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So.Gay Money Diaries: 31-year-old creative shares how he spent $400 on a weekend out in NYC

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Being gay can sometimes feel very, very expensive — That’s why we’ve asked our community to share with us the real cost of their weekends out for our new franchise, So.Gay Money Diaries.

Occupation: Writer / Editor

Age: 31

Location: Manhattan, New York


9:15 AM: For like a month and a half after I got laid-off,I was letting myself kind of just mosey on through my mornings — getting up when I felt like it, meander to the gym, come home, make myself lunch — but in the past couple of weeks, I’ve been trying to be a little more strict with myself because I’ve been craving a bit more of a routine. So, that means I get my ass to the gym before 10 AM. I pay $263.34 a month for access to one Equinox in downtown Manhattan, which nets out to about $11-15 per visit, assuming I go 5-6 times per week. And, not to brag, but I usually do. To me, paying so much for my gym membership is absolutely worth it: Because I shell so much more than what I could be paying at a less expensive gym chain, I’m inherently motivated to go more often to get more bang for my buck. Also, sorry, but the amount of hot men at my gym is simultaneously motivating, demoralizing and serves as an added bonus in the form of eye candy. Just being honest here.

10:30 AM: I have a freelance article I need to deliver by the end of the day today, so I head to a coffee shop to work on it. It might be 29 degrees outside, but I still get a large cold brew with oat milk (because, gay) and some Nomz protein bites, which add up to $9.76. I have coffee and breakfast at home most weekday mornings, so I treat myself to buying one out like one day a week, I’d say. 

12:30 AM: After working for a couple of hours at the coffee shop, I head home, where I make myself a salad using the last few groceries I have left from last Sunday’s grocery run, get some more work done, catch up on TV and chill for a bit. I did slip and impulsively by some new Glossier products online for $65.60, but let’s not focus on that!

6:00 PM: I went to back-to-back birthday dinners on Wednesday and Thursday nights, so I’m being good by also making dinner at home tonight. I have plans with my brother later, and I know that I have a big day tomorrow, so I’m doing my best to be a little frugal between plans when I know I’ll be spending a certain amount of money that is fairly baked into said plans. That’s kind of how I excuse going out to dinner a few times a week; I know that I’ll be spending a certain amount of money at those group dinners and, in an effort not to feel guilty about that, I generally balance out the spending on dinner by making simple dinners at home instead of getting takeout or delivery for myself. 

7:45 PM: I had kind of forgotten that my brother and I bought tickets to an up-and-coming British pop star’s concert back in the fall for, like, $30, so it was a nice surprise when I remembered that we had these plans tonight. When you buy a ticket months earlier and then forget about it, that basically makes it free in my mind TBH. I walked to the show in Greenwich Village, so I didn’t pay anything to get there. At the concert, I bought myself a beer for $12.38 (tip included, but still — that feels steep for a Corona, no?) and then I used some leftover cash I had from something I don’t remember in my wallet to buy myself a slice of pizza on the way home for $5.93 before going to bed at a very reasonable hour for a Friday night.


8:30 AM: At the gym before 9 AM on a Saturday? Groundbreaking. Again, this visit amounts to like $11-15 broken out from my monthly gym membership, and going here is so baked into my life at this point that it doesn’t feel like I spend any money to come. On my walk back to my apartment, I stopped into my favorite local healthy market that has a juice bar to get my go-to, post-gym protein shake. It’s normally $10, but I have them add vanilla protein powder to it which brings the price to $12.45. 

12:15 PM: I made a random assortment of food for lunch (again: the ends of my grocery haul from the week) before getting ready to go to a live podcast recording uptown. I’m about to be out for the rest of the day, so I spend a little extra time getting ready just to make sure I’m set for both events I’m about to go to. I spent $2.90 to get there on the Subway, and my friend covered my ticket, so this is free fun for me! 

4:00 PM: Now it’s time to haul ass from Midtown to fucking Red Hook, because that’s where my good friend’s 30th birthday is. It started at 4, but I told her I would be about an hour late, and it’s one of those open-ended, we’ll-probably-go-out-afterwards daytime birthdays, so I don’t feel badly — I’m in it for the long haul today. An Uber to Red Hook would’ve taken a very long time and cost a fortune, so I spend another $2.90 to take the Subway to Brooklyn, spend another $7.84 on a large cold brew to fuel me for the rest of the day and then another $2.90 to take the bus to Red Hook. Can you believe? It’s giving planes, trains and automobiles, and an Uber would’ve been easier, but it wouldn’t have been much faster and I’m trying to be responsible here, so whatever.

5:15 PM: We post up at a classic cash only (eye roll) bar in Red Hook, where I probably spend like $35 bucks on the round of vodka sodas that I bought for myself and the other two gays at this party. (We switched off covering rounds for one another.) There was cake and pizza, so dinner was covered. Pizza two nights in a row, baby! 

8:00 PM: At some point, we hop into a couple of Ubers (I didn’t pay, and I feel like my friends tend not to try to split Ubers within the app anymore — it’s glitchy and annoying and they might Venmo me tomorrow for my portion of the ride, but they might not. In this case, they didn’t. It all comes out in the wash.) and head to a dive bar closer to Manhattan. I buy myself a $9 vodka soda with cash before we get into another Uber to take us to Duplex in the West Village. Again, I didn’t call it and nobody requested me to pay them back. I would’ve if they had, I promise! But it was one of those situations where you’re with your friends, but also some friends of friends, so it would’ve been more trouble than it’s worth to try to figure out those Venmo’s the next morning, I’d guess.

9:30 PM: We dance our asses off on the sweaty second floor of the gay bar, which thankfully takes card. I buy myself and the birthday girl two double vodka sodas (help!), which settles up to a mind-numbing $67.20. They taste like gasoline but, you know what, that’s just part of the gay bar experience. We love authenticity. I think a friend buys me at least one additional drink at this establishment but, honestly, we’re getting into hazy territory, so the money spent stops mattering as much to any of us, as tends to happen.

12:20 PM: The gays and I decide to jump ship and take things to the next level by going to a much more intense gay bar called The Eagle, which has a giant cruise-y dance floor where shirts come off, eyes wander and questionable decisions are made. I paid for the Uber this time, which was an inoffensive $18.15. This bar has a cover, so I head to the ATM inside the door and take out $60. $25 goes to the cover (I can’t), $5 goes to coat check and then the rest disappears covering some equation of drinks for myself and the friends I’m with. 

3:10 AM: We found some friends on the dance floor, where we danced for hours and had a grand, gay ole time. When someone offers to buy more drinks, I make the responsible decision to call it a night and head home. It’s too late to even attempt to try to Subway home (you know those wait times would be tragic), so I splurge on a cab home that costs me $24.20. Worth it to buy myself some more sleep time, if you ask me!


10:15 AM: I wake up extremely hungover, make myself a coffee, hydrate with a LiquidIV and sprawl out on my couch watching TV for the next several hours.

1:30 PM: It’s usually around this time that I know I’ll feel badly about my day if I don’t get up, get out and do something, so I throw on some sweats, slip on my UGGs and head to Trader Joe’s to buy groceries for the week. It’s so crowded that the line wraps around the entire store, but I survive. I have to buy lunch stuff and enough food for a couple of dinners (I know I have a few dinner plans at night), so I spend a reasonable $57.16 on my haul this Sunday. 

2:30 PM: I get home, make myself another coffee and start to get organized for the week. A popular gay Sunday party called Paradisco recently started up again, but I tend to protect my Sunday late afternoons/evenings as “me” time so that I can relax before whatever the week has in store for me. I’m sure I’ll make it to the party a few times this season, but yesterday drained my social battery and then some, so today I’m being a good boy and staying in to make dinner for myself in my underwear and then recuperating on the couch from yesterday’s semi-bender while watching Bravo. Bliss!

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