It’s Per$onal #146 – Age 29, Austin, TX

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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What’s your name?

Jennifer

 

How old are you?

29

 

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

Austin, TX

 

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

Love it! It has amazing weather (I grew up in Wisconsin so I like it hot), lots of lakes/rivers and nature, great food for a variety of different diets, and there’s always something to do.

 

What is your highest level of education?

Bachelor’s

 

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 have any children / dependents?

No

 

Do you have any pets?

Yes; one dog and two cats

 

Do you find it easy or hard to make friends?

Easy. I am very introverted, but I’ve made a lot of close connections through work and Bumble BFF.

 

Do you have any hobbies? Please explain.

All the crafts, running, baking, hiking, fostering kittens and dogs, volunteering, DIY home decor. Lately I have been making dresses out of thrifted curtains and bedsheets.

 

Has Covid-19 impacted you financially in any way?

I got laid off twice in 2020. But it actually helped me practice interviewing and spring my career forward. Each new job I got came with a large increase in salary so it wasn’t too bad.

 

About how much do you spend on groceries each week?

$100-$120 for me and my partner combined

 

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

2600

 

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

Senior Product Designer

 

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

Yes! I majored in Product Design in college and then it took me 5 years to get an actual job in the field, so I am very grateful and happy to be doing what I love.

It’s the perfect combination of user research, heads-down creative work, and collaboration. I actually just started a new job this week!

 

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

$160,000 base + 10% annual bonus + $20,000 sign on bonus + $80,000 stock vested over 3 years + 4.5% 401(k) match

 

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

Yes. I do SEO contract work and admin/data entry contract work on the side.

 

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

SEO ranges from $300 – $1200. Admin is $150 – $500.

 

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

Yes. I was working full time as a Whole Foods cashier (with a bunch of side gigs) until 4 years ago. My first promotion was at Whole Foods.

While working there, I started doing entry-level SEO work on the side because I couldn’t get a job in Product Design and I was living in San Francisco where everything is very expensive. I had a wonderful SEO manager who brought me on full time.

I was promoted a year later (my first salary negotiation). Since 2020, I haven’t stayed anywhere long enough to get promoted, but layoffs and quitting have resulted in better outcomes for me.

 

Have you ever negotiated your salary?

Yes. Once when I was promoted internally and they gave me more than I asked for. And once at a new job and they seemed surprised I would even ask and it didn’t go well.

I also once asked for a raise at a job I had been at for over a year, because I had a couple competing offers. I negotiated a raise from that but it was very stressful.

 

Are you debt-free?

No

 

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

N/A

 

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

I have 2.5 mortgages, totaling about $1M in debt. But they pay for themselves and then some!

 

Are you currently investing for retirement?

Yes

 

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

About $100,000

 

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

My first out-of-state solo investment property

 

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

The job search process is one of the most unfair and arbitrary/subjective things about life, but don’t give up!

Keep pushing towards what you want, and try every way you can think of to get there. It will happen eventually if you keep working towards it. (I think the same is true about dating :))

 

What are your money goals, if any?

I grew up in a very frugal family and it took a lot for me to get over the psychological guilt I used to feel when buying something expensive or “impractical.”

But life is short and I’ve realized it is possible to spend money and also still save responsibly. My goal is to reach a level of wealth where I can spend whatever I want without it being financially irresponsible. I realize this is not a concrete goal.

I just enjoy the challenge of investing, saving, and earning as much as possible!

 

What is your #1 financial concern right now?

It’s a bummer that mortgage rates are going up, but very necessary to combat inflation. We’ll just have to get creative! For now, I’m happy to get into the stock market while it’s low.

 

What financial victory/success are you most proud of?

This year I got to a point with my rental properties where other people pay off all my mortgages for me, including my primary home!

I started investing in real estate by reading books and didn’t know anyone else who did it, so I’m really proud that I took the leap.

 

What makes you imperfect?

It’s hard for me to say no to things. This can be good because I love to stay busy and have new experiences, but sometimes I’m like, why did I agree to this??

 

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.

 

it's per$onal


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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.