A Week In Aiken County, South Carolina, On A $113,000 Joint Income

5 a.m. — My husband, K., wakes me up to have coffee together on the front porch. We bought an espresso machine as a housewarming gift to ourselves when we moved in last year. I make us both a double-shot almond milk latte, with a little bit of caramel macchiato coffee cream. After coffee I go upstairs, take a body shower, do my hair and makeup, get dressed, and by the time I'm downstairs, K. has our daughter, G., dressed and her lunch and backpack ready. We are out the door by 8 a.m. and make it to her school at 8:20 a.m. I stop by Starbucks on my way in and get a shaken iced espresso with six shots (I'm tired, and I have a busy day ahead), egg-white egg bites, and a protein bistro box for lunch ($18.04). I reload my card with $20. $38.04Advertisement12 p.m. — Apparently, I'm in the holiday spirit, because on my lunch break I meet a woman downtown to get an LOL Doll House for my daughter ($20, thank God for Facebook Marketplace). And when I get back to work, I buy $51.14 of miscellaneous LOL Doll toys for my daughter's Christmas presents. We have a $500 budget for her Christmas, and this year she will only talk about LOL Dolls. Then I finally take the plunge and buy the 7.5-foot Christmas tree I've had in my cart at Wayfair, for $94.65. $165.797:30 p.m. — I leave work. I had three tours today and hosted a party. My social battery has died, and I realise I'm starving! I do a curbside order and get a grilled chicken sandwich, diet Dr. Pepper, and fries. K. asked me to pick him up a spicy sandwich meal, and I get G. a side of mac 'n' cheese. I stop by K.'s aunt's house to pick up G. G. and I cuddle. She's already eaten and wants to go home. I talk with family for a while, and we make our way home. I get home and realise my social battery isn't just dead — I feel sick. I take a bath, and G. comes in with her toys to play. She winds up getting in the bath, and I ask K. to finish washing her up while I go lie down. I fall asleep immediately. $25.89Daily Total: $229.72Advertisement8 a.m. — I get up, still not feeling great. G. wakes K. and me up, and we eventually head downstairs. I feed our dog, who immediately jumps on me. He and I run a couple days a week, and I can tell he wants to go. He's a great dog and he is so patient with our daughter, but he is still a puppy and has so much energy. I get dressed and do my makeup while K. turns on a movie for G. and makes her breakfast. I leave and head straight to Starbucks for a triple-shot almond milk pumpkin spice latte. I then get a breakfast sandwich and hash browns from Chick-fil-A ($5.83 — the company's views do not align with mine, but I'm starving... don't come for me). $13.301 p.m. — Work is slow today, but I have a lot of paperwork to get caught up on, as well as working on my yearly budget. I know this afternoon will be chaotic, because we have a large dinner. The club generally cooks lunch for everyone. I get sausage and penne marinara pasta and a diet Coke ($0, yess!). Our chef is fantastic. I check in with K. to see how he and G. are doing on their "daddy-daughter day." I see that a family friend's daughter started a GoFundMe for her unexpected medical bills. I contribute $200 from our tithing account. $200Daily Total: $213.309 a.m. — All three of us get up and get ready for church. K. and I have coffee, and I cut up strawberries and grapes for G.'s breakfast. I make bacon, egg, and cheese bites and have plenty left over for the week. I let G. pick out her outfit, and she decides on a cute dress with her Vans. K. and I get dressed and drive the 40 minutes to church. Afterwards, we take G. home for a nap, and I head to Target to get shampoo, conditioner, laundry detergent, water, and nail polish ($56.88). I find the LOL Dolls movie set, with all the characters G. has been obsessed with, on clearance for $30 off ($100). $156.88Advertisement3 p.m. — I go to Final Cut with my best friend, O., while G. and K. are watching movies. O. and I look through all the Anthropologie and Urban Outfitters overstock, and I decide on a jean jumpsuit, a puzzle and an evil eye rug for my little sister as a Christmas gift, and a really cute pair of blue light–blocking glasses ($27). O. and I get Mexican food after, and we each order a margarita ($13.50). Neither of us drinks that much, and when she's about halfway done, she realises she's getting a little tipsy. I give her the rest of my drink, and after we leave, we stop by a local dessert place for cheesecake (her treat). I order key lime pie with raspberry drizzle. I get home around 7 p.m., and K. has made pork ramen. I add in a hard-boiled egg for extra protein. We give G. a bath and tuck her in our bed, because sometimes it's easier and I sleep better with her next to me. $40.50Daily Total: $197.388 a.m. — G. and I go downstairs to let K. sleep in. I take our dog out and make G. a breakfast of grapes, yoghurt, and a peanut butter toast. I make my latte and an açai bowl with strawberries and blueberries, and drizzle natural peanut butter on top. I put on Daniel Tiger and scroll on my phone until K. wakes up. K. and I chat until I get dressed and drive down to a park to take our dog for a run. We do about three miles and stop at the dog park. He loves playing on the agility equipment. After, we go to Starbucks for a pumpkin cold brew and a pup cup. I get home, and G. and I play outside while K. gets some work done. We come in for lunch, and I lay G. down for a nap. While she sleeps, I start the laundry, fold the piles of laundry in my bedroom, and start cleaning the master bedroom bathroom. $5.55Advertisement3 p.m. — G. wakes up from her nap. While she was asleep, I cleaned the kitchen and went through our fridge. I have my grocery list and ask K. if he wants to come shopping with me, and to my surprise he says yes. K. is a homebody, but also has severe depression. It's been this way for a while, and he speaks weekly with a therapist and takes medication, but there are times when he won't leave the house for weeks. All three of us head to Walmart, and I pick up the essentials: peanut butter, coffee beans, almond milk, strawberries, grapes, apples, cucumbers, dog food, juice, bread, lunch meat, string cheese, crackers, fruit pouches, yoghurt pouches, White Claw, meatballs, M&M's (G.'s favorite treat), blueberries, bacon, eggs, and shredded cheese. After we get home, K. cooks chicken and throws it into the leftover pork ramen, and he and I eat that while G. has a chicken breast with blueberries and juice. We watch Hocus Pocus as a family, and G. loves it! Then we give her a bath, and we all head to bed around 9. $120.28Daily Total: $125.834 a.m. — I can't sleep, so I get out of bed and make myself some coffee. I do a Pilates YouTube video workout. I journal and meditate, look down at my phone, and realise it's only 5 a.m. Dammit. I take a shower, and K. comes downstairs for coffee. We do a short Bible study reflection and get ready for the day. G. wakes up, and we make her breakfast. I do my hair and makeup, get dressed, and take G. to school. K. has a busy day of conference calls. I fill up my car on the way to work. $30.98Advertisement5 p.m. — I pick G. up from school after a crazy day of work. I have a therapy appointment at 7 p.m. over FaceTime. I make G. and K. mac 'n' cheese for dinner, and give G. a bath before I start my appointment. I take my therapy call from my car and come back inside around 8 p.m. I read G. a book and tuck her in. K. and I stay up and talk while I sip on a White Claw and he drinks a hard cider. We begin watching Squid Game, and fall asleep around 10.Daily Total: $34.285 a.m. — K. wakes me up. I wash my hair and style it, which takes about an hour (this is why I only do it twice a week, MAX). After, K. and I have coffee, and G. wakes up. K. makes her lunch while I get her dressed and get ready for the day as well. I leave early enough to drop G. off at school and get Starbucks. I order an iced shaken espresso with four shots (paid with my app), and then eat the egg bites I made earlier in the week. I reload my app with $20. $201 p.m. — I stop by Target for an afternoon pick-me-up. Work has been super busy, so I treat myself to a bag of SmartSweets Sour Blasts and grab a sugar-free Red Bull. $7.015 p.m. — After I finish work, I pick G. up and meet K. at my MIL's house. K. and I go out on a date and get Mexican food. I have fajita nachos, and K. has a burrito. After, we head to Bible study and see a few of our good friends there. We finish around 8 p.m. and pick up G., who has toys strewn throughout my MIL's house. We all head home and are in bed by 9 p.m. $36.99AdvertisementDaily Total: $64

A Week In Aiken County, South Carolina, On A 3,000 Joint Income