Photo: Getty Images.
Welcome to Money Diaries where we are tackling the ever-present taboo that is money. We’re asking real people how they spend their hard-earned money during a seven-day period — and we’re tracking every last dollar.
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Today: a journalist who makes $55,000 per year and spends some of her money this week on a chai latte.
Location: New York, NY
Net Worth: $42,000 ($12,000 in savings, $20,000 in a Roth IRA, and $10,000 in a brokerage account — both are courtesy of my parents.)
Paycheck Amount (2x/month): $1,750
Rent: $1,125 (I live in a two-bedroom apartment with a roommate. This is net effective rent because we got pandemic pricing. This also includes heat, water, gas, and electricity.)
Netflix: $0 (I use my parents’ account.)
Spotify/Hulu: $0 (I use my sister’s Spotify account and my friend’s Hulu.)
New York Times : $4
Health Insurance: $0 (I’m on my dad’s plan.)
Monthly Metrocard: $127
Cell Phone: $0 (I’m on my parents’ plan.)
Roth IRA: $500
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?
Since both of my parents have graduate degrees, there was an assumption that my siblings and I would attend college and even graduate school. My parents paid for my siblings and me to attend elite colleges (though we all received generous financial aid packages, and I got a four-year, full-tuition scholarship for my school), and we were all lucky to graduate debt-free.
Growing up, what kind of conversations did you have about money? Did your parent/guardian(s) educate you about finances?
My parents are immigrants and are incredibly frugal. They taught us the importance of saving, not spending on unnecessary expenses, and stretching any money we did have. Now that we’re older, my parents are constantly stressing the importance of investing for retirement and paying off credit card bills in full and on time.
What was your first job and why did you get it? My first job was as a call center representative for a fast food chain when I was a senior in high school. I got the job because I wanted some cash of my own, but I ended up quitting just a few months after I started. Did you worry about money growing up? I never had to worry about money when I was growing up, but my parents did before I was born. Money was a big concern for them after they moved to the states and had my siblings. My mom started working after I was born so money was less of an issue when I was growing up. Do you worry about money now? Yes. NYC is crazy expensive and as someone originally who grew up in a town with a relatively low cost of living, I am always shocked by the cost of everything in the city. I also work in a field that’s known to be underpaid with little job stability, but I definitely got lucky with the salary I have now. At what age did you become financially responsible for yourself and do you have a financial safety net? 22. I’m still kind of financially dependent on my parents because they pay for my health insurance and medical expenses, but I’m on my own when it comes to the essentials like food, transportation, and rent. My parents would definitely help me out if I needed it. Do you or have you ever received passive or inherited income? If yes, please explain. My parents started investing in a Roth IRA and a brokerage account for me when I was younger. I also have money in a 529 savings plan that I can use if I go to graduate school. Day One 8:30 a.m. — I’ve decided to go into the office this morning so this means I can’t keep hitting my snooze until work starts at 9:30. I shower and then pack a lunch […]
Photo: Getty Images.