Money Diary: Unemployed Post-Grad

There are few things I love more than being nosey and reading Refinery29’s Money Diaries. I am even subscribed to a subreddit where people post their own money diaries and ask open & honest questions about money. So, about a month ago while I was still unemployed, I wrote a money diary. I even went on a trip to Des Moines, Iowa while writing this. So, let’s take the taboo away from talking about money and let’s get to the snooping!

Basic Info

Occupation: Unemployed
Education: B.A. in Psychology
Age: 22
Location: Minnesota

Assets and Debt

Equity: $0
Investments: $0
Savings account balance: ~$4000
Checking account balance: ~$400
Credit card balance: ~$200
Credit card debt: $0
Student loan debt: $0 (Thanks to a hefty scholarship, multiple one-off scholarships, and Pell Grant)


Internship: $14 / hr (I work 30 hours a week) so about ~$800 every two weeks
Side Hustles: I make about $30-$100 a month from random sponsored content on my Instagram. In the past I’ve done photography and would make about $500 during graduation season.

Monthly Expenses

Rent: $150 to my boyfriend’s parents for letting me stay at their house
Phone: $0 – Covered by a family member but this will change once I get a full-time job
Hulu/Spotify: ~$5 (I hope I can keep my student discount going!)
iCloud Storage: $2.99
Car payment: $0 – Car is paid off and split between my boyfriend and I – we own a 2013 VW Jetta and we had family help to purchase!
Car insurance: $0 – Currently covered by boyfriend’s mom but this will likely change soon
Netflix / HBO / Amazon Prime: $0 – Use a family member’s passwords
Health insurance: $0 – Currently on MA since I was unemployed for a few months and didn’t make much in the first half of the year. This will likely change once I get a job.
Headspace app: $10 for the year

Monday 6/17

7am Boyfriend (J.) wakes me up and I quickly get ready to head out the door to the car dealership. I got into a car accident 2 days before graduation and still haven’t had our vehicle fixed almost a month and a 1200+ mile drive later.
8am We get to the car dealership where J.’s mom works and get a courtesy vehicle to take til’ further notice. We get $50 taken off the cost of the deductible which is great.
8:30am Make a Kodiak Cake chocolate muffin in the microwave and pour a cup of Stok Unsweetened Cold Brew and some So Delicuous Coconut milk creamer. Sit with J. and eat breakfast while he works from home. Watch an episode of 90 day fiance.
10am J. offers to buy me Caribou so we head down the street and I order an medium iced skim latte. Appreciate him because I really need the extra coffee today.
Price: free
10:30am Turn on my Forest app and get started on studying for the GRE. I like using Forest cause’ it helps keep me off my phone and you can actually help grow real trees! I purchased this app for $1.99 about a month ago and it was worth the small cost.
12pm J.’s dad says, “I want Chic Fil A – you fly, I buy” aka free lunch. So, I drive and pick up lunch for everyone – 12 grilled nuggets with buffalo sauce for me! I eat and watch an episode of Alone Together.
Price: free
1pm GRE studying again.
2pm Applying for jobs – wooooo. I apply to 5 jobs I had saved on LinkedIn.
3pm GRE studying again. I try to study for 2-3 hours a day and am applying for grad school this fall. My scores are weighed pretty heavily in the application process so it’s important that I do well.
4pm Journal a little bit and then browse some forums sites about Youtubers I like (or hate watch I suppose, haha).
5pm Make a simple dinner – spinach, 2oz pre-made shredded chicken, some green goddess dressing, and croutons. I also have half a Healthade Pomegranate kombucha. Start watching another episode of 90 Day Fiancé with J.
7pm Best friend comes over to watch The Bachelorette and we crack open some local beers we purchased a few weeks ago and snack on Terra Sweet Potato Chips and Flavor Blasted Goldfish (aka the best Goldfish).
9pm We also watch Paradise Hotel because we love trash TV.
10pm Catch up on Endless Summer on Snapchat TV. It’s pretty cheesey but it’s short and I like it. Plus it features a YouTuber I like and I want to support. Then I read a spooky story on r/nosleep.
11pm Wash my face off with my Clean & Clear lemon wipes and brush my teeth. Not feeling the whole face night routine tonight. I get back into reading the 2nd and part of the 3rd of the r/nosleep spooky story but get too tired. I put on my Headspace app and time for bed.
Daily Total: $0

Tuesday 6/18

9:20am Oops. Didn’t mean to get 9 hours of sleep. I sit in bed and check emails and then scroll on Insta and Reddit for a bit.
10am Throw my laundry in the wash and do my morning routine.
11am Crazy how time flies when you sit in bed doing nothing. Some days are harder to be productive than others. I often find myself feeling like I’m in this slump where I know I have things I need to be doing, but because of the lack of structure in my routine, I find it extremely hard to find motivation to do what needs to get done.
12pm Make lunch – cauliflower rice, broccoli, brown rice, more shredded chicken, and top it off with Frank’s buffalo sauce. I made a little bit too much so I save the rest for dinner. I sit down and watch Alone Together and realize this is the finale and that it’s been cancelled. Womp womp. Hulu automatically starts playing the first episode of Shrill and I’m not opposed so I let it play. I also have a few Oreo Latte flavored Thins.
2pm Pour the last of my cold brew. Sad. I click around on LinkedIn, Glassdoor, and Indeed for a bit. I got an email for a phone interview at one of the places I applied to so that’s some good news! I’ve been feeling low since graduation and some days are harder to be productive than others. It’s funny cause’ when I was in school I went 100mph and now I’m basically going 5mph and it feels as difficult.
4pm Spend some time looking into my PhD programs and typing the info into my Excel organizer. Then I order six 4-packs of SF Red Bull and a dress off Amazon cause’ I just got a $50 Amazon GC as compensation for 2 brand deals. I end up going $5.51 over.
5pm Time for a 2 mile run with J. I hate running to be honest but it’s free, gets me active, and I can listen to one of my favorite podcasts, The Morning Toast.
6pm I shower and eat the rest of my lunch for dinner.
6:30pm J. and I are out the door and heading to a coffee shop in Minneapolis. He offers to get my drink and I pick a seasonal drink consisting of espresso, lichi-lime, bitters, and sparking water. I love to try new drinks! Price: Free
8pm Wifi has been SO bad here, which is no good since I’m trying to research grad schools. We decide to cross the street to another coffee place that just opened. I get another seasonal drink, this time a smoked maple syrup latte, my treat for us to split. I work on gathering info about grad school programs. Price: $5.36
10pm Time to head ouuuuuut since they’re closing. When I get home, I eat some flavor blasted Goldfish because I’m a habitual snacker, and then I watch Shrill. I also pop a melatonin to attempt to counteract the coffee from earlier. One of my goals for this year was to stop drinking coffee after 5pm since I have a lot of trouble falling asleep if I don’t.
11pm Research a few more schools then read my book, Love & Gelato. Love YA fiction, especially if it’s cheesey and romantic. Night routine and time for bed.
Daily Total: $10.87

Wednesday 6/19

8am Nope. Too early.
8:45am Okay fine. I still sit on my phone in bed for a long ass time though.
9:30am I need coffee and I need to pee.
9:45am Crap, just realized I drank the last of my coffee yesterday. J.’s parents don’t have a working coffee pot right now. I guess I’ll just have to power through. I contemplated going down the street to Caribou but then saw the $5+ price tag for a coffee… yeah that’s not gonna happen today.
10am Start prepping for my 11am phone interview.
11:15am Finished the call in 10 minutes and already invited to come in tomorrow for a second interview!
11:30am I need to chill for a little bit because I got entirely too anxious from the phone interview. Gonna make lunch. I throw together the same salad from a few nights ago but also add feta and grab a Redbull. I finish watching an episode of Shrill and scroll around on Pinterest for a while.
12:30pm Quick phone call with my best friend to hear about her job interview and tell her about mine. Then I double check to make sure I cancelled my renter’s insurance plan!
1pm Call my old health insurance to cancel it. I should have done this a month ago but I got busy and didn’t want to be stuck on the phone.
3pm Time flies when you’re researching potential grad school programs. 
3:30pm GRE time.
5pm Time to take a break and go run a few miles.
5:30pm Hit a PR on my 1 and 2 miles today! Woo. It’s still not that fast but it is fast for me!
6pm Get ready to go to dinner with a friend from high school and my J.
7pm Eat dinner at a spot in Minneapolis and catch up! I get a hot chicken sandwich and mac & cheese. Total comes out to $16.20 + $3.80 tip, so $20 total.
9pm Get home and settle in to watch 90 Day Fiance with J. I’m in a food coma.
11pm Crash.
Daily Total: $20

Thursday 6/20

8am Up and at em’. Time to get ready for my interview then head out the door. I quickly eat a beef stick for breakfast and drink a cup of cold brew.
9:30am Out the door and heading to my interview! Stop at J.’s mom’s workplace on the way to get my resume printed off from her since we don’t have a printer at home.
10:30am Interview time!
11:15am I feel good about that interview. It’s for an internship unrelated to my field of study but in a position I feel passionate about and have lots of experience in – event planning!
11:30am My car is on empty so I stop to get gas and pee.
Total: $33.66
11:45am I’m in high spirits and I spot a donut place near the gas station, so I stop to pick up some for me, J., J.’s dad, and my best friend. The store throws in an extra one for free because they’re closing in a half hour.
Total: $5.84
12pm Get home and go pick up Chic Fil A again for everyone, per J.’s dad’s request. I get the same thing as last time and when I get home I watch the new episode of Grownish.
1pm My best friend comes over. We talk for a little bit and then settle down at the kitchen table so I can study and she can take a practice test for the GRE.
4pm Doneeee. I start browsing on Reddit. Then I do some research about stipend amounts at different PhD programs.
5pm Heat up a Smart Ones Santa Fe Rice & Beans frozen meal because I’m feeling lazy.
7pm J. wants to go to a coffee shop so we drive into St. Paul and split a Large Caramel latte ($2.92) and I work on organizing photos and videos that I imported from my camera.
8:30pm We head out and decide to drive over to a new ice cream place that’s nearby. They create soft serve mixed with cereal and it is delicious. J. and I split a cone. ($5.20)
9:30pm Get home and decide to watch The Personal Shopper on Netflix with J.. It’s not that good but I love K Stew so I finish watching it anyway.
11:30pm Bed time routine and scroll on phone til’ I pass out.
Daily Total: $47.62

Friday 6/21

8am I’m upppp but not ready to get out of bed.
9:30am Ok, enough phone time. I brush my teeth then I eat a hard boiled egg and a meat stick and sip on a cup of cold brew while I watch the season 2 premiere episode of Good Trouble.
11am Put on my Mario Badescu Super Collagen Mask because I wore makeup yesterday and I usually don’t so my skin feels kind of gross. Then I begin putting away my laundry while listening to the new Jonas Brothers album. I start crying after listening to Rollercoaster because wow what a song.
11:30am Wash my face mask off and put on my Summer Fridays Jet Lag mask. A true miracle product for my skin. Now, the funnest part of my day: cleaning my cat’s litter box.
12pm Put in my Airpods, pack my camera and props bags, and fill the air in my bike tires. I have a kombucha brand shoot for a campaign to do so I’m gonna bike over to the lake to shoot.
1pm Got the shot! Time to head home and eat lunch. I make a plain spinach salad with croutons and dressing partnered with the last of my chicken and some cauliflower rice. Sipping on a Pomegranate Healthade kombucha and waste like 15 minutes trying to figure out where to watch Younger Season 6. I can’t find it and can’t get my Hulu app to load so I watch Always Be My Maybe on Netflix.
1:15pm Sweet tooth strikes. I get 1 s’mores Oreo and 2 latte Oreo Thins.
1:30pm Good news! I got the job that I interviewed for. Such a relief to not job hunt anymore. Now time to call my family and let them know.
2:30pm Finally off the phone – my family can talk. I continue watching Always Be My Maybe and edit the photos from earlier today.
5:15pm I accidentally napped. Now, time to go on a run.
5:45pm Ran 2 miles and I am gross so I hop in the shower.
6:30pm Sittin’ around. Need to get ready to go out.
7pm Head out the door and go pick up J’s cousin/friend and our other friend. We’re going out to celebrate his cousin’s birthday! I offer to sober cab.
7:30pm We stop at bar number 1, as DD, I split a basket of waffle fries with J. and trade our friend a few fries for one of his tacos. ($3.50 + $0.50 tip = $4.00)
8:30pm Bar number 2. They have buy one gets ones. I have a yellow vodka Red Bull and give the other one to J. ($4.00 + $1.00 tip = $5.00)
10pm We head out but not before taking photos on the free photobooth!
10:15pm Bar number 3. We didn’t realize it was BINGO night so we decide to head out but birthday boy wants to try to win a rubber duck from the claw machine – he puts $1 in and actually gets 2 ducks. He’s tipsy so he decides to try again and puts in another $1. He wins another duck. But now he wants us each to get a duck so he puts another $1 in and gets another duck. Finally after that saga, we leave.
10:30pm Last stop – bar number 4. We split a plate of nachos and the boys get buy one get one shots. They cover my fourth of the nachos because I drove them around (free).
11:30pm We were gonna head out but birthday boy and friend decide to do pulltabs. They buy $40 worth and win $38. Then they buy $38 worth and then win $112. They decide to call it quits and head out at midnight.
12:30pm J. sleeps in my room and we head to bed.
Daily Total: $9.00

Saturday 6/22

9:30am Ugh, tired. I don’t wanna get up.
10:30am We finally get out of bed. I brush my teeth, put contacts in, and wash my face. Then I pour some cold brew in a cup and go talk to J.’s mom for a little bit.
11am J. and I split a Reuben sandwich. We sit around with his parents for a bit.
12pm Time to go pack my overnight bag. J., my best friend, J.’s cousin, and I are going to Des Moines, IA for 2 days and 1 night and we’re leaving later today. J.’s mom hands me a $20 for us to spend so that’s nice. I also buy a Groupon for bowling for the 4 of us but it turns out we can’t use it for 24 hours, so we adjust our plans to go bowling tomorrow instead of today. My best friend, J., and I decide to split it 3 ways so we cover it for the birthday boy. ($40 but 20% off to $32 divided by 3 = $10.50)
1:30pm Time to hit the road! I drive first.
3pm We stop at a casino that’s just off the highway. Then both J. and I lose $5 at the casino (but technically not our $ anyways, so free). We go to Burger King and my best friend and I split some nuggets ($1.39 / 2 = $0.69 each)
5pm Stop and get gas. J. covers it since I got the last tank.
6pm We drive right to the restaurant that we want for dinner. We check in and find out we have a long wait time, so we head to AirBNB to drop off our stuff.
7pm Eating dinner and we’re all starving. I order a burger and a s’mores milkshake.  ($13.50 + $2.50 tip = $16.00)
8pm We explore the city a bit and check out a bridge and park.
9pm Head back to the AirBNB and drink our free wine that our host gave to us.
10:30pm End up driving through a flash flood to a liquor store. I grab a 4 pack of Cappricio Sangria and split it 3 ways with J. and my best friend. ($10.26 / 3 = $3.42 each)
11pm Drive back and survive the flash flood. We play hide & seek (no judging allowed, it was so fun) and then watch As Above, So Below on Netflix.
2am? Pass out for the night.
Daily Total: $30.61

Sunday 6/23

9:30am Up & at em’! Wash my face and change quick and then we’re out the door.
10:45am We go to a popular donut place and split a dozen between the 4 of us. ($11.50 / 4 = $2.88 each)
11:15am Pull over and stop to take a photo with a mural. Fly my drone to get a pretty cool shot of us all!
11:30am We get to the coffee place and my best friend and I split a coffee flight – it comes with a pour over, an espresso shot, and a cold brew. ($7.50 / 2 = $3.75 each)
12:15pm Mural number 2 and check out a cool park with a lot of art. It starts raining on us.
12:30pm We stop at a pretty popular store and I pick up some stickers and postcards. I like to collect postcards from every place I visit! ($11.13)
1pm Best friend and I split another iced coffee and I grab a sticker from the shop as well. ($3.05 + $1.00 = $4.05)
1:15pm We stop at the capitol and take all the touristy pictures.
2pm Lunchtime! We go to a Chinese pizza place and J. convinces us we need to get 2 large pizzas. He was wrong and we end up with a half of a pizza leftover. I also get a drink that’s served to me in a lucky cat porcelain figure. ($22.00 total)
3pm We stop by a bar that claims to be the bar with the most beers on tap in the US! We split 2 flights: one solely of sours and one solely of ciders. We each buy a souvenir glass to take home. ($10 glasses + $24 flights + $4 tip = $38.50 / 4 = $9.63 each)
4pm We head back to our AirBNB, grab our stuff, and drive to Altoona, IA for the main attraction of our weekend – bowling at a ocean themed bowling alley attached to a Bass Pro Shop. The 3 of us who aren’t driving home (sorry J.) split 2 fishbowls and get a little lit while bowling. ($30 / 4 = $7.50 each)
6pm Drive to a bridge that’s supposed to be a “must-see”. It really wasn’t, haha. So we hop back on the road.
10pm Stop at a gas station and fill up ($36.73 / 4 = $9.18 each). Eat leftover pizza from lunch in the car.
11:30pm Home!
12am My fricken’ cat ran outside into the dark in the pouring rain so we had to spend like a half hour looking for her. Finally found her – now it’s time for bed.
Daily Total: $70.13

And that’s a wrap on my first money diary! This one is almost a month old and it’s crazy to look back and see how busy this particular week was. Between interviewing for and getting a job, and a trip to Des Moines, my schedule was jam packed and my wallet was a little thin!

Have you every written a money diary before or do you like to read them? Let me know, I’d love to hear your thoughts! I think I’ll write another one now that I have my internship!

Until next time,

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