How a 25-year-old Brooklyn-based software engineer spends:

  • SALARY: I make $112,000 a year as a software engineer. My company has "readjusted" salaries, which gave me a raise. I work for a tech company you have heard of and probably use. But I just cannot imagine myself being in my mid-30s to 40s working as a software engineer. It just doesn't seem like something I would or could do. That just seems so boring, even though I like my job and get to work on fun, cool problems; I am boggled by my young coworkers who can imagine themselves climbing the ranks. This is a job I do now because it's interesting and challenging, but I want to use it to do something cooler in the future. I just don't know what. I used to want to get an MFA in fiction.
  • SAVINGS: I have $7,500 in my cash savings account, plus $30,000 in stocks and bonds.
  • MONTHLY EXPENSES:  I spend $640 per month on rent. I contribute to my 401(k) at work and I get free health insurance there. I don’t pay for monthly subscription services.
  • DEBT: I am not in debt. Here is where I admit that I have money from my grandparents, who are still alive (almost $150,000, and they give me $28,000 each year because it's the maximum tax-free gift amount), and they paid for my college tuition.
  • INVESTING: I bought a little Ethereum, I have a Betterment account and I have some money in a Vanguard low-cost index fund. This is all the result of reading and listening to economics/personal finance podcasts. A few months ago, I knew nothing. I want to know if there is going to be another huge drop in the stock market soon, and if so, am I an idiot for putting any money in the market now. Should I pull out? I guess this is how recessions start, and I should just think long-term and diversification, and think of that money as for, let's say, 10 years from now.
  • SPENDING VICTORY/REGRET: I  went to two sample sales for Ilana Kohn jumpsuits. In one, my birthday-addled mind decided I would look OK in a jumpsuit that is ultimately really ugly. I still have it. In another, which was technically not a sample sale but a "warehouse sale", I bought another Ilana Kohn jumpsuit for 20% off, so I think it was like $280. I feel really stupid about the first one I bought. I am not plus sized, but I feel like I generally have a lot of difficulty finding clothes that fit. For better or worse, I have always had expensive taste in clothing, but I never really bought any. Both of these jumpsuits were very big purchases to me. Now that I am a little older and have money and want to invest in high-quality pieces, I feel frustrated that I can't fit into things I like because I fall in between sizes. This is what I have been obsessing about the past few days.
  • CHARITY: The last charity I donated to was Planned Parenthood. 
  • GOALS: I want to eventually buy a house. I just don't know if I will do it in Brooklyn or in Los Angeles, where my parents live. Even though I am OK with being far from them now, I can't imagine it as I get older and hopefully have children. I would like to save at least $100,000 before I decide to buy. As of a few months ago, I was very into saving money. I saved $30,000 from my salary last year and want to do that every year. Recently, I've chilled on that, and started to spend more money, such as a  trip to Morocco and Korean beauty products. I know I should really get my savings back in order. It would be nice for me to understand how I spend my money and balance saving and spending, while also saving more than 50% of my income. 

- She Spends / Issue #24