a person and a boy on a beach with surfboards

A Week in Hoboken, NJ, on a $57,000 Salary

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

Today, an electrician who makes $57,000 a year in Hoboken, New Jersey, spends some of his money on surf lessons.

Occupation: Electrician

Age: 42

Location: Hoboken, New Jersey, United States

Salary: $57,000 (approx. $1,900 per pay period)

Day One


My Mondays usually begin with me heading downstairs to my office. My family and I live in a dual-purpose building, with our living area on the second-floor apartment and my business on the first floor. Once I got downstairs, I checked my to-do’s for the day. I had a couple of ceiling fan repairs I could do from the office, and I needed to pay my mixed-use insurance bill for my property. This insurance policy helps me provide residential coverage for my second-story apartment and commercial coverage for my business downstairs. After finishing my repairs, I went back up to call it a day and continue planning my family vacation to Hawaii this weekend. We started planning last week, but there’s still some work to do.

Total: $350.00

Day Two


On Tuesday, I had a consultation with a potential client needing some updated wiring in her house. I visited the property, evaluated the job, and quoted her. I told her I could start the next day but my family was leaving this weekend on vacation for a week. She was okay with the news, so I scheduled the work. Afterward, I went home to continue planning our Hawaii vacation. My wife and son really want to do family surfing lessons, so I booked a family session with the Ohana Surf Project.

Total: $255.00

Day Three


I started updating the wiring at my client’s house on Wednesday. I stopped for lunch at a nearby burger place before finishing my workday with electrical outlet replacements. Once I got home, my wife and I ironed out the last few details of our upcoming vacation before calling it a night.

Total: $8.97

Day Four


I got up Thursday morning and left to continue work on my client’s home. I decided to bring my lunch from home instead of ordering out. After work, I went home to start packing for my family’s trip and finished the day with some television with my wife.

Total: $0.00

Day Five


Friday was a short workday for me, as I needed to get to bed early for our early-morning flight to Hawaii. I informed my client when I’d be back to finish the job, and she was happy with the plan. So finally, I got home, finished the last of our packing, and went to bed early.

Total: $0.00

Day Six


Our Saturday morning flight left at 5:00 A.M. Eastern Standard Time. We made it on time and settled in for a nine-and-a-half-hour flight. We arrived in Honolulu around 9:30 A.M. Hawaii-Aleutian Standard Time. Once we were settled in, we got lunch and did some exploring. Afterward, we went back to the hotel to prepare for a big day tomorrow.

Total: $45.78

Day Seven


We got up Sunday morning and wasted some time before our family surf lessons. I was nervous, but the instructor told me you’re never too old to start learning. As a beginner, I was surprised I didn’t do worse. My wife and son had a blast and did wonderfully. After our lessons, we went out for dinner at a local restaurant. It was delicious, and we went back to the hotel. With five days left on our vacation, I am sure the rest will be just as fun as this weekend has been.

Total: $62.43

Weekly Total: $722.18