouTube video before having some coffee. At 10am I join my friend Gloria for a 45 minute zoom workout. She is very fit and the workout kicked my ass. We did a lot of ab, leg and glut work. I am left drenched in sweat when we are done and enjoy a hot long shower afterward.  That work out has me famished so I cooked a Blue Apron meal for lunch and will eat the remaining meal for dinner. I spend about an hour editing the Instagram Video and figuring out how to clone myself for a photo before posting it to Instagram. I’m very happy with it and plan to do more like it soon. If you’re interested in what apps I use to edit videos for Instagram & Instastories make sure to check out my Instastories Pro Ebook (it’s on sale). I spend about an hour and a half on the phone with my man friend before heading to bed. I like him. Yes, I spent no money today!

TOTAL SPENT: $0

Sunday April 26th

I can barely move. I feel like I got hit by a truck so I take a very early morning hot shower before making myself a coffee and uploading today’s YouTube Video. Today’s video is all about What’s New In My Closet because yes, I have been shopping. While it uploads and processes I record a few corresponding Instastories before spending an hour composing the video description box. It takes a really long time to find links to everything and put it all together. I didn’t spend much money today. I actually got a payment today from a brand. I transferred the entire payment into one of my savings accounts. I’m hell bent on buying an investment property in Miami in the next year or so and don’t want to take out a huge loan. I order French Toast with a side of eggs and beef sausage and a cup of freshly squeezed orange juice for $20 (tip included) for a late breakfast. After eating I decide to take a hot bath with some Stress-Fix Relieving Bath Salts I got in a care package from Aveda. My body is killing me! I feel much better after a 20 minute soak and some stretching.  I snack all day and warm up some noodles for dinner and wash it down with 3 cups of water. 

TOTAL SPENT: $20

Thus is my one week of self isolation I have spent a total of $2514.62 but I expect to get $668 back when I return one of those pairs of shoes for a total of $1845.87. I have definitely spent more this week than any other week in the nearly 2 months I’ve been in my apartment. Wait, no, I definitely spent almost as much buying a new chair, nightstand, dresser, paintings, home decor knick knacks and more for my bedroom update 3 weeks ago. You can see more of what I’ve bought during Isolation in this blog post. The good news is, I’m officially all shopped out. I cannot buy another thing. I have literally bought all the things I’ve ever wanted and needed. From here on out I’ll just be working and stacking until the world opens back up. I sincerely believe all this shopping is just a coping mechanism coupled with me celebrating my birthday in isolation in a few weeks. If you’d like to see a few New In Items I’ve purchased recently check out my What’s New In My Closet YouTube Video that I posted yesterday. Oh and stay tuned my home decor buys video will be up on my YouTube Channel on Wednesday. 

Like this post? Check out my other money diaries: How Much I Spent During New York Fashion Week, What I Spent in a Week in New York City and 6 Days in Paris and How Much I Spent.

Stay Safe & Sanitary and if you can please stay home.

Monroe

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37 Comments

  1. Egc150
    April 27, 2020 / 11:54 am

    I enjoyed reading this blog . I used to journal and I really should get back to it. It’s can be therapeutic and certainly is a nice way to document life.
    Too bad you have to give disclaimers about your spending … it’s Your money and Your business. And on the other hand , I’m sure the info on how you save will help somebody.
    Btw – those cloned pics are Fabulous .
    Keep doing you .. ❤️

    • monroesteele
      Author
      April 27, 2020 / 2:56 pm

      Yeah, you have to now and days because now that people are home they have a lot of time on their hands, and I’m not with it LOL. Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment! xx

  2. April 27, 2020 / 12:30 pm

    Great Post! I enjoy the insight and to know I am not the only one spending more while being the house during this self-isolation time.

    • monroesteele
      Author
      April 27, 2020 / 2:55 pm

      Girl you are not alone LOL. Thanks for reading!

      • Ria
        April 27, 2020 / 6:05 pm

        Aloha Monroe!

        Absolutely love your content, style, aesthetic, work ethic etc.! You are fabulous personified! It super inspiring to see how your journey has evolved and continues to do so. After a crappy day today, reading your post has made me feel so much better (and motivated! £100K plus here I come!)

        A question, does Hyper Clear help with dark eye circles?

        Thanks in advance!

  3. Tawana
    April 27, 2020 / 2:30 pm

    I enjoyed reading this blog. My Granny always said pay yourself first and that way you can get whatever you want. Soooo you really like him huh – great enjoy to the fullest. Thank you for inspiring and entertaining me always.

    • monroesteele
      Author
      April 27, 2020 / 2:55 pm

      Thats right! Granny knew what she was talking about. I do like him lol. Thanks so much for reading xx

  4. April 27, 2020 / 2:45 pm

    Good post. I feel like everyone is spending a bit more now because it feels good and you just don’t know exactly what you’ll need. I’ve been spending a lot in groceries and snacks, but I still want to order out.

    • monroesteele
      Author
      April 27, 2020 / 2:55 pm

      Same, I’ve definitely been spending more on food LOL.

  5. Ava
    April 27, 2020 / 3:04 pm

    Enjoyed this read. Thanks for helping me to not feel bad about my purchases. Bills are paid, savings is good. Nothing wrong with shopping.

  6. mm
    April 27, 2020 / 3:36 pm

    This was so entertaining, great post. Living thru your shopping experience. Thank you!

    • monroesteele
      Author
      April 27, 2020 / 3:53 pm

      Thanks so much for reading xx

  7. April 27, 2020 / 3:47 pm

    Great content. Thanks for sharing! What site is offering 20% off? I love shoes too!

    • monroesteele
      Author
      April 27, 2020 / 3:53 pm

      Haha the sale is over now. There is one going on at Intermix though!

  8. Veronica
    April 27, 2020 / 4:29 pm

    Great post! You are smart, impart sustainable life practices and wisdom. Folks would rather criticise than learn and catch up! Monroe, human beings can be peculiar. I too love earning, saving, giving and spending. It’s my experience that those who attempt to count my coins are the ones with their hands out or their mouths poked out. You do you, enjoy your world and keep moving forward…

    Thx for again featuring the Gilded Stone during your 4/26 video. I meant to pick up a few items after your jewelry collection video. The new video prompted me to complete a purchase. Also, the hot pink Jacquemus pants are now 40%off! Thx for featuring those, also.

    Happy Birthday Month!!! (A pair of shoes each week during birthday month? Another great idea!)

  9. Torvia Young
    April 27, 2020 / 9:10 pm

    Shopping has gotten a hold of me in isolation as well! Lol! I love this post and such a great read!

  10. Afrika Messam
    April 27, 2020 / 10:05 pm

    Great post i really enjoy reading this is makes me feel at ease because I’ve been spending too, especially at night when i cant sleep at 3 in the morning lol there’s a lot of sale at those times. Once its for you and your love ones go ahead and spend your money i’m sure you are not putting your basket where you cant reach it, its sad that you have to put a disclaimer but i enjoy each thing about your blog, you are so raw and real. Love it.

  11. Maxdminimalist
    April 28, 2020 / 5:59 am

    I’m so happy to hear I am not the only one shopping out here. I am anxiously awaiting the arrival of 2 pairs of shoes that were due yesterday. I feel justified because I am spending so much less on everything else: gas, eating out, nails, etc. Go ‘head and treat yourself girl, you are young, single and don’t have to report to anybody. Trust, once you own real estate it will suck up alllll your spare cash. So enjoy.

    • monroesteele
      Author
      April 30, 2020 / 10:25 am

      Haha thats a good way to look at it.

      Thanks for reading!

  12. Tracy Hunley
    April 28, 2020 / 8:44 am

    I truly enjoyed this blog post.

  13. Ashley
    April 28, 2020 / 9:03 am

    Thanks for this post! I’m curious: what debit/credit card allows you to put a $1 in a saving account after every use?

    • monroesteele
      Author
      April 30, 2020 / 10:25 am

      Most banks have this kind of system. I bank with Wells Fargo.

  14. Sheree Van Duyne
    April 28, 2020 / 2:07 pm

    Great read. I did a little shopping myself today. Found an Amazon Gift card that I received as a free gift with purchase so I picked up Jean’s, two hoodies and of course a couple more masks! Thanks for sharing. I always enjoy your content.

    • monroesteele
      Author
      April 30, 2020 / 10:26 am

      Nice! Glad you enjoyed it xx

  15. Nikki
    April 28, 2020 / 3:27 pm

    I enjoyed this post as I’m also a fan of money diaries. And I just purchased some hyperskin!

    • monroesteele
      Author
      April 30, 2020 / 10:26 am

      Yes, you’re gonna love it!

  16. April 28, 2020 / 6:30 pm

    This was such a great read sis! I’ve tried to cut back my shopping but it does make me feel better when I do. I hope the fiddle-leaf tree stops acting up. Btw, I was dying with laugh at “the block party” disclaimer. LOL

    • monroesteele
      Author
      April 30, 2020 / 10:27 am

      Girl its a mess. Gotta put disclaimers on everything these days LOL. Love ya.

  17. Lo
    April 29, 2020 / 7:32 pm

    I read this entire post and can honestly say I read it in your voice LOL. I never read long form content like this, but from YOU, it’s a treat! I enjoyed your level of detail, humor and candor in this post. It was a nice read today. Happy Birthday in advance!! I hope you’re doing well and staying safe. Loving your content as always!!

  18. Mrs.Coy
    April 30, 2020 / 7:00 am

    I enjoyed reading this blog post. I appreciate reading how you spent your days as well as your rationale for purxhases.
    As today is the first day of a new month, I think that I will begin writing down my spending… Thank you for the motivation and good luck with the plants

    • monroesteele
      Author
      April 30, 2020 / 10:27 am

      I think I need to do the same. Thank you xx

  19. May 3, 2020 / 4:30 pm

    Loved this blog post it was very realistic especially living in NYC where things are pretty costly !!! I love your drive !!!

    • monroesteele
      Author
      May 4, 2020 / 8:47 am

      Thank you so much!

  20. Tashonda Stewart
    May 9, 2020 / 7:54 pm

    I am probably not your core audience but I love watching your YouTube channel and Instagram. I’m not big on social media but you inspire me to be apart of something larger than myself. You make me so proud and happy…..so glad I stumbled upon your channel. Stay encouraged! #Blackgirl Magic

    • monroesteele
      Author
      May 11, 2020 / 8:05 am

      Thank you Tashonda. I appreciate the support xx

  21. May 11, 2020 / 4:03 pm

    LOL. My bank has started doing this in the app like showing what you spent per day/per week, categories etc. I’m like ok I can’t look at this screen. Doing the absolute most at all times lol.

    • monroesteele
      Author
      May 17, 2020 / 2:33 pm

      Haha thats actually kinda cool.

      x
      Monroe

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