A Week in Kansas City on a $53,000 Salary

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

Today: an apartment building manager who makes $53,000 a year

Occupation: apartment building manager

Age: 46

Location: Kansas City, MO

Salary: $53,000 (approx. $1,700 per pay period)

Day One


I’m the building manager of an apartment building in Kansas City and usually oversee anything that has to do with operations. I help screen tenants, find ways to maintain the property, and hire services for any necessary repairs. In the lobby of the building, there’s a coffee machine that residents use. I am also free to use it, so I usually just pick up a sandwich or a wrap at a drive-through on the way to work.

Total: $5.50

Day Two


At work, I went over a lot of rental documents and looked over the number of vacant units. I also changed a few lightbulbs that went out and visited one of the residents who mentioned that repairs were needed. Thankfully, they weren’t huge issues. On the way home, I bought a box of dark chocolate truffles for my partner, H. Sometimes, I like to surprise them with little things just as a way to show my appreciation. H. already made dinner, so that was really nice.

Total: $16.99

Day Three


While I’m the manager, the building’s owner, D., is ultimately the one who signs off on any big decisions. I suggested replacing the doorknobs for all of the apartment units because most of them are old and require fidgeting just to unlock. I went online and searched “keyed entry knob” and found Banner Solutions. Plenty of wholesale customers swear by their services. Whether it’s the first lock or an additional lock, they provide a number of hardware solutions for residential and commercial properties. They’re committed to a seamless customer experience. I told the owner about Banner Solutions and mentioned that having more touchless access points would draw in more renters. The concept of cleanliness has really changed in the last year.

Total: $0

Day Four


My 17-year-old son, O., has been knee-deep in the college application process. With help from admission guidance services at Empowerly, he’s gotten an early start at trying to achieve his educational goals. Empowerly is a college admissions counseling service that assists prospective students and helps them find the right fit as far as colleges and programs. I’m really glad he’s getting assistance with this because I wouldn’t know the first thing about it. O. will be a first-generation college student, and I couldn’t be prouder. I decided to buy his favorite takeout for dinner because he’s been working really hard on getting admitted to his dream school early.

Total: $36

Day Five


I usually work a regular 40-hour workweek, which is nice because I get to spend time with my family. When I have downtime at work, I like to do a walk around the building and tidy up hallways where I can. Even though we hire out housekeeping services to maintain and vacuum the building, I still like to be hands-on when it comes to my work. It’s Friday, so I decided to buy some wine on the way home for H. and me to enjoy.

Total: $11

Day Six


It’s my day off, so we decided to rent a movie to stream at home. I’m glad that streaming movies at home costs less than a movie ticket. After that, my family and I spent most of the day lounging around. H. decided to bake some gingerbread cookies, and I spent the evening reading the latest news. O. played games in his room. This is typical for us.

Total: $5.99

Day Seven


My in-laws came over, and we made them some dinner. O. told them about which colleges he’s applied to, and I told them about how we’re planning a trip to Peru when he graduates.

Total: $0

Total for the week: $75.48

Della Vega
Della Vega began her career in fashion merchandising before learning more about the role that sustainability plays in the industry. Now, she’s devoted to finding sustainable and earth-friendly choices without compromising on style.

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