Ahem Ahem, yes I GOT A JOB, the first job after college, a job with less than $30k salary but still a job. It starts tomorrow and I’m now very, very nervous. Though my family have no problem to keep going covering my expenses, I really want to make a living on my own and hopefully even set aside some savings. So here is my plan.
I had a little help from an expense tracking…app? project? on Github called Beancount. The reason I don’t use apps such as Mint is that they only record the ‘payments’. Say if I buy alcohol, almond milk and a chicken sandwich during a visit to a grocery, to me, these three should go to three different categories instead of a single transaction towards ‘grocery’. To me, Beancount makes manual entering transactions much easier than other apps I’ve ever had, so hopefully, I can keep that going. Also, I like double-entry bookkeeping since I have one checking, two credit cards, a brokerage account and probably more accounts to come, it’s so easy to get lose track if I simply monitoring my ‘expenses’, instead of my full financial portfolio. (Maybe) More on that next time.
Pay my rent, feed myself, have some extra expenses then the rest goes to savings. Still looking for ways to start a side hustle, any ideas?
I wouldn’t say my rent is high but definitely not the cheapest. My former rent was once about $550 with 4 roommates, and once a $585/mo with shared bath&kitchen. Now I’m still living with 15 min walk from campus but have my own bath & kitchen…it’s $900, more than 1/3 of what I earn every month. Living by yourself just can’t be cheap, I should find myself a roommate next year and that will save me so much cheddar…
2. Spending – Everyday spending
2.1Grocery & Food
grocery = foods that I cook/ heat up at home; food = purchase from restaurants. Since I don’t have a car and the once grocery within a short walk is Whole Foods, I might use Instacart a lot…it’s a bit hard to get cheap grocery, but I think as long as I cook more often, it’s still cheaper than eating out.
I try to buy most of my pantry goods (pasta, noodles, rice, oats…) online so I don’t have to pay the service fee and tip my shopper LOL.
I also downloaded Ibotta, so every time I go to Whole Foods, at least I can get a few pennies back, in cash, which is nice. If you’re interested, my referral code is wehdwyy, I think you get $20 sign up bonus when you redeem 9 times and I get $10, win-win 😀
Still don’t have a car, don’t know if I would buy one in near future. It’s so convenient to have a car but ugh just think about car insurance, parking, maintenance, gas… maybe it’s cheaper to stick to the bus, metro and Uber for now? But I’ll definitely get a driver’s licence, so next time I move it wouldn’t be such a painful experience.
I don’t have Hulu and Netflix or Disney+ (surprise, surprise), all my subscriptions incl Apple iCloud $1, Spotify (still student membership, hope I can still keep that for a while…)$5.29, Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom $10 (fuck Adobe they literally scammed me into a yearly subscription if I cancel I’ll have to pay like $20…any well yes I still need it from time to time, so fuck not worth it but I have to), let’s it. And my monthly health insurance would be ~$65.
3. Spending- Luxury
If you know me, you know I’ve bought too many bougie stuffs…incl but not limited to vintage/antique clothing; craft supplies for some spontaneous ideas I have; stuff for my sewing projects that take forever to finish; instrument rental and maintenance, music lessons, equipment… you name it. I have to say they are good for my fragile mental health but probably won’t help with my financial insecurity.
I’m planning to put them all (except expenses for instruments…?idk) under the category of ‘Luxury’ and put a monthly limit on it. Also since I’m starting a 9-to-5 job I assume I won’t have enough time or enough stressors to push me to do some of the ’emotional spending’…we’ll see.
I opened a Charles Schwarb account back in July last year. I chose Schwarb because…
I like blue and their theme color is blue, they’re an established broker, have no commission fee just like a lot of other brokers, they look a bit old-fashion, which is attractive to a gen-Z with a boomer’s heart, a nd their theme color is blue. My overall experience with Schwab so far has been pretty good. I heard they have great customer service, tho I’ve never tried it myself, and they do offer a wide range of services, many trading options, really nothing to complain about.
I’ve invested a total of 1k into my brokerage account (I know it’s a joke…), but this year I think I’ll mainly focus on my Roth IRA. I like to invest in established, stable companies rather than meme-stocks or emerging small companies. This means I won’t have the chance to become rich overnight, and I’ll have to pay a lot of tax for the dividend. So I’ll just put all my investment into my Roth. My plan is to hopefully save 200-400 every month, most likely can’t even max out my Roth, if it happens, then the rest goes to my regular brokerage.
I still have some cash (~3k) in my checking with Wells Fargo. TERRIBLE DECISION, but that was my 2nd day in the US and I didn’t have an SSN back then. I’ll probably move this money to a Charles Schwarb checking ($100 welcome bonus 0.03% APY, no ATM fee on ANY ATM machines) or Ally Bank Interest Checking (0.10% APY) who are better at online banking and have much less negative media.