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MR Money Diaries: Amelia Chronicled Her Spending for a Week

It was painful, terrible and shameful

07.12.16

In partnership with Nina Ricci

I went through a lowkey pyro phase when I was in eighth grade. I’d slice candle flames with my hand and let matches singe down a bit too close to my finger tips. So many marshmallows became charred casualties of my fascination. In one instance, following a fight with my parents over something stupid, I locked my door, blasted the Misfits (I WAS SO PUNK ROCK!!!) and lit a tissue on fire. Just because. To see what would happen. To watch it turn brown and crumple into itself and give myself a reason to fear pre-teen girls later in life.

Then it burned my thumb and I dropped it into the trashcan. A small fire started, the alarm went off and thus began a whole hullabaloo about how I lost my candle privileges and was I out of my mind, etc. Whatever.

But it did scare me enough to cool it with the pyro stuff for good — or so I thought. In the five day span spent chronicling my spending habits just as Leandra and Haley did before me, I realized that even more than tissues and marshmallows and almost-homes, I just love setting money on fire.

Let’s start with Monday, as most weeks do.

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My two worst traits, without a doubt, are my consistent tardiness and Uber habits. Both are directly related to a third pretty bad but not uncommon trait, which is that I try to fit too much into tiny time windows. There is an alarming disconnect in my brain between what I think I can do (three activities plus some work before 9 AM), what I agree to do, and what I KNOW will be the actual, often-stressful if not disastrous outcome.

This means I am always late. Because I am always late, I take Ubers to help speed things up. Because of both, I live with a constant whisper of guilt.

Also, Topshoo = Topshop!

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I am one of the few people on the planet who isn’t motivated to attend a workout class by fearing the late-cancel fee that most gyms threaten. I feel awful and terrible and wasteful after I decide to bail, but that doesn’t give me my money back, does it?

More than just tracking my spending, by the way, this project is turning out to be quite the introspective look at my more negative self! One more moan, though: Haley is so much better at emojis than I am. 🙁

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HAD I NOT had to Venmo my friend for an imminent vacation bike rental — one that meant a bike with a basket was mine for a week (worth it) — this day would have been pretty redeeming. Also, I hate salad so much just so everyone knows.

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This was the second dinner that a friend bought me this week. Somehow these good people haven’t realized yet that I am a walking blob fish of financial irresponsibility and therefore have yet to disassociate themselves with me. Bless them.

Although, this may “out” me.

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I actually don’t even want to talk about this day.

Except I have to say this: I know lashes are a superficial, superfluous thing to spend money on and that I am beyond lucky (is that word annoying to anyone else?) that I can afford to whine about being broke because of eye-wigs. Being able to live above your means and then scrambling to fix your mess by eating Baby Bell cheese snacks and hitchhiking around town come every bill cycle is 100% a privilege that does not go over my head. But I don’t sleep a lot. I’m a pretty stressed out person glued to my phone and email and computer 24/7. Even at the gym, I attend to my phone like a whiny Tamagotchi.

When I get my eyelashes done, it is the ONLY TIME I get to “unplug.” And it costs me $200 once a month. So I consider it therapy.

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Amelia. Shit’s so dire that we’re writing in royal-we third person right now: This is serious. We have to have a talk.

Photographed by Krista Anna Lewis. Pink bag by Nina Ricci.

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Get more Collaborations ?
  • I nearly lol’d at work at Topshoo-Topshop b/c I totally wondered if Topshoo is some new funky brand only Man Repeller knows about

    • Amelia Diamond

      No joke: there’s something wrong with my fingertips that makes typing on my phone REALLY hard. I almost never ever ever text or phone-type without it looking like I’m drunk.

    • Aydan

      Vetements 2.34 = Topshoo

  • ReadER451

    “There is an alarming disconnect in my brain between what I think I can do (three activities plus some work before 9 AM), what I agree to do, and what I KNOW will be the actual, often-stressful if not disastrous outcome.”

    THIS IS MY LIFE, AMELIA. Though I prefer to describe it as ambitious…

    • Mariana

      Mine too! Actually I am normally an anxious person but in terms of time management I am very positive when I’m designing a scheduled because I forget to include the time I will spend procrastinating lol

  • Autumn

    So I’m totally gonna be a dick and call you out for not including the cost of two cab rides on your Wednesday. BUT, you miscalculated Monday and actually came in $10 less that day. So we’ll call it even…?
    Ok I’m done being OCD now. Love you, mean it! 🙂

    • I was thinking it might have been paid for b/c it’s job related? Not out of pocket?

      • That was my guess. I used car service/petty cash to transport clothes I photographed for different stores in NYC

        • Amelia Diamond

          Oh I actually just legit cannot do math. I like I scored a 50 on my SATS? It’s also very telling of how I calculate spending in my own brain i.e., “…that didn’t count.” Like holiday, birthday, weekend and hungover calories.

  • I would have never asked anyone how much they spend in a week b/c “Nun ya beeswax” but ive admired the honesty and really appreciate these posts.

  • Two things 1) Research shows that people who are perpetually late are generally more optimistic… i.e. always thinking of best-case scenarios which would allow them to do more than there’s time for. 2) If you are not taking the standard deduction on your taxes or getting these expenses reimbursed by your employer (i.e. MR), you should be able to get a tax-deduction on all of your work-related transportation expenses. Check with an accountant, these Uber bills are cray cray.

    • Amelia Diamond

      1) YAY 2) My accountant said no 🙁

  • Ashley

    Your emojis weren’t *that* bad

    • Amelia Diamond

      THANK YOU

  • Zoe Penina Baker

    Mildly comforted to see someone else with an Uber-everywhere attitude even though it’s totally ridiculous (I have an unlimited Metrocard too- it’s just my feet, the heat, not watching everyone’s dirty lil toes in flip-flops so close to the subway floor…) Question though: Do cabs you take for work and props for photoshoots really count as expenses? I try to take my reimbursements off my weekly spending accounts.

    • Amelia Diamond

      We get reimbursed, but I think it’s more how I carelessly hand off my card without even thinking of it, like it’s all play money, then wonder why there’s less in my account than I thought and why I’m stressing and panicking and always feel broke…

  • so jealous of the two free dinners!!!!!! lol @ “this is not why i waxed” i need to try this. i really appreciate the honesty here, this seems frightening

    • Amelia Diamond

      I have PTSD reading it especially because I think it got worse

  • Andrea Raymer

    Amelia, my brother went through a childhood pyro phase as well and he lit our carpet on fire when he dropped a burning napkin as he was walking from the living room to the kitchen.

    He, too lost his candle privileges but then moved on to knives, their were chunks cut out of most of our rugs circa 2002 and there are still notches that he cut in the rubber handles on the back of the seats in our minivan.

    • Amelia Diamond

      Oh I lost my knives and scissor privileges years before the pyro phase because I cut our whole couch up. Looked like Steve Carrell’s post-wax chest hair in 40 Year Old Version. PS YOU ARE WANTED IN AISLE BACHELORETTE.

      • Andrea Raymer

        our couch had holes as well because my brother would make his own bow and arrows and use the couch/throw pillows as a target.

  • Emma

    Love this post! Getting an inside view at other peoples lives is so interesting sometimes! x

    https://dreamingoffithavenue.wordpress.com

  • Fran

    It feels great to know I’m not the only one with a lateness-lazyness-Uber problem! I really need to stop but it’s so easy and comfy and you get to chat with the drivers and ugh ? there goes my money!

    • Amelia Diamond

      I just like to be silent and charge my phone and email in ubers…idk..it’s an AWFUL HABIT LET’S STOP!!

      • Aydan

        for me its car2go, which is only slightly cheaper, but much more at my finger tips (aka grab a car WHEREEVER and WHENEVER!!!) and I’ve gotten to the point where I’ve gotten so many parking tickets via them (thanks downtown) that I actually had to spend hundredSSSSS last month to pay off the parking tickets…ahhhh the ease of these ride share/car share apps…

        • Amelia Diamond

          Omg I do not miss parking tickets. MY LIFE in college.

  • Mariana

    Transportation to and from photo shoot (and other work related travels) are paid by the company, right? That shouldn’t be here so you can feel a little better about that 😀 (half full glass theory right there)

    • Amelia Diamond

      True

  • Jennifer

    Yikes! $200 a month on eye wigs!
    I spend $80 on the initial full set, and then $50 for a refill about 2.5-3 weeks later. I found my eye lash guru on Instagram, and although she works out of her 2 bedroom apartment here in LA, she does a great job.
    You have some fancy eye last extensions, Amelia!

    • Amelia Diamond

      Holy crap don’t tell me this it further nails my guilt into my pores

  • Domeness

    Same here! And it seems endless for the rest of my life! (crying all over) BTW, cheers for sharing!

  • Michaela Williams

    “I’m a pretty stressed out person glued to my phone and email and computer 24/7. Even at the gym, I attend to my phone like a whiny Tamagotchi.” Amen, sista. I work at a high-pressure PR firm and am basically not allowed to be away from my phone unless I’m out of the country on vacation (so probs once a year) and can totally relate to feeling like you ‘deserve’ to treat yo self because you work hard. Also, in the past couple of years I’ve realized that my brain does not compute multiple costs on-the-go for some reason. I’m that person who gets to the checkout counter and is SHOCKED by the total of the items I’m purchasing.

    • Amelia Diamond

      “I’m that person who gets to the checkout counter and is SHOCKED by the total of the items I’m purchasing.” – YUP. Then I turn into my dad and shout things like, “TEN DOLLARS FOR A SANDWICH!!?!?”

      • Michaela Williams

        Yes!! Also, I got a $1,000 from a generous family member for high school graduation, spent the majority of it in about a two-hour span at the mall and then sat crying after I balanced my checkbook (2004, people) and realized it was all but gone. I was sure I had only spent a couple hundred dollars.

    • kellymcd

      “I’m that person who gets to the checkout counter and is SHOCKED by the total of the items I’m purchasing.”

      Or as I call it “making a quick trip to Target”.

      • Michaela Williams

        This has happened at Target a trillion times.

  • Natalie

    Ugh totally relate on the late/taking Uber problem. And also totally agree with your distraught wax emoji.

    • Amelia Diamond

      that’s what that emoji was made for, right

  • nicole dinapoli

    Guys, this whole series inspired me to log on a day to day basis what I spend. Even on a low key week I am efffffffffing blown away from the amount of money I spend. No wonder I am constantly surprised by my bank account ????. Nonetheless, thank you for this amazing idea to write down what I actually spend because holy shitake mushrooms do I need to get it together. Gracias chicas.

    • Amelia Diamond

      It REALLY is a good idea to write it down, I’m trying to keep it up now. makes you go, “ok but do I reallyyyy need that X?”

  • aspiringsocialite

    Oh gosh! I wouldn’t even want to know how much I spend.

    xo,
    Vicky
    http://www.aspiringsocialite.com/

  • Molly O

    PawPaw Represent!!!

    • Amelia Diamond

      the best!

  • Michela Galante

    uber kills :((((

  • Kelly

    I love reading these, but I am way too scared to do my own.
    I want to live in denial!

    • kellymcd

      My exact thoughts after reading Amelia, Leandra and Haley’s reports

    • lily

      same as hell

  • this was one of the funniest posts ever written in all of humanity. Linking your pyro teen self to burning money? Genius.

  • I ride a “bike with a basket” every day to/from/at school at UCSB. ? It is everything you think it would be.

    Go gauchos

    • kellymcd

      Fellow Gaucho here. My bike (with a basket) was the best form of transportation everrrr

  • kforkarli

    I like that you posted this despite your embarrassment. I think THAT would be an interesting MR article – are you justifying your spending because it is being documented for the world or do we feel a need to justify the things we want vs what we need? I mean, I would say I was feeling much sicker than I did this morning if people knew I bought a juice AS well as my morning coffee today. Last week I bought my best friend a sweatshirt/jumper and lipgloss for her birthday but then bought myself both items – zero logic but I wanted them so I bought them..

    • Amelia Diamond

      I think we try to justify any spending we don’t “NEED” right? !!

  • Senka

    This was relatable, even though I don’t live in insanely expensive NY city. As another, perpetually late Taurus ( who also loves to wear heels and crazy shoes, and more often than not can’t properly walk longer distances) I spend way too much money on cab rides. I also spend too much on eating out, simply because it’s easier. The things is, I could avoid it easily. When we’re about to dish 200 or 500 dollars or euros on something, we think about it quite a bit, but when we spend it gradually on small, everyday, yet expensive stuff, we just spend it without a blink. Which means that, if I was more frugal I may be able to invest into more highly impractical footwear.

  • Mun
  • Maria

    I hate salad too. So I never have it. Ever. It ruins the whole meal for me and I end up craving something really comforting after. I take my vegetables in soup form or any other soft, warm one.

  • Chancy

    Not going to lie, after reading this I feel like Amelia and I could be close to the same person. Being charged for missing a workout class doesn’t scare me even though the reason I usually miss workout classes is my terrible time management skills!

    • Amelia Diamond

      SOMEONE SAVE US FROM OURSELVES

  • lily

    MY #1 MONEY WASTER IS UBER. I OWN A CAR. WYD @ ME ?

  • Amelia

    “eye-wigs” made me lol 😀

  • Gina Fuchs

    amelia

  • Emelia

    Can I not count or does Monday total $81 and not $91?

  • hheh

    I loved reading this. I would hate to see what mine looks like.

  • Just when you thought you couldn’t love Amelia more. You are living my life basically, bad habits and all (minus lashes bc I’m both low maintenance and #blessed, and minus cab/uber habit bc my part of Cape Town is actually drive-able). I have become so aware of my spending in denial though. Every month is the month I will “really take control.” Some things I’m actually doing though:
    – All transactions over R100 (that’s rands) = sms from my bank stating how much I just spent and what’s left in my account
    – not-so-new-anymore job offers a steep discount on the most popular satellite tv provider (US equivalent = cable?). I was about to switch to Netflix or Showmax (local netflix rip off) but I think I’ll stay.

    My explanatory brackets are annoying, I know (can’t help it)

  • b_rose96

    Sadly I can relate, I’ve thought about doing a money diary for a week but I’m too scared!!