Weekend Money Diary #1: The Best Bread Ever, French DJs, and Foosball

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Peace out, work. I’m seeing Mr. Boyfriend this weekend!!

I run home for a quick bite and my suitcase. On the way, I pick up cranberry walnut bread from the neighborhood bakery. Happiness! $4.95

At home, leftovers consist of two tablespoons of brown rice. I ask Mr. Boyfriend to save food for me. I then casually eat half the cranberry walnut bread. Oops.


I didn’t miss my train! I share a table with a yellow-jacketed man.

I sprawl out, laptop open, “Toi Et Moi” on repeat. I look at my Spotify history—“L’escalier,” “Aqualand”—and wonder if I was a French DJ in a past life.


Yellow jacket is asleep and occasionally kicks me. Mr. Boyfriend asks if we should grab dinner with friends tomorrow. Sure.

I’m looking at rice cookers on Amazon. I love my Instant Pot, but I often use it for things that aren’t rice. What if I want to cook rice and chili at the same time?

I come up with a list of criteria:

  1. Cooks rice well
  2. Is compact
  3. Is durable
  4. Is under $50

Option #1 is Amazon’s Choice—my old rice cooker. I trashed it because the lid snapped in half.

Option #2 is a best seller for $15. It looks cheap. I search for negative reviews, which mention plastic smells and fake power buttons.

Option #3 is what my parents have. I remember liking it. But $125?

I’ll stick with my Instant Pot for now.


Yellow jacket left for New Haven. I, meanwhile, am a potato.

I’m reading about travel hacking. Did you know that Amtrak points can be cheaper than Amtrak tickets?

I finish the water I brought on board. There’s 1.5 hours left, so I buy a bottle from the café. $2.75


Mr. Boyfriend meets me at South Station. We hug, then split a Lyft. $5.90

We share a car with two girls. They talk about their dream homes. One girl doesn’t like New York because New Yorkers seem sad.

Our driver steers with one hand and straddles two lanes. It makes me want to avoid Lyfts for the rest of the weekend.

At home, I eat mac and cheese and pass out.

Friday Total: $13.60



I start my day with cranberry walnut bread.

Since we’re lazy, we decide to brunch in Cambridge. We take an Uber because it’s not Lyft. $4.15

I order the “Ultimate Omelet” because I’m a growing boy. I also order coffee because caffeine is an essential nutrient. $15.50

Mr. Boyfriend is having a quarter-life crisis. He doesn’t know if he should stay in academia.

We talk about living together one day. We’d like to host events with friends.

But Mr. Boyfriend needs to find a job in NYC. And I need to come out to my parents.


We’re heading to 1369 Coffee House for a study date. But first, free H-Mart samples.

We score gyoza, bulgogi, dukboki, and Japanese cheesecake. Yum. Don’t mind that we literally just came from brunch.

At 1369, I buy one cup of coffee. $2.15

We really love coffee

Mr. Boyfriend analyzes data for work. I shop for an NYC Lasik doctor.

One doc seems great if I ignore the $7.5 million lawsuit.

I like another guy, who’s also the most expensive—over $3,000 an eye. But my eyes are worth it, right?


Dinner’s at Vinny’s at Night, and we have 15 minutes to get there. Oops. We call an Uber. $1.87

We spent all afternoon in a coffee shop, and that makes me so happy. When I retire, I just want to write, drink coffee, and hold Mr. Boyfriend’s hand.

Bill* just turned 30, and this is one of many birthday dinners.

I order fusilli, and Mr. Boyfriend orders gnocchi. The others order lamb, rabbit, mussels, calamari, more pasta, and red wine. We split the check evenly because friends are expensive. $33.00

Someone talks about friends flying first-class to the Philippines. “They seem to have it all figured out,” he says. “Maybe the secret is just a lot of money.”

*not his real name


People picked Vinny’s at Night because it was close to Lucky Strike. It is close. A highway just blocks the way.

A friend calls an Uber and says to not worry about it.

There’s a bouncer in front of Lucky Strike. A bouncer for a bowling alley—that’s new. He bends my very real driver’s license and doesn’t think it’s me.

We enter, and 35 people are waiting for Bill inside. Surprise!

Turns out that Lucky Strike is an adult Chuck E. Cheese with bowling lanes attached. I’m content to walk around, but Mr. Boyfriend buys an arcade card.

We find a hockey game that’s like foosball on steroids. We play one game, then another. Soon we’ve played five times.

Hehe, I won four times

There’s also four-way air hockey, which is uncomfortably intense. It involves two pucks at the same time!

We somehow spend three full hours at Lucky Strike. We Uber home and call it a night. $5.00

Saturday Total: $61.67



We suck at waking up. That, and the clock moved forward one hour.

I lugged laundry 200 miles to Boston because, um, it’s free. We take care of that. Laundry’s in building. No carrying clothes through snow. What a concept!

The clothes dry, and I finish the cranberry walnut bread. Mr. Boyfriend maybe had three bites.

Mr. Boyfriend and I want to make sundubu. But we have nothing in the house, and my train’s at 5:30. Next weekend.

We go through nearby options—Taiwanese, fried chicken, vegan. We just went to Taipei, and I want healthy food. Vegan it is.

Mr. Boyfriend has friends in his building, and they’re about to head out. We tag along because they have a car.


Life Alive is more of a café than a restaurant. At the counter, we order coffee, noodles, and rice to share. $13.11

Mr. Boyfriend forgets that we’re at Life Alive and looks for milk. Silly boyfriend. There’s only oat milk.

We find seats and people-watch. There are BU students with laptops. There’s a girl complaining about grad school. There’s a hunky Asian man with broad shoulders. Sadly, he is straight.


Time flies when you’re not at work. I wish I could stay in Boston longer.

Before we go, we pick up curry brown rice for the train. $10.43

We walk home together. It’s raining, so we share Mr. Boyfriend’s umbrella. It’s princess pink with polka dots.

We get home, and I’m starving. I don’t know why Mr. Boyfriend’s fridge only has mac and cheese and sausage. I devour a plate of fat.


Uber wants me to walk 7 min for my ride. Mr. Boyfriend walks with me and holds my suitcase, though I tell him I’m OK.

We reach the corner and hug good-bye. He’ll come to Brooklyn next weekend. Until then, I’m alone, and Ubers cost 2x. $5.02

I’m 30 minutes early to South Station. On the train, I pick my favorite café car seat. I sprawl out. I write. I play “Le grand saut” by Yelle. I’m at peace.

The train leaves South Station, and I text Mr. Boyfriend Rilakkuma stickers.


Somehow, I make it to New York without buying water. My curry rice is gone. I hop on the subway, which smells like a sweaty locker room. It takes 40 minutes to get home.

Sunday Total: $28.56

The Breakdown

Category Cost % of TotalNotes
Restaurants 72.04 69% Lunch + dinner Saturday and Sunday. Half of this comes from not having groceries at home.
Transportation 21.94 21% 5 Uber/Lyft rides. A subway swipe is $2.25 in Boston.
Groceries 4.95 5% Cranberry walnut bread is my best friend.
Other 2.75 3% Amtrak water bottle.
Coffee 2.15 2% 1369 Coffee House. Does not include coffees at restaurants.

Weekend Total: $103.83

Do you like cranberry walnut bread?

What’s the point of a bouncer for four-way air hockey?

How do you handle expenses with friends?

Have you ever been in a long-distance relationship?

[Featured photo: Unsplash]

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