Welcome back to Two Cents, a Q&A series that reveals how individuals of different ages, cities, and professions feel about their current financial situation.
I’ve known Horace for a few years now, and he’s one of the most direct people I’ve ever met. Never one to boast, he’s hilarious, socially active, and always leading by example (although he may not realize it). On top of it all, he’s also got a pretty good financial head on his shoulders. Enjoy his Two Cents!
My name is Horace. I’m a marketing analyst living in New York City working for a credit card company. I’m an avid reader, aspiring writer, and entrepreneur, and only in my corporate job to pay off my loans and learn what I can about business and leadership before calling it quits and doing my own thing.
How would you describe your current financial situation?
I’d say my financial situation is average. I tend to skimp on eating out and going out for drinks in order to save money, so I usually cook my own meals or take advantage of work funded happy hours. I also recently cut out dating and that helped bring down my expenses as well. Overall I’m hesitant about spending money; growing up in an environment where money is scarce makes you hold on tight to the money you have…though NYC isn’t the best place to be young and financially prudent.
My expenses are as follows for a typical month:
Student Loans: $750 (I’m being aggressive early on to pay down my graduate school loans so I can look for another job without worrying as much about salary)
Misc (laundry, snacks, etc.): $150
401K Contributions: $170 (Pre-Tax)
Transportation: $121 (Pre-Tax)
Employee benefits: $80 (Pre-Tax)
Do you consider yourself to be money-savvy?
Sort of, I grew up in a household where money was tight so early on I learned the importance of saving. And I’m always looking for ways to save better! Currently, I’ve compartmentalized my money across several accounts:
-A checking account from which I pay my bills
-A second checking account for discretionary spending
-An emergency savings account
-A second savings account to use for wedding expenses (e.g.travel, gifts, etc)
-A third savings account for “dream purchases” (e.g. a trip, new coat, etc.); this is in a high yield savings account (any interest less than 1% is garbage)
With regards to credit cards, I now have three. One for daily expenses, another for travel and the last one is my first ever credit card from my original bank which I use sparingly.
What financial advice would you have wished to hear when you started working?
That it’s okay to spend money on yourself. I have a paralyzing fear of spending money on myself because it isn’t essential, I’ve had to learn over time that it’s okay to splurge here or there for the sake of one’s sanity.
What financial achievement are you most proud of?
None at the moment.
What expense can you not live without?
Aside from my rent? Probably all the money I spend on sweets; if I didn’t I’d be a very unpleasant human being.
What expense could you potentially cut down on?
What are your long-term financial goals?
Start investing heavily in stocks or property and developing passive income streams.
What are your short-term financial goals?
Pay off my student loans.
Everyone handles their money differently. It’s all dependent on the tools and knowledge they have available to them! I think it’s important that you pick what works best for you given your economic circumstances and be disciplined. Money evaporates quickly so make sure you’re making the best decisions for both your present and future self.
Also if your company does 401K matching, contribute the maximum amount they’ll match! FREE MONEY.
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