Money tends to be a taboo topic. People don’t like to discuss what they earn and spend but it’s something I really wanted to know when I was moving to New York. I had no idea what to expect when it came to budgeting and how much I would need. No week is the same but I decided to record every penny I spent last week to give you an insight into how much things cost in this expensive city and how much a typical 20 something working full time in marketing might spend. I earn an average wage for my age, experience, and profession so I hope this might be helpful and interesting to some of you. 

My Profile

Industry: Digital Marketing Manager, Interior Design. I’m living and working in New York for one year, experiencing an extreme need to do and see EVERYTHING while shopping for the winter and saving for my move home.

Age: 25

Location: East Williamsburg, Brooklyn (Less expensive than Manhattan, but still an up and coming area so it’s more expensive than Bushwick, Queens, Upstate etc).

# of roommates: 3

Salary: My salary is competitive with those who are degree educated and have 2+ years full-time experience. I am paid weekly which makes it easier to budget my spending. Whatever I have left over at the end of each week goes into my savings account.

Monthly Expenses:

Rent: $1,030

Utilities: $12 for wifi + $34 for ConEd Electricity & Gas.

Transportation: $60 for the subway (I get a reduced pre-taxed rate through work).

Phone Bill: $0 (My company pays for my phone bill). An average of $75 monthly.

Health Insurance: (My visa package included health insurance). Approx $328 for a middle tier plan.

Gym Membership: $130

Apple Music: $9.99

Amazon Prime: $7.99

Hulu: $7.99

Day One

8:30 a.m. — Breakfast consists of porridge. I buy instant oat packages with 6 in a box. $5.93

12:00 p.m. — I go to a 30-minute gym class.

12:45 p.m. — I usually forget to make lunch on Sunday so I buy something simple to make in work. Eggs & ham scrambled in the microwave. $7

6:00 p.m. — I buy 3 organic chicken fillets $13.45, microwave rice $2.99 and $4.65 broccoli. I cook two of the chicken fillets, one for tonight, one tomorrow and freeze the other. $21.00

Daily Total: $34.02


Day Two

8:30 a.m. — Breakfast porridge again.

1:00 p.m. —Eggs & Ham again.

6:00 p.m. — I’m going to a concert tonight, some of my friends decide to grab dinner but I make the decision to eat at home to save money. I have the same dinner as last night.

8:00 p.m. — My ticket to Vance Joy in Brooklyn Steel cost $60 including booking fee from StubHub. I bought it last minute so it cost about $20 more than the original price. I buy two drinks here, vodka and soda with lime, $10 each including $1 tip. $80

11:00 p.m.— After the concert, we go to a nearby bar. I get one cocktail for $13 including tip. $13

Daily Total: $93


Day Three

10:00 a.m. —  Breakfast porridge again.

12:00 p.m. — I go to a 30-minute gym class.

1:00 p.m. —  Eggs & Ham again. I’m craving something sweet so I go to CVS and buy two Kind Bars for  $3.00.

6:00 p.m. — I want something different for breakfast tomorrow so I buy bananas $1.32 and spinach $2.39 to make a smoothie.

Around 7:00 p.m. — I head to my friend’s apartment and we order food on Seamless $11.98.

Daily Total: $18.69


Day Four

7:45 a.m. — I make my smoothie with the ingredients I bought yesterday and the ones I already had. See the full list and recipe HERE.

8:00 a.m- I drop my laundry into the Laundromat.

12:00 p.m. — My brows are in need of some TLC. I get them threaded and tinted in a small Chinese salon near my office. $9.62

1:00 p.m. —  It’s cold today and feels like winter. I’m craving soup so I go to Panera Bread and get tomato soup and a half Avocado and turkey sandwich. $11.08

7:00 p.m. — I pick up lentils $1.49, a red onion $0.48, feta cheese $5.98 and a lemon $0.32 on the way home and make a Quinoa Salad. I have some for dinner and save the rest for tomorrow’s lunch.

8:00 a.m- I pick up my laundry in the Laundromat. $15

Daily Total: $$43.97


Day Five

8:00 a.m. — Another breakfast smoothie.

 1:00 p.m. — I eat my salad I made last night.
12:00 p.m. — I go to a 1-hour gym class.

6:00 p.m. — I decide to get myself a Friday treat, a pair of Aritiza leather leggings. I have had them on my wishlist since moving to New York and now that the weather is cooling down I feel it’s time to get them. $146

6:30 p.m. — I’ve spent a lot this week and I’m tired. I decide to have an early Friday night and chill out at home watching Netflix (my Dad’s account).

Daily Total: $146


Day Six

9:00 a.m. — It’s the weekend! I meet the girls in the ‘Burg’ for brunch. I get a full breakfast and a mimosa $32. I was running late so I took an Uber for $5.45.

1:00 p.m. —Tonight we have a house party to go too so I pick up a bottle of wine for $13. I spend the rest of the afternoon catching up with the girls and then I get ready for the night. The party is near my apartment so I just walk.

3:00 a.m. — I realize I haven’t eaten since brunch so I leave the party and get a slice of pizza $3.50.

Daily Total: $53.95


Day Seven

10: a.m. — I wake up hungover to pouring rain outside.

12:00 p.m. — I make my way to a bagel shop staying close to my apartment, for a breakfast and a litre of orange juice. $12.79.

Daily Total: $12.79

 Weekly Total: $402



I usually try to put away $300 a week for rent and bills and try to save another $100 for miscellaneous activities.

Note: This particular week was very eventful and costly. An average week would not include a concert and expensive leather leggings. Although I do try to buy myself one piece of clothing or makeup each week.

Other typical costs:

Coffee: Small cappuccino averages about $3.90

Nails: $45 for gel manicure

Dinner with drinks: $60 average for meal with 3 drinks

Full grocery shop: I often spend about $60 in Trader Joes

Doctor Visit: $120 without insurance in CityMD

Soul Cycle class: $34 for one class, $75 for three


I hope you enjoyed this post, like I said above no two weeks are the same and sometimes I would spend much less or more than this one. If you have any questions about New York life pop me a comment below or shoot me an email via my contact page HERE!


Sophie x


  • Posted November 1, 2017 12:11 pm
    by Grace

    Oh my gosh, I wonder what my list would look like if I tracked all of my expenses. This was so interesting, thanks for sharing!

    • Posted November 2, 2017 10:22 am
      by admin

      Glad you liked it! It’s definitely an eye-opening exercise x

  • Posted November 1, 2017 12:53 pm
    by Rachel @ The Confused Millennial

    How is your rent so cheap for NY?!?!? Thats insane!

    • Posted November 2, 2017 10:21 am
      by admin

      Brooklyn is definitely cheaper than Manhatten and I live with three friends in a four-bed apartment so the cost is split up well!x

  • Posted November 1, 2017 2:06 pm
    by Hannah @ AndThenWeTried

    Sounds like a fun week! I love reading stuff like this, especially Refinery 29’s Money Diaries!

    • Posted November 2, 2017 10:19 am
      by admin

      I took inspiration from them 🙂

  • Posted November 1, 2017 3:27 pm
    by Paige

    Thanks for sharing! I am very interested in moving to NYC so this was very helpful.

    xoxo, Paige

    • Posted November 2, 2017 10:19 am
      by admin

      Glad it was helpful! You should definitely try living in NY!

  • Posted November 1, 2017 5:20 pm
    by Annaliese

    I love reading posts like this! I used to live in Charlotte, NC, and one of my favorite online publications from the city used to do spending diaries with residents all the time. It’s a great way to be accountable to what you’re spending!! I bet living in Brooklyn is so fun!

    xoxo A

    • Posted November 2, 2017 10:18 am
      by admin

      I’ve read a few myself and took inspiration from them. I found it a really interesting exercise! & yes I love Brooklyn 🙂

  • Posted November 1, 2017 11:56 pm
    by Alexis

    This reminds me of a Money Diary which I totally love reading. I live in Brooklyn and have been thinking about doing one of these diaries too. It’s always interesting to see how others spend their money.

    • Posted November 2, 2017 10:14 am
      by admin

      Do it! It’s so interesting to analyze every penny. It really tells you where you are wasting money and how you can save more 🙂

  • Posted November 1, 2017 11:32 pm
    by Cameron - Diary of a Southern Millennial

    Wow this is so interesting! Def not jealous of your rent though haha – that’s a mortgage here!

    • Posted November 2, 2017 10:17 am
      by admin

      Is’nt it crazy how rent varies so much around the country! Some people actually think I pay a really low amount for NY, but I think it’s more than enough lol.

  • Posted November 2, 2017 4:28 pm
    by Alix Maza

    This was interesting to read! I’ve always heard that NYC was crazy expensive.

  • Posted November 5, 2017 7:36 pm
    by Lily

    OH geez, I don’t live in NYC but I think that I spend as much as you!

  • Posted November 5, 2017 11:34 pm
    by Erica @ Coming up Roses

    This was interesting to read! I wonder what my list would look like. I should track what I spend for a week!

  • Posted November 7, 2017 8:09 am
    by McKenna bleu

    This makes me want to track my weekly expenses. Very interesting. Sidenote- your gym membership is pricey! Ha

    • Posted November 8, 2017 9:36 am
      by admin

      I know, it’s a nice gym with a pool and spa facilities and is right across the street from my office so I do get good use from it. But there are definitely cheaper alternatives in the city!

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