A Week in Albuquerque on a $60,000 Salary

Welcome to Spending Notes, where we do a weekly deep dive into how our readers spend their cash.

Today: a health care administrator who makes $60,000 a year

Occupation: health care administrator

Age: 36

Location: Albuquerque, NM

Salary: $60,000 (approx. $1,900 per pay period)

Day One


Working as a health care administrator, I tend to describe it as a role that involves the business operations of health care. I still talk to doctors and nurses, but I don’t really interact with patients. Instead, I prioritize health information and medical records and help things run smoothly. Today, I’m looking into a platform called iConnect-Online to streamline our GP training processes. I looked into the iConnect platform because it can include a video online course for trainees. They can set up their own accounts and get online access, which would be a big help. iConnect also records and stores any consultations using an app.

Total: $0

Day Two


Because I’m naturally resourceful, I’ve become the go-to person at work for pretty much anything. My coworker, Z., asked me whether I knew of a good electrician to get an electrical circuit upgrade in Albuquerque. I didn’t know off the top of my head, but I wanted to look into it. I found Wagner Mechanical, and they can add new outlets, upgrade electrical wiring, and check on circuit breakers. Z. is working remotely four days out of the week, which is why she needed some electrical work done. She and I went out for coffee after.

Total: $2.50

Day Three


I decided to have lunch out with coworkers today. We ordered pizza and split the bill. It was really nice to get out for lunch. We had a busy past couple of weeks and really needed some time away from the office. People bring all kinds of treats to the break room all the time, but leaving the office feels like a real break.

Total: $7

Day Four


It’s my day off and I’m hanging out with my best friend, J. We are planning to check out our local home goods store because we are really into candles. They sell them at a great price there, and we stock up every couple of months. So, this is an expense I make every single week. Candles are my favorite type of knickknack because they make a room feel cozy, and I like when my house smells good.

Total: $36

Day Five


I’m spending my day off at home. Sometimes, I end up scrolling through my phone for a couple of hours. Before I know it, the entire afternoon has passed. It’s fine, though. I still enjoy it because I feel relaxed. Plus, I got to use one of my new candles. I made dinner from a bunch of random ingredients instead of ordering food. I’d consider that an accomplishment.

Total: $0

Day Six


Woke up early so I could bring some donuts to the office! I feel like this is a really nice way to help everyone start off the week on the right foot. We take turns bringing something in once in a while just to liven up the place. I also brought a box of coffee for everyone. It’s a nice change from the coffee that comes out of the old machines in the break room.

Total: $38

Day Seven


It was a really busy day at work, and I decided to grab takeout on the way home from my favorite Chinese restaurant. I didn’t have any time to pick up groceries, and there weren’t any ingredients to scrounge up dinner. So, this was actually my best option to get a good meal.

Total: $13

Total for the week: $96.50