It’s Per$onal #125 – Age 37, Berkley, Michigan

It’s Per$onal is an anonymous blog series designed to shed light on the intricate details of the personal finances and lifestyles of women.

How old are you?



Where do you live? City and State (or Country if outside the U.S.)

Berkley, Michigan


Do you like where you currently live? Why or why not?

Yes! We’re able to enjoy major cities, small towns, and tons of forests, lakes and rivers in within an hour’s drive. I also love the small town feeling of my neighborhood, while also being able to walk downtown to restaurants and shops.


What is your highest level of education?



Are you single / in a relationship / married?



If you are in a relationship / married, do you and your partner have joint or separate finances?


Do you have any children / dependents?

Two children and one grandparent.


Do you have any pets?

Two cats and a dog.


Do you find it easy or hard to make friends?

I tend to be a joiner so have a big circle of friends. Deeper friendships are more difficult to cultivate, but I’m fortunate to have a handful of friends I really click with and can talk to about anything.


Do you have any hobbies? Please explain.

Reading, exercising, and teaching myself how to cross-stitch! I also enjoy taking random classes on LinkedIn Learning or Coursera, like fiction writing.


Has Covid-19 impacted you financially in any way?

Early on in the pandemic, my retirement accounts grew quickly, and my partner and I were also able to realize a lot of savings through subsidized childcare, which we were able to donate back into the community.

I count myself very fortunate to have had a positive experience.


About how much do you spend on groceries each week?



What is your total monthly rent / mortgage for your household?



What is your current occupation? If not currently employed, please say “Not Employed”

Communications Consultant


If you are currently employed, do you like your job? Why or why not?

I like my job. I enjoy learning new things quickly and helping people better communicate the amazing things they’re doing in the world.

The only downside is that it can be very fast-paced, especially when a crisis is happening, which is difficult with a young family and caregiving responsibilities.


What is your yearly salary (or approximate yearly compensation) for your current occupation?



Do you have a second job or side hustle? If Yes, please explain.



If you have a second job or side hustle, about how much money do you make monthly from your second job / side hustle?



Have you ever been promoted at work? Please elaborate if so.

I’ve been promoted 7 times in 15 years. Most of my promotions were when I was working at marketing and communications agencies.

In in-house roles, there is generally less flexibility for movement, but I also never had a lot of ambition to change roles – I was happy where I was.


Have you ever negotiated your salary?

Yes – I have negotiated a higher salary twice successfully. Another time I tried to negotiate a higher title. It didn’t happen, but it gave my boss a clear idea of where I wanted to be!


Are you debt-free?



If you are debt free, how much debt have you paid off and how long did it take you to pay it all off?



If you do have debt, what kinds of debt (i.e. credit cards, student loans, car) and how much debt do you have?

About $9,000 in credit car debt, and $30,000 owed on a lease, which we intend to buy.


Are you currently investing for retirement?



If yes, about how much do you have invested for retirement?

Personally about $130K. Together, my husband and I have $180K.


What’s been your favorite purchase of 2022 so far?

Cross-stitching supplies and a membership to a new gym.


What’s one piece of advice you’d give to your younger self? (Doesn’t have to be money-related)

Listen to your gut. Early in my career and life I experienced a lot of work-related anxiety. I thought it was me, but it ended up being my professional environment.

I didn’t have enough experience to know the difference between appropriate work pressure and what was toxic. Removing myself from those spaces made a world of difference, and I listen when anxiety shows up.


What are your money goals, if any?

Minimize operating budgets and save for retirement, no matter how appealing it is to just spend that money now. I very carefully consider the value of recurring fees and what they’re contributing to my life.

I also work hard to stay off the hedonic treadmill. I make 3x+ more than I was making when I started my career 17 years ago, but my lifestyle has very intentionally not matched this pace of change.


What is your #1 financial concern right now?

I recently moved to the consulting world and am working hard to build up 6 months of cushion for slow months (I’m closing in on the halfway mark!).


What financial victory/success are you most proud of?

My career. I have negotiated my salary during key moves, taking some strategic steps back when needed to go on a slightly different career path, and have said “yes” to very intimidating career opportunities.

All of this has paid off for me financially, and I feel very proud to be as financially stable and independent as I am today.


What makes you imperfect?

I hate saying no!


It’s Per$onal is an anonymous blog series designed to shed light on the intricate details of the personal finances and lifestyles of women.


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About Taylor

About Taylor

A few years after graduating college, Taylor made it her mission to become debt free. After paying off all $60k of debt, she began to blog about what she's really passionate about: personal development. Nowadays, Taylor blogs about the topics of Mindset, Money, Health, and Career for women.