How a 37-year-old Brooklyn-based social worker spends:

  • SALARY: I make a $63,000 per year as a social worker based in Brooklyn, N.Y. I pivoted to social work from a career in political organizing. I have asked for a raise previously and got it. I also went in to negotiations for my current position with an ask that was way more than they put in the ad and made my case; I got $7,000 more than they wanted to pay.
  • SAVINGS: Not enough. This is a really big issue. I am side hustling for this alone.
  • MONTHLY EXPENSES: I spend $650 per month on rent. I contribute to my 401(k) and I don’t have to pay for health insurance. I also have monthly bills for my student loans, phone, electric, utilities, credit card, Metrocard via Transitchek and gym. I subscribe to a vegan beauty box, Hulu, Netflix and Spotify.  
  • INVESTING: I have not yet started investing.
  • DEBT: My monthly student loan payments are more than my rent. I went to grad school twice in fields that don't have paid programs. I'm on an income-driven plan and in a field that means I may one day be eligible for loan forgiveness, but that is tricky. However it shakes out, I got this. I have paid off most of my undergrad debt so I know there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
  • SPENDING VICTORY: I bought my mom a DNA test. She was adopted and now at 65 is meeting blood relatives for the first time. Well worth $100.
  • SPENDING REGRET: Meh. I feel like there is so much in my spending history that could be a regret but my mistakes got me here. If I'm really going to regret something, it's probably not spending more on a good mattress.
  • CHARITY: The last 501(c)3 I gave to was Mission Access Fund's scholarship drive for Dreamers. I do charitable giving twice a month; I tend to stay away from big organizations and give smaller. 
  • SIDE HUSTLE: I have a few. I am dog sitting, offering fee-for-service programs in my field and building my private practice.
  • MONEY GOALS: Short term, I would like a new couch and to travel twice this year. I would also like to start building savings so I have a safety net and can make moves toward opening a private practice. I want $20,000 in the bank by age 50. 

- She Spends / Issue #37

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