This Is How An Introverted Homebody In Los Angeles Lives On A $65,000 Salary

This Is How An Introverted Homebody In Los Angeles Lives On A $65,000 Salary
PHOTO: VOCALLY

THE BASICS

Occupation/industry: Editor/media

Age: 29

Location: North Hollywood, CA

Salary: $65,000

Relationship Status: Single-ish/dating

MONTHLY EXPENSES

Rent: $1,850 (utilities included)

Wi-Fi: $49.99

Student loans: $0 (paid off)

Medical bill: $301.79 

Cell phone: $40

Hulu: $11.99 

Netflix: $7.99

Barkbox: $25

VNYL subscription: $36

Groceries: $300 

Gas: $150 to 200

Car: $0 (paid off)

Dog grooming: $98

DAY 1

6:30 a.m.

I get up with my dog and spend the next 15 minutes trying to snuggle him while he rolls around in my bed, then take him for a walk. I could walk to my neighborhood Starbucks, but it’s Los Angeles Cold (read: 61 degrees) and I’m a wimp. Once we get back from our quick stroll, I clean and his water and food dishes and ask him if he wants the usual. He does. (We like routine.)

I light some incense and make a pot of coffee — it’s Monday and I will definitely need it. I work from home from about 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. and get ready in that time, too.

9 a.m.

I bid farewell to my pup and start the trek to the office. I stop at the gas station for — you guessed it — gas (and Red Bull because I have a serious caffeine addiction and am NOT afraid to admit it), then head downtown. 

$26.37

9:30 a.m.

We just moved into a new office and I’m the first one to arrive at the parking garage, which means I accidentally pay the valet guy $15 instead of waiting for my coworker to get there with our monthly parking permits. Since I’m so early, I head over to G&B coffee at Grand Central Market and pay almost $6 for a tiny little organic latte that was honestly one of the best lattes I’ve ever had. WORTH IT.

$21.55

5:30 p.m.

I arrive home and drop my rent check off with my landlords. I live in a 400-square-foot house in a neighborhood in the San Fernando Valley, about 15 miles north of downtown LA. And while the rent is a little high for one person, I have my own yard, patio, and separate laundry facilities, plus all utilities (other than Wi-Fi) are included. To me, it's totally worth it.

I then take out random things from the fridge to cook for dinner. I love being in the kitchen and cook almost every meal at home, so I feel like I’m constantly taking inventory and going to the store every few days. Luckily, I do my big grocery hauls on Saturday mornings, so there’s still a ton of options for what I’m going to make.

$1,850

Daily total: $1,897.92

DAY 2

7 a.m.

I AM OUT OF COFFEE-MATE. How did this happen? 

(JK, this happens literally once a week to me.) 

Luckily, there’s a Rite Aid about a block from my house. I walk over when it opens at 8 a.m. and pick up Coffee-Mate, paper towels, and an 8-pack of Diet Coke Twisted Mango. (No joke, those new flavored Diet Cokes have changed my LIFE. Try them all. Also, Diet Coke: Sponsor me.)

$12.22

12 p.m.

Lunchtime! We get lunch delivered to the office through a catering service, which is covered by the company. About an hour later, a few coworkers and I head over to 85°C, a nearby bakery/tea/boba place, to get some midday treats. 

$6.95

4 p.m. 

I consult my coworkers about some furniture and home accessories I’ve been eying since I got part of my tax return back. (This shit has been in my shopping cart for a week.) I bite the bullet and poof — I am now the proud owner of a new bar cart and faux leather chair and ottoman set. 

Usually, spending that amount of money on things I don’t technically need will send my anxiety through the roof, but since I’m a masochist, why stop there? I decide to order almost $200 worth of household items and accessories, too, and slowly watch my bank account rob itself of half a grand. 

$557.00

7 p.m. 

I continue today’s theme of Treat Yo’self and pair a box of Girl Scout cookies I stole from my parents’ pantry with a glass of whiskey and Season 9 of America’s Next Top Model, then shamelessly head to bed at 9:30. 

Daily total: $576.17

DAY 3

7 a.m.

I'm working from home today, which saves me some serious cash in the long run when it comes to gas, snacks, coffee, etc. I basically have everything I need at home, so I’m pretty set for today and don’t need to leave my house.

4:30 p.m.

LMAO JK. I head to Target because today has been A Day and literally nothing cures my ailments like new crop tops and scented candles do. And wine. Lots of wine.

I end up going a *little* overboard with the YOLO “I deserve it” spending and buy a new ~organic~ cotton sheet set, junk food I’ll probably regret purchasing, a new dog toy, a few shirts, the PERFECT high-waisted baggy mom jeans, and a bunch of other shit I didn’t actually need. I don’t even feel that much better. 

$133.08

6:30 p.m.

I plop in front of the TV — bottle of wine in one hand, grilled cheese in the other — and shut my phone off because I do NOT feel like engaging in any type of activity involving people, social media included.

Daily total: $133.08

DAY 4

7:30 a.m.

I cave in and go to Starbucks and order a Venti Quad Skinny Vanilla Latte and a ham and cheese croissant. I find an old gift card in my wallet and surprise! It has $10 on it, so my breakfast is free!

1:00 p.m.

After lunch, I raid the snack drawers at work and stock up on protein bars and crackers because I'm feeling cheap AF and don't want to spend any money. 

7:00 p.m.

As it turns out, I didn’t go into a blind rage at Target the other day and actually bought ingredients to make a bunch of different kinds of bread, because what do I do when the tiniest thing stresses me out? I bake. And then I make everyone else around me eat. 

Daily total: $0

DAY 5

6:30 a.m.

Same old routine: Walk the pup, feed the pup, light incense, make coffee, start work. It’s another work-from-home day, which means I get up only to take my dog out or refill my coffee. I want to reiterate: Working from home is not only super convenient; it's a serious money saver (at least for me).

4 p.m.

Somehow it’s 4 in the afternoon and I am READY for the weekend. I wrap up the last of my work emails, close my laptop, and head straight to my dispensary to ~stock up~ for the weekend and upcoming week. Whenever I go, I usually spend between $60 and $120 on various goods. This time, I land right in the middle.

$90.41

9 p.m. 

The guy I’m seeing picks me up and we get In-N-Out to bring back to my place. He also buys a 6-pack of Blue Moon to drink while we finish watching Season 3 of Married at First Sight, which means I contribute $0 to this very laid-back date night. Plus, there’s still wine in the fridge. CHA-CHING. 

Daily total: $90.41

DAY 6

7:45 a.m.

I try to wake up within an hour or so of when I usually do during the workweek. My place gets a ton of natural sunlight in the morning and I currently hold the Guinness World Record for being the lightest sleeper, so I’m usually up really early. And yes — I'm bragging about being a morning person.

After I take my dog on his morning stroll, he settles in for his post-walk snoozle and I settle into my oversized chair and start watching Dismissed on Netflix, which is basically a Lifetime movie on steroids. (Seriously — if you thought Dylan Spouse peaked on The Suite Life of Zack & Cody, your mind is going to be blown.) I also do laundry all morning and worry whether I can take a comfortably warm shower later or if my hot water heater will fail me yet again — either way, water is included in my rent, so I take advantage of my laundry facilities.

12 p.m.

I check out the contents of my fridge and decide to make bacon, jalapeño, and gouda-stuffed French toast. I make a small bowl of guac to eat with chips while I prep and cook the French toast, because if you're not eating while you're cooking, you're doing it all wrong.

In between all of this, I look for a movie to rent on Amazon and finally settle on Bad Moms Christmas. And since I already gave half a grand over to “the man” (read: Wayfair and Cost Plus World Market), a mere $4.99 for a 48-hour rental doesn’t bother me — which is bizarre, because normally, my first thought is, That’s $4.99 that could’ve gone towards wine

8:30 p.m.

It’s late for me, y’all. I’m meeting up with old coworkers in Santa Monica, which is a $27 Lyft ride from North Hollywood on this particular night. When I get to the restaurant, I order a bowl of chicken tortilla soup and a very large margarita. 

$52.65

10:30 p.m.

We end up walking from the restaurant to a karaoke bar instead of taking a Lyft, where I end up spending way too much money on Jameson while listening to a bunch of 22-year-old frat bros belt out "Rolling in the Deep." A few people from the group I'm with leave to go home, but my friend and I stay out and post up at a billiards hall for the rest of the night. 

$87

My friend pays for the Lyft home around 2 a.m. and honestly, I don’t know how I stayed up so late.

Daily total: $139.65

Day 7

9 a.m.

I head to my parents' place to celebrate my dad's birthday and stop for gas before I get on the freeway. I have $25 left on a Shell gift card I got for Christmas, so thanks, Mom, for technically filling up my tank! 

After waiting a couple hours, my brother and his wife finally show up and take us to the Chinese place down the street from my parents' house. They pay for lunch, and I head home to spend the rest of the day hanging out and prepping for work the next day.

Daily total: $0

The Damage

I'd like to say I'm pretty careful with my funds on a regular basis, but I definitely splurged this week. Also, leaving my house on the weekend took a bit of a hit on my wallet. The grand total for this week? A whopping $2,837.23.

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