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A Week In Tucson, AZ, On A $101,000 Wage

Welcome to Cash Diaries the place we’re tackling the ever-present taboo that’s cash. We’re asking actual folks how they spend their hard-earned cash throughout a seven-day interval — and we’re monitoring each final greenback.

In the present day: a consulting engineer who makes $101,000 per 12 months and spends a few of her cash this week on a barbell.

Occupation: Consulting Engineer
Business: Mining
Age: 27
Location: Tucson, AZ
Wage: $101,000
Web Price: ~$124,250 ($157,500 for my half of a home that my associate and I share, $55,000 in an funding account, $30,000 in a private financial savings account as an emergency fund, $20,000 in a 401(okay), $6,000 in an HSA account, plus $20,000 in financial savings in my dwelling nation the place I went to high school, minus debt. My associate, F., additionally has about $100,000 in financial savings and investments however we don’t share funds past the house we personal.)
Debt: $24,000 on my automotive, $280,500 remaining on the mortgage (cut up between me and my associate, so $140,250 my half)
Paycheck Quantity (biweekly): $2,600
Pronouns: She/her

Month-to-month Bills
Mortgage: $2,187 (cut up in half between me and my associate)
Automobile Fee: $593
Utilities: $275 (cut up between me and my associate)
Web: $50
Spotify Household: $15 (cut up between me, my associate, and our previous roommate)
Spotify Scholar: $5 (for my brother, I take advantage of the Hulu account that’s bundled into that)
Netflix/HBO: $0 (I’ll mooch off my mother and father till I die)
Amazon Prime: $0 (I take advantage of my mother’s subscription)
HOA: $47
Trash: $21
Cell Telephone: $25
Automobile Insurance coverage: $275 automotive insurance coverage (cut up between me, associate, and brother, T., since he lives with us and drives our automobiles to high school)
Native Abortion Fund Donation: $50

Was there an expectation so that you can attend greater schooling? Did you take part in any type of greater schooling? If sure, how did you pay for it?
Completely. My mother and father are typical immigrants who have been solely in a position to get the alternatives they’d by schooling. It was their manner out and, rising up, it was the one possibility for each me and my brother. I went to a four-year college and bought a bachelor’s in engineering. My household and I didn’t transfer to the US till I used to be about 11. Earlier than that, in my dwelling nation, the federal government had a program that allowed mother and father to open accounts for his or her youngster’s schooling and would match as much as 20% of their contributions. Coupled with the truth that I went to high school again in my dwelling nation the place tuition was round $6,000 for your entire 12 months and I took two years off in class to work year-long internships, I graduated with no debt and in reality had leftover cash from these internships to get a head begin in my funds after I left college.

Rising up, what sort of conversations did you’ve got about cash? Did your guardian/guardian(s) educate you about funds?
My mother and father by no means instructed me the precise particulars of our monetary scenario. They did remind me continually of the truth that they grew up in extreme poverty in a creating nation and that I wanted to watch out with my cash (as in, by no means ever tackle debt aside from a mortgage) if I needed to proceed dwelling the approach to life they supplied me with rising up. My mother and I’ve a variety of discussions about what’s price splurging on and what’s price saving on, however so far as investing and rising my wealth, that has been one thing I’ve had to determine by myself.

What was your first job and why did you get it?
In highschool, all I needed was an after-school job however I couldn’t get one due to my visa standing. As quickly as I bought my inexperienced card in my first 12 months of school, I labored retail through the summers.

Did you are worried about cash rising up?
Sure, within the sense that my mother and father continually instructed me about what it was like rising up poor, however our household was at all times financially steady. They have been low-income till I used to be about three, however you don’t discover wealth at that age. After that, my mother and father labored in tech and at all times ensured my brother and I have been supplied for. We had a pleasant home, had one trip a 12 months, and all my college provides and garments have been paid for.

Do you are worried about cash now?
Under no circumstances. My boyfriend and I each reside effectively beneath our means and are fairly joyful that manner. Lots of our spending habits haven’t modified since school and we each have a wholesome cushion in case of emergencies like medical payments or if both of us have been to lose our jobs. Today, the one factor I fear about with my funds is that if I’m investing/saving correctly for the long run and if I’m donating sufficient. Realizing that so many People are one missed paycheck away from homelessness, I really feel each extremely privileged and in addition extremely uncomfortable about my wealth.

At what age did you grow to be financially accountable for your self and do you’ve got a monetary security web?
21, after I bought my first co-op job as a scholar. This was principally a 12 months off of faculty to work an internship in my subject. It paid $45,000 a 12 months and I used to be in a position to save sufficient for the subsequent 12 months of faculty. I did this two separate instances throughout my diploma and had about $25,000 saved after I graduated. Proper now, I do know if I have been to lose my job I might most likely spend over a 12 months unemployed if I needed to.

Do you or have you ever ever acquired passive or inherited revenue? If sure, please clarify.
No, however F. inherited about $30,000 from his grandmother when she handed away about 12 years in the past. He saves most of it in an funding account and tries to not contact it.

Day One

7:45 a.m. — The cats wake me up. I chug a bottle of water earlier than instantly sitting down at my desk for a one-on-one with my supervisor.

9 a.m. — My one-on-one ends early so I stand up and make myself an oat milk latte together with some scrambled eggs and leftover rice from final evening. I purchased a Breville espresso machine earlier this 12 months with my bank card factors and my day by day latte is now my main pleasure in life (though there’ll by no means be something ok to cease me from getting $7 lattes from a neighborhood café on the weekends).

11:30 a.m. — I eat a sandwich and a few shrimp chips for lunch. Among the bosses from abroad are visiting the workplace this week so I determine I ought to make some sort of effort to indicate up and meet them in particular person for the “collaborative tradition.” I pack all my stuff into my bag and head out. Are you able to inform I resent having distant work taken away?

3 p.m. — My brother, T., buys some lunch and college provides on campus and places them on my bank card. He lives with me as a result of I balked at the price of on-campus dwelling at his college and instructed him he might stick with me to avoid wasting cash since our mother and father are paying for out-of-state tuition. I made him a certified person on my card final 12 months till he might construct sufficient credit score historical past to use for one this 12 months. I’ve him go over the bank card assertion each month, calculate his complete, after which our mother and father Venmo me his stability for that month. This manner he can begin being conscious of his spending habits earlier than he has his personal bank card. He principally buys meals and college provides and generally pays for parking on campus when he has to remain late. He by no means spends frivolously and if there’s something materials that he needs he usually calls me to let me know, although I’ve instructed him he doesn’t have to do that. $48

5:30 p.m. — I work out on the workplace health club earlier than leaving for a staff dinner on the town.

6:45 p.m. — I’m the final to reach on the dinner (whoops). Fortunately my coworkers have already ordered me fries. My boyfriend, F., works on the identical firm, so he’s already there as effectively. I order a burger bowl and when the examine arrives our VP picks up the invoice. I do know my brother will probably be hungry after we get dwelling and can also be busy with schoolwork so I order a burger and fries to go for him. F. apparently additionally had the identical thought and instantly cancels his order. $21

9 p.m. — F. and I head dwelling in our separate automobiles, however he calls me whereas we’re at a visitors gentle to inform me he’s getting DQ and that I ought to go together with him for high quality assurance functions, clearly. We order two kid-sized chocolate-dipped vanilla cones. Whereas we eat them within the car parking zone, we see the teeny-tiniest frog below my automotive and spend the remainder of the time making an attempt to usher it in direction of a drain for its personal security. F. put the ice cream on his card however we’ll tally up and cut up the overall on the finish of the month. $3.29

9:45 p.m. — We get dwelling and F. performs some video video games together with his buddies on-line whereas I bathe and do my skin-care routine (oil cleanse, CeraVe cleanser, The Strange Niacinamide and Zinc, then Hada Labo Gokujyun Moisturizer). I splay out on the sofa with a ebook for the remainder of the evening. I simply began Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi and am loving it to date. I fall asleep after just a few chapters.

Every day Complete: $72.29

Day Two

8:30 a.m. — I get up feeling weirdly groggy so I drink water in mattress whereas scrolling my cellphone earlier than I stand up to brush my enamel and begin my day.

9:30 a.m. — At my desk, however the process I’ve for at present is such a drag and I’m pissed off as a result of it’s additionally technically not certainly one of my job tasks. I’m going to the kitchen to make a latte and a few eggs and toast for breakfast as a strategy to procrastinate on it.

12 p.m. — F. and I need to go to his mother and father in Washington someday subsequent month so he books our flights utilizing his card, however we’ll cut up it. With my brother dwelling with us, the best way we’ve been managing bills is to place every part shared between the 2 of us on F.’s bank card, whereas my brother, T., makes use of my bank card and retains all his bills to that one card or makes use of his debit card. Bills for the three of us, like groceries and utilities, are placed on one other card that’s in my identify. This manner we don’t need to spend an excessive amount of time calculating everybody’s particular person bills. I don’t need to be counting pennies relating to household so it’s simpler to simply roughly take a look at the bank card statements and divide by two or by three. Something F. and I purchase for simply ourselves will get placed on our respective bank cards and unnoticed of the month-to-month cut up. $308

2:15 p.m. — I make chilly noodles with sesame sauce for lunch. I double the parts in order that F. can have some too and we additionally end leftover edamame and shishito peppers from dinner earlier this week. Afterward, we cut up a peach as effectively.

3 p.m. — I get a message from the supervisor of my undertaking and my process shrinks from 12 hours to 2 immediately. I breathe a sigh of aid. F. lets me know that he purchased a alternative for our barbell since ours has a diameter that’s too huge and inflicting points with each of our grip strengths ($230 complete, $115 my half). $115

6 p.m. — I’m off the clock! I make a chickpea stew within the Immediate Pot. After, I disassociate for a bit by scrolling by Instagram. Sooner or later within the day, T. arrived dwelling. He makes himself a grilled cheese and presents each me and F. just a few bites of it.

7 p.m. — I spend half-hour on the rowing machine that F. and I purchased secondhand final 12 months. In case you have the funds to do it, I HIGHLY suggest investing in secondhand health club tools. Between the rowing machine and free weights, F. and I spent about $1,200 between the 2 of us and it’s been superb to have at dwelling.

8:15 p.m. — I bathe after my exercise earlier than sitting all the way down to eat with T. and F. We watch Breaking Dangerous whereas we eat.

10:30 p.m. — F. showers and I learn in mattress. I strive some heatless curls utilizing leggings (??) that I noticed on TikTok. We’ll see how this goes within the morning. I keep up too late studying and don’t go to mattress till midnight.

Every day Complete: $423

Day Three

8 a.m. — To nobody’s shock, the TikTok curls didn’t work the best way I assumed they’d. The again appears good, however the entrance is nothing particular and my head bought actually scorching from having the leggings on it whereas I slept. I’ve actually lengthy hair, although, so I’m in a position to get away with simply operating a comb by every part rapidly and it appears kind of presentable. I stand up, brush my enamel, and drink water whereas studying my emails. I don’t at all times really feel like consuming breakfast so simply have my traditional oat milk latte at present.

9:30 a.m. — I get an bill from the landscaping firm we’re working with for the primary fee of the job they’re doing for us. Once we purchased the home final 12 months, the yard was only a filth lot. Usually this could be one thing I’d do myself since I like to backyard, however the landscaping firm I discovered makes a speciality of passive rainwater harvesting and native pollinators which is essential to me as a result of water consumption and declining bee populations in Arizona are each big points. I do know that on the residential degree that is nothing compared to different giant customers of water, however I determine I ought to put my cash the place my mouth is (actually). I pay the invoice and Venmo request F. for half because it comes straight out of my checking. The remaining three funds will complete $17,000 in just a few months after they break floor ($2,024, however I pay for half). $1,012

10 a.m. — It’s Friday and I’m oooooooover work already. I stand up and make one other latte whereas I learn over some documentation I have to evaluate. I don’t have the rest that must be performed at present and no conferences both so I carry my laptop computer to the sofa and half learn, half play with one of many cats. I took a half day at present in order that F. and I might choose up the brand new flooring that we’re putting in collectively. one hundred pc mentally checked out.

12:30 p.m. — My PTO kicks in and I sign off. I wasn’t feeling breakfast this morning, however I’m a bit hungry now so I inhale some leftover rice and a scrambled egg with some kimchi and sesame oil. We’re changing all of the carpet in our home with vinyl plank. I positioned the order a month in the past by a neighborhood retailer on the town and so they referred to as final week saying it had arrived. Since we’re doing the set up ourselves, we have now to select it up. F. and I head out to select up the U-Haul after which head over to the flooring retailer. We don’t need to pay for the truck till we return it.

1 p.m. — On our manner into city, we determine to seize lunch first earlier than choosing up the flooring. The one place that’s healthy-ish alongside the best way is Complete Meals, so we determine to seize sandwiches from there. Conveniently, it’s subsequent to my favourite secondhand bookstore so I peruse the cabinets whereas F. picks up the sandwiches. I discover Goodbye, Vitamin by Rachel Khong and Mud by Hugh Howey and F. orders us two veggie sandwiches. The books are $20 and the sandwiches are $8 every. $28

2:30 p.m. — We arrive on the flooring retailer and whereas they load our pallet onto the truck, I fill out a examine for the remaining stability. I had already put down a bit below half as a deposit after we first ordered so the remaining complete is $4,350 ($2,175 for my half). They weren’t the most affordable possibility, however the retailer is regionally owned and run by immigrants so I’m joyful to present them my enterprise over Dwelling Depot or one other big-box retailer. Plus, the flooring itself is manufactured by an organization with sustainable manufacturing processes and is totally recyclable. When F. and I graduated, we each agreed we needed to spend cash extra meaningfully. We strive to not spend frivolously, however after we do, we attempt to make our cash go in direction of companies and merchandise that we predict are price it even when it prices extra so long as we will afford them. The much less of my cash I can provide to billionaires, the higher (I do know we simply purchased sandwiches at Complete Meals, however I’m doing my finest the place I can). $2,175

3 p.m. — We cease at Dwelling Depot to select up a vinyl cutter F. ordered earlier this week. He paid for it after we ordered it on-line final week so it prices us nothing on the retailer. We drive dwelling slowly because the truck is carrying a fairly heavy load.

4 p.m. — We pull into our driveway and begin unloading the packing containers of planks. It’s just one pallet however collectively all of it weighs over 6,000 kilos. We use the dolly within the truck to unload the packing containers two at a time and it’s sluggish going. It additionally doesn’t assist that the temperature is within the triple digits. We finally, painfully, get every part unloaded. F. and I return the U-Haul and cease for mini dipped cones from DQ once more on the best way dwelling. Ever since we realized there was one actually a block away from us, all self-control has gone out the window. The U-Haul totals to $90 ($45 for me) whereas the DQ is $3.29 (I pay). Once we get dwelling we veg out for a bit by watching YouTube movies to let the warmth exhaustion calm down. $48.29

8 p.m. — I put some rice into the rice cooker and bathe whereas it cooks. After I come out, I make a Chinese language tomato and egg stirfry together with some steamed cod in scallion sauce. T. is out together with his buddies tonight so F. and I watch just a few episodes of Breaking Dangerous with out him whereas we eat. T. comes dwelling shortly after and all of us watch some anime earlier than going to mattress.

Every day Complete: $3,263.29

Day 4

11 a.m. — We get up late. F. will get up earlier than me and makes us scrambled eggs and toast. It’s the weekend so I make myself an oat milk cinnamon mocha as an alternative of my traditional latte. Wild, I do know. F. and I’ve already been watching flooring set up movies, however we watch just a few extra simply to ensure we’re ready. Then we get began taking out the baseboards. T. comes out when he hears us cursing in frustration and takes a break from his homework to assist us.

3 p.m. — We’ve torn out many of the baseboards in the principle dwelling areas and have now labored up an urge for food. I ship T. out to select up sandwiches from Sprouts and he buys one for every of us plus an additional one for himself as a result of he’s each teenage stereotype of being a bottomless pit relating to meals. After the sandwiches, we begin measuring and laying planks down. A few hours in, my again and knees begin to damage a bit, however I take pleasure in working with my fingers and did a variety of handbook labor as an intern so I discover the ache sort of… satisfying? Bizarre, I do know, however I don’t know clarify it. $20

9 p.m. — We determine it’s time to eat. There’s no manner in hell I’m cooking tonight, so we order pizza from a neighborhood place. As a result of I’ve a teenage boy to feed, we order two giant pepperonis and a salad. F. drives out to select up our order and I keep dwelling and redo a row that’s ever so barely askew. We eat our pizza and watch extra Breaking Dangerous. I let the boys clear up whereas I set up one other two rows of planks on my own. My legs and again are screaming at me however I’m hyper-fixated now and am fairly satisfied I’ll explode if I don’t do only one extra row. I get carried away and don’t bathe/go to mattress till after midnight. $64

Every day Complete: $84

Day 5

10 a.m. — Get up late once more. I feel I’ll most likely be struck by lightning earlier than I grow to be a morning particular person. F. makes smoothie bowls for breakfast with bananas, oat milk, and frozen berries topped with a mixture of seeds and nuts from our pantry. Oat milk cinnamon mocha once more as effectively. I handle to pour an ideal milk foam coronary heart and the 2 of us ogle at it in amazement.

11 a.m. — F. and I give you a listing of meals we need to have for the subsequent few days and make a grocery listing. He runs out to select them up whereas I put down one other two rows of flooring planks. He buys salmon, eggs, eggplant, zucchini, tomatoes, oat milk, dairy milk, chuck beef, floor beef, and cucumbers ($160, $80 for my half). He additionally fills up my automotive on fuel ($32). When he comes again, we cease and reheat leftover pizza for lunch and take a break by watching one other episode of Breaking Dangerous earlier than beginning to set up flooring once more. I pop a Pepto Bismol pill, an Alka-Seltzer, AND a Lactaid. Usually we solely eat out about as soon as every week and the additional fat and salt are actually not sitting effectively with me at this level. $112

8 p.m. — We handle to put in your entire widespread space earlier than calling it a day. We clear up whereas ingesting some water as a result of we haven’t been hydrating sufficient. I used to be going to make beef noodle soup for dinner however my legs and again are beginning to ache. The one factor that’s open late close to us is Chipotle. I choose up a rooster bowl for T. whereas F. will get a carne asada bowl and I get myself a birria bowl with brown rice, all of the veggies and salsas, and bitter cream on the aspect. I need to add guac however it prices almost THREE {dollars} now and I simply can’t abide it. $35

9:30 p.m. — Arrive dwelling and eat whereas watching an episode of Breaking Dangerous. I bathe instantly in order that I can go to mattress in time to be up for work tomorrow.

Every day Complete: $147

Day Six

6:30 a.m. — I get up and am already over it. I’ve to be at our testing facility at present which is a few 45-minute drive out of city so I rapidly make some toast and slather peanut butter and sliced bananas on high. No time for a latte at present. I squeeze each of the cats and F., who remains to be in mattress, earlier than getting in my automotive. I hearken to the podcast Genuine: The Story of Tablo on my strategy to work. Dangerous thought as a result of I’m on the second to final episode and it makes me cry.

7:50 a.m. — Arrive on the website and begin the sector exams. I’m not truly the one who is meant to run any of the exams — I’m simply right here to collect information when it’s performed, however every part is recorded robotically from the machines right into a database. I strive to not be aggravated about the truth that it’s actually pointless for me to be right here in particular person. The one saving grace of at present is that everybody right here is chill and enjoyable to speak to.

11 a.m. — Everybody breaks for lunch. I didn’t pack something so I drive out to a close-by Subway and choose up a six-inch tuna sub full of as many veggies as I can get. I head again to the positioning to complete up our testing. $8.31

3 p.m. — Achieved for the day! I say my goodbyes and thank yous to the workers at our testing facility after which signal out and head dwelling.

4 p.m. — I arrive dwelling and F. makes us each a smoothie with bananas, oat milk, peanut butter, and frozen berries. We watch By no means Have I Ever whereas we have now our smoothies. F. says he’s not into the present however then brings his laptop computer out to the sofa whereas he finishes his work day. He offers up pretending finally and begins yelling issues at Devi. I roll my eyes whereas laughing as a result of I do know I’ve to rewatch the entire present with him now in order that he might be caught up.

7 p.m. — Sooner or later, I go to sleep on the sofa. F. nudges me awake so I don’t throw my sleep schedule off utterly. He makes a pot of rice earlier than going to the storage to work out. A number of weeks in the past, I visited my mother and father and my mother despatched me dwelling with frozen marinated beef tendon she made. I add it on high of the rice and allow them to steam collectively. I make one other scrambled egg and tomato stir fry in addition to a smashed cucumber salad. T. will get dwelling from college as I’m ending up within the kitchen and all of us eat collectively whereas watching one other episode of Breaking Dangerous.

8:30 p.m. — I bathe whereas the boys clear up the kitchen. After I come out T. asks me to assist him meal prep some meatballs to carry for lunch for the remainder of the week. I speak him by all of the steps whereas he makes them. Having T. reside with us has meant I’ve needed to spend extra time making meals for him since he doesn’t have a eating corridor to eat at. I feel he feels unhealthy about this, so he’s been making an attempt to be taught to prepare dinner extra for himself in his spare time. I don’t thoughts cooking for him and would quite he concentrate on his research however it may be time-consuming. As soon as he doesn’t want my assist in the kitchen anymore I learn a bit earlier than going to mattress.

Every day Complete: $8.31

Day Seven

8:30 a.m. — I didn’t placed on my Apple Watch final evening so I get up utterly naturally and it feels superb. I actually am a nine-hours-of-sleep sort of particular person. I brush my enamel then change out of my nighttime pajamas and into my daytime pajamas. I make an oat milk latte then sit all the way down to learn by my inbox and in addition reply to messages from my boss about an evaluation I’ve been engaged on.

1 p.m. — F. pops into my workplace to remind me to eat. He empties the dishwasher and cleans up the breakfast dishes within the sink whereas I make two parts of chilly noodles in sesame sauce. I add a hardboiled egg, chilly tofu, and julienned cucumbers to every bowl and sprinkle every part generously with furikake. We each squish every of the cats for a bit earlier than returning to our desks.

4 p.m. — My supervisor will get again to me with suggestions about an evaluation I made that will probably be reviewed with our vice chairman this night at 5:30. It stresses me out a bit as a result of I simply completed the final spherical of edits and the assembly is in lower than two hours. I open up a selfmade kombucha to get me by the remainder of the day.

7 p.m. — The assembly is (lastly) over. I write down all of the suggestions and let it’s tomorrow’s downside. For dinner, I make a beef noodle soup in our Immediate Pot with beef chuck, onions, garlic, ginger, spicy bean paste, and a mix of Chinese language 5 spice. Whereas it cooks within the Immediate Pot, I do a decrease physique exercise within the storage. My aim is to have the ability to squat 5 reps of 200 kilos by the tip of this 12 months and I’m at present at 175 kilos so I’m feeling optimistic! After, I boil noodles and leafy greens for the soup. Eat, Breaking Dangerous, bathe. Learn extra of my ebook and go to sleep round midnight.

Every day Complete: $0

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