A Week in Boca Raton, FL, on a $90,000 Salary

Welcome to Spending Notes, where we do a weekly deep dive into how our readers spend their cash.

Today: a graphic designer who makes $90,000

Occupation: graphic designer

Age: 31

Location: Boca Raton, FL

Salary: $91,000 (approx. $3,462 per pay period)

Day One

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For the past few years, I’ve been focused almost exclusively on my career. I love the work I do, but it doesn’t leave much room for self-improvement. With that in mind, I’ve taken this week off to try to fix my work-life balance. My to-do list includes refreshing my patio, looking into salons near me that offer hair enhancers, and taking plenty of time to rest and unwind. Today, though, I’m focusing on that last part. Besides running to the coffee shop for a drink, I waste away the day on the couch—in a good way. Tomorrow, I’ll get started with some more productive sorts of self-care.

Total: $6.50

Day Two

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After a day of leisure, I’m feeling optimistic about the week ahead. The weather’s great today, so I’m excited to jump into my patio project. I spend the morning pulling weeds that have grown amongst the foliage and trimming the shrubs that have grown far beyond their personal space. Then, I run to the home and garden shop for some fertilizer. A few flowers didn’t return this season, so I make a note to head for the nursery for fresh patio plants soon. With that in mind, I run inside to water the houseplants and figure out what new plants I might bring home next. Scrolling through some plant posts on social media, I especially want to find a birds of paradise and Tuscan blue rosemary.

Total: $27

Day Three

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This note feels a lot like a diary, so I guess it’s okay to dive right in here. Today, I‘m searching for hair enhancements for women in my area. I have a condition called alopecia, which has made my natural hair lose a lot of its fullness. Hopefully, I can get a natural look that mimics my own hair as it once was! For now, I stop by the drugstore for some new shampoo and other hair products. I might as well practice taking care of my hair! I’ll schedule an appointment sometime in the near future—this way, I’ll have to give myself another chance to take care of myself for a day.

Total: $23

Day Four

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We’re at the halfway point of the week, so I’m planning another day with lots of rest. I order lunch and dinner in and spend some time scrolling through social media with old episodes of The Office on in the background. After, I check in with a friend who recently finished a round of chemotherapy. He’s been struggling, especially trying to self-isolate just in case. I’m definitely happy to chat with him, and I like to think he’s glad to hear from me, too!

Total: $37

Day Five

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Today, I’m diving into some serious personal development. I’ve got podcasts playing in my earbuds, a notebook nearby for scribbling down quotes, and an online shopping cart filled with recommended books. I sign up for a few inspirational newsletters and watch different sorts of motivation trickle into my inbox. Hopefully, that will go from my inbox into my brain, and encourage me to keep up these efforts once this week is over!

Total: $57.50

Day Six

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A lot of the self-help work I’ve been doing focuses on how your environment shapes your mood and life, so I’m planning to work on this area today. I love the outdoor space on and around my patio, but indoors doesn’t bring me much joy. To combat this, I’m taking some time to declutter today. I keep a list of must-have products nearby and add to it when I think of things to improve my space, like adding a new plant and some organizers. I’m determined to get my home sorted out before I set out to buy anything new. That way, I’ll have a nice blank slate to work with when it comes to redecorating and reorganizing!

Total: $0

Day Seven

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To finish off my Week of Me, I‘m trying to balance self-care with more tangible projects. I read an old favorite book as I drink my morning coffee, then do some cleaning around the house. Next, I open my planner to organize the next week and do some meal planning. While doing that, I realize that my favorite pen is almost out of ink, so I order a refill quickly before finishing up my planning. Finally, I finish the night up with a relaxing bubble bath and treat myself to going to bed early. Tomorrow, it’s back to the daily grind—at least until my next self-care day.

Total: $9.50

Total for the week: $160.50