She Is 21-year-old In NYC Surviving On A $25/hour Job! How Is She Doing It?

She is a 21-year-old intern makes and budgets her monthly income, which includes a movie pass, waxing and a gym membership. Her parents pay for everything else.

Here is the break down: 

Occupation: Marketing Intern

Industry: HR

Age: 21

Location: New York City, NY

Income: $25/hr

Paycheck Amount (Weekly): $747.50, plus $100-120 every one to two weeks from babysitting.

Additional Income: On top of my intern salary, my parents give me a $800/month allowance, and my grandpa also wires me $300 every month (#blessed).

Here is a peek at one day in her life:

Day One

7:35 a.m. — My alarm goes off for work. It's the day after the 4th of July, and I'm beat from drinking all day yesterday. I also had a panic attack last night and am still feeling a little off. Thankfully, my boyfriend slept over and helped calm me down.

8:06 a.m. — I meditate and then pack up workout clothes and my briefcase. For breakfast, I make my classic avocado toast with feta cheese and a hard-boiled egg. I've found that this combo keeps me very satisfied until lunch.

8:57 a.m. — Being that everyone had the day off yesterday, I think I'll be okay getting in a couple of minutes late to work. I stop by Whole Foods to pick up a bottle of cold brew to keep at the office. It's the easiest way for me to not spend too much on coffee. $6.99

11:26 a.m. — I spend most of my morning working on a small project, online shopping, and journaling. Perk of being an intern is that I don't get too much work assigned in a day. But I do find myself bored occasionally.

12:30 p.m. — I check the Albert app I downloaded last month. It's supposed to “smart save” for you by tracking how much you make and spend. So far, I've saved $113 to pay for my Equinox membership next month. It's sick! It also reminds me that I spent $55 on coffee last month. Not too bad, tbh.

12:35 p.m. — Decide to go up to the cafeteria in my building for lunch.

12:45 p.m. — I get a soup and salad ($8.13) and take my lunch outside because thankfully, it's not that hot in NYC today. $8.13

1:05 p.m. — I sit around and do nothing until my 3 p.m. meeting.

3:30 p.m. — Quick break to eat an apple and drink some green tea. I brought the apple from home, and make the green tea in the office pantry. I hit a wall every day at this time, and green tea actually gives me a great dose of caffeine.

4:42 p.m. — Finally done with meetings. My boss is going out of town for two weeks and has left me with a bunch of little tasks to take care of while she's away.

5:01 p.m. — I leave every day at 5 on the dot. The company doesn't want interns working late, as it reflects poorly on them. I don't mind, because I get to go workout and enjoy my afternoons every day. I also get to work from home tomorrow, so it basically feels like Friday!

5:45 p.m. — I attend a new class at Equinox. It's called The Muse, and it's a mix between barre, dance, and pilates. The instructor has some technical difficulties getting the music set up, but the class is awesome. Even though it's way out of my comfort zone, my booty is on fire.

7 p.m. — I spend the rest of my afternoon packing for my Hamptons trip this weekend! My awesome friend always hosts my entire girl squad for weekends out there.

7:33 p.m. — I prepare dinner with random findings in my fridge. During the school year, I cook every meal in my apartment. It feels so nice to cook for myself. I whip up whole wheat pasta with vodka sauce, roasted carrots and tomatoes, and a veggie burger. So random, and yet so yummy.

11:36 p.m. — I call it a night earlier than I have in weeks. I'm so excited to sleep alone in my bed.

Daily Total: $15.12

See other days in her diary at Refinery29.

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Terry J

Terry J

Born and raised in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. I graduated from Louisiana State University (LSU) and yes, I bleed Purple and Gold. Love food! I try to be very active love to watch and participate in sports as well as going for runs throughout the... Read more


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