A Week In The Florida Panhandle On A $156,000 Wage


Welcome to Cash Diaries the place we’re tackling the ever-present taboo that’s cash. We’re asking actual individuals how they spend their hard-earned cash throughout a seven-day interval — and we’re monitoring each final greenback.

Right now: a Licensed Psychological Well being Counselor who makes $156,000 per 12 months and spends a few of their cash this week on a Microsoft Floor Professional.

Occupation: Licensed Psychological Well being Counselor
Trade: Psychological Well being
Age: 35
Location: Florida Panhandle
Wage: $156,000
Web Value: $167,000 (Home worth: $250,000, investments: $7,000, financial savings: $45,000, SEP IRA: $20,000 minus debt)
Debt: Pupil Loans: $78,000, Mortgage: $77,000
Paycheck Quantity (1x/week): $3,300
Pronouns: They/she

Month-to-month Bills
Mortgage: $800 consists of householders insurance coverage and taxes
Pupil Loans: presently frozen (usually pay $649)
Hulu: $15
Netflix: $15
Amazon Prime: $139 per 12 months
Electrical Invoice: $140
Gasoline: $60
Water: $10
Trash/Sewer: $45
Well being Insurance coverage: $671
Web: $100
Retirement SEP IRA: $500
Investments: $200
Financial savings: $5,000
Estimated Taxes: $3,000
Housekeeper: $300
Automobile Insurance coverage: $95

Was there an expectation so that you can attend greater schooling? Did you take part in any type of greater schooling? If sure, how did you pay for it?
Rising up, I used to be taught that I all the time needed to go to varsity. I’m the standard “elder” millennial who was advised that the world was our oyster, and that we needed to go to highschool, get a level, and get a great job. As such, I went on to get my bachelor’s and grasp’s levels, in order that I might change into a Licensed Psychological Well being Counselor. My undergraduate diploma was paid for fully by monetary assist whereas my graduate schooling was funded solely by scholar loans.

Rising up, what sort of conversations did you may have about cash? Did your mother or father/guardian(s) educate you about funds?
I had an odd relationship with cash rising up. My prolonged household was fairly rich and privileged, and my mother and father retained that mindset. As soon as the belief funds my mother and father had ran out, poverty was the secret, and we relied solely on social safety funds (about $1,100 a month), Medicaid, and meals stamps, for many of my childhood. Lights had been turned off ceaselessly and we needed to develop a variety of our personal meals. My mother and father ended up declaring chapter. I used to be advised that bank cards had been evil, however a essential evil, as a result of that’s typically how we managed to make ends meet. This ended up actually messing me up as a younger grownup, after I amassed about $45,000 in bank card debt, that I’ve since paid off. I used to be by no means taught methods to finances or steadiness a checkbook. All of this studying got here later, alone, with a major quantity of ache concerned.

What was your first job and why did you get it?
My first two jobs had been after I was 16. I used to be shipped off to my grandparents for the summer time, and so they obtained me a job at a grocery retailer and a restaurant. I saved as much as purchase my provides for the upcoming college 12 months. I used to be in superior courses and wanted particular gadgets, corresponding to a flowery graphing calculator, that was not within the typical finances. I used to be not capable of work throughout the college 12 months as I lived in a really rural space and my mother and father weren’t prepared to move me. After I was 18, I obtained a full-time job at a fuel station the place I labored all through my first two years of school. After I finally moved for the second half of my diploma, I obtained a number of jobs as a caregiver and labored 60+ hours every week on high of faculty so I might afford hire funds and meals.

Did you are worried about cash rising up?
I nervous about cash on a regular basis rising up. Being in superior courses, there have been many instances I used to be unable to finish assignments, just because I lacked the means to take action. Our electrical energy was ceaselessly turned off, and all of my garments had been thrifted or hand-me-downs. Meals was accessible however restricted. We didn’t have a variety of splurges.

Do you are worried about cash now?
Sure, on a regular basis. I’m admittedly in a really privileged place with cash. I work actually onerous, however I’m frightened of being homeless. I’ve $45,000 in my financial savings account, the equal of a 12 months’s wage at my final job, however I nonetheless fear about shedding my job, breezing by means of the cash, and changing into homeless. I relentlessly monitor my spending. It’s taken some time, however I’m lastly on the place the place I can afford some luxuries and not must panic if I get a flat tire.

At what age did you change into financially chargeable for your self and do you may have a monetary security web?
I used to be financially chargeable for myself at 18. At 18, I didn’t have a monetary security web. I’ve been alone for a lot of, a few years. My household has by no means been able to essentially assist me. Now, I do have a monetary security web, on account of a variety of onerous work. If I misplaced my job, or went on incapacity, I can depend on myself.

Do you or have you ever ever obtained passive or inherited earnings? If sure, please clarify.
After I purchased my home, my grandparents gifted me $1,000 for inspections. I purchased my home beneath the Florida First Time House owner’s program, which gave me a grant of $7,500 for the down fee and shutting prices. I purchased my home at exactly the correct time earlier than the market shot up. My home was $83,000. It’s now value $250,000. Aside from that, no extreme financial items, or an inheritance. I’m not counting the belief fund my mom spent after I was a toddler. Man, if solely I had truly had entry to that as an grownup, my life would have been completely completely different.

Day One

6:30 a.m. — I get up at 6:30 and do a morning grounding train that I educate my shoppers and have my first cup of tea for the day. I go surfing to my telehealth platform, return messages, and prepare to see my first consumer at 7:30. I see about 9 shoppers a day, Monday by means of Friday, then six on Saturday. I’m an impartial contractor and get to set my very own hours, and often simply attempt to accommodate my shoppers’ schedules.

10:30 a.m. — After seeing three shoppers, it’s time for me to go away my home and reward myself with a cup of espresso. I’m going to an area espresso store 5 minutes away, get my favourite frozen espresso drink (white chocolate with cinnamon and a double shot of espresso), and run house to see my subsequent consumer at 11:15. $6

2 p.m. — I’m getting hungry, so I order DoorDash for lunch and dinner as a result of I’ve a present card. Lunch is grilled shrimp with a salad. With tip, the overall comes out to $20 and the reward card is $30, so I nonetheless have a credit score to make use of. Yay! I eat half of the meal for lunch and can eat the remainder for dinner.

7 p.m. — I end up seeing shoppers and it’s meal time and a film. I scroll by means of Amazon and see a film that I need to hire, so I pony up $5 and switch it on. I go to sleep midway by means of. $5

Every day Whole: $11

Day Two

7 a.m. — I get up and discover out that my first consumer of the day has canceled as a result of they’re sick with COVID. I take this time to go seize a espresso after which spend the subsequent hour returning messages. My subsequent consumer isn’t till 2, so I take a nap and end my film from final evening. $5

4 p.m. — One other consumer cancels at 4. I’ve been a great employee bee in my personal observe, so I’m caught up on all my admin duties and don’t have one other consumer till 5. I discover a bit of latest artwork from an artist that I like go up on the market on Fb. I run over to his Etsy web page, test my checking account, test my finances, and determine that I can afford to purchase the unique. However, as a result of this can go in my workplace, I get to jot down the fee off! The advantage of working for myself. $275

6:30 p.m. — Lastly finished with the day and it’s time to place in a grocery order. I do my grocery order on Shipt, shopping for contemporary meats and veggies, canine toys, and a sandwich for dinner. With supply and tip, the overall comes out to $150. $150

Every day Whole: $430

Day Three

6 a.m. — Get up and go over my schedule for the remainder of the week. Take the time to cook dinner up some grilled salmon for breakfast and hen for my canine and cats. I additionally cook dinner up some veggies, and now I’ve my meals for the remainder of the day.

10 a.m. — I purchased a Ps 5 final 12 months as one among my splurge purchases. I’m making up for misplaced time, apparently, from my days in poverty. Shopping for good issues nonetheless feels actually bizarre. Effectively, it’s time to purchase a sport, so I purchase Elden Ring and get it set to obtain. It’ll be completed downloading in just a few hours and I can play. $75

7 p.m. — I notice that I haven’t purchased fuel shortly, and I ought to in all probability go get some earlier than I must run errands. I’ve a nasty behavior of procrastinating and know that I’ll be self-sabotaging if I do my regular routine and wait till tomorrow to get fuel on the final minute. So, with pajama pants and no bra, I run as much as the fuel station a few streets away and replenish my tank. I wince at paying $4 a gallon, however I’m luckier than most. I solely undergo a few tank of fuel a month at this level since I make money working from home. $35

7:30 p.m. — I notice that I’m getting cranky and aggravated, so whereas I’m out getting fuel, I cease and seize a vape pen. It’s $10, however will final me every week or extra. $10

9 p.m. — After spending an hour in Elden Ring creating a personality, my consideration will get diverted to my socks. I notice it’s sensory hell, and wish to purchase new socks as a result of these are previous. This finally ends up with me shopping for a few shirts, a pair of leggings, socks, and a fancy dress for my canine from a web-based retailer. Eh, that’s life. $100

Every day Whole: $220

Day 4

7 a.m. — It’s housekeeping day and I’m so excited. I get up at 7 and get my laundry and dishes began. Laundry and dishes are my solely duty as a result of my housekeeper handles the remainder of my greater points. It’s a godsend for a neurodivergent one that works on a regular basis and has govt functioning points. I’m going forward and ship my housekeeper their fee for the day. This features a tip for all of her onerous work, and for breaking down my bins that I’ve let get piled up.

9 a.m. — After assembly with a consumer, I’m on Amazon and search for a e-book they beneficial, so I purchase it. However since a consumer beneficial it, and it’s associated to work, I get to report this as a piece expense. Yay for decreasing my tax burden! $10

4 p.m. — I observed that my garden was getting a bit uncontrolled, so I name my neighbor and ask if he can mow it. I run him over $60 for taking good care of my garden upkeep for me. $60

Every day Whole: $70

Day 5

5 a.m. — One thing is weighing on me. There’s a disturbance within the power. I boot up my pill since I’m awake and should as effectively do some work admin duties whereas I drink my tea. Besides, my pill is giving me a blue display of loss of life. This is sensible since I discovered it on the ground — it appears we’ve got a sufferer of canine zoomies. Welp, I assume it’s time to dip into the work account and purchase a brand new pill, so 20 minutes later, a brand new Floor Professional is ordered. Since I take advantage of it solely for work, it’s one other write-off! I get one of the best model attainable as a result of I’m telehealth solely. $800

7:30 a.m. — I run to the physician for his or her first appointment of the day. They order some lab work, so I pay my co-pays for the go to and labs. My shoulder has been spasming out, so the physician takes a glance, confirms that sure, a muscle relaxer is perhaps useful, and sends in an order for me. I run to the pharmacy to select it up. $200

3 p.m. — I discover that Ninja CREAMi is on sale on Woot, and since I needed an ice cream maker, I purchase it as my reward for seeing 9 shoppers in 5 hours. $120

4:40 p.m. — It’s time to test in with my psychiatrist. I attempt to schedule all my well being appointments to happen on the identical day wherever attainable. We discuss for 10 minutes through telehealth and I get my prescriptions renewed for Prozac and emergency Xanax. I gained’t decide these up till the next week since I nonetheless have every week left on my Prozac and I don’t want my rescue medicine in the meanwhile. I pay my copay. $20

7 p.m. — It’s been an extended week, so I meet a colleague for dinner, and we discuss work. I seize a candy tea and a salad with shrimp. After all, I can’t eat all the pieces, so I field up the leftovers for a second dinner and/or breakfast. As a result of it’s networking and case collaboration, it is a write-off. I’m a sneaky and well-seasoned enterprise particular person. $30

Every day Whole: $1,170

Day Six

10 a.m. — I notice I’m out of pens and notebooks, so I hop on Amazon for two-day supply. As a result of it’s for work, one more write-off that I’ve discovered! $15

3 p.m. — Ah, one of the best time of the week has arrived — my therapeutic massage. I work six days every week, and each Saturday after I’m finished for the day, I’m going see one of the best therapeutic massage therapist identified to man. For 90 blissful minutes, he manipulates my muscle tissue into compliance, and I’m capable of stroll once more with out ache. Sooner or later, I’ll determine methods to make this a enterprise expense. Hmm… we do discuss networking the complete time since he works out of an workplace with different psychological well being therapists. $150

5 p.m. — After my therapeutic massage, I’m feeling good, so I hit up an area farmer’s market. It’s late within the day, however I’m capable of rating some very nice broccoli, free-range hen, a pork butt, and a few natural canine treats for the puppers. I’m going house, throw the hen and broccoli of their respective marinades, after which grill them up on my indoor grill. I get the pork butt all good and ready to go on my smoker at 9 p.m. for an in a single day cook dinner. $50

Every day Whole: $215

Day Seven

10 a.m. — Ah, Sunday. My conventional day of relaxation. It’s not as a result of I’m non secular, however moderately as a result of it’s handy for my enterprise. Not an entire lot of individuals need to do counseling on Sunday. For me, Sunday is a sleep-in day. As soon as I’m up, it’s time for my biweekly pedicure and gel fill. I made a decision to make this a part of my self-care as a result of I found that I actually like my painted toes and so they find yourself being only for me. The nails are a byproduct of accommodating my physique. Bonus, can’t decide my cuticles that method. After an hour and a half of pampering, my fingers and toes are glittery purple. I simply let my tech select the colour at this level. So long as it has glitter, I’m good. $120

2 p.m. — Dwelling in Florida pisses me off typically, as a nonbinary and queer human being. The latest “Don’t Say Homosexual” regulation that handed has impressed me to make the queerest entrance yard ever (with bonus factors since I stay down the road from a faculty and all of the buses get to go previous). I’m going on-line on Goal and purchase all of the Pleasure yard decor. I feel my neighborhood goes to know the place I stand and I refuse to be shamed for who I’m. Bonus: I spotted that human tutus will match my canine, plus they’re cheaper than the canine ones, so I seize two. $237

3 p.m. — It’s time. I’ve delay taking part in Elden Ring for a lot too lengthy. It’s downloaded and able to go. When it’s break time, I order a stuffed crust pizza and a gallon of lemonade. With tip, it comes out to $30. My temp alarm goes off for my pork butt within the smoker. I pull it, wrap it, and shove it in a cooler for just a few hours. It’ll make a terrific dinner that I can share with my neighbor. He all the time is aware of after I’m smoking and makes certain to make his existence identified. Actually, it’s a pity my abdomen isn’t working effectively anymore, as a result of I’m a unbelievable cook dinner. $30

Every day Whole: $387

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