Communications Specialist In Salem — Money Diary

Occupation: Communications specialist
Industry: Labor
Age: 34
Location: Salem, OR
Salary: $214,000
Assets: I currently have about $150,000 in equity in the house I bought eight months ago, $85,000 in my 401(k), and $17,000 in two HYSAs.
Debt: $574,000 ($487,000 mortgage; $50,000 student loans; $28,000 car loan; $9,000 home renovation credit card)
Paycheck Amount (2x/month): $2,850. My partner, who has two income streams, earns $2,000 biweekly, and $2,300 monthly.
Pronouns: She/her

Monthly Expenses
Monthly Housing Costs: $3,811
Monthly Loan Payments: $1,087 for two car payments; $219 in student loans.
All Other Monthly Expenses:
Cell Phones & Devices: $200
Gas/Electric: $300-400 (We bought a very old 3,300 square foot home for the charm, sigh.)
Water: $125
Internet: $90
Garbage: $35
Streaming Subs: $55
Donations: $50 (Oregon Food Bank and Planned Parenthood)
House reno credit card: $1,000
401(k): $700 per pay period
Annual Expenses:
Car insurance: $1,200
Chase Sapphire Reserve Fees: $650
Amazon Prime: $119

Was there an expectation for you to attend higher education? Did you participate in any form of higher education? If yes, how did you pay for it?
My mom never pushed me to go to college, but I got good grades and school came easily to me so I always planned on it. I saw it as the only route out of poverty, which I now know isn’t totally true and I wish I had had more career guidance when I was a teen. I paid for school with some scholarships and mostly student loans.

Growing up, what kind of conversations did you have about money? Did your parent(s)/guardian(s) educate you about finances?
I had very few conversations with my mom about money, and they were mostly about how we didn’t have any. It wasn’t until I moved in with my grandparents when I was 19 that I learned how to budget and balance my checkbook (lol), and my grandma taught me the old adage of “Pay yourself first.” I didn’t actually put that into practice until much later because I made so little, but it’s good advice and I do follow it now.

What was your first job and why did you get it?
I babysat from the age of 12, but I got my first W-2 gig at a fast food restaurant when I was 15. I wasn’t even legally allowed to work, but no one seemed to care? I grew up with a single mom who had a severe mental illness so she was unable to work, so I got a job as soon as I could to be able to afford school clothes that weren’t donated to me and to make sure I could participate in school activities.

Did you worry about money growing up?
Constantly. And at far too young an age. I remember realizing we were poor when I was in elementary school and I wanted to pack my lunches so I could eat with the pack-lunch kids (looking back, separating the school-lunch and pack-lunch kids was a totally weird and messed up practice at my school…), but we didn’t really have enough food for me to bring. We also moved a lot because my mom was on Section 8 (housing) and it was hard to find housing, so we stayed with relatives and on friends’ couches for a few years. I think I worried less about the money piece and more about the instability of my life as a child, but as I got older, I realized how connected they were.

Do you worry about money now?
Yes and no. I know that I have enough saved to weather most situations, and my spending habits have become a lot less emotion-driven than they used to be. But I do worry a lot about retirement and long-term care for myself. I have a chronic illness and I don’t know how it will affect me in the next 20 years. I work pretty hard, but I am still constantly trying to figure out how to make extra money so that I can invest more and build up that safety net.

At what age did you become financially responsible for yourself and do you have a financial safety net?
I would say as soon as I moved out of my mom’s house at 17, but my grandparents did let me move in with them for a few months before I started college at 19. I was homeless at the time, and they wanted to make sure I could save up enough to actually move to my college town.

Do you or have you ever received passive or inherited income? If yes, please explain.
My grandparents gave me an old car of theirs when I was 17 that got me almost all the way through college. It wasn’t nice, and it wasn’t really income, but it allowed me to find better job opportunities while I was in school so I could take out fewer loans and take care of myself.

Source link

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

Leave a reply

Shopping cart