A Week in Arizona on a $90,000 Salary

a man and a woman sitting at a table

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

Today: a dispensary owner who makes $90,000

Occupation: dispensary owner

Age: 33

Location: Somerton, AZ

Salary: $90,000 (approx. $3,462 per pay period)

Day One


I’m starting the week off by working on some behind-the-scenes aspects of my new business. More specifically, I’m working on our environmental sustainability plan. Since cannabis is such a green industry, it makes sense that our practices should be eco-friendly, too. I’m focusing on our strain labels today—a relatively minor detail in the grand scheme of things, but no factor is too small when it comes to saving our planet! We’ll work to make the earth a better place, one pre-roll tube at a time. I order an assortment of products to help our dispensary start on a green foot. Since I’m essentially a sole proprietor self-funding this whole endeavor, I’m footing the bill for most of these initial purchases.

Total: $276

Day Two


Working on environmental factors at work has me thinking about changes I can make at home, too. I do some research and compile a list of tips to boost energy efficiency in your Somerton, AZ, home. The city of Somerton thrives on agriculture as one of its primary industries, so it feels like I’m doing my part for the city and surrounding areas by not just dialing back on energy costs in my home and business, but also boosting energy efficiency in the process. I order a compost bin to add to my extra-eco-friendly house and make myself a list of more products to buy and tasks to complete over time.

Total: $48.50

Day Three


Today, I’m meeting with my employees to discuss how we’ll start our business in the age of COVID-19. The Delta variant, in particular, is a variant of concern, with even those who’ve gotten their vaccine worrying about contracting the disease. Coronavirus outbreaks aren’t on our plan for the grand opening, of course, so we lay out a game plan of how our team will handle masks, social distancing, and other factors that might arise. Finally, I place an order for hand sanitizer and some personal protective equipment for the team, just in case.

Total: $329

Day Four


With our carbon footprint minimized and the health of our staff and customers protected, I can turn to more business-y tasks today. Marketing and promotional efforts are at the top of my mind. With our grand opening quickly approaching, few things are as crucial as ensuring our target audience knows we’re here! I invest in social media ads to help spread the word and contact a local radio show with news of our doors opening soon.

Total: $492

Day Five


Following yesterday’s social media marketing, I reached out to a few industry influencers to discuss potential collaborations. Unfortunately, our budget is limited, so we’re mainly contacting small-scale bloggers and micro-influencers who might be interested in helping us get the word out. In preparation for these projects, I order some packaging materials to send some “swag.”

Total: $36.50

Day Six


Through the morning and afternoon, I’m primarily working on errands for the business. There isn’t such a thing as weekends when you’re an entrepreneur! Come evening, though, I’m excited to meet my partner for dinner, marking our first anniversary. As always, we split the bill, just like we split our plates.

Total: $42

Day Seven


With the grand opening on the horizon, I dedicate today to planning for the week ahead. I work out a nebulous schedule of what projects I’ll tackle when, leaving plenty of room for putting out sudden fires or other crises. Then, satisfied with my updated to-do list and overall plan, I celebrate with some takeout for dinner.

Total: $24.50

Total for the week: $1,248.50

Ahmed Guillen leads OI's editorial staff. He is passionate about professional development and helping our readers navigate starting and enhancing their businesses and investments.

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