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.
Today: a risk and insights analyst who makes $70,000 and spends some of her money this week on a jasmine bouquet scented candle.
Occupation: Risk and Insights Analyst
Location: Atlanta, GA
Net Worth: -$8,600 (I have about $25,000 saved including 401(k) and savings accounts. I took out loans in undergrad and grad school to pay for housing, but mostly received scholarships. Unfortunately, I still have $21,000 in student loans, $12,000 left to pay off my car, and $600 on a credit card.)
Debt: Student loans: $21,000, Car note: $12,000, had to finance a laptop in grad school because mine broke: $600
Paycheck Amount (2x/month): $2,100
Rent: $650 (I rent a two-bedroom condo and live with a roommate)
Utilities: $250 (This includes my phone bill of $100. We just cut off cable and are using a streaming box so my utilities should drop.)
Car Note: $300
Student Loans: Due to COVID, my loan payments have been deferred.
Amazon Prime: $12.99
Hulu/Spotify: $5 (yes, I still renew my student account)
Car Insurance: $185
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?
Yes, growing up in a Pakistani household, my parents expected all of their children to obtain a professional degree (doctor, lawyer, dentist). While I did not pursue any of those professions, I did get my master’s in economics. My parents could not afford to send me and my siblings to school so we all received the Pell Grant and Hope Scholarship. Unfortunately, these scholarships did not cover room and board so I took out loans to pay for that expense. During my junior year, I was an RA and was able to apply for financial aid for room and board. As for grad school, I received a fellowship that covered my tuition and I applied for scholarships to cover my fees. I did have to take out loans for my final semester of grad school to cover my fees and housing costs because I was told at the last minute that I had to take additional courses.
Growing up, what kind of conversations did you have about money? Did your parent/guardian(s) educate you about finances?
My parents were not the best at giving financial advice. They were constantly worried about money. They would tell me to save my money but didn’t tell me how to save money or how to spend wisely. These were things that I had to learn from my older sibling’s financial mistakes as well as watching videos, learning on my own, and doing research on how to save and become financially stable/independent.
What was your first job and why did you get it?
I worked as a student assistant in the scholarship office at my university (this was …read more