A Week In Denver, CO, On A Joint $454,000 Income

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Today: a kindergarten teacher with a combined income of $454,000 a year, who spends some of her money this week on socks.

Occupation: Kindergarten Teacher
Industry: Education
Age: 29
Location: Denver
My Salary: $49,000
My Husband’s Salary: $405,000
My Paycheck(2x/month): $1,500
My Husband’s Paycheck: $15,000
Gender Identity: Woman

Monthly Expenses
Mortgage: $3,600
Student Loans: $275
Car Payment: $1,000 for my used car (just trying to pay it off)
HOA: $300
Cell Phone: $100 (I send my parents money to be on their plan.)
Pure Barre: $170 (I go ~20x/month, so personally it’s worth it)
Book of the Month: $14.99
Doggy Daycare: $520 (she goes Monday-Friday when we’re at work. We feel guilty leaving her alone at home any longer than four hours. and she LOVES playing with her friends)
House Cleaner: $320 (twice a month)
Netflix: $11.99
Light Rail Pass: $114 (husband takes it to work)
Savings: We have combined finances. I need to be better about knowing the details about our savings and how my husband invests. I’ve always been a very passive, go-with-the-flow person, and my husband is way better than me at finances. I know we have ~$220,000 in our savings account, but I’m not sure how much in our stock portfolio.

5:45 a.m. — It’s Monday morning! We finally get up after pressing snooze twice. The dog is still snoring. I wash my face, put on makeup, and get dressed. Being a kindergarten teacher, my go-to work uniform is leggings and anything that covers my butt. I head downstairs, pack my meals for the day, and make coffee. I pack the same thing every. single. day. One hard-boiled egg and two pickle slices (Klaussen’s or nothing) for breakfast. A large salad consisting of lots of spinach, one bell pepper, one cucumber, red onion, and feta cheese and one tin of canned salmon for lunch. When I get to work, I put the salmon on top which acts as the dressing, too. My husband packs yogurt for breakfast (he has a work lunch) and the dog’s lunch. We’re out the door!

6:50 a.m. — I drop my husband at the train station right down the road from our house and the dog off at daycare. We already paid for this month’s train pass and daycare, so no expense. Then I head to work!

10:45 a.m. — I eat my lunch and chat with coworkers. The kids are crazy (though still sweet) today, so some quiet adult time is nice. I check my emails and eat half of my salad. It’s too big to eat in one sitting, so I always save the rest for my planning period.

4 p.m. — I leave work and head right to my barre class. I try to go five days a week. I decide to purchase some new sticky socks because they got some new ones in, and I’m a sucker. This is how they get you — they put the super cute merch in the front of the store! I can justify the socks because I use them so much. Barre is super hard (especially the thigh portion). Afterwards, I head to the Super Target close to home for dinner supplies: three bell peppers, ground turkey, cheddar cheese, and a yellow onion. I’m making turkey Sloppy Joe stuffed peppers! I have the rest of the ingredients I need already at home. After Target, I pick dog up and smother her with affection. $36.53

7:30 p.m. — Shower, make dinner, pick my husband up from the train. We eat dinner while watching an episode of The Office that we have seen a thousand times. I put leftovers away, do dishes, then we settle in to watch The Bachelor. My husband watches with me because he loves to make fun of it, but secretly he gets really into it. We head up to bed by 11.

Daily Total: $36.53

5:45 a.m. — I wake up and get ready. I pack my meals and dog’s lunch while my husband makes a smoothie. We recently invested in a Vitamix and have been loving smoothies. I don’t have time to make mine in the morning in addition to my other stuff, so I usually make one after work. I drop my husband and dog off and get to work by 7:20. We have a meeting at 7:30, and there are doughnuts, but I stay strong and resist!

10:45 a.m. — I eat my salad while perusing Teachers Pay Teachers for new math station ideas. I find an awesome bundle with lots of resources so I go ahead and buy it. I also see an email for a J.Crew sale, so I order a couple new tops for an upcoming trip, and I get free shipping! $41.25

4 p.m. — I head straight to barre, which kicks my butt per usual. On my way home, I pick up the dog. Once home, I go to our basement gym and run for three miles. I shower and then make a smoothie with strawberry, blueberry, pomegranate, and banana. I add vanilla Greek yogurt, oats, chia seeds, and almond milk. I then settle on the couch with my smoothie and Scandal. My husband has a fast-approaching deadline, so he informs me he won’t be home ’til midnight and will Uber home (expensed). Go to bed around 11.

Daily Total: $41.25

5:45 a.m. — I wake up and do my usual get-ready routine and pack my meals. I remember to grab the monster bag of sour gummy worms that I’ve been meaning to bring into work for a while. I like to randomly hand them out to students who are exceeding expectations. I have such an awesome class though, so I always go through treats pretty quickly. I drop my loves off at their respective spots and head to work!

4 p.m. — The day goes by quickly and I head to barre. There is a Chipotle right next to the studio, and it always smells AMAZING. We get Chipotle once or twice a week. I could write a book about my love of Chipotle, but I’ll spare you. I text my husband to see if he wants anything, but he’s going to have another late night and will get something near his office. I order a steak bowl with brown rice, extra pico, and extra cheese with chips and hot salsa. I pick up the dog and snuggle in the backseat for 15 minutes before driving home. $10.15

7 p.m. — After eating and showering, I absent-mindedly watch The Office while searching for flights Memorial Day Weekend for my sister’s graduation. I find a couple good options and send them to my husband, who agrees that both are good, and I can pick. The prices are decent, so I go for it! He Ubers home right after 11. We go to bed when he gets home. $520

Daily Total: $530.15

6 a.m. — I wake up a little late because my husband is dragging (understandably), and I miss him, so we snuggle and laugh lovingly at our dog’s sleep noises. We finally get up and get moving. We pack everything up, then I notice I’m on empty so I stop to get gas at the station right next to work. $32.55

10:45 a.m. — A perk of being a teacher (one of many) is that I don’t really get an opportunity to go "out" for lunch, which forces me to pack. It’s healthier and cheaper. I eat my lunch and chat with coworkers. This is my first year at this school and everyone has been really awesome and supportive. We recently had the Denver Teacher’s Strike, which I feel has made us even closer.

4 p.m. — Leave work and go right to barre. After barre, I stop and get a bottle of wine and some assorted cheeses for Book Club tonight! We just read No Exit by Taylor Adams. Talk about a thrilling thriller! Especially living right next to the Rockies, it sufficiently creeped me out, and I made my husband promise me we’ll never get stranded in a rest stop. I pick up the dog, rush home to shower, and head to my friend’s home, who loves our dog and invites her to come, too. We talk about the book for about 20 minutes then socialize and talk about all sorts of things. There’s 12 of us, and we meet once a month. It’s always a good time! By the time I get home, it’s 9, and my husband is home! Yay! An "early" night! We spend some time together and are in bed by midnight. $37.13

Daily Total: $69.68

5:45 a.m. — It’s Friday! I looooove Fridays for the obvious reason, but also because we celebrate "fun Fridays" at school, which includes dance parties and treasure chests. Enough said.

3:30 p.m. — I leave work as soon as the bell rings because we’re going skiing and staying at a friend’s mountain house and I have lots to do! I stop at Target and get all sorts of snacks and breakfast foods. Then, I head to the liquor store and get all sorts of alcohol. I always feel like I have to go overboard when staying for free with friends to repay their generosity. I go pick up the dog then head home to shower and pack. $167

6 p.m. — My husband gets home, packs quickly (why are men often so much faster at this task?), and puts the skis on top of the car. We’re off! It takes an hour and a half to get to their house, which is nestled between lots of good skiing options, but we meet up with the group at a brewery next to the house. I order chicken tortilla soup to start and a french dip sandwich with fries. My husband orders a bacon cheeseburger with fries, and we both order three rounds of drinks. We head back to the house with the group and chat a bit. I take dog out to go to the bathroom and she loves it out here in the mountains because smells galore. We’re in bed by 1. $136.22

Daily Total: $303.22

5 a.m. — We’re up early and ready to ski! I make coffee for the house and start making bacon and sausage. I set out yogurt, fruit, and granola, along with cereal and milk (give the people options!). People start waking up and coming down. We discuss where we want to ski today. We all have passes that allow us to ski at multiple locations. We settle on Vail, which is my favorite because it’s only 10 minutes away and has awesome restaurants and shops. Everyone gets dressed and ready to go!

8 a.m. — Instead of taking five cars, we carpool and take two. We don’t drive, so we foot the bill for parking as a token of our appreciation. We unload and put on our gear. I rent a locker, so I can keep my book in it while I ski, and read it when I’m done because I always finish before everyone else. $30

12 p.m. — I’m not an all-day skier. In fact, skiing is not my favorite, but my husband loves it and he wants me to love it too so I try! The thing is that I have no intention of ever going beyond the green hills, and my husband skis blacks with the group. But still, it’s gorgeous, and I love the views as I casually make it down the bunny hills. I’m done by noon and go back to my locker to get my book. I post up at a restaurant with awesome views. I order a Bloody Mary and grilled cheese and read my new book, The German Girl by Armando Correa. I order another Bloody Mary then head to the Smart Wool store and purchase two pairs of wool socks — soooo comfy. $108

3 p.m. — I meet up with the group then we head back to the house. The dog was staying back with a friend who doesn’t ski. She greets us with the purest love in all existence. I sit in the hot tub with the girls, and we chat for a half hour then shower and eat snacks. I cozy up to my husband by the fire. I’ve missed him all week with the long hours, and it’s so nice to see him in his happy place (the mountains). We discuss dinner plans and settle on a Mexican place down the street. I order chicken enchiladas and two margaritas. My husband orders the same enchiladas and three beers. I was a server all through college, so always tip at least 20%. I hated serving while I was doing it, but I’m so grateful for the experience. $110

9 p.m. — We get back to the house and play Monopoly and drink and eat snacks. I love mountain weekends. In bed by 1.

Daily Total: $248

8 a.m. — We’re not skiing today because husband has some work to do back home, so we sleep in. The others have already left. We pack up and hit the road. I Venmo our hosts for our part of the cleaning fee. $35

11 a.m. — We get home, and my husband heads to his home office to work. I head to Target for the week’s shopping. We eat a lot of produce, so that is usually the bulk of the expense. I get six cartons of strawberries, blueberries, and pomegranates for smoothies, enough spinach, peppers, onions, and cucumbers for my salads, a carton of eggs, granola, yogurt, almond milk, canned salmon, chicken breasts, lemon and lime La Croix, broccoli, chocolate Cheerios, and popcorn (the best snacks). I pick up a copy of Where the Crawdads Sing, which I hear is phenomenal. I go home, unpack everything, and boil my eggs for the week. $220

2 p.m. — My husband takes a break, and we take the dog on a long walk then play ball. She could play fetch for hours. My husband works a little more and I run four miles on the treadmill. I head to barre at 4:30. I make then chicken and broccoli when I get home and we watch True Detective for the rest of the night.

Daily Total: $255

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