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Veterinarian: My budget and planning for the future

Veterinarian Betsy explains her financial priorities and walks through her budget for living in Denver, Colorado.

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Video transcript

I'm Betsy Feighner. I'm 32 years old. I'm a veterinarian and my annual salary is 85,000, plus production. Spending four years in vet school and a year in internship, it was very much a time not for myself. So, now that I am out and making money, it's very important to me to be able to go out to eat and go to concerts and travel and save up for those types of experiences. I work to live. I'm trying to save as much as I can but it's also very important to me to enjoy the playground I live in. So, living in Denver is definitely expensive. I've been here now for five years and every year I see the rent go up. It's harder to find a place to live. It is worth it, but, I think compared to a lot of other cities around the nation, I think we're right up there in terms of cost of living. But it is definitely expensive. I think if I had ended up in the Midwest where I was born and raised, I probably would be saving a lot more money. My monthly income is around like 7,000, give or take, pre-tax. So, deducted from that, of course, would be my taxes, health insurance, contributing to my 401K, which my employer does match, 3%, so I try to maximize that every month. I end up taking home around 4,000 to 4,500. My rent right now is about 1,000, which I'm pretty lucky to find a living situation where that's the case. A couple years ago, I was paying significantly more than that. So, that's been a big help. TV and internet, really just use Hulu and Netflix, don't really pay for cable or anything like that. And split with my roommate, it's about $25 a month. Phone bill, yeah around $50. I don't really use it too much. So, I don't need one of the bigger plans. I have a car payment that's about 350 a month. I also don't drive a whole lot. I try to ride my bike and use a lot of Lyft and Uber and that sort of thing on the weekends. I, maybe, average about $80 in gas per month. $75 month in insurance, which I try to pay off twice a year to get the cost savings for that. I'm extremely fortunate to not have any loans. So, that is a huge help. Otherwise, I spend roughly $400 on food, in terms of groceries. I usually do a meal delivery service and that can also be about 75 bucks a month. Or, I'm sorry, per week. So, after that, I'm leftover with maybe 500 to 1,000, depending on the month and how much I spend going to restaurants, going out to eat, going to concerts, traveling. I take a lot of little weekend excursions. A lot of overnights up in the mountains so that that other category can quickly add up. I like to have a lot of fun on my time off. After that, I'm also contributing as much as I can to my personal Roth IRA. So, all being said, I'm hoping to save between maybe 500 to 1,000 per month. Despite what else I spend my money on, it is always very important to me to always contribute to my Roth IRA as much as I can. And then my 401K which gets deducted before I see it, which the way I prefer it. I wish when I was younger, that I would've just been much more aware about saving. I think I'm saving as much as I can now. But, if I would have had that on my radar even in high school, starting to put money away, and my spending habits through college, and vet school, even. It always was important to me to buy gear and go shopping and buy clothes and all of that. I think I could've been a little more frugal and started to put money away and even start a Roth IRA the first opportunity I could have. If I would've started that in college, I think I'd be way ahead of the game now.