A Week in Austin on a $55k Salary

Hello. This is a parody of Refinery29's "Money Diaries" series.


Monday

9 a.m. - Since I freelance, I have the luxury of waking up later. I meditate, eat breakfast, and walk the dog. Summers in Texas are scorching, so I try to do all outdoor activities before 10 a.m.

10 a.m. - I start work. I’m currently juggling four clients. I read emails, respond to queries, and continue working on a blog post. 

2 p.m. - The Alamo Drafthouse is screening The Dark Knight for a whole month. I was obsessed with TDK when it came out. You bet I’m gonna buy a ticket for tonight! $13

6 p.m. - I get to the theater early, and am pretty hungry. I buy the special “Bat Wings” basket, and chow down while I wait for the movie to start. $11

9 p.m. - I walk out of the movie in a daze. Christopher Nolan is a genius. Heath Ledger is inspired. Christian Bale is Christian Bale. I believe in Harvey Dent. 

11 p.m. - I can’t sleep, so I buy another ticket to see the movie again tomorrow. It’s just that good! $13

Daily Total: $37.00

Tuesday

9 p.m. - After the movie, I cruise through downtown Austin. I see a hooded figure threatening someone in an alleyway. I park and run towards them.

“GET AWAY FROM HER!” I roar in my best Batman voice, except it comes out sounding like “GERALDO RIVERA!”

The hooded figure turns and shoves a knife towards me. My bat like reflexes engage, and I wrestle the knife from him. I think I stab him a few times, I’m not sure. Either way, I saved the day.

I am the goddamn Batman.  

Daily Total: $0

Wednesday

6 a.m. - My boyfriend jostles me awake. He tells me the cops are downstairs.

7 a.m.  - I pack a bag with clothes, toothbrush, granola bars, and $500 in cash. I leap out the window, land in the bushes, and crawl away. 

12:12 p.m. - I’m on the run when I realize that my period has started. I didn’t pack any tampons. Shoot!

12:30 p.m. - I choose a crappy gas station. I buy three packs of tampons, because who knows how long I’ll be on the run? $40

1 p.m. - The cashier asks me, “Hey, aren’t you…?” I knock him out. I also take some Hostess Donettes, but I do leave money on the counter. $2

11 p.m. - I find some cover under a bridge. They’ll never understand me, just like they never understood the Batman. I knew the mob wouldn’t go down without a fight.

Daily Total: $42

Thursday

8 a.m. - I wake to the sound of dogs barking in the distance, so I quickly pack up and run. 

2:00 p.m. - It’s almost 100 degrees outside. There’s no way I can keep going, so I stop inside an iHop.

2:30 p.m. - I order a stack of buttermilk pancakes, gooseberry syrup, eggs, and sausages. As Anne Hathaway/Catwoman says in The Dark Knight Rises (a far less superior movie), “Girl’s gotta eat.” $12

7 p.m. - The sun’s finally going down. I steal a bike outside iHop, and ride towards San Antonio. There is just one more thing I’m missing.

8 p.m. - I get to Party City before it closes. I buy a Batman-themed mask, and give the cashier a $20 before rushing out. $20

Daily Total: $32

Friday

7 a.m. - I turn my phone on and see a text from my boyfriend. “Where are you? I’m seriously freaking out.”

I bet they’re making him send me that. I turn my phone off. I love him, but sometimes the truth isn’t good enough. Sometimes, people deserve more. 

2 p.m. - iHop again. I order my stack of pancakes and drink coffee until I’m shaking. $15

3 p.m. - On my way out of the iHop, I see a dude harassing a waitress. She’s clearly not into it. I put my mask on.

“STEP AWAY!” I say, except it comes out like “STEFFI GRAF!”

The dude looks at me and laughs. The waitress laughs too.

“I’M NOT PLAYING AROUND!” I say, except it comes out like “ROBIN WRIGHT PENN!”

The dude is laughing so hard that it's rather easy for me to bust his kneecaps. He drops to the ground, screaming. The waitress is no longer laughing. "What the hell is wrong with you?" She yells. 

Another villain detained, another citizen safe from harm.

3:15pm - I hop on my bike. If I bike all day and night, I can be in San Marcos by morning. I have to keep going. You either die a hero, or live long enough to see yourself become the villain. 

Daily Total: $15
Weekly Total: $126