A Week in New Jersey on a $50,000 Salary

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

Today, a graphic designer who makes $50,000 a year in Wayne, New Jersey, spends some of her money on essential oils.

Occupation: Graphic Designer

Age: 26

Location: Wayne, New Jersey, United States

Salary: $50,000 (approx. $1,700 per pay period)

Day One


My Mondays typically begin with me rolling out of bed and grabbing a cup of coffee. I work from home, so I went to my home office to start the day. I had a brochure in the queue due by the end of the day. After a couple of hours of working, I decided to take a break and browse my phone. I did some shopping for the top essential oils and found a sampler set for an excellent price. It had the company’s top eight essential oils. Not to mention, the set included two of my favorites, peppermint oil, and eucalyptus oil. Once I finished work, I watched TV and played with my cat before bed.

Total: $23.67

Day Two


I was able to finish my work early on Tuesday. Since I was ahead of schedule, I invited two of my friends to go on a short hike at High Mountain Park Preserve. Unfortunately, I experienced an ankle sprain at the end of the hike. I searched for orthopedic care in Wayne, NJ, and found a place nearby. Thankfully, they were in my insurance network, and I only had to worry about a copay. They treated my ankle quickly and instructed me to take it easy for about a week or two since it was a minor sprain. The hike was still fun, though!

Total: $25.00

Day Three


I logged onto work Wednesday to find a hefty queue waiting for me. I had a couple of advertisements and a magazine placement I needed to start. So, after a long day of work, I rested on the couch watching Parks and Recreation with my foot elevated.

Total: $0.00

Day Four


I had a Zoom meeting on Thursday for our weekly check-in. A few minor changes were in store for our workflow, but all in all, a pretty typical meeting. I ordered delivery for lunch to change things up a bit with a grilled chicken caesar salad. Later, one of my friends from the hike visited to check on my recovery. I reassured her everything was going well, and we planned a movie night for Friday.

Total: $7.85

Day Five


After a hectic day at work trying to finish my projects for the week, I settled down to pay some bills. Then, with my utilities and streaming services taken care of, I set out some snacks and drinks for my friends when they arrive for our movie night. My cat even got a couple of special treats. Once they arrived, we all picked a movie and enjoyed a fun night together.

Total: $165.12

Day Six


On Saturday, my parents came by to visit. I had told my mom about the sprain, and she wanted to make sure I was okay. We spent the day together, and she and my dad even cooked dinner for me. Once they left, I decided to turn in early for the night.

Total: $0.00

Day Seven


I scheduled a grocery delivery first thing Sunday morning to avoid too much walking around on my ankle. I was excited to try a new recipe I found online called eggroll in a bowl. It sounded delicious, and when I made it, it was just as good as I expected. So, now it’s a new staple meal for me. After dinner, I settled in and prepared for the upcoming week.

Total: $112.36

Weekly Total: $334.00

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