A Week In Atlanta, GA, On A $57,000 Salary

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Today: an associate producer working in digital media who makes $57,000 per year and spends some of her money this week on iced coffee.

Occupation: Associate Producer
Industry: Digital Media
Age: 25
Location: Atlanta, GA
Salary: $57,000
Paycheck Amount (Biweekly): $1,600

Monthly Expenses
Rent: $900 (I share a two-bedroom apartment with my boyfriend and we split rent evenly.)
Student Loan Payment: $100 (The minimum payment is something like $50, but I try to pay at least $100 a month.)
Electric: $100
Water: $25
Health, Dental & Vision Insurance: $48.75, deducted from my paycheck
HSA Contribution: $20 from each paycheck. (My employer also puts $750 into my HSA account each year.)
Car Insurance: $120
Gas: $75
AMC Stubs A-List: $21
Spotify: $10
Netflix, Hulu & HBO: $0 (Thanks, Mom!)
Cell Phone: $0 (Again — thanks, Mom!)
401(k): $144 (This comes out of each paycheck pre-tax. My employer matches 100% of what I contribute, up to 5% of my salary.)

7 a.m. — Waking up this early on a Saturday should be illegal. My alarm actually wakes up my boyfriend, D., before it wakes me up. He jumps up and starts shaking me awake. I feel bad since he doesn’t have to wake up — just I do. I rush out of bed, make myself a protein waffle and mix some cold brew with half of a protein shake, and head out the door to work.

10 a.m. — It’s been a very slow Saturday at work. I work in digital journalism, and hour-to-hour, minute-to-minute can be very different every single day. I’m thankful for a slower day when I can get one. I use a little of the downtime to research the best travel-rewards card. I’ve been looking for something that’ll earn me lots of points to put toward hotels, specifically for a big trip my boyfriend and I are taking to Spain later this year. I settle on the Capital One Venture card and apply. This is my second credit card ever, and it feels like another big step into adulthood.

11:45 a.m. — I normally pack a lunch, but I didn’t have time to make anything today and probably didn’t have much left to bring to work anyway. Plus, working on Saturdays sucks, and treating myself to takeout lunch is a nice way to make it suck less. I have a $3 coupon for Fresh To Order, so I order a salmon panini and an Asian side salad on my phone. I run quickly down to the food court and try to space out eating over the rest of my shift. $11.51

5:30 p.m. — Home sweet home, and now my weekend has officially begun! My lunch didn’t fill me up as much as I would have liked, and since we’re going out drinking tonight, I decide to make a quick omelet using some leftover roasted zucchini and tomatoes. I toast up a British-style crumpet from Trader Joe’s and top it all with some Everything But The Bagel seasoning. Perfect base for a few beers later.

8 p.m. — I offer to pay for the Lyft to the bar, and D. says he will cover my drinks for the night, since we’re going out to celebrate his friend’s birthday. While we’re in the car on the way there, we see on Instagram that one of our other friends who will be coming out tonight actually proposed to his girlfriend today. So much to celebrate this evening. $10.66

11:30 p.m. — After a few beers at a few different bars, the group is making a move to the next spot, but D. seems ready to go, so we say our goodbyes. I call the Lyft home. $11.62

12 a.m. — We shower as soon as we get home because we’ve spent most of the night at bars that allow indoor smoking. D. and I don’t smoke cigarettes, but most of his friends do, so we’re used to it. After we shower, D. toasts up some frozen naan to soak up all the booze in our bellies and we drink some Sleepytime tea before passing out. It’s been a long day, but we still snuggle for a few minutes before drifting off. We’ve been living together for a few months now and have been dating for more than three years, and in that time we’ve never gone to bed without a proper pre-sleep spooning session. No matter what.

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