A Week in Chicago on a $45,000 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 front desk agent who makes $45,000 a year in Chicago, Illinois, lets us into her week’s expenses.

Occupation: Front Desk Agent

Age: 27

Location: Chicago, Illinois, U.S.

Salary: $45,000 (approx. $1,600 per pay period)

Day One


My Mondays begin with a lot of checkouts. What I do not expect, however, is to check in the real estate mogul David Lindahl. Coincidentally, I have been looking for ways to get into the real estate business, and his name has been on my mind for a while. I even have his book Multifamily Millions, so I think this was the sign I needed to move into real estate. I got him the best room in the hotel, and I thanked him for his knowledge. I’m going to celebrate this day by buying myself overpriced yet delicious ice cream from my hotel’s shop.

Total: $8.64

Day Two


Today at work, there is a conference for investors, and I’ll have to provide service to many different companies, including the gold mining organization, Alamos Gold. The staff from Alamo School was very kind and provided me with information regarding their business. I did not know that gold mining companies could be sustainable for the environment. They explained how they have a very diverse profile with multiple gold mines in North America, including the Young-Davidson, Mulatos, and Island Gold mines. I just finished checking them in, and they are now walking to their rooms. I recently started investing, so I’m going to invest a little in their company to help with the cause.

Total: $100.00

Day Three


After a long day of helping people with their rooms and amenities, it’s time to go home, eat something, and enjoy the rest of the day. I usually get out of work early in the morning because I work the night shift, so I end up sleeping and waking up around noon. Tonight, I’m ordering a sound machine to help me sleep like a baby because it’s been tough having to readjust my schedule to fit my job.

Total: $65.34

Day Four


As the weekend approaches, I begin to get more tired each day. So today, I’m treating myself to a spa day before leaving for work. I call my best friend G., and we meet at the local salon to get a deep tissue massage.

Total: $34.76

Day Five


I’m finally on my last shift of the week, and I couldn’t be any happier. It’s been a pretty tough week at work because, for some reason, we’re getting really rude customers. Today, my boss let me go early, so I’m sleeping a little longer today, thankfully. I ordered some takeout and am picking it up right now.

Total: $14.98

Day Six


It’s Saturday, and I’m looking to get my hair done, so I’m visiting the salon again and asking for a cute-layered cut. I’m also getting highlights, and right now, I’m falling asleep as they wash my hair. I’m finally done for the day. My hair looks super cute, and I’m ready to go home and relax in the comfort of my couch.

Total: $45.33

Day Seven


It’s Sunday, and although I’m not ready to go back to work, I am taking care of my home by cleaning, polishing my furniture, and redecorating my bedroom. I added a couple of trinkets and ordered some more from a local vintage shop. My house’s design is always evolving into something else as my styles change throughout the years, and so it seems that this year, it’s all about vintage decor for me.

Total: $21.44

Total for the week: $290.49


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