This week, we’re chatting with Beth. She’s a 23 year old Financial Analyst from Chicago. And we’re about to get all up in her Money Feels.
Everybody, meet Beth
Name: Beth* (*not really. You know the deal by now)
Yearly Salary: $82,500
What Beth sees: $37,200 (44%)
401k: $25k (31%)
Taxes: $20k (25%)
Pay check amount (biweekly): $1550
Beth’s monthly expenses
Rent: $0. She lives at home
Subscription products: Gym ($190)
Btw, the following interview is gonna make more sense if you know what Beth’s week looks like. You can check that out here.
Good. On we go.
Can you tell us why you live at home?
Most people from my high school live with their family for a few years after college to save money. My plan was to live with my parents for two years. But I’m not saving enough money, so it might be three.
My goal is to buy a place then.
But for now, it’s good. I live just outside the city, and my family likes having me there. I have a 15 year old cousin who lives with us, and my parents are gone on weekends. So I take care of her, and my younger sibling, a lot.
Why isn’t saving going to plan?
Not saving is completely my fault. I’m horrible at money management. I’ve worked since middle school to make some extra cash, but it’s difficult.
I get so much anxiety. I don’t like having a credit card balance, so I take money from my savings to pay it off, then it all becomes a vicious cycle.
It’s always been my parents who have taught me about money. I asked my dad to teach me how to budget. I told him I wanted trips, dinners, and savings. He said I can’t have all three.
Do you know where your money goes?
I have no idea what I’m spending my money on. I shop, but not a ton. I pay for gas, groceries, and I spend $5 every day to get the train to and from work. But that’s about it.
I do also go to Texas once a month to visit my aunt, who’s not well. That comes to about $500 a month. Plus when I’m there, I fill up her car and pay some of her bills.
I did used to have savings. I had $6000. But life happened. $1600 of it went in one go when I was helping my aunt. Then another $500 went on vet bills for a dog. Stuff like that.
My credit card bill is also about $1000-$1500 a month, so I used my savings to pay off that, too.
Finally, what’s your relationship with money?
Money stresses me out.
I literally associate feeling sad with spending money. Every time I have a bad day, I go to the Sephora by work. I know if I feel sad I should exercise instead.
With spending money, the effort is nothing so it’s easier to relieve the sadness in the short term. But there’s no pay off. In fact, it puts you in a worse spot.
On the other hand, with something like exercise, the effort seems huge. But it costs you nothing, and you feel so much better in the long run.
It’s a huge psychological barrier that I’m trying to push past.
If you just read this and related hard to Beth, remember to read the money tips and tricks we’ve written for her (and you. we’d never forget about you). You’ll find tips on getting free food, cheap travel, and hella discount codes. Why are you still here?
And if you want more of this content right here right now, read last week’s Money Feels with Christina, the Senior Product Manager on $250,000 a year (no, that fourth zero wasn’t a typo).
Want a go?
If you’d like to speak to us about your money, hit me up at firstname.lastname@example.org or make an account on UserInterviews to find our survey there. (Psssst, that site is a great way make some fast cash anyways, even if it’s not our survey you wanna do). Our rate is $60 for your time, and we don't use your real name, obviously.
Wherever you’re at with your money, keep going. You got this.
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Big love. Cleo 💙