Location: Boston, MA
Net Worth: ~55,000 (around $8,000 in a money market, around $18,000 in a Roth IRA, and around $29,000 in a brokerage account)
Debt: $0 (I was extremely fortunate to have my parents pay for my college.)
Paycheck Amount (2x/month): $2,911
Monthly Expenses–Rent: $1,500 (For my room in a two-bedroom, two-bathroom. I pay a little more than my roommate because I have the ensuite bathroom and two closets.)
Phone: $0 (Thanks, Mom and Dad!)
Nuuly Membership: $88 (I often skip but not this month.)
Peloton Membership: $39
Book of the Month: $16.99
Spotify: $6.50 (My boyfriend, R., and I split a duo account.)
Streaming: $0 (Most major streaming services come free with my parent’s internet plan, so I use their logins)
Roth IRA: $500
Brokerage Account: $300
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?
Absolutely. My parents had me going to a college advisor at the age of 15. They’re both lawyers and have their JDs, so I always knew I was going to college. Although, if I truly didn’t feel college was the right path for me and had a trade I was good at or an entrepreneurial pursuit, I think my parents would’ve been totally fine with it as long as I was working hard and had a game plan. My grandfather passed away when my dad was 13, and he was a successful stockbroker. He left my father a trust, which my dad saved to pay for mine and my siblings’ educations. The money was given with a stipulation that it could be taken away at any time if my parents felt we weren’t trying our best in school, and we would have to start taking out loans. It was okay if we didn’t have the best grades, as long as we were working hard, getting extra help, and making a real effort to do better.
Growing up, what kind of conversations did you have about money? Did your parent/guardian(s) educate you about finances?
There were little to no conversations about financial literacy in my home. The closest we got growing up was my parents telling my siblings and I that money doesn’t grow on trees when we were acting a little too spoiled. My mom did always tell me she wanted me to understand the value of a dollar, though, so she made sure I got a job at a young age. I knew she grew up lower-middle-class and that my dad’s family was wealthy until his father passed. Once I graduated college, my dad set me up with his financial advisor to make sure I was saving, but I still don’t feel confident in my financial knowledge and I’m learning every day.
What was your first job and why did you get it?
My first job was working as a ride attendant at Six Flags when I turned 16. I absolutely hated it and didn’t want to apply, but my parents forced me to because they knew I’d get the job. I worked there for around two months before quitting because I got a job at a local frozen yoghurt shop. As I mentioned, my mom wanted me to understand the value of money, so my parents stopped paying for any fun spending money when I turned 16, and I held jobs ever since and all through college so I could afford gas, shopping, and going to dinner and the movies with my friends.
Did you worry about money growing up?
Rarely ever. I think I always had an idea that my parents were decently well off. I got my first passport when I was 13 and had been to Europe by 14 and not a lot of other kids I knew got to do that stuff. The only time I ever remember stressing about money was in college when my mom got laid off from her job unexpectedly. My parents started cutting back on spending and not going out to eat as much on the weekends. My mom ended up getting lucky and had a lot of money in her company stocks she didn’t even know existed, which allowed her to essentially retire early. She hasn’t worked since, so the worry didn’t last very long.
Do you worry about money now?
Not really, no. I’ve always been able to live within my means fairly well and I know that if anything serious happened, my parents would help me out or let me move home with them. Thankfully, nothing like that has happened yet. I do worry about my future and being able to afford a house in Massachusetts someday as well as having kids. I’d love to be able to provide for my children like my parents did for me.
At what age did you become financially responsible for yourself and do you have a financial safety net?
I became mostly financially independent when I graduated college at 22. I graduated on a Sunday and started my first full-time job on a Wednesday and have paid for the majority of my bills ever since. The only things my parents still pay for me are my phone bill, streaming services, and health insurance until I’m 26. My parents would absolutely support me if I lost my income as long as I was working hard to find a new job.
Do you or have you ever received passive or inherited income? If yes, please explain.
Yes, my entire college was paid for by my late grandfather (around $300,000), and my grandmother gave me $10,000 before she passed that started my brokerage account.