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A Week In Chicago, IL, On A $47,000 Salary Cost of Living

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September 12, 2018 Refinery29 Naukri & Paisa

A Week In Chicago, IL, On A $47,000 Salary Cost of Living

A Week In Chicago, IL, On A $47,000 Salary Cost of Living

Welcome toMoney Diaries , where we’re tackling what might be the last taboo facing modern working women: money. We’re asking millennials how they spend their hard-earned money during a seven-day period — and we’re tracking every last dollar.

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Today, as part of Your Spending In Your State: an administrative assistant working at a nonprofit who makes $47,000 per year and spends some of her money this week on a six-pack of Coronas.

Occupation: Administrative Assistant
Industry: Nonprofit
Age: 27
Location: Chicago, IL
Salary: $47,000
Additional Income: ~400/month from tutoring
Paycheck Amount (2x/month): $1,457.21

Monthly Expenses
Rent: $850 (I live with my boyfriend and we split rent proportional to our salaries, but split utilities/electric/parking in half. I end up paying about $850 for everything; and he usually ends up paying around $1,690. Parking is $235 total per month.)
Student Loan Payment: $0 (My parents had a college savings account for me and I worked hard to pay the rest off.)
Car Payment: $175.26
HSA: $52
Health & Vision Insurance: $135.3
Rental Insurance: $0 (My boyfriend pays.)
Car Insurance: $0 (My godsend parents pay.)
Netflix & Phone: $0 (My parents pay.)
Hulu: $0 (I use my friend’s account.)
HBO & Amazon Prime: $0 (I use my boyfriend’s accounts.)
TV/Internet: $0 (Basic is included in our rent and we haven’t upgraded…yet.)
Gym: $0 (We have a nice gym in our building and there’s a gym at work that my company pays for.)
New York Times Subscription: $8
Donations: $6 to NPR
Savings: I put $450 per month into an account I have with a financial investor. I can’t contribute to my company’s 401(k) yet, but once I can, I’ll put 5% of my salary into that. At my previous job, I worked up to 7% of my salary into my 401(k) with a 5% match from my employer.

Day One

6:45 a.m. — My alarm goes off. BLEHHHHH. I snooze it, of course. 30 minutes later my boyfriend, R., pokes me and asks if I’m planning on getting up today. Rude. My internal thought process was that I remembered I’m going to a workout class later tonight with a coworker, and who wants to shower (read: wash their hair) twice in one day? Not me.

7:45 a.m. — I run out of the apartment so I can stop at Starbucks on my way to work. I walk to and from work every morning, which is very convenient and saves me a ton on transportation costs, but it takes about 25 minutes for me to get there (20 if I’m booking it!). I have the Starbucks app, so I get stars when I purchase a drink, which goes toward a free drink eventually and totally justifies my $5 latte…right? $4.96

8:30 a.m. — I roll into work armed with my skinny vanilla latte, ready to face the day!

12 p.m. — Lunch today was a leftover sandwich in the work fridge from a meeting on Tuesday. Thank you, catered lunches. I’m very fortunate in that my company has one to two catered lunches for meetings every month, and they always order extra for their hungry staff. I eat lunch at my desk and read An American Marriage by Tayari Jones – please, for your own sake, go read this book. It was amazing in so many ways. I really need to find a book club in my new city…

2 p.m. — I get a text from R. asking if I want to go to Au Cheval for dinner. Even though we live a 10-minute walk from it, we’ve never been, because wait times are crazy. It’s supposed to be the best burger in Chicago, but I’ll be the judge of that. Since he’s not working today, he said he’ll go put our names in at 6/6:30 p.m. so that by the time I get home from my workout class, we should be ready to go eat. He’s my hero. We try to make Thursdays our date night because R.’s a consultant and is usually gone Monday through Thursday.

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