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Product designer: My budget and planning for the future

Video transcript

So I live in San Francisco and I live smack dab in the heart of a city which I'm very grateful for. But living can be very interesting in terms of living costs. I really, really lucked out with housing. I was on Craigslist and responded to every posting that I could, which in retrospect was, could have been shady, but I lucked out and actually pay only $1000 for this apartment. It's a very small studio, but I'm happy with it, yeah. So coming from New York, it was definitely very important to me that I live somewhere where I could walk everywhere. That I not only moved my body and exercised but that I could walk down the street to grab food, I could walk there to find a door knob for something. You know, that I can get anywhere pretty much with my legs or public transportation. I'm also someone who definitely thrives off of energy. So, you know, actually living where I am, I'm right above bars and things like that. So it gets really rowdy on weekends, but I love the energy of feeling that things are moving around me. So I don't feel stagnant in a way. That there's museums just a few blocks away. That I can walk down the street and just see all sorts of different people living there day-to-day lives, yeah. So my monthly gross income, or my pre-tax income each month is $7,500. With taxes, healthcare and putting money towards my 401(k), that's $2,900 that gets taken out of my paycheck. And then I've set up an auto-debit into an emergency fund. That takes out $600 automatically each month and I love having it just set up automatically so I don't have to think about it. I don't forget about it. And I know that I'm saving for my future. And that leaves me each month with a take home income of $4,000. And then the way that I do my monthly expenses is I am very lucky to pay only $1000 in rent, which includes utilities in San Francisco. Each month I do $60 to pay for my Internet. My phone bill is $50. I don't have a car, I don't have to pay for insurance, so my transportation costs go towards taking Lyfts or public transportation and that's $400 a month. I have no loans. And otherwise I spend about $200 in food a month. Mental health is important to me so I spend $200 a month for my therapist. And then, you know I love to shop, so $400 a month for clothes and shopping and then I spend about $1,500 a month towards eating out and spending time with friends and doing fun activities in San Francisco. And all that comes down to about $190 that I have left over per month. So actually last year I had a few sessions with a financial advisor and she really, I think, had me start thinking about some more money saving for retirement. And more money for an emergency fund. And I have to say that, you know, throughout my life I've always saved for emergency fund, and that's really helped me in terms of flexibility with my career. That I could take a break. I could switch jobs when I wanted to. That I had a little bit more money to travel when I wanted to. So, that's important to me. And then in terms of my 401(k), I really, this year, I really want to try to put as much money as I can towards it. 'Cause I know that the earlier you put money in there, the more money you have later down the road. So a 401(k) is definitely something that is my personal goal for 2017, to put as much money as I can towards that. I think a lot of people when they think about money is just like this thing, but you really have a relationship with money. Just like you have a relationship with a person. Some people they might want to avoid money, and just not think about it, never look at their bank account. Some people are like really penny pinching, and they like stress over every single transaction. But for me, I really wanted to have a healthy relationship with money, to be cognizant of it, but also to not let it rule my life. So that's what really spurred me to talk with a financial advisor. So that I could start building a healthy mindset around money and what it enabled me to do in life.
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