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A Week in Chesapeake on a $45,000 Salary

A Week in Chesapeake on a $45,000 Salary

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

Today: a virtual assistant who makes $45,000

Occupation: virtual assistant

Age: 23

Location: Chesapeake, VA

Salary: $45,000 (approx. $1,731 per pay period)

Day One


Since college, I’ve been working as a virtual assistant for a business owner based in Norfolk. I enjoy it, but I’m especially looking forward to a job that aligns a little better with my finance degree. First, though, I have to organize my new home here in Chesapeake, starting with finding a home warranty. Homeowners like me can take advantage of the various home warranty companies in Virginia to prepare for the inevitable system and appliance disasters that come with owning a home. I’ve seen friends and family struggle to get a replacement refrigerator or fix a busted dishwasher—I don’t want to deal with that stress! I take some time to compare home warranty providers after work, then I head to my go-to local burger joint.

Total: $12.50

Day Two


Next week, I have my first big job interview with an investing company. It’s made me realize, though, that I don’t really have the kind of grown-up clothes I need for this sort of thing! My mom’s sending me some stuff but wants me to find ties on my own. She recommends a site called Tie Deals, and I spend some time comparing some designer ties. I found some affordable options in cool colors. Hopefully, they match okay!

Total: $73

Day Three


Today’s a pretty chaotic one work-wise, so I spend an awfully long time going through emails and putting out other fires. So, I work later than usual before heading out for my regular burger, and splurge on a beer, too. I figure I deserve the reward!

Total: $17

Day Four


After work, I head to the nearest store to price washers and dryers. I’m just far enough from my parents’ place that it’s too inconvenient to use theirs, and the laundromat is too much work. Of course, these appliances are pretty pricey. I really don’t know what I’m looking for, either, so I decide to wait until Mom and Dad come visit so they can help make that decision. Afterward, another burger for dinner.

Total: $12.50

Day Five


I‘m not thinking about the best home warranty or appliances today. Instead, I’m heading to a new restaurant after work, meeting up with a girl from a dating app. Like good Chesapeake locals, we hit up a seafood restaurant, splitting a crab dip on top of our entrees. Afterward, we head back to her place.

Total: $57

Day Six


This morning started off on a sour note as soon as I got home—the septic system went in my new house! I guess that’s what you get from an older home, even when you haven’t found the best coverage yet. Definitely regretting not investing in a home warranty more quickly! I call home, and my parents help me make a plan for how to handle this crisis. Unfortunately, the best choice is to replace the whole thing—needless to say, I’m happy for credit cards and planning to invest in that home warranty ASAP.

Total: $4,360

Day Seven


My week ends with some hard labor, cleaning up the mess left behind by yesterday’s disaster. That takes up most of the day, so it’s just about dinnertime by the time it’s finished. I decide to mix things up with a pizza place for a change and enjoy a small pie and wings.

Total: $32.50

Total for the week: $4,564.50

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