Money Diary: 4 Days in Los Angeles, California

Palm trees

I spent a long weekend in LA with my best friend. Here is a log of my travel expenses:

Pre-vacation spending

Flights – Boston to Los Angeles $153.30, LAX to BOS I used credits and paid for taxes and fees $5.60

Accommodations – I’m staying with my best friend at her apartment. $0

Self-care – Mani & pedi with tip $58, wax – I pre-paid for the service for the year so I just tip $10

Accessories – sleep eye mask $9.99, ear plugs $9.99, portable charger $16.99, travel compression socks $19.99, micro SD card $15, GoPro Shorty $20, GoPro battery and charger $40

Total $358.86


4:00 am – I call a Lyft to the airport to catch my 6:30 am flight. JetBlue partnered with Lyft so if I call a ride to the airport, I am able to collect points. Also, I’m a 5-star customer and get 10% off rides. $59.65

5:00 am – I get car sick from the ride. After going through security, I stop by a Starbucks to get a cup of tea to ease my headache. $2.57

10:30 am PST – I landed on the west coast! My friend picks me up from the airport and I treat her to In-N-Out burgers. It’s been seven years since I last had one. We also get fries and drinks. $15.99

1:30 pm – I get a scalp cleaning that came with a head massage at Blow Me Away Head Spa. It was so worth it! I wish I had booked for a longer massage. With tip $140. I also bought some shampoo and scalp products. It’s so hard for me to find the right shampoo, so I hope these products work. $152.95

3:00 pm – My cousin, who lives in Los Angeles, met up with me and my friend. We walk over to My Little Dumpling LA to get a light snack. We split the bill between the three of us. $33.16

4:30 pm – We end up a few blocks down at Yardbird Southern Table & Bar for happy hour. I’ve been to the location in Miami, so I know the food and drinks are going to be good. I know we just ate, but we order chicken wings and biscuits. I pick up the tab—Happy belated birthday, cousin! $39.42

7:00 pm – I get a small bottle of vodka and coconut water from a liquor store. I figure I’d keep drinking. I mean, I am on vacation. $17.67

9:30 pm – We Uber to Koreatown to meet up with another one of my cousins who also lives in the LA area for dinner. $25.66

11:00 pm – It’s a bit of a wait, but we are finally seated at Quarters, a Korean BBQ restaurant. We order so much meats and seafood. We split the bill three ways. $51


9:15 am – In the last few months, I’ve been cutting down on meat consumption. When I’m on vacation, I don’t like to be restricted, especially when it comes to food. I went a little too far yesterday with eating meat and my stomach doesn’t take it so well. I walk over to Pressed Juicery to grab some detox juices for myself and my friend. $19.10

12:30 pm – For lunch, we meet up with my friend’s family at a Cambodian restaurant RiceString Noodle Shack. I’m obsessed with spring rolls, so I had to order some. The fish sauce is one of the best fish sauces I’ve had in a long time! I also order the seafood noodles and a coconut drink. Bestie got the bill.

6:30 pm – My friend made us reservations at The Bow Room at Hello Kitty Grand Cafe. Yes, I’m still obsessed with Hello Kitty. Surprisingly, I get tipsy off of one cocktail. $27.01 In the cafe, I buy a pretty collector’s item Hello Kitty mug. $26.94

7:45 pm – I’m hungry and decide to stop by Veggie Grill and try the VG Beyond Burger. It’s actually really juicy and flavorful and surprisingly has the texture of real meat. $14.95


1:00 pm – My friend and I head to Smorgasburg LA for lunch. She gets us lobster with garlic noodles from Lobsterdamus and I get a Michelada. $24

4:30 pm – We meet up with friends at a day party at Lock & Key. They’re such sweet gentlemen and buy us drinks and shots all day/night. Let’s just say I drank too much and my best friend had to take care of me. For her troubles, I Venmo her. $50


11:15 am – I haven’t been this hungover in so long! I can’t stop puking and I don’t think I’ll make it to my flight on time, so I switch my flight to a later time. Six hours on the plane will be hell. I don’t want to be bothered, so I pay extra for a window seat. $36.41

1:15 pm – I Uber to the airport since my friend has to go to work. (I completely forgot about my 10% off all rides through Lyft Monday through Friday). $14.49

3:00 pm – I’m still hungover at the airport. I can’t eat a real meal, so I buy Powerade, peanuts, and gummy bears at Hudson News. $15.02

11:30 pm EST – I land in Boston and call an Uber home. I really need to move closer to the city. $82.11

The Breakdown

Transportation – $377.22
Accommodations – $0
Food & drink – $259.89
Entertainment – $0
Souvenirs – $26.94
Other – $542.91

Total spent $1,206.96

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