A Week In Boston On A $118,000 Salary

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.

This week: a project manager who makes $118,000 per year and spends some of her money this week on grasshopper tacos.

Occupation: Project manager
Industry: Environmental consulting
Age: 34
Location: Boston, MA
Salary: $118,000, plus approximately $150,000 in rental income.
Assets: $45,000 in cash savings; $100,000 in HYSA; $20,000 for my car (which I bought with cash); $850,000 in equity for my house (which I bought with cash); $4,000,000 in rental property investments; $2,000,000 in land and mineral rights investments; $7,500,000 in business investments; $3,500,000 in various investment accounts.

Early in my career, I worked for a small venture fund. I started as an executive assistant with one of the main VCs but was later promoted to operational consultant. My job was basically to help investigate struggling investments and find ways to make them more sustainable — both financially and environmentally. I negotiated my contract to include fractional equity shares in the investments I worked with. Once the fund’s ROI reached a certain percentage, my shares increased proportionally. For example, if I started with a 1/4 fractional share at 1% ROI, my share doubled to 1/2 share at 2% ROI. It worked out well and almost all of the investments had successful exits (i.e. were purchased or IPO’d) so my shares cashed out. I do still retain equity in a couple of businesses from that time that I transferred into a larger fund. 

I used that money to invest in a few small businesses — a green-tech company, a healthcare company, a sustainable fashion brand, an art house, and a social sustainability brand — all of which have done well, and I reinvest the profits right back into the businesses. I also invested in some real estate: I have a few rental properties that I rent at below market (for what the market rate should be; I still make a fine profit without bankrupting anyone) and have about 10,000 acres of land in the middle of nowhere that I bought so that no one could build on it (lol). I don’t make money from this, but I do have a long-term lease set up with blocks for cow and horse pastures, as well as a community farm, to help prevent developers from moving in and claiming it as abandoned. My investment portfolio also currently includes a $1,000,000 holding for an endowment fund for an arts-centered, needs-based scholarship. I’ve been trying to get this out of my hands for over a year, but some anti-DEI group threatened the organization I was working with so now it’s sitting in a separate account waiting for those anti-DEIers to get a new hobby.
Debt: $1,750
Paycheck Amount (2x/month): $3,200
Pronouns: She/they

Monthly Expenses
Monthly Housing Costs: I bought my house with cash, so no mortgage, but my homeowners insurance is around $200 a month.
Monthly Loan Payments: $250
All Other Monthly Expenses:
Cell Phone: $65 ($115 total, …read more

Source:: Refinery29


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