San Diego Money Diary


This stage is so hard with getting a decent picture!

I always enjoy reading the Refinery29 Money Diaries to see how people prioritize their spending, save money, and plan for their financial future. I thought it’d be interesting to track our spending in San Diego and see where we could’ve saved money.

Pre-Trip Spending:

Lodging: We booked an AirBnB (referral link) and shared a 2-bedroom Pacific Beach Townhouse with our parents. $547.28 for our portion (we split 50/50 between my parents).

Sunday, August 18, 2019:

6am: Wake up, make breakfast burritos, clean up the kitchen, finish packing, and load up the car. We’re out the door by 8. $0

9:30am: Stop in Gila Bend for a bathroom break and stretch our legs. We top off our gas tank. $16.20

11:45am: Emilia fell asleep before we were able to stop for lunch. Luckily, we packed some PBJs and road trip snacks – pretzels, trail mix, and apples. $0


2:00pm: We have arrived to San Diego! Our AirBNB check in is at 4pm so we kill some time at Liberty Market. Chris buys craft beer at Bottlecraft ($51.56), I buy a green smoothie at Smoothieride ($8), and we share 4 BBQ Pork Baos, ($10.78). Total: $70.34

3:30pm: We stop at Trader Joes to stock up the AirBnB. We buy ground coffee, eggs, brioche bread, bacon, cheese, yogurt, strawberries, blueberries, milk, and coffee creamer. $43.72

4:00pm: We stop at Costco for gas. $36.52 We meet my parents at the AirBnb, unpack, and unwind before heading out to dinner.

6:00pm: We eat at PB Fish Shop from reccomendation of a friend. We share ceviche, El Dorado taco, Pineapple Express taco, poke bowl, two orders of fish and chips, and a side salad. My dad picks up the tab. Everything is delicious and I would come here again! $0

Monday, August 19, 2019:

6am: We wake up to our toddler alarm clock. We make coffee, french toast, and bacon. Today we are going to the zoo!

9:00am: We arrive to the San Diego Zoo. My dad purchased tickets using his military discount. We venmo him $100 for 2 adults. Fortunately, Emilia is still free! $100


1:30pm: We head home. We originally planned to stop in Old Town for lunch but there is no way Emilia will make it through the meal without throwing a tantrum. We head home. Chris goes to Sprouts and picks up bread, deli meat, cheese, fruit, chips, and salsa. I eat half a pbj and some chips. I’m saving room for dinner. $22.38

6:00pm: I was able to work for 3 hours while Emilia napped. We are meeting a friend from college for dinner. We go to SD Taproom. I order a seared ahi salad – best I’ve had! The portion of ahi tuna was generous compared to other placed I’ve eaten. Chris ordered the special – kobe burger and we get mac & cheese for Emilia. We pay for everyone $104.25


Tuesday, August 20, 2019:

6:00am: Wake up and make some coffee. I’m able to fit in an hour of work before it’s time to go out for breakfast.


8:30am: We arrive at Richard Walker’s Pancake House. I order the apple pancake and my husband orders the Venice benedict. My parents cover breakfast. After, we wander around La Jolla cove and look at the seals. I didn’t know they smelled so pungent! $0

10:30am: We’re back at the AirBnB and get ready for the beach. I’m craving a Dr. Pepper so my husband stops at Magic Mart to get some drinks and ice for the beach cooler. $7.17


2:00pm: We head back to the AirBnB for Emilia’s nap time. My parents offer to babysit while Chris and I go out to dinner. We look up on OpenTable and see there’s an early reservation for Dukes.

5:30pm: We arrive at Dukes La Jolla. I order a Ginger Fizz (mocktail) and the Seared Ahi Tuna. Chris orders a Modern Times beer and the Sea Bass Special. The wait staff brings out a complementary Hula pie since we’re celebrating my birthday a few days late. $105.78


Wednesday, August 21, 2019:

7:00am: Wake up and make the rest of the bacon and eggs for breakfast. We finish packing up and cleaning the AirBnb so it’s ready for check-out.

9:00am: We check out and I decide to splurge on an iced coffee at Better Buzz. It’s the best vanilla latte I’ve ever had. $5.15


12:00pm: Lunch on the road! We stop at Chick-fil-a in Yuma so Emilia can shake her legs out on the play area and refuel for the rest of the trip. $21.04 My parents are already at Chick-Fil-A and after, they let us use their Sam’s Membership card for gas. $25.26

4:00pm: We arrive home and tackle the unpacking and laundry. I have a free Domino’s reward so we order a ham and pineapple pizza for dinner. $0


Lodging: $547.28

Groceries: $73.27

Restaurants/Coffee: $306.56

Activities: $100

Gas: $77.98


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