The website Refinery29 has been getting some flak for hosting a piece from someone who survived on $25 per hour, not including the $2,100 per month her parents paid for rent and the $300 monthly stipend she received just for being a grandchild (#blessed). I thought: Why should Refinery29 have all the fun hosting this sort of content? Here is a submission I received from a mysterious source.
Rent: I live in an enormous manor inherited from my parents, which is a big cost-saver! If I were ever in a bind, I could rent out the carriage house for the extra income, so I feel a little bad about not doing that, but having the extra space is great for my side hustle. I share this space with my butler, who pays rent out of his salary, but I am not sure how much it comes to.
Student Loan Payment: $0 (I am privately tutored by my butler.)
Health Insurance: $0 (My butler is trained to provide medical care.)
MoviePass: $0. (I do not go to the movies. I am frugal!)
Opera Tickets: $0 (I save a lot of money by not going to the opera, which is associated with painful memories for me, although I could attend it free as my family receives free season tickets because my parents’ company is a Platinum-level sponsor.)
Waxing: $0 (Once a month, I apply wax to the space between my eyebrows, but my butler handles it.)
Gym Membership: $0 (I have a private gym in the manor where I work out three times a day to maintain my peak physical fitness.)
Phone Bill: $0 (I prefer that people contact me in person, or by posting an enormous illuminated signal in the sky.)
The Economist Subscription: $0 (My butler subscribes and I read his copy when he has finished.)
Commercial Air Travel: $0 (I own a jet.)
Groceries: $20? (My butler does the grocery shopping, and I am not sure what the total comes to.)
Car: $0 (I have a custom batmobile.)
Income: $1500/month (I am doing a low-pressure internship at Wayne Enterprises, my parents’ company)
Side-Hustle Income: I also liaise with the Gotham Police Department to fight crime at least weekly, or whenever they send me a custom signal made of light, but I seek no fiscal remuneration for this activity, as it is its own reward, and is in many ways like a gym membership.
8 a.m.: My butler awakens me, usually by saying something like, “Good morning, Master Bruce! Your father would be very proud,” in his soothing accent.
8:05 a.m.: I eat breakfast, usually a couple of selections from a full buffet that includes an omelet chef. I like an egg-white omelet filled with avocado, usually. This is, I think, free, or comes with the house in some way? Once I tried to tip the omelet maker but Alfred (my butler) made it clear that he would handle it.
8:30 a.m.: Instead of riding the subway to work, which would cost $2, I have Alfred drive me in our family limousine.
9 a.m.: I’m an intern at Wayne Enterprises, my parents’ company. I am being trained, theoretically, to run this company one day, but my day-to-day responsibilities are light. I water the plants. I spend most of my time at the desk doing detective work in a window that I minimize whenever my boss comes by. If the detective work is particularly onerous, I have my butler water the plants for me so I can focus better. My boss does not mind.
Noon: I have some almonds from the vending machine. $1.50.
1:30 p.m.: More almonds. I’m really into almonds. They’re a good lean protein, and I have to stay in fighting shape. $1.50.
3 p.m.: I get called into a pointless meeting with the shareholders. I need fuel. Three bags of vending machine almonds. $4.50.
4 p.m.: My butler asks if I have had lunch and I realize I’ve just been eating almonds this entire time. He brings me some takeout from Nobu.
5 p.m.: I leave the office immediately because I have a demanding side hustle. I descend to my workout cave and work out intensely for an hour, stopping at intervals to drink ethically sourced water.
7 p.m.: I go lurk on a rooftop in case the commissioner of police at my side hustle needs anything so I can just rappel easily over to our usual meeting spot.
7:30 p.m.: Looks like no.
9 p.m.: I stop a mugging, but in the process, I destroy the facade of a small hotel. I text Alfred immediately to let him know. Fortunately we own the parent company. Phew! That could have been expensive otherwise.
10 p.m.: Dinner. I eat some leftover lobster and foie gras from a gala I attended the week before. You can save a lot by eating leftovers.
Total: $7.50. Almonds! I really need to cool it with the almonds.
Exactly the same, but I eat just three bags of almonds.
8:01 a.m.: Alfred awakens me with his usual greeting, but he is a minute late, which really throws me off. He says he had to deal with a family emergency and apologizes. It’s funny: I don’t know much about his family, even though he has worked for me for so long. Once he told me that he considered me family, but I guess there must also be other people to whom he is literally related.
8:05 a.m.: My usual breakfast, but I get an extra set of egg whites.
9 a.m.: The office. I am distracted today because I’m going to be attending a white-tie gala in the evening. The tickets were free because Wayne Enterprises has donated more than $1 million to this charity. I forget what we are supporting. I think it’s an endangered specie, but I’m sure I’ll be able to figure it out from context clues once we arrive at the venue.
3 p.m.: I only eat two bags of almonds today, to save room for hors d’oeuvres. You can usually make a whole meal out of gala hors d’oeuvres if you are smart enough to pounce when they come around and don’t mind being seen as a little rude in your hunt for canapés.
5 p.m.: I leave the office and get changed. Alfred has dry cleaned my white suit himself so that I don’t have to waste money on dry cleaning.
6 p.m.: I arrive at the gala. It is a legal-defense fund, not an endangered species at all! I’m glad I didn’t go for a themed tie. I fill a whole plate with miniature quiches and shrimp and quickly eat two entire bowls of nuts. On my way out, I stuff my pockets with spanakopita. This should tide me over the rest of the week, though it does kind of mess up my suit. Alfred assures me he will handle it.
8 p.m.: I get changed and perch on a rooftop. The signal finally goes off! I have to assist in apprehending a malefactor down at the reservoir, which means getting my all-terrain-mobile out of the garage and taking it for a spin. Using specialized, custom equipment to fight crime is both a responsibility and a hobby, but since I already own the equipment it, at least, costs nothing. I apprehend the evildoer and stop him from putting his chemicals where he should not put them. I also mess up my crime-fighting suit while doing so, but Alfred says he will handle it.
9 p.m.: Home to the manor!
Total: $3. Almonds.
Exactly the same, but instead of almonds, I snack on my contraband spanakopita. I don’t go out at all, opting to work out in my underground gym facility instead.
8 a.m.: Alfred wakes me. He seems in better spirits today. I almost ask him about his family but decide not to.
9 a.m.: Work is very easy because it is Friday. I am looking forward to my weekend retreat: I have to travel to Singapore to do detective work and fight crime. I’m so grateful for my side hustle.
5 p.m.: I leave work and board my private jet. The great thing about private jets is you don’t have to waste hours at the airport going through security, and if you need to travel suddenly, the price does not go up, as I have heard it does for commercial flights. Alfred accompanies me and I buy him a book of crossword puzzles to amuse him on the flight — it’s $4.99, but it’s worth it to see him smile. Plus, I didn’t have any almonds today, so I can afford it.
Total: $4.99. Crosswords.
I’m not sure what time it is because of the time change. Alfred awakens me when we arrive in Singapore and I do a lot of sleuth work. In the course of seeking answers, I drop one man off a roof and he breaks a few display mannequins when he lands; fortunately, we own the parent company of the affected business. The man whom I dropped off a roof does require some stitches and since I dropped him off at the hospital I feel as though I ought to pay for them. This really throws off my budget and as a consequence Alfred and I do not go out to lunch as we had planned. Instead, we enjoy BatSnacks, some custom-crafted freeze-dried rations that I packed in my utility belt. They’re high in protein, like almonds. We sleep on the flight back.
Total: $2200. Stitches. :(
9 a.m.: I love the weekends because I get to sleep in. Still, I wake up, enjoy an omelet and get a workout in.
10 a.m.: I think about seeing a recently released film, but decide it is not worth the money. Alfred volunteers to go by himself and recount the plot to me in detail upon his return.
1 p.m.: Alfred’s retelling of “Ant-Man and the Wasp” is scintillating.
1:20 p.m.: I almost ask him about his family.
2 p.m.: I take a swim in my rooftop pool and listen to voice mails. I find it’s good to combine an activity you enjoy with another activity that grinds your gears so your brain gets confused and thinks you like both of them.
4 p.m.: Massage. I have an app that gives you a discount, so it’s only $39. I think about asking Alfred if he wants one as well, but it seems like his hands are pretty full.
5 p.m.: Another workout.
6 p.m.: I spend some time redesigning my suit, with assistance from my team. They leave with the new blueprints and I take the old model out to the rooftop to enjoy the sunset and see if there is any crime I can help with.
7:30 p.m.: Summoned! Commissioner Gordon needs my help. It turns out that he wants more information about a string of robberies, but at the end of our interaction, he also asks if I maybe have a friend with access to equipment who could supply the police department with Kevlar vests. I maintain a stoic expression, but I’m going to see what I can do.
9 p.m.: After tracking down information about the robbery, I discuss with Alfred this Kevlar idea. He says it sounds fine as long as they don’t need more than 300 vests. So that’s great!
11 p.m.: Hit the hay.
Total: $9,000. Vests for Gotham PD (this is an estimate, but if a bag of almonds is $1.50 then probably a vest would be like $30, because I know vending machine prices tend to be jacked up).
All in all I hit my spending goals this week, but I am going to have to lower my almond consumption.