Skip To Content
  • Viral badge
  • Poll badge

People Have Strong Opinions About How Much Money This NYC Intern Actually Earns

Refinery29's latest Money Diaries entry on a 21-year-old intern gets a lot of backlash after the headline fails to mention very important details.

Something about seeing how other people spend their money is fascinating, which is why Refinery29's Money Diaries series is so lit. It's literally a detailed account of how people, from sugar mamas to interns, spend their money throughout a given week.


One of the outlet's recent Money Diaries entry, originally titled "A Week In New York City On $25/Hour," from a 21-year-old marketing intern started trending on Twitter after people read that her parents cover her phone bill, entertainment, health insurance, and $2,100 rent. Plus she gets a total monthly allowance of $1,100, $800 from her parents and $300 from her grandfather.

Readers broke down the entry and concluded that the only monthly expenses the diarist is actually responsible for are a MoviePass, Brazilian sugaring wax, and gym membership.

her monthly expenses are for MoviePass, a Brazilian, and a gym. Her parents pay for everything else.

(This is the life we were meant to lead.)

They felt that that the headline without mention of her financial assistance was misleading...

This is adorable. Her parents pay her rent and give her an $800 month allowance. And that’s fine. But the headline should clarify that she isn’t living in NY on her $25:hr pay.

...So they suggested alternatives, like "A Week In New York City On $25/Hour and Generational Wealth," that would've been a more accurate representation of her lifestyle.

A Week In New York City On $25/Hour and Generational Wealth

"How I live in New York City on 100k a year," one Twitter user recommended.

@rgay Her grandparents/rents are giving her a total of 3,200 a month (tax free), so really a more accurate title for this article would be 'How I live in New York City on 100k a year'.

They also pointed out that according to Refinery29, the series is meant to show how "hard-earned" money is spent.

After all the backlash, the women's lifestyle site ~fixed~ the headline to better reflect the diarist's situation: "A Week In New York City On $25/Hour And $1k Monthly Allowance."

@rgay Hey Roxane! Thanks so much for making that point. We agree and did update the headline but it wasn’t showing up on Twitter (technical glitches)! It should be updated now. Thanks for chiming in on the conversation 💖

Twitter agreed it was more accurate, but still left out very pertinent details, like the $4,000 monthly expenses her parents are subsidizing...

@rgay @Refinery29 Could the headline also be changed to reflect the ~$4,000 per month in rent, health insurance, phone, etc that her parents are subsidizing?

...and the full amount of her allowance.

@rgay $1100 if you count the $300 a month wired from gramps. #blessed.

But headlines aside, most people were just impressed, and maybe a tad salty, about her sweet setup.

@MadisonMills22 $25 an hour as an intern?! I have a college degree and I don’t even make that much! Oh that’s not even accounting with my 30K in school loans and everything I have to pay for. Ugh. To be privilege....

This person even shed an immigrant tear.

*cries in immigrant*

And @hammitt couldn't get over the $15 wine and $23 goat cheese wrap.

@prof_gabriele This... This is an amazing piece. A) This girl makes more than I do and doesn't pay rent. B) SHE IS 21 AND SPENDS OVER $15 A BOTTLE ON WINE. C) She's... not gonna comment on the $23 goat cheese wrap?

One user was curious as to "how in touch" the diarist is with reality.

@MadisonMills22 I always manage to meet people like this through out my life. And I love how they can never fully grasp how most other people live, without help from mommy and daddy. No hate on her good fortune, but I wonder how in touch she is with the reality of those around her.

But the main takeaway was that we'd all love to be her siblings.

@sallyt I don’t know about y’all, but I’m trying to find out if her parents are looking to hire any new offspring. Being their daughter seems like a pretty sweet gig.

Also worth noting, she only spent $373.53 for the week so she seems to be financially responsible, especially considering her age and excess funds!

  1. So tell us how you REALLY feel!

Oops. Something went wrong. Please try again later
Looks like we are having a problem on the server.
So tell us how you REALLY feel!
    vote votes
    This headline was sooooo misleading, but that's not the intern's fault.
    vote votes
    Good for her, but I like the responsibility of paying my own bills.
    vote votes
    Can adults be legally adopted? Asking for myself.
    vote votes
    I have too many thoughts. See my opinions below.