Senior Account Manager In Queens, NY — Money Diary

Occupation: Senior account manager
Industry: Healthcare
Age: 36
Location: Queens, New York
Salary: $113,000
Assets: Savings: $1,500
Debt: $133,000 (three personal loans, student loans, IRS tax liability, and two credit cards)
Paycheck Amount (Biweekly): $2,700
Pronouns: She/her

Monthly Expenses
Monthly Housing Costs: Rent: $3,250 (I live with my soon-to-be ex-husband. He does not contribute to any household bills or joint debts.)
Monthly Loan Payments: $2,092
All Other Monthly Expenses:
Gym: $10
Financial Resource Subscription: $10
Hulu Bundle: $17.99
Phone Bill & Internet Bundle: $199
Credit Card 1: $100
Credit Card 2: $100
Con Edison Electricity: $200
Biweekly Expenses
Savings Account 1: $150
Savings Account 2: $100
Savings Account 3: $25
Health Insurance: $123
401(k): $100

Was there an expectation for you to attend higher education? Did you participate in any form of higher education? If yes, how did you pay for it?
There was an expectation for me to graduate college and I was the first in my family to graduate with a bachelor of science (business administration). I went to a private college and my education was mainly funded through Pell Grants and student loans. My mother was a cosigner on my student loans so I graduated with extreme anxiety around paying back the debt so that her credit would not be impacted.

Growing up, what kind of conversations did you have about money? Did your parent(s)/guardian(s) educate you about finances?
Growing up, I did not have any conversations about money. I grew up in public and income restrictive housing and my parents did not make much money. My parents were teens when they had me and did not have much in terms of funds to talk about to to save, pay debt, or invest.

What was your first job and why did you get it?
My first job was at the local movie theater and I got it the day after I turned 16. As the eldest of four children, I always had a place to live and food to eat but never had access to the things I wanted or opportunities to participate in different activities. My sole purpose of getting a job at 16 was so I could have my own money to open up more options for myself. My parents seldomly relied on me for money, but there were many instances where they’d ask me to borrow money or pay for certain household needs such as toilet paper, toothpaste, or laundry detergent.

Did you worry about money growing up?
Yes, I worried about money all the time. As a child of relatively young parents, I did not have more than my basic essentials. My parents did their best to provide for my wants but that was mainly during birthdays and during Christmas time. Once I went to college, my money worries increased as it became difficult for me to buy books and participate in activities outside of school. So to help support my education, I worked on campus and at other retail jobs.

Do you worry about money now?
Yes, I have extreme worries about money. Two years ago, I married my high-school sweetheart and we had a lavish wedding that cost about $80,000 (there are still personal loans in the process of being paid off). However, in early 2023 I was promoted to a senior account manager at work and started to making the most money I’ve ever made and my husband stopped paying towards the rent, household bills, and debts. At this time, I am in so much debt that there are days when I’m so stressed that I cannot eat. Money has been an extreme stress and living in New York with more bills than money is extremely overwhelming. Now the added stress of an impending divorce and having to pay for a divorce lawyer is even more stress that I am trying to work through.

At what age did you become financially responsible for yourself and do you have a financial safety net?
I became finally responsible for myself at 18. I do not have a financial safety net but if I lost my job and needed housing, I could always go home and live with my mother.

Do you or have you ever received passive or inherited income? If yes, please explain.
In my first year of college, I received a life insurance payout from my grandmother that was about $10,000; however, it was the most money I’ve ever had and I wasted it on shopping and other frivolous items.

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