It’s Per$onal #134 – Age 26, Arlington, VA

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.)

Arlington, VA


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

Love it! I love living in an area where I can walk to coffee shops, restaurants, and even the grocery store. I also really like having quick access to Washington DC and all that the city has to offer.


What is your highest level of education?



Are you single / in a relationship / married?

In a relationship


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


Do you find it easy or hard to make friends?

It’s a little harder than expected. I have a great core group of friends from college that live all over the country, but after being in the DMV area for 3 years, I still only know a handful of people.


Do you have any hobbies? Please explain.

I’ve always been a big reader and I’m trying to find a consistent work out routine between running, lifting, and Orange Theory.


Has Covid-19 impacted you financially in any way?

Very fortunately, COVID-19 has not impacted me too much financially. When everything first hit, I went back to my hometown for a few months but continued paying rent on my apartment. Since I was in grad school when everything shut down, I was able to switch to remote classes and telework for my campus jobs.


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”

Data Analyst for the government


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

I really like it! It’s not a job I would’ve imagined myself in a couple years ago, but it’s still very exciting to see my work in action with colleagues. It’s also a job I can continue to grow into for the next few years and develop different skills for the field I work in.


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

$62,000 plus commuting costs for public transportation (~$750/year)


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

Sometimes! I finished grad school in 2021 and I continued working at one of the jobs I had at my university remotely for 10 months (started with one job and switched to the other, more seasonal, job a few months later).

I plan to return to the seasonal job later this year.


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.

Yes! In my previous job (my first out of grad school), I was promoted to a different technician role that came with a slight pay raise.


Have you ever negotiated your salary?

Yes; my first job out of grad school. The pay in the initial offer was significantly less than I was making as a student, so I negotiated up to the amount I was making in school and continued searching for higher paying jobs.


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?

~14K paid of within a year


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



Are you currently investing for retirement?



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

~$3500 (I didn’t have an option for a retirement fund until my current job so I’ve only been contributing for less than a year)


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

Tickets to see Hamilton with my boyfriend and my Orange Theory membership!


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

Use money to enjoy your life. I’ve always been very careful to keep my expenses low, but lately I’ve been letting myself spend a little more (within reason).

I’ve decided that I want to invest in myself and my quality of life while keeping up with my money goals, which was one reason I started going to Orange Theory this year (and it’s worked out well!).

Basically, I’m trying to switch from a more scarcity mindset to “the world will not fall apart if you spend money on something important to you” mindset.


What are your money goals, if any?

I’m planning to apply to law school soon, so I want to continue saving money to fund the application process and prepare for any school-related expenses down the road.

I also want to increase my contributions to my trip sinking fund and secure 6 months of emergency savings by summer 2023.


What is your #1 financial concern right now?

My rent increasing…I have a pretty good rate for the area I’m in, but with the rising cost of living in a very up-and-coming neighborhood, I get nervous about it increasing every year.


What financial victory/success are you most proud of?

I have two:

1. Increasing my pay by 32% this year by accepting my current job!

2. Getting my grad school tuition completely covered by my university


What makes you imperfect?

I value my alone time, almost to the point where I feel like I become a little selfish in who I share my time with and when. I’m working on building some of my relationships and making sure I spend quality time with my friends.


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

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.

"It's Per$onal" is a super popular and anonymous blog series about the personal lives and finances of women all over the world. Check it out!

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