New York intern's money diary reads like satire

A young New York City intern has come under scrutiny for her spending habits.
A young New York City intern has come under scrutiny for her spending habits. Photo credit: Getty

The spending habits of a young intern living in New York City have outraged the internet.

The anonymous 21-year-old chronicled a week in her life as part of lifestyle website Refinery29's Money Diary series, in which millennials detail how they get by on their fairly meagre incomes.

This particular woman earns US$25/hr (NZ$36.80) for her marketing internship at an HR company. Minimum wage for employees of large businesses in New York City is US$13/hour, meaning she earns significantly more than many of her peers.

The author also earns US$100-120 (NZ$147-176) every one to two weeks through a side babysitting job.

Many people were irritated that the woman also receives a monthly allowance from her parents of US$800 (NZ$1178) and an additional US$300 (NZ$441) per month from her grandfather.

Her parents pay the rent on her shared one-bedroom apartment in the West Village, as well as the cost of her college tuition, health insurance and phone bill. She uses her parents' Netflix, Spotify and Amazon accounts.

The only expenses she pays for herself are her gym membership, movie pass and a regular Brazilian sugaring (pubic hair removal) session.

The author admits she doesn't have to do much at her internship, spending most of her workdays "online shopping and journaling".

During the week she goes on a weekend trip to affluent vacation spot the Hamptons, staying for free at a friend's house.

She also does some more typical activities for a 20-something - spending time with her boyfriend, attending therapy and going out for pizza with a friend (where she "suggests to the waiter that he brings us some wine on the house" for making them wait for a table).

Social media reaction to the diary was swift and damning, with many saying the woman shouldn't have been allowed to write about finance when she barely pays for anything herself.

Some even questioned if the diary was satire.

However some people say the diary is a useful snapshot into income equality in the US.


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