I’m 28, I Make $70K & I Feel Guilty About Spending Money

Occupation: Engineer
Industry: Tech
Age: 28
Location: Boston, MA
Salary: $70,000
Net Worth: $164,552 (Roth IRA: $65,086; other investment accounts: $70,080; I bonds: $7,500; HYSA: $4,669; checking: $2,217; savings: $15,000. I moved $15,000 from my HYSA last month because there was a sign-up bonus of $900. I will move it back once I get the bonus. Technically, my name is on the title and deed of the condo I live in, but my parents provided the down payment, and we have a deal that they will get the money from its sale, which will probably happen within the next two years. That’s why I’m not including the value of the condo in my net worth, but here is the breakdown: unpaid principal: $310,214, estimated fair market value: $859,432.)
Debt: $0
Paycheck Amount (2x/month): $2,207.28
Pronouns: She/her

Monthly Expenses
Rent: $1,317.30 (My boyfriend, H., and I live in a three-bedroom unit of a duplex that’s split upstairs and downstairs. The total mortgage is $2,417.30, and H. gives me $1,100 per month. The owner of the other unit lives abroad and rents out the condo, and we each pay $3,500 annually into a trust account for the home, which includes water, home insurance, and other expenses. Since he’s away, I manage the trust and do light maintenance on the home. H. and I make about the same amount and split household costs, like groceries, evenly.)
Health Insurance: $48.64 (All insurance plans are deducted from my net paycheck amount.)
Dental Plan: $12.88
Vision Plan: $2.16
Internet: $12.50 (for my half)
Electricity: ~$33.63 (for my half)
Gas: ~$21.15 (for my half)
Phone: $0 (My parents pay it and told me not to worry about it.)
Roth IRA: $540 (I will max it out at the end of the year.)
General Investments: $300
HYSA: $1,200 (H. and I are saving to buy a house within the next two years.)
Spotify & Hulu: $10.99
Apple iCloud: $0.99
ClassPass: $49
Amazon Prime: $0 (I share with my parents.)
Netflix: $0 (I only watch with my boyfriend, and he uses his parents’ log in.)
Peloton App: $0 (paid for by my health insurance)
Apple Fitness: $0 (paid for by my health insurance)

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Annual Expenses
Blue Bike Membership: $62.50 (with a corporate discount)
Shared Home Trust Account: $3,500

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?
Yes, both my parents have master’s degrees and expected that I would go to university. I also attended high school with a lot of overachievers (myself included) where AP/advanced classes were the norm, so there was a lot of expectation to go to university. I went to a state school where tuition was a reasonable amount (~$5,000 per semester), and I stayed in relatively cheap housing where I shared a room, so my parents were able to pay in full. I also had scholarships that covered half of the tuition for three years. I worked minimum wage jobs in university to have spending money but I honestly felt like I had barely any money at all and relied heavily on my parents. After graduating, I also did a PhD program where I was paid a stipend of $32,000 a year.

Growing up, what kind of conversations did you have about money? Did your parent(s)/guardian(s) educate you about finances?
I have a lot of guilt around money and spending because my parents would guilt my siblings and I about spending it. For example, if they took us clothes shopping, we would come home, and they would call out the “big spender.” Or if they bought us something, and we didn’t like it, there would be drama about wasting money. There was a lot of moralizing about spending, so being the people pleaser I am, I saved money to try to get on their good side. Even now, if they ask me the price of something I bought, I tend to round down to avoid any grief for spending so much.

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What was your first job and why did you get it?
My first job was at a fast food place, and I got it to save money.

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