Finance Life Money Diaries San Francisco

Money Diaries: Week #2


9:30am – I wake up and am craving a pastry for breakfast. One of the perks about staying over at my boyfriend’s apartment is that Mr. Holmes Bakeshop is only a few blocks away. I walk over and am pleasantly surprised that they still have cruffins (a cross between a croissant and muffin)! They are so famous for their cruffins that people start lining up before 9 (when they start selling them) to buy one. The cruffins are so popular that they’re usually sold out within an hour or two. $4.50

Scored a cruffin from Mr. Holmes 🙌🏼

12pm – I take the bus to my aerial yoga class. I’ve been trying to cram in a few more classes before I leave to go back to my parents’ house for the holidays.

1pm – After class, I realize I’m feeling hungry, so I stop by a Japanese grocery store and get two omusubis and a slice of cake. $7.47

1:30pm – I walk over to my boyfriend’s apartment. My boyfriend is going back to Paris for a month, so I pack up some of my clothes that I’ve left at his place. Since Uber gave me a promotion where I get $2 off each ride for the next 10 rides, I order an Uber to go back to my apartment. $3.42

3:30pm – I take the BART* to Oakland for a friend’s birthday party at a local brewery and fortunately, the brewery is only a 5 min walk from the station. I find my friends right away and I grab a beer. Even though we all live in the Bay Area, my friends and I only see each other about once a month. We spend a good amount of time catching up and reminiscing about the good times we had in grad school together. $7.08

6:30pm – Even though I already ate a slice of birthday cake, I’m feeling hungry and luckily there’s a food truck right next door. Apparently, a different food truck is stationed there every day and today it’s an El Salvadoran truck! I order 2 pupusas and head back to my friends. $8.19

8pm – The party ends and a friend offers to give me a ride back to SF. Of course, I accept and we spend the car ride catching up. $0

9pm – I get back to my apartment and binge watch the rest of the episodes of Beyond Stranger Things. The interviews with the kids are so cute!

Food: $20.16

Alcohol: $7.08

Uber: $3.42

Total: $30.66

*Earlier this month, I had $64 taken out of my paycheck and put it on my Clipper card for the BART, so I won’t count BART rides towards my spending.


8:30am – I wake up late and rush to get ready for my brother’s college graduation at UC Berkeley. My brother was able to finish his degree in 3.5 years, so he’s graduating in December instead of May. Even though the ceremony starts at 10am, my parents asked me to get there at 9 to save them seats. Since I woke up late, I order an Uber (which I’m hoping will be faster than taking the BART). $9.57

9:15am – I finally get to campus and meet up with my brother and his girlfriend. We pass by a floral stand and my brother’s girlfriend and I buy a graduation lei for my brother. We say goodbye to my brother as we enter the stadium to grab seats. $25

12pm – The ceremony ends and we take a ton of graduation photos.

2pm – After we finish taking photos, we head to eat a late lunch. My brother made a reservation at an all you can eat Korean BBQ restaurant in Oakland. I’m super hungry since I forgot to eat breakfast. $0

4:30pm – So full! My parents drop me off at the nearest BART station and I take a train back to SF.

5:30pm – I get back to my apartment and realize I smell like smoke and BBQ. I quickly freshen up before I grab an Uber Pool to my boyfriend’s place. $1.62

6:30pm – My boyfriend and I have been talking about getting me a key to his apartment. I found a hardware store that makes key copies only a few blocks away. So, we walk over and I pay for the key. $2.16

7pm – My boyfriend says he wants to get some boba (I think my boba addiction is rubbing off on him 😝), so we walk to Chinatown to try a new place I found on Yelp. I order a lychee green tea creama. It’s alright, but I’ve had better. Since it’s not too cold out, we walk back to his apartment. $4.50

8:30pm – We started watching Breaking Bad together a few days ago and have been binge watching it ever since. I actually grew up in Albuquerque, where the show was shot, so it’s fun seeing familiar places! We end up binge watching until 2am.

Miscellaneous: $27.16

Bubble Tea: $4.50

Uber: $11.19

Total: $42.85


9am – Walk to work.

11:30am – I get invited by a manager to join her for lunch with a new hire. I gladly accept, despite reserving my lunch from Mealpal, since it’s free lunch! We walk to a nearby Japanese restaurant and I order a salmon bowl lunch set. $0

12:30pm – Since I was still feeling full from the Korean BBQ yesterday, I had ordered a smoothie for today’s mealpal. I walk over to the trendy restaurant that sells (in my opinion) overpriced salads, smoothies, and avocado toasts. I pick up my green smoothie and take a short walk. $0

6pm – After work, I walk over to Nordstrom to pay my store credit card bill since I had bought a few things over Black Friday. For some reason, I’d rather just go to the store in person to pay my bill instead of doing it online. I know, I’m a weirdo. $195.97

7pm – I walk over to the aerial yoga studio to take another class.

8:30pm – Take the bus to my boyfriend’s apartment and hang out with him before he leaves tomorrow morning.

Shopping: $195.97

Total: $195.97


8:30am – I walk with my boyfriend to the BART station. Even though I’m a little sad we won’t see each other for a month, it’ll be nice to have some time apart. We say goodbye and I start walking to work.

9am – Since I have some free time before work, I stop by Asha to get some tea. I notice they have new specials and I order a honeydew milk tea. It’s pretty good. I sit in the tea shop and enjoy my tea, before heading into the office. $4.50

12pm – I have a lunch meeting and get free pizza. $0

5:30pm – I take the bus to my facial appointment. Earlier this year, I decided to treat myself to a package of three facials. This is the last one of my package.

7pm – I feel so relaxed and pampered after my facial. I decline buying another package, but feel a little guilty so I buy a cleanser and moisturizer and tip my esthetician. $108.52

7:15pm – I order an Express Uber Pool. It’s a slightly cheaper option than Uber Pool since you have to walk to/from a pickup/dropoff point instead of being picked up/dropped off at your door. Since it’s easy enough for me to walk a few blocks, I decide to try it out and save nearly $2. $2.25

8pm – I make dinner and try to find something else to watch on Netflix, now that I’ve finished Stranger Things. I struggle through an episode of Drop Dead Diva, which was recommended by a friend. I don’t think I’ll be watching any more episodes…

10pm – I notice my roommate left me a gift outside my room. It’s a can of salted caramel cocoa! Even though I probably won’t use it (I might end up re-gifting it.. shhh!!), it’s super nice that she got me something. I plan on giving her a pair of cozy socks that I bought during Black Friday (for only $1!), but still need to pick up a card.

Bubble Tea: $4.50

Personal Care: $108.52

Uber: $2.25

Total: $115.27


9am – I grab the bus to work and on the way, I realize I have a dentist appointment today.

10:45am – I walk over to my dentist’s office. I mainly picked this dentist because her office was so close to mine. Plus, it’s right around the corner from Boba Guys. 🙂

11:45am – Since the dentist said my teeth look good, I decide to treat myself to a drink from Boba Guys. Again, I get the Jasmine Milk Tea (75% sweet) with half boba, half almond jelly. So delicious! $4.50

12:15pm – I walk over to pick up my mealpal and notice a new coffee shop has opened on Market St. I pop in and am told that flat whites are only $1 today. I can’t resist such a great deal, so I order one, even though I just drank a bubble tea. $1

coffee, latte art
Can’t say no to a $1 flat white (or $1 anything)!

7pm – I end up staying at work late, mostly because I’m still amped up from the caffeine from the flat white. After work, I walk to Trader Joe’s to pick up a card for my roommate (I love getting cards from TJs because they’re cute and only $1). I end up picking up a few other things (Dark Chocolate Minty Marshmallows and a box of Gingerbread Oat Bars). I peruse their collection of cards, but find no Holiday/Christmas cards. They only have Hanukkah ones left. 🙁 Luckily, while waiting in line to check out, I find a chocolate bar that looks like it’s wrapped in holiday wrapping and has a “To/From” label on it. This should work in place of a card. $11.55

7:30pm – I decide to treat myself to some shopping since I worked late today. I know Abercrombie is having a major sale, so I head over there to check out their athletic wear and hoodies. I’ve been getting more into the athleisure trend since 1) it’s super comfortable and 2) in tech, it seems the more casual you look, the better. I end up finding quite a few hoodies I like and a pair of yoga pants. $115

8pm – Hop on a bus home. After putting away my groceries and clothes, I settle in the living room to work on a blog post while watching a show about college acapella groups on Netflix (basically Pitch Perfect, but in real life).

Bubble Tea: $4.50

Coffee: $1

Groceries: $11.55

Shopping: $115

Total: $132.05


9am – I walk to the bus stop and find one of my roommates is also waiting for the bus. We chat on the bus ride to work.

12pm – I pick up my last mealpal. I’ve been wanting to decrease my spending on lunches, so I decide to put my mealpal on hold for the next month. I’m going to try The Luxe Strategist’s way of making lunches for work.

1pm – After lunch, I walk over to the post office to mail my friend her Christmas present, which will probably arrive after Christmas 😝. $7.75

4pm – My coworker asks if I’m up for a boba break and I gladly accept. We walk to a shop called Plentea that serves their drinks in glass jars. He offers to pay and I promise to get the next one. $0

5:30pm – I take the bus back home and pack up my clothes to take back to my parents’ house, where I’ll be staying next week. I’m fortunate that my parents ended up moving out to the Bay Area the same time I moved out here for grad school. It’s so convenient that I can just take the BART to visit them rather than having to fly!

6:15pm – I hop on a BART to go to my parents’ house. It takes about an hour to get there.

7:15pm – My mom picks me up from the BART station and drives us back home. She tells me she just got a promotion at work, which is wonderful! Ever since I started working in tech, I’ve made more money than my mom, which I’ve felt a bit guilty about since she has worked for nearly 20 years.

Miscellaneous: $7.75

Total: $7.75


8am – I wake up a bit early since my room in my parents’ house isn’t sufficient at keeping light out. I decide to check the stock market and see that a few stocks I’ve invested in are down. Perfect time to buy! I have some cash sitting in my brokerage account, so I use that to purchase more shares.

9am – I’ve been trying to finish up my latest blog post. Maybe it’s because I’m a perfectionist, but it takes me a while to write and edit a post to my liking. I finally finish and publish it.

12pm – My brother and I decide to go out and get some lunch. He finds a new burger place nearby and we drive over. We split a burger and fries and he pays (such a nice brother!). I buy myself a bottle of green tea from the grocery store next door. $1.64

2pm – I watch TV while I work on my blog some more.

5pm – My dad calls to ask if my brother and I can pick up his car from the dealership. He dropped it off earlier this morning to get it serviced. We drive over, pick up the car, and drive home.

7pm – Dinner is ready. It’s so nice being at home, where I can eat home cooking!

8pm – I spend the rest of the night watching movies on tv and working on my blog.

Groceries: $1.64

Total: $1.64

Money Diaries: Week# 2

6 thoughts on “Money Diaries: Week #2”

  1. Very cool how in-depth and detailed you are in these posts.

    Funny enough, I just joined a weekly yoga group at the YMCA near my apartment. It’s pathetic how inflexible I am, but it’s fun to see my progress each week. I’ve never heard of aerial yoga, it sounds slightly more advanced than what I’m doing haha! Looking forward to more posts like this one 🙂

    1. Hey Zach, thanks for dropping by! Haha, hope the detail didn’t sound too much like rambling! 😛

      That’s great you started doing yoga! Haha, I’m sure you’ll become more flexible soon enough! I think aerial (or anti-gravity) yoga is pretty new. There’s only one studio in San Francisco dedicated to it. It’s basically doing yoga in a hammock, which provides extra support and helps you do certain poses more easily. For example, I could never do an inversion without extra support. I’d definitely recommend trying it if you have the chance! It’s fun going upside down and it does wonders for my back, especially after sitting at a computer the whole day! 😀

  2. Loved reading this! The jasmine milk tea from boba guys is my favorite too! I am so impressed that you managed to leave Trader Joe’s without spending more than $20, it’s always a game I play where I’m like will I spend more of less than that haha. I love their dark chocolate minty marshmallows too! Love that you’re so close to cafes and cool bakeries…good thing I have to go out of my way for those things because all my money would go there. I’ve been meaning to do one of these money diaries! Loved reading yours!

    1. Hey Sophie, thanks for reading!

      Oh nice! I love that their jasmine tea is so floral! When I don’t feel like drinking milk tea, I love getting the raspberry pineapple jasmine tea fresca. It’s so refreshing! 😀

      Not sure how I did it that time… I might have been in a bit of a hurry, so I didn’t browse and get as many snacks. 😛

      Haha, it’s a blessing and a curse to be so close to them. I might need to start exercising better self control…

      You should totally do one! I’d love to read yours! Hope this doesn’t sound too creepy, but I love reading how and what other people spend their money on!

  3. I took your advice a few weeks ago and tried out the Boba Guys over in the Union Square area. I ordered the classic milk tea(50% sweet) with the tapioca balls. Not bad!! I’ll take another trip there sometime this month. Any recommendations on what should i order? I may try the jasmine milk tea and up the sweet level to 75%.

    1. Hey Kris! Glad to hear you tried Boba Guys! I often go to the Union Square location since it’s only a few blocks from my office. Hopefully the line wasn’t too long when you went!

      I highly recommend the jasmine milk tea (if you like floral teas), 75% sweet, with half boba and half almond jelly. Their almond jelly is homemade and so delicious! I also suggest the strawberry jasmine tea fresca if you want to try something without milk. It’s fruity, floral and super refreshing! I usually get it when it’s hot out. If you like matcha, I suggest getting the matcha latte or the strawberry matcha latte (probably the prettiest drink they sell). And if you want to try one of their seasonal drinks, I recommend their apple cinnamon marmalade tea. It’s like fall in a cup!

      Can’t wait to hear what you get next time! 😀

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