I’m 27, I Make $120k & I Took A Mental Health Sabbatical

Occupation: Marketing consultant
Industry: Finance
Age: 27
Location: Charlotte, NC
Salary: $120,000
Net Worth: $7,420 ($5,200 in checking and $5,020 in a Roth IRA. I recently withdrew some savings to pay off a large chunk of my credit card, and I’m the first to admit my savings need work. I could blame this on a lot of things, like three layoffs in five years and a few emergencies, but, honestly, it’s probably due to my own poor planning. I’m going to open an HYSA with SoFi but want to wait until I get my bonus in the spring.)
Debt: $2,800 (on a credit card)
Paycheck Amount (biweekly): $3,338
Pronouns: She/her

Monthly Expenses
Rent: $1,200 (I have one roommate, O. This total includes water and trash fees.)
Utilities: ~$75 (I pay for the energy bill, and O. covers the internet, which is about the same amount.)
Credit Card: ~$500
Dental, Vision & Health Insurance: $127.08
Car Payment: $600 (I do drive a luxury car, but my mom works for a big car manufacturer, and I have a lease through her employee benefits. This payment includes insurance, taxes, and all maintenance.)
Hulu, Peacock, Paramount+ & Apple Music: $42
Spenga: $179 (gym)
ClassPass: $58 (Next month, I’m canceling ClassPass and buying a monthly membership to another gym. I know it’s not necessary to have two memberships to boutique gyms, but they’re invaluable to my mental health, and I get different benefits from each one.)
Audible: $14.99
Kindle Unlimited: $10.99 (I don’t use this as much as I thought I would, so I’m most likely going to cancel next month.)
HSA: $80
401(k): $553.86

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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?
College was never something I thought of as optional. If anything, I often felt that my dad’s love and approval was tied to how my brother and I were doing in school (I’ve talked to my therapist about this extensively). Although there was a ton of academic pressure on us, my brother is a doctor and I have an MBA, so I guess my dad knew what he was doing, and, ultimately, I’m grateful. I had a partial academic scholarship for undergrad but went to an expensive private college, so my parents generously covered the extra and paid entirely for graduate school.

Growing up, what kind of conversations did you have about money? Did your parent(s)/guardian(s) educate you about finances?
My parents shielded us from a lot of financial matters growing up. I always knew we had more money than some of my friends, but that was pretty much all I knew. My dad owned a business, and we were hit very hard in 2009 and 2010 — right when my older brother was going to college. Only when I was an adult did my parents talk about how bad it was and how they got out of debt. Today, my parents are wealthy (but not obscenely so) and they’re trying very hard to retroactively teach me about money.

What was your first job and why did you get it?
During summers in high school, I worked as a nanny and at summer camps so I could earn spending money. I wasn’t allowed to work during the school year.

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Did you worry about money growing up?
No, but I now know that that’s because my parents shielded us from their own worries. My mom worked very on and off while I was growing up, and the first time I can recall her having a full-time job was when I went to college. My dad worked for the federal government before buying a business from a friend and turning it into a very successful company.

Do you worry about money now?
Probably not as much as I should. At my last job, I made $103,000 and barely saved anything, embarrassingly. I honestly couldn’t tell you what I spent it on. When I got laid off, I knew that my parents would be willing to help me if I needed it, but those months were the most I have ever thought about money in my entire life. Now that I have a job again, I’m trying very hard to be more intentional with my money and pay off debt as soon as I can.

At what age did you become financially responsible for yourself and do you have a financial safety net?
I became financially responsible when I graduated college at 22. Granted, I was on my parents’ insurance until I was 26, and I’m still on their phone plan (along with my older brother) because it’s cheaper. Despite three layoffs in five years, I haven’t had to borrow money from my parents. When I took a six-week sabbatical from work for mental health reasons, I used up a lot of my savings. I’m extremely fortunate that my parents are generous enough to be my financial safety net, but I know they may not always be able to help.

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Do you or have you ever received passive or inherited income? If yes, please explain.
Yes, I have received money from my parents, and I know they will leave my brother and me some amount of money.

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