A Week $pent in NYC

I got the idea for “A Week Spent” post from my friend Kaitlin right around the time that Earnest shared their 2017 Money Saving Challenge with me.

It got me thinking about my finances, spending, and ways that I can be better about saving money. And it was pretty eye-opening to track what I spent over the course of a week.

NYC Finances

Monday

Gym: I did a fun workout with my friends at the gym I pay a monthly membership for. We rotated through 10 rounds – 1 person held a plank variation and the other rowed while the third person worked through a kettlebell exercise and cardio exercise. Then we rotated!

Breakfast: My morning coffee and banana from Starbucks costs me $3.67. The banana goes in my yogurt – which is breakfast every day.

Lunch: I bring lunch every day. This week was a salad with tuna, avocado, cucumbers and sunflower seeds with some balsamic vinegar for dressing.

After Work: I headed to New Jersey for the night, which was a $32.50 round trip ticket. When I was at Penn Station, I bought myself two magazines from $12.98. Who knew magazines were so expensive? I got The Atlantic and Runner’s World and it made the two hour train ride go by much faster, so I guess it was worth it.

Monday Total: $49.15

Tuesday

After I got home from New Jersey, I spent the day hibernating in my apartment and spent no money for the day - thanks blizzard!

Tuesday Total: $0

Wednesday

Breakfast: Another Starbucks coffee and banana for $3.67.

Amazon Order: I finally ordered a bike rack along with my next book for book club. And a new set of towels for when I start having Airbnb guests in my room! All of this came to $93.37.  

Swerve Speaker Series: Wednesday night, Erin and I went to one of my favorite things – the Swerve Speaker Series! (Read about the first one I attended here). For $43 you get a spin class, Q&A with a special guest and a smoothie which doubled as Part 1 of my dinner. The speaker this time around was the Knicks’ head of player development. Intellectually stimulating conversation + sweating + smoothie = money well spent in my opinion! Also, Erin killed her first Swerve class!

Wednesday Total: $140.04

Thursday

Breakfast: More Starbucks and banana, still $3.67.

Snacks from GNC: I can’t be trusted walking into GNC! I went with my coworker who needed to pick something up and I left having spent $5.78 on two bags of Enlightened broad beans – one bag of cinnamon and one of garlic & onion. They’re the best.

Thank You: I had to send a thank you card to someone – stamp + Starbucks Gift card = $15.50

Hardware Store: On my lunch break I went to the Hardware store to make a copy of my keys and to buy some supplies for making my new picture frame! Total came to $11.42.

Money Saving Challenge

Tapout Fitness Class: Free pass!

Snack: .75 Apple

Thursday Total: $37.12

Friday

Run: 6 Mile Run to work – free!

Breakfast: I ran out of yogurt and needed to buy one at Starbucks when I got my morning coffee. A Siggi’s Yogurt + Raspberry Chia Bites + my coffee came to $7.29.

Paper Source Cards: I cannot be trusted in this store! Walked in for a card, walked out with a card and a pair of mini finger puppet hands. $9.63

Dinner: I picked up the new Barbacoa Market Plate from Just Salad for $10.88 so I didn’t have to cook before going out for St. Patrick’s Day. It’s SO GOOD I’ve had it two weeks in a row.

St. Patty’s Beverages: I went out with friends that I hadn’t seen in forever which was so nice! Spent $24.04 on cocktails at my favorite bar! (You can read my full review of La Pulperia here).

St. Patrick's Day La Pulperia UES

Friday Total: $51.84

Saturday:

Gym: Worked out at my gym!

Grocery Shopping Part 1: I spent $44.63 on ingredients for Thai Chicken Meatballs, Sweet Potato Banana Bites, and an egg white frittata for the weeks meal prep.

Clothing Donating: I had about 100 lbs of clothes and shoes I wanted to donate to Goodwill but there was no way I could have carried it all. I took an Uber to do my good deed ($9.24) and then of course ended up spending money while I was there ($10.87).

Day Drinks with Friends: $25 and priceless time with some of my favorite people!

La Pulperia Happy Hour

Beauty and the Beast Tickets: We went to see Beauty and Beast and I loved every second of it! Best $11 I’ve spent in a while.

Saturday Total: $100.74

Sunday

New York Hot Yoga Class: Kayla has been asking me to go to her hot yoga studio for approximately 2 years now. And Sunday morning, I finally went! 75 minutes in 105 degrees was HARD but I DID enjoy it, even though it cost me $31!

Brunch: After yoga, Kayla and I got things to make brunch before hanging out and watching McFarland USA. It was a really cute movie! And really delicious breakfast ($20).

Money Saving Challenge

Grocery Shopping Part 2: I somehow ended up at Whole Foods with Kayla buying $26.67 worth of things I didn’t need like Jolly Llama Pops, more Enlightened Beans, and frozen veggies.  

Massage Scheduled for Monday: I’ve had an AWFUL knot in my back for a month now. It started while I was away in Pittsburgh and was so bad that I couldn’t move my neck in certain positions. It’s never fully gone away, and it’s been causing a lot of discomfort when I work out. Not to mention I can feel it every time I breathe in deeply.  I had a gift certificate for $64 to a spa, so I sucked it up and booked myself a $155 deep tissues sports massage for Monday night after work. With the gift card, it will end up costing me about $100.

Rumble Fitness Class for Tuesday: Sunday evening I also bought myself the intro package to Rumble boxing- $35.53 for my first two classes. I’ve been so excited to try this place out- its group fitness boxing. Instead of a boxing class where you are only able to be on the bag for a portion of the time, Rumble is like a spin studio - everyone’s got a bag or a floor station of their own.  

Sunday Total: $213.20

Weekly Total: $592.09

Just a note about transportation – I typically pay for weekly ($31) or monthly ($116.50) unlimited MetroCards depending on my work travel schedule.

Overall, this was a great lesson in stepping back and assessing where my money is actually going. When speaking with the representative at Earnest about the 2017 Money Saving Challenge, she asked me to describe some of my financial goals for the year.  (For those of you that don't know (I didn't before this post!) Earnest is an resource for people interested in getting a personal loan or refinancing their student loans). 

While I didn’t have anything specific, I did realize that I needed a better understanding of my current financial situation to make goal setting possible. My 5 year plan is to figure out where I want to be permanently and to own my own home – so saving however I can is definitely important!

I don’t have a budget written out, but I loved that Earnest’s 2017 Money Saving Challenge Graphic laid out monthly tasks that help you get a better handle on your finances – along with little 30 day challenges to save some extra money.

2017 Money Saving Challenge

After tracking my spending for a week, it shocked me how everything adds up! I spent way more than I expected I would. Granted, this was the first full week I was home in over 3 months, but I definitely can’t spend that much on a regular basis.

Knowledge is power – and now that I know how much I spent in an average week, I can make steps to save and be smarter with my finances. Here's the personalized graphic Earnest provided me with - full of little things that can make a big difference. 

*Earnest provided me with this Money Saving Challenge graphic in exchange for a post on Peanut Butter Is My Boyfriend.