Lifestyle Tips

A Week in Mississippi on a $28,000 Salary

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

Today: an esthetician who makes $28,000

Occupation: esthetician

Age: 26

Location: Tunica, MS

Salary: $28,000 (approx. $1,077 per pay period)

Day One


As a professional in the skincare industry, I must take care of my own skin. I have a pretty well-defined routine, with each step assigned to a particular day of the week. This morning, I do my normal cleanse-tone-moisture and apply a vitamin C serum and eye cream. I notice I’m running low on serum, so I order a replacement—thankfully, two-day shipping means it will get here before my next application!

Total: $29

Day Two


Most of my day is spent applying facial treatments filled with vitamin E, l-ascorbic acid (vitamin C), hyaluronic acid, and other ingredients meant to create the perfect skin tone. After work, though, I’m excited to chat with my boyfriend, E., who’s in school across the country. He’s coming to visit soon and wants to see some local points of interest, like the Gateway to the Blues museum. We chat a bit longer, then order some Chinese takeout to our respective homes for a virtual “date.”

Total: $14

Day Three


After spending the morning at work, I cut out early to visit the dermatologist, another asset for my career. Save for the starting signs of some fine lines and wrinkles, I‘m glad to have a clean bill of health. When I get home, my vitamin C-infused serum is waiting, ready to be part of tomorrow’s morning routine. In the meantime, I drink a glass of orange juice (yet another form of vitamin c) and unwind with Netflix for most of the evening.

Total: $40

Day Four


My morning starts with a sweet text from E., who’s excited to visit in just over a week. Tunica is the perfect place for music lovers like him, plus we’ll get to spend some much-needed time together. Then, I head into work, where I have appointments lined up throughout the day. I know my clients come here to relax and pamper themselves, but it’s funny—I find myself relaxing as I work on their treatments, too! After work, I stop by the supermarket for some groceries.

Total: $42

Day Five


Today is payday, so I stop by a nearby cafe for a turmeric latte after work. It’s little luxuries like this and my go-to serum and skincare products that make life worth living! Speaking of my skincare routine, I’m excited to try a new hydrating sunscreen. I’ve budgeted enough to order it today and can hardly wait for it to arrive!

Total: $17.50

Day Six


Some friends and I get together every Saturday morning, and today is no exception. We meet up at a local cafe and catch up over cups of coffee and decadent pastries. Then, after we’ve talked about Y.’s latest Hinge date and K’s new baby, a few of us head to the mall for some girl time. I pick up a pair of jeans on sale at my favorite store, then head back home for the night.

Total: $42.50

Day Seven


I’m hoping for a calm day at home today, and it seems I’m going to get it! I sip at a French press full of coffee for the morning, then get on a video chat with E. for a few hours. We don’t necessarily do anything together on these calls, but I love spending time with him, albeit virtually. We decide on ordering dinner from our respective takeout favorites once more, sharing dinner to the sounds of Netflix.

Total: $16

Total for the week: $201

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