Finance Life Money Diaries San Francisco

Money Diaries: Week #3

Money Diaries: Week 3

My boyfriend is out of town visiting his family and won’t be back until next week. So, I’m enjoying the single life this week. ๐Ÿ˜€


8:30am – I wake up, get ready for work, and take the bus to my office. (My mornings are pretty uneventful, so I’ll skip describing them for the following weekdays.)

12:30pm – I meet up with a new coworker for lunch. It turns out we have very similar backgrounds since we both studied engineering, went to programming bootcamps, and now work as software engineers. We walk to a nearby food court and order some pelemenis from a Russian restaurant. $7.60

5:30pm – I leave work and meet up with my brother, who came into the city for an onsite interview for a summer internship. I really love spending time with my brother. Even though he’s seven years younger than me, he’s always been much more mature and wiser. He’s also a great listener, which is especially helpful when I’m stressed or feeling confused about life.ย We get dinner at a nearby restaurant and I pay for both of us.ย $28.22

6pm – After dinner, I’m craving dessert since I have a sweet tooth. We get bubble tea at a nearby shop and my brother pays this time.ย $0

7pm – I say goodbye to my brother and catch a bus home. Once I get home, I work on my blog, trying to fix an issue with my blog comments.ย Pro tip for bloggers: Deactivate the MOJO marketplace plugin.ย After a Twitter conversation with The Financial Independent One, I spend the rest of the night reading articles about traditional and Roth IRAs. Just when I thought I understood them, I discover and learn new things!

Work Lunch: $7.60

Restaurants: $22.22

Total: $35.82


12:15pm – My team goes out for lunch every second Tuesday of the month. This time, we go to a Thai restaurant. I haven’t had curry in a while, so I order a pumpkin curry. My team lead pays. Yay for free lunch!ย $0

6pm – After work, I walk over to a career coaching event. Even though I’m still at the beginning of my career, I’ve been thinking about different options and possibilities for it. We go through a few exercises to help us figure out what we like and dislike as well as what we value in our lives and careers.

8pm – I walk to my bus stop, but there isn’t a bus coming for another 20 minutes. So, I walk over to Trader Joe’s to pick up some groceries. I buy a salad pack to use to make my lunch for the next two days, a box of blackberries, a can of kidney beans, and a can of chicken (thanks Zach from Four Pillar Freedom for the inspiration).ย $17.44

9pm – I eat leftovers from yesterday’s dinner and boil some eggs to eat with tomorrow’s lunch. I also make a big batch of chia seed pudding for dessert for tonight and tomorrow. It’s super healthy and easy to make (Add 1 cup of coconut milk to 1/4 cup of chia seeds and let sit for 30 min in the fridge. Top with fresh fruit). I watch Law and Order: SVU while eating dinner and then I work on my blog.ย $0

Groceries: $17.44

Total: $17.44


12:15pm – I make a salad for lunch using the salad pack I bought last night. It actually tastes pretty good after mixing up all the ingredients and adding some dressing. Hopefully I can keep doing this instead of eating out for lunch.ย $0

5:45pm – I leave work to go to an event with a Tony Robbins coach tonight, but it doesn’t start until 6:45pm. So, I wander through the nearby mall and window shop to waste some time. Fortunately, I don’t feel the urge to buy anything as I walk around.

6:45pm – After hearing about a friend’s recent experience, I’ve been thinking about going to the Tony Robbins Unleash the Power Withinย event (UPW)ย in March. I’m attending tonight’s event to get a feel for how UPW might be like and make sure it’s something I’d enjoy before I commit to buying tickets. I meet a lot of people who have gone before and they all have nothing but praise for Tony Robbins and UPW. Their stories and the event convince me to sign up. Plus, the organizers are offering discounted tickets! ๐Ÿ˜€

9pm – I head back home and heat up some frozen potstickers and a Korean scallion pancake for dinner. $0

Total: $0


12pm – I make another lunch from my salad pack. The bag is actually a lot bigger than I thought and it looks like I can get three lunches out of it… assuming I don’t get tired of eating the same salad three days in a row.ย ๐Ÿ˜ย $0

6pm – I’m happy that I don’t have any events or meetups after work today and can just enjoy a quiet night at home. I make another dinner of frozen potstickers and a scallion pancake and then spend the rest of the night editing and reworking my Saving Money in New Orleans post.ย $0

Total: $0


9am – Yay! It’s finally Friday! For some reason, this week has felt super long even though the days feel like they’ve gone by really quickly.

12pm – I don’t really want to eat another salad for lunch today, so I join my coworkers when they head out for lunch. One of them suggests going to Super Duper, a burger chain in San Francisco. I order a small burger, which is just the right size for my appetite.ย $6.34

5:30pm – I leave work and walk to Joe and the Juice, a juice/coffee shop, to hang out before my hot yoga class at 7:40pm. I discovered this shop when I traveled to Copenhagen last year. It’s definitely one of those trendy places that hip millennials frequent. Last fall, I purchased a 10 pack of juices/shakes and I use it to order a chocolate protein shake. I settle into a couch to work on another blog post.ย $0

Joe and the Juice
Am I hip enough to be here?

7:20pm – I head over to the yoga studio, which is another one of those trendy places that hip millennials frequent. (I know, you’re probably thinking I’m one of these hip millennials now, but I swear I’m not that cool.) If this studio wasn’t on Classpass, there’s no way I’d be here since a single class costs $30.ย ๐Ÿ˜ฑ

7:40pm – I take a yin yoga class, which is a slow-paced style of yoga and focuses on holding certain poses for several minutes. I really like the philosophy of yin yoga, which likens the slight physical discomfort one feels while holding the poses to the uncomfortable feelings one experiences throughout life and encourages us to sit with the discomfort rather than running from it. Plus, it gives you a great stretch and breaks up your fascia (connective tissue). Practicing in a heated studio offers the additional benefit of warming up the muscles, allowing for an even greater stretch.ย $0

9pm – I go back to my apartment and, once more, make a dinner of potstickers and a scallion pancake. I’m surprisingly not sick of this combination yet. My roommate and I watch a couple episodes of Criminal Minds before calling it a night.ย $0

Work Lunch: $6.34

Total: $6.34


10am – I finally get out of bed and get ready for a high intensity interval training (HIIT) class at 11am. I’m trying to get back into exercising this year by taking more cardio and strength training classes.

10:30am – As I walk over to the studio, I pass by my bank and remember that I wanted to ask about the minimum amounts for my savings and checking accounts. I walk in and ask the teller.ย Oops! Turns out my savings account has $50 less than the minimum, so I ask the teller to transfer money from my checking to my savings account. She tells me I’ll probably get hit with a fee of $5, but I might be able to get it reversed. Pro tip: an easy way to not get hit with a fee is to set up automatic transfers of at least $25 each month.

12pm –ย The HIIT class kicks my butt, but it’s a great workout. I head home to shower and realize I’m super hungry. After getting ready, I walk to a nearby cafe that serves sushi burritos. The cafe owners have a cute corgi who hangs out in the shop. He comes over to me, hoping I’ll drop some food. I take a few pics of the corgi and send them to my brother since he loves corgis! $11.96

1:30pm – After finishing lunch, I decide to check out a coffee shop in Cole Valley. Since it’s less than a mile away and it’s finally sunny out, I walk instead of taking the bus. Along the way, I walk through the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood and pass by several beautiful Victorian houses. This is one of the reasons why I love walking around in SF.

Haight Ashbury Victorians
So pretty! ๐Ÿ˜ ๐Ÿ˜ ๐Ÿ˜

2pm – I arrive at the coffee shop. It has a nice wooden interior with succulents on the wall, which makes it feel like a hipster log cabin. I order “The Thing”, this coffee shop’s version of a spiced caramel latte. It tastes pretty good and the latte art isย ๐Ÿ‘Œ๐Ÿผ$5.15

The Thing
The Thing (aka a caramel latte)

4:30pm – I start to get a bit antsy after working on this blog post (and getting distracted on Youtube) in the coffee shop for a few hours. I take Haight St on my walk back home and pass by Crossroads, my favorite second-hand store. I go in for a quick look and find a Patagonia fleece jacket in my size for only $18.50!ย ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿผย Over the past several years, I’ve been selling my clothes to Crossroads and instead of taking cash for the clothes, I’ve been accumulating store credit. Since I have more than $75 in store credit, I use it to pay for the jacket. $0

7pm – I walk over to a friend’s apartment for a dinner party to celebrate his belated birthday and new apartment. It’s a fun night of delicious food and talking with new and old friends. So fun that I end up staying there until 3am!ย $0

Restaurants: $11.89

Coffee Shops: $5.15

Total: $17.04


9am – I wake up and rush to get ready and catch the bus to meet a friend for brunch. As usual in San Francisco, when I arrive, there’s already a huge line. I get in line as I wait for my friend to arrive. Just as she arrives, a waitress announces there’s an opening at the bar. I quickly tell her we’ll take it and we get seated right away. We order a scramble, a sweet potato pancake, and the restaurant’s famous Millionaire’s Bacon. $21.71

Millionaires Bacon
Delicious but overpriced ($8 for 2 pieces of bacon!)

11am – After we finish eating, we head to a nearby cafe to continue talking. I order a cup of tea and a matcha pastry. $8.68

12pm – My friend gives me a ride back home. I feel pretty tired from staying up so late last night, but instead of taking a nap, I veg out on the couch watching Netflix.

6pm – I head over to Hayes Valley to meet a good friend from grad school, who is in town for work, for dinner. I arrive at theย  restaurant a little early and wait in line to put our names on the waitlist. The hostess says it’ll be a 45 min wait, just as my friend arrives. We walk around the neighborhood to pass the time and talk about my friend’s recent condo purchase and the process involved. Even though I’m not ready to buy a house yet, I recognize it’s a good opportunity to ask questions and learn as much as I can about home buying.

7pm – My friend and I return to the restaurant and there’s a table ready for us. The plates are on the smaller side, so we order three pasta dishes to share. The waitress messes up our order and gives us an extra pasta dish for free.ย ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿผย We split the check and head out.ย $28.82

8:30pm – I suggest we get ice cream at Salt and Straw, an ice cream chain from Portland that opened recently. Again, since we’re in San Francisco, there is, of course, a line. After waiting the usual 15-20 min, we finally get to the front and try a few flavors. We decide to split a double scoop and my friend pays. I venmo him back my share. $3.50

9:30pm – I’m pretty exhausted from this fairly social weekend, so I say goodbye to my friend and head home. My roommate is watching Criminal Minds when I get home, so I join her for a few episodes before going to bed. Even though I miss my boyfriend, it’s been pretty nice having these past few weeks to myself and living the single life.

Restaurants: $50.53

Coffee Shops: $8.68

Snacks/Dessert: $3.50

Total: $62.71

Total for the week: $139.35

Money Diaries: Week# 3

14 thoughts on “Money Diaries: Week #3”

  1. Wow, your spending was really low! I think that means your boyfriend should go out of town more often. When my husband isn’t home, I find I tend to spend less.

    I think the theme of this diary is ‘Self Improvement,’ with the career coach and the Tony Robbins thing. I’m very curious about the TR thing. At least it could be fun to be a fly on the wall and then write about it!

    Also, I think I know that exact salad kit, and they only last me two meals!

    1. I was surprised my spending was so low too! Haha, I think you might be right! I didn’t realize how much less I spend when he’s gone. ๐Ÿ˜›

      Good observation! I didn’t even notice that! That’s a great idea!

      I probably should have used more for each meal… I was definitely hungry by dinnertime!

  2. I have always wanted to attend an “Unleash the Power Within” conference as well, the reviews from people who go to them are always incredible. If you do attend on, be sure to blog about it!

    Glad to hear you’re trying some canned chicken recipes! I can’t believe I actually inspired someone with my sub-par cooking skills haha.

    The hipster log cabin coffee shop sounds sweet, I found a coffee shop I never knew about near my apartment recently with tons of plants in it as well. It’s a great place to churn out some writing.

    Great update as always! ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Hi Zach, glad to hear you’re also super interested in UPW! Sure, I’ll definitely write up a blog post if I go! ๐Ÿ˜€

      Actually, I just made your recipe last night. It was pretty good! I really like that it’s so cheap and easy. My kind of meal! ๐Ÿ™‚

      Yeah, that coffee shop was a great place to sit and write. That’s great you found one near your apartment!


  3. Ahh did you end up buying Tony tickets?? I notice I spend way less money when my boyfriend is out of town. I usually just end up sitting at a coffee shop for 8 hours and working my blog. That and marathon teen high school dramas in the evening on Netflix!

    1. Kinda. I signed up with the organizers of that event for the discounted tickets. Still waiting to hear back from them and make the actual purchase. Haha that’s basically what I did on Saturday (except I was binge watching Law and Order)! ๐Ÿ˜›

  4. Yin yoga sounds really interesting, I would definitely give it a try. I’ve been working out at home and avoiding the gym downstairs in my building because there’s nothing I can actually use there since I’m over the elliptical and avoid the treadmill at all costs. Your week’s worth of spending is less than one food shopping trip-I’m amazed! Also, I gotta try that chia pudding recipe-it’s so easy and would probably help my sweet tooth (I usually crave sweets at night) and it’s healthy so really it’s good for me haha

    The potstickers and Korean pancake …are they from Trader Joe’s? I have them both in my freezer at the moment-they’re so good.

    SF related question that you may have answered in another post but do you feel like having a car in SF is necessary? Or is public transit good enough for you to get around? Would love to know!

    This was such a fun read, I definitely felt like a fly on the wall haha

    1. I highly recommend giving yin yoga a try! I’m sure there are a few classes in NYC. FYI, it’s more like restorative yoga, so you won’t get a workout from it. I don’t like the treadmill either, which is why I take group fitness classes.

      Haha, I was trying to keep it to just the essentials, but I also already had food at home. Let me know how the chia seed pudding turns out! Btw, I buy the chia seeds and coconut milk (purple box) from Trader Joe’s.

      Haha yes! They are! You know your Trader Joe’s items! ๐Ÿ™‚

      You definitely don’t need to have a car in SF. I actually wrote about it in this post! I personally think public transportation is good enough to get around. The MUNI buses can take you to most places in the city and the BART (similar to the subway) is a great, quick way to get to the main areas of SF.

      Aww thanks! Glad you enjoyed it! ๐Ÿ˜€

      1. It’s like a mental workout instead ๐Ÿ˜‰

        I’m actually heading to Trader Joe’s tomorrow so I’ll be sure to pick them up, thanks!

        Haha I could be a Trader Joe’s ambassador at this point.

        I wonder how the BART compares to the MTA (not good). I definitely need to visit SF sometime in the future ๐Ÿ™‚

        1. Haha yes, it definitely can be!

          Oh nice. Hope you enjoy!

          Haha, sounds like you could use your expertise for a blog post?

          The BART doesn’t run past midnight, so I think that means the MTA is already better. Plus, it only has 5 stops in SF. I think BART is more useful for getting into/out of SF rather than around the city. Let me know if you ever visit SF! Would love to meet in person! ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Good job on your spendings, keep it up especially when your boyfriend comes back.
    Those lines going to some of these restaurants can be discouraging especially if your short on time. And in SF, there are so many of them.
    Cole Valley is one of my favorites neighborhoods to walk around in the city. The Sunset, Bernal Heights, and the Great Highway are other great areas for a nice walk.

    1. Thanks Kris! I was definitely trying harder to save money (mostly by bringing my lunch to work). Yes, hopefully I can keep it up!

      Haha yes! It seems like all of the good restaurants in SF have lines! >.< Yes, Cole Valley and Bernal Heights are great neighborhoods to walk around in. I like how they aren't too crowded, like other neighborhoods. I should definitely visit The Sunset and the Great Highway more! I've let the fog and cold keep me away too much. ๐Ÿ˜›

    2. Sorry it’s taken me forever to respond to this.

      Haha will definitely have to dedicate a blog post to Trader Joe’s in the near future ๐Ÿ™‚

      If I’m visiting, I’m definitely gonna have to meet you IRL ๐Ÿ™‚

      1. Haha no worries! I think it’s difficult to circle back to replies to comments, especially if you aren’t notified about them! Looking forward to that post and let me know if/when you visit! ๐Ÿ˜€

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