Welcome to Spending Notes, where we do a weekly deep dive into how our readers spend their cash.
Today: a housekeeper who makes $25,000
Location: Louisville, KY
Salary: $25,000 (approx. $961.54 per pay period)
My job title may be “housekeeper,” but I have many different roles in a day. Today, one of these is that of an HVAC technician! While working at one client’s home, I noticed that their cooling and heating system seemed to be fluctuating for no apparent reason. I know that this is one of the signs you need to replace your thermostat in your Louisville, KY, home, so I let the homeowner know they might want a technician to come and take a look at their air conditioner and furnace. Once we’ve finished discussing their HVAC system, I head home and pay the babysitter for her time.
I’m working a later shift today, so I eat breakfast with my daughter, A., before taking her to my mom’s for the afternoon. Then, I stop at home to replace my peel and stick nail polish (who has time for the dry time and effort that comes with standard nail polish?) and change before heading to my client’s home. I stop for a bottle of water on the way, as it’s hot today—if the air conditioner isn’t working correctly again, I’ll be grateful for the drink.
A. stayed at Mom’s house last night because I’m working a double today. So, after back-to-back shifts, I go to pick her up, thanking Mom for watching her. Mom says A. was an angel, so I can’t help but say yes when she asks for McDonald’s. I stick to the value menu myself but treat her to a kid’s meal.
I have a rare day off today and really should be cleaning my own home. I get through some laundry and dishes first thing in the morning, but it doesn’t last once A. wakes up. I rarely get to spend a lot of time with her, so I cherish afternoons like these. We play with some of her stuffed animals and split a pizza for dinner, watching a Disney movie until it’s time for bed.
My uncle, J., offered to take A. on a nature walk today, so he picks her up first thing in the morning. After, I savor a cup of coffee before heading to work. I’m delighted to find that my primary client fixed their AC unit, so it’s not too rough a workday, all things considered.
It’s A.’s birthday today, and I’ve decided to do something special. She’s been asking for a puppy for years now, and I’ve saved the money to cover an adoption fee and the upfront costs. So we head to the local animal shelter, where we meet so many cute pups that I’m convinced she’ll want them all. Much to my surprise, she settles on a tiny, fluffy dog, who’s sitting quietly in the corner while the others vie for our attention. She names the pooch E. after a favorite character, and we bring the little fluff-ball home.
Today’s top priority is grocery shopping. Thankfully, my long-time friend B. can watch A. and E. while I get us stocked for the week. I pick up some easy snacks and meals, plus some extra food for E. We might not live luxuriously, but we’ve always got food in our bellies—even if those bellies are close to the ground.
Total for the week: $354