What I spend during a week in Paris

Back in June, Refinery29 asked me to keep a Money Diary, where “millennial women are asked how they spend their hard-earned money during a seven-day period”. While the article didn’t end up getting published, I thought I’d share part of it here. Here’s what a Parisian week of spending looks like for me…


Day 1

  • Started my morning with a matcha pastry from Aki Boulanger€3
  • Subsidized lunch at work consisted of salad, watermelon, and a mini baguette. Can’t get enough of those French baguettes. €2.58
  • Came home to dinner in the oven- thanks Ty! €6
  • Eurocup 2016 was on! Met up with friends, painted our faces, and cheered for France.
    [Total: €11.58]

Day 2

  • Breakfast at home. €1.50 
  • Our friend Bayo was in town from Beijing. He invited us to his friends’ wedding in a French castle. Split a gift for the bride and groom. €75
  • Found a quaint AirBnb for the night in the middle of the woods. €34
    [Total: €110.50]

Day 3

  • Enjoyed brunch with the wedding party then embarked on a long drive back to Paris. Floods, floods, floods.
  • Of course, all road-trips need a McDonald’s stop. Le Royale, s’il vous plaît. €4.10
    [Total: €4.10]

Day 4

  • Someone brought free croissants into work. Evil. 
  • Tried to redeem myself at lunch with fruit, yogurt, and a salad. €4.14 
  • Went running with Tyler at Jardin de Luxembourg, then cooked pasta. €5.36
    [Total: €9.50]

Day 5

  • Stopped by a nearby boulangerie with colleagues to picnic at the park. €6.10 
  • Our building’s gas went out so we couldn’t cook 🙁 Ate some mediocre sushi after working out. €13.80
  • Enjoyed a nice evening stroll along the Seine.
    [Total: € 19.90]

Day 6

Day 7

And that was my semaine. Here’s the breakdown…

Total amount spent: €168.63

  • Food: €59.63
  • Home supplies: €0
  • Clothing: €0
  • Entertainment: €0
  • Transportation: €0
  • Other: €109

I would say the wedding event was out of the ordinary, so a more typical week would have been around €65.

Budgeting is an important aspect of my life here in Paris, especially after receiving a huge pay cut to move abroad. Back in the U.S., I never thought twice about shopping. To give you an idea, the salespeople at Nordstrom could recognize me by name. Our first month in Paris, Tyler caught me checking the price of bananas and knew I had changed.

Living on a budget forces me to spend more creatively and really cherish the things I choose to buy. I only shop for clothes if the weather calls for it or during les soldes (which happen twice a year). I put the rest into savings and travel.

If you’re looking to spend less, try documenting every penny (or centime) spent over a week and you’ll see where you can cut back.

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