Tiger Cents Chronicles

Tiger Cents Chronicles is a new project which invites graduate students from all departments and disciplines at Princeton to share a week of spending in their lives in a diary format. The goal of this project is to foster transparency and open discussion about finances and financial wellness among graduate students. Tiger Cents Chronicles invites you to talk about your money mindset, earnings, debt, spending, and your general day-to-day life. This is a submission-based project, so we welcome each and every one of you to track a week of spending in your life and submit a Tiger Cents Chronicle. Feel free to be as verbose or as straight-to-the-point as you choose! The chronicles will be published anonymously online. 

The general submission form (also anonymous) can be found below: 

Tiger Cents Chronicles submission form

Our very first chronicles will be published in early October! For a sneak peek, see the excerpt below: 

This week’s chronicler is a second-year PhD student in the Humanities who currently receives a monthly stipend of around $4,000 per month pre-tax. She spends $856 per month on rent and lives on campus in the Lakeside Apartments. 

Day Two:

10:00am: I set my alarm for 10am last night as a backup thinking I’d definitely wake up before then, but I woke up from a dead sleep to my alarm this morning. I’m still sick, so I guess my body must have needed the time to rest. I quickly make my bed, open the blinds, and crack open a window for some fresh air before stumbling into the kitchen for a hot mug of tea and some OJ. 

11:00am: Got a little reading done, now time for a Zoom call to coordinate some things for an upcoming event. 

11:40am: Done with the Zoom, and I wander into the kitchen and chat with my housemate for a bit. We decide to make blueberry and banana muffins! 

1:00pm: Muffins are out of the oven and I’m showered and ready for the day. 

2:30pm: I throw together a Trader Joe’s salad kit and head out to meet my boyfriend D for his lunch break. He typically works weekends, so we usually do lunch together on weekends and occasionally Monday and Tuesday too, since those are the days that I don’t have seminars in the afternoon. 

6:00pm: I spent the last few hours reading-- one text about neoliberalism and one about the city of Madrid. After finishing the last text for my Wednesday class, I run to Target with my housemate C and pick up some cold brew, some ingredients to make soup, more milk, some Junior Mints, and two different moisturizers I’ve been wanting to try out. I always spend so much at Target! Recently I’ve been debating whether to apply for a RedCard, but I haven’t pulled the trigger yet. $40.49

7:00pm: A group of us from one of my seminars decides to meet up and watch a film that we’ve been assigned for this week’s class. The film is free since it’s uploaded to the Reserves on our course page. We order pizza (I pay) and we split it 6 ways. I pay the full $72 upfront, but the others reimburse me partially in cash and partially over Venmo. Is it bad that I’m excited I’ll still get the credit card points/cash back on the full $72? My portion is $12. 

10:00pm: The movie was crazy, but good. After dropping the others off at their respective homes, C and I head back to our apartment. I read a bit, have a snack, and head to bed around 11:30pm. 

Daily total: $52.49