Money Journal: 1 week in the Whittier neighborhood of Minneapolis with a salary of $44,000 – racquet – racquet | CarTailz

Welcome to Racket’s new Money Journal series in which you can spy on the finances of an anonymous Twin Cities neighbor. Interested in submitting your own? Email for instructions on over-sharing the financial details of your life! H/T to Refinery29 for pioneering a great concept that we look forward to localizing.

Work: community organizer
Age: 24
Area: Whittier
Education: Bachelor degree
Salary: $44,000
Partner’s Salary: N / A
Estimated net worth: no debt; $7,000 in a cash savings account; $38,500 in stocks/ETFs; $11,500 in a Roth IRA; $4,500 in a work retirement plan; about $14,000 in stuff that I sell and could live without if I had to (about 75% of that is my car). Total: Around $75,500.


I am incredibly happy and have no debt.

Monthly expenses

Paycheck Amount: $2,700 per month after taxes and taxes.

family help: I still have my parents’ phone plan and car insurance, which they pay for, and use their Netflix and Apple+. That’s about $115 a month they’re still paying me.

Rent/mortgage: $642 monthly, which covers rent and all utilities. I live with two roommates in a three-room apartment – ​​actually a two-room apartment with a conservatory that we use as a bedroom.


  • Health & Dental: I have health insurance with a low premium and a high deductible. My work covers the monthly premium and I pay $168 pre-tax monthly into a health savings account. This account has $1,092.
  • Life: N/A
  • Auto and home/property insurance: $0. As mentioned before, I don’t pay my car insurance. I had renters insurance in the past – not currently.

401K/Retirement: I pay $220 a month before taxes and my employer pays $366 a month.

Phone: $0. As already mentioned, my parents pay my phone bill.

Automobile: My 2012 car was gifted to me by my parents in 2020 after my grandpa became too ill to drive and my dad got his car. I try to ride my bike as much as possible because I hate how angry riding makes me. But damn, if cars aren’t that convenient in this city with subpar public transit, so I can usually get by with filling up my car about once a month, which currently costs about $45.

Meal: $300 for groceries and food/drink. The thing I most often spend extra money on is food delivery. I also make a conscious effort not to be cheap when it comes to other people because I don’t want to be a jerk, so I try not to ask people to pay me back for meals we share and my work in the food industry I give at least 20% tip on everything.


  • Spotify: $10.79
  • Xbox Game Pass Ultimate: $16.18
  • AMC Movie Pass: $23.60
  • YMCA Membership: $36.50

Money Talk – Questions and Answers

Did your family talk about money growing up?

Very little. It wasn’t until high school that I realized we were an upper middle class/rich family. For most of my childhood, my mother was an American corporate executive working 60 to 80 hour weeks and my father was a stay-at-home parent. In high school, my mother took a less demanding job and my father re-entered the workforce. I was never given exact numbers, but as far as I know, my family’s average annual income was/is around $150,000-$250,000. I put it down to the fact that it took us so long to understand that our family wasn’t normal because we never talked about money and lived in those circumstances. We lived in a nice but fairly normal house in south Minneapolis, I went to public school, and aside from the necessities (food at home, basic clothing, educational expenses), it was my turn to earn money when I was in high School was wanted to spend.

Did you worry about money growing up?

Almost never, and the concerns I had came from my lack of understanding of our financial situation and seeing friends with real problems. Growing up during the housing crisis of 2008, I sometimes worried that this might happen to our family, but we were never in danger of losing our home – my parents ended up paying off their mortgage early. In high school, I was a bit worried about student loan debt, but when I started having conversations with my parents about college, they made it clear that they had a significant amount of money saved and their goal was for me to get through college leave debt free.

At what age did you become financially independent?

I still get things like my car insurance and phone payments from my parents, so I don’t know if I’m technically independent now. But I would say that after graduating from college at 22 and starting to work full time, the first point I had was the ability to survive without the help of others – I just kept accepting extra support that was mine parents were willing to give me. I’ve had a job since I was 14 to do things like go out to eat, shop Magic the Gathering tickets and save.

How did you learn to plan your life?

I’m going to sound like an asshole, but I’ve always had an obsession with saving money. I live very frugally, I use things until they fall apart and I love the feeling of putting money into savings/investment accounts. The moment I started making money, I really cared about knowing exactly how much I was spending and where my money was going. As I get older, I make it a habit to check my credit cards and bank statements regularly. Also, I have a lot of really great safety nets in my life, so I’ll admit that my budget has never really been tested, like figuring out how I’m going to eat or earn rent.

Have you ever received an inherited income, a large monetary gift, or a large insurance payment?

Yes. My family paid for my entire college education, including room and board. I went to public school, so I think that gift would total about $90,000. My parents gave me a car they no longer need and told me I could always sell it and keep the money; When I got it, the car was worth about $9,000. I have received inheritances, one of $4,000 and another of $1,500 – both fully invested. I did not receive them, but have also heard from several family members that they bought stocks and bonds in my name when I was born and can be used at any time for a “big life purchase” – house down payment, marriage, children, etc.

Are you worried about money now?

I am a very anxious person; I worry about most things. My money worries mostly revolve around whether I’m doing the right thing with the incredible life position I’ve been given. I hate the stock market and think the fact that you have to be fundamentally involved in order to achieve/maintain financial success is a horrible part of our financial system. Its volatility and the fact that the system is set up to benefit large brokerage firms and offers no protection to retail investors scares me, but I still participate and currently see it as my best option for investing in the future have the greatest financial flexibility. I’ve considered buying a home, but decided against it for a number of reasons (awful interest rates, being young, wanting flexibility with where I live).

On a day-to-day basis, I don’t worry about not having enough money to live on; I know I have enough safety nets to protect me from most things. Due to my obsession with saving money, I have times when I feel like I’m overspending because it’s affecting my ability to save more.

How much do you think a person or household needs to earn to live comfortably in the Twin Cities?

I think that depends entirely on how much debt the person or household has. If you’re like me and lucky enough to have no debt, I think a single person could comfortably live between $40,000 and $50,000 depending on what your hobbies or things that make you happy are. I generally love living with roommates, so that serves me well. If I needed a studio apartment to be comfortable, my rent would be 40-50% higher. From that baseline, I would say add in any additional debt payments that a person has to make. I’ll be honest, I have no idea what it costs to have children, but all I know is that it’s a lot. I estimate that a debt-free family of four in the Twin Cities needs about $75,000 to $85,000 to live comfortably. Add the required debt payments here as well.

day 1


In total: $0.

day 2

7 p.m.: I got Taco Bell delivered for $19.78.

In total: $19.78.

day 3


In total: $0.

day 4


In total: $0.

day 5

12:30 p.m.: I’ve had new gym clothes in an online shopping cart for about a month. I finally thought about buying them. $42.03.

12:45 PM I got Jimmy John’s delivered. $19.84.

In total: $61.87.

day 6

7:30pm: I drove to Target to get groceries and some cleaning supplies for my apartment. I would have bought beer if the liquor department didn’t close at 6pm (C’mon Minnesota, we gotta pack up.) $60.37.

In total: $60.37.

day 7


In total: $0.

Weekly Total: $142.02

I would say this is a pretty typical week for me. It might be missing another meal, a trip to the liquor store, or some random other purchase, but otherwise it’s typical.

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