A Week in DC on a $100,000 Salary

Welcome to Spending Notes, where we do a weekly deep dive...

a statue in front of a monument

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

Today: a personal injury lawyer who makes $100,000 a year

Occupation: personal injury lawyer

Age: 44

Location: Washington, D.C.

Salary: $100,000 (approx. $2,800 per pay period)

Day One


I got a cup of coffee on my way to work and also bought one for my colleague D. We work at a personal injury law firm in D.C. Anyone in the DMV area can tell you how rough the commute is, and it isn’t uncommon for there to be accidents around here. As a personal injury lawyer, I help my clients get compensation for any losses following a car accident. I talk to clients and assess whether their case is worth moving forward. I give people legal advice and represent them in court if needed. But most of the time, personal injury claims are settled out of court. So, I haven’t been to trial in a long time.

Total: $8

Day Two


With my 45th birthday coming up, I’ve been thinking about building a Rolex collection. I inherited a vintage Rolex from my father, which has that classic stainless steel finish. But I’d really love to add a yellow gold model to start off my collection. There’s really nothing quite like a luxury timepiece that lasts a lifetime. People are familiar with Rolex as a watch brand because of its high quality. It shows time accurately, the finishes and designs are unlike other famous watches, and most of their models are water-resistant. I looked at a preowned Datejust II on WatchBox and was definitely tempted to acquire it at some point.

Total: $0

Day Three


I went out for lunch with my coworker D., and we decided to have some shrimp tacos. We talked about work a little bit, but for the most part, he just talked to me about the Bills game. D. is from Upstate New York and is an avid fan (of course). After work, my spouse, E., mentioned going out to lunch with our friend X. this weekend.

Total: $21

Day Four


After a long workday interviewing clients and obtaining medical records and bills, I went home and took my dog, R., to the dog park. I like to take him there once or twice a week for proper socialization. Then, I got some ice cream and a puppy cup for R. He loves having a nice cool treat after running around with the other dogs.

Total: $9

Day Five


E. and I met with X. for cocktails. We decided to visit a highly rated DC rooftop brunch spot called Takoda. It’s a rooftop beer garden and restaurant in Shaw. It’s popular for having great bottomless mimosas. E. made reservations, and we ordered tots, cocktails, and sandwiches. X. said it is now his favorite spot for brunch and to get the best views of D.C.

Total: $73

Day Six


I spent a lot of my day browsing the Rolex category on WatchBox. I finally decided to go for it and purchase a preowned Rolex Oyster Perpetual Datejust. It’s a self-winding automatic watch with a stainless steel case and a fluted 18k yellow gold bezel. It’s a watch that any collector could appreciate. I didn’t buy it outright and chose to make an offer on WatchBox instead.

Total: $0

Day Seven


I had my parents and in-laws over at the house tonight. My birthday is on Wednesday, so we decided to have dinner. Instead of going out, E. and I went to the grocery store and picked up some ingredients for my favorite meal: lobster ravioli with brown butter and sage sauce. While we were there, we also picked up some wine, cheese, and other things we needed at home.

Total: $166

Total for the week: $277

Most Popular