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A Week In Bend, OR, On A $222,000 Joint Income

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Today: a consultant who has a joint income of $222,000 per year and spends some of her money this week on renting a bike.
Occupation: Consultant
Industry: Management Consulting
Age: 35
Location: Bend, OR
My Salary: $182,000
My Husband's Salary: $40,000
Net Worth: $546,000 joint (my husband and I have fully integrated finances. While we each have a small personal savings account, the rest of our checking and savings accounts are jointly owned. We pay all of our bills out of these joint accounts. Our collective net worth includes: $8,000 in checking, $32,000 in high yield savings accounts, $166,000 in my 401(k), $50,000 in my IRA, $48,000 in my husband's 401(k), $42,000 in my husband's employee stock, $239,000 in home equity ($621,000 estimated value minus $382,000 still owed on the mortgage) and $11,000 in HSA accounts (mine and my husband's).
Debt: $382,000 on our mortgage. We usually have $3,000 on our credit cards but we pay that off almost every month.
My Paycheck Amount (2x/month): $4,634
My Husband's Paycheck Amount (2x/month): $1,135
Pronouns: She/her

Monthly Expenses
Mortgage: $2,143
Utilities: $290 (gas, water, electric, disposal).
HOA: $82 (yard, snow removal, shared spaces).
Car/Motorcycle Insurance: $125
Internet: $105
Cell Phones: $126
Streaming Services: $124 (Apple Music, Netflix, Hulu, YouTube TV, Prime).
Gym: $110
SommSelect: $119
Tithe: 10% of income.
401(k): 10% of income.
Savings: 15% of income automatically transferred.
Emergency Fund: 2% of income automatically transferred (this account is for our extended family).
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?
Both my husband and I come from hardworking, lower-income backgrounds with little expectation that we should attend college. I did well academically in high school and decided to attend a private liberal arts college for both my bachelor's and master's degrees with no financial support from my parents. I had little appreciation of the cost of education and took out quite a few student loans that caused me a few years of painful repayment. My husband waited until his mid-20s to go to college, after we were married. We paid for his bachelor's and master's degrees as much as we could out of pocket but did take out a few loans. For the next few years, our number one financial priority was to pay off our collective $130,000 in student loans, and by 2020 we did!
Growing up, what kind of conversations did you have about money? Did your parent/guardian(s) educate you about finances?
My parents drilled two things into me: 1) Work hard and make your own way in the world and 2) Be responsible with your money and save as much as you can. These two principles have served me well in life, although I will say I was largely illiterate about the more complicated sides of finances like retirement and investments. Most of what I've learned on these subjects has been through personal reading and trial-and-error discovery.
What was your first job and why did you get it?
I started babysitting for $5/hour at age 13. In high school I worked for my dad's business, doing basic handiwork. My husband started working hourly restaurant jobs at age 14 and has been self-sufficient since then.
Did you worry about money growing up?
I didn't worry much about money because I felt abundant in love. At a certain age, I did start to realize that we were low-income and didn't have means to buy things or take vacations, but then nobody else in our community did either. When I went to college, I realized how comparatively poor I was next to these trust fund, private school kids and that started a pretty significant emotional journey of processing the ideas of wealth and poverty and everything in between.
Do you worry about money now?
I do not worry for myself. For me, the opposite of poverty is enough. My husband and I have more than enough to cover our living expenses and feel abundant beyond that. My biggest source of financial worry relates to our four parents who have no financial safety nets, no major sources of retirement and no reliable healthcare. My husband and I are not currently able to have children so we are preparing to be caregivers for our parents when that time comes. As a small gesture right now, I set aside 2% of my income to a family fund to help out with their emergencies.
At what age did you become financially responsible for yourself and do you have a financial safety net?
At age 17 when I left home for college. The only financial safety net my husband and I have is the one we've built for ourselves, although I'll add that our families are loving and supportive, and they offer a tremendous relational safety net.
Do you or have you ever received passive or inherited income? If yes, please explain.
No, neither my husband nor I have received passive or inherited income, although my parents did contribute $7,000 to our wedding, which was truly generous given their tight budget.

Day One

6 a.m. — The alarm goes off but I'm already awake, mulling over my upcoming day. My husband, D., gets up for work and I'm not far behind. I brush my teeth, throw on some semi-professional loungewear for my work-from-home job and head downstairs. I power up the espresso machine and pull a few shots for an Americano, then blast up a green smoothie for D. to take on his way out the door. D. gives me a quick kiss goodbye and heads off to his job. I head upstairs to my home office, power up my computer and respond to some emails. I revel in my open calendar — I'm between clients right now and my workload is uncharacteristically light, with only some internal firm obligations and a few business development pursuits this week.
7:30 a.m. — My twin sister calls on her drive to work and we chat for a bit. I start a load of laundry, make our bed, water my newly planted herb garden (no signs of anything yet) and check our bank account to make sure some bills have been paid. Then it's back to work with a yogurt. I hop on a business development call.
12 p.m. — I heat up some leftover lasagna with a side salad for lunch, then see that my 12:30 meeting got canceled. Nice! I don some activewear and head to the gym for a 30-minute stair stepper workout followed by a one-hour yoga class. On the way home, I stop by the grocery store to restock some basics: fruit, veggies, Ghirardelli chocolate chips and peanut butter. $35.47
12:30 p.m. — I also stop at a local cupcake shop to get a midweek sweet treat. $12.36
12:30 p.m. — D. grabs a sandwich for lunch from a local café. $16.44
3 p.m. — One final meeting for the day. Then I do some content work at my desk for a couple of hours before settling on the couch with more mindless tasks, an episode of The Crown in the background.
6:30 p.m. — D. gets home from work and hops in the shower while I start dinner preparation in the kitchen. I truly enjoy cooking and, knowing that summer is coming, I'm motivated to revive some healthy recipes this week. Tonight it's a Mediterranean salad with chickpeas and roast veggies. I play Prince Harry's book, Spare, on Audible while cooking. We eat dinner in front of the TV — we start season 1 of Succession. We've heard it described as the “city version” of Yellowstone and are curious to give it a try.
9 p.m. — D. and I head upstairs for our typical nighttime routines. Wash face, brush teeth, crawl in bed. I spend about an hour reading Daisy Jones and The Six before falling asleep.
Daily Total: $64.27

Day Two

6 a.m. — The alarm goes off and I'm jolted out of a deep sleep. It's the same drill as yesterday morning: make espresso. Blend smoothie. Quick goodbye (only this time I send D. out the door with the last of the leftover lasagna). I turn on my computer, catch up on some emails and get organized. I'm happy to see our potential client issued a request for proposal (RFP) this morning, providing me with all the info I need to get to work on this sales pursuit. Let the games begin.
11:20 a.m. — I have a break in my calendar so I put on some sneakers and hop on my treadmill in the garage for a three-mile jog. Something to clear the brain and get my blood pumping. Through the open door I see thick, fluffy snowflakes cascading from the sky — what is this? It's spring, people!
12 p.m. — After my run, I take a quick shower and make a lunch of scrambled egg burrito with pineapple chicken sausage and Costa Rican hot sauce. Then I head back up to my home office for the afternoon's gamut of meetings. In between calls, I make some chocolate chip cookies and snack on the dough.
3 p.m. — By mid-afternoon my meetings are done and it's time for some real work. I make an Americano, turn on some music and settle in for some deep thinking on this business development pursuit. As the pursuit lead, it's my job to architect and design the proposal, which requires leveraging our existing solutions and developing new, innovative ways of portraying our firm's capabilities. It's a combination of science and art. I find my flow and barely notice the time passing until I hear D. pulling home from work.
6 p.m. — It's a mad dash to get ready (read: put on actual jeans and a bit of makeup) and do some rushed food prep as we're heading to a friend's house for taco night. Our group of friends gets together semi-regularly for dinner and we always have interesting conversations. Tonight's hot topic: gender identity and representation in the media. It's a robust discussion and the evening flies by. By 10:30 we're home. Tidy up the kitchen from my earlier mess, nighttime routines, then bed (no reading tonight).
Daily Total: $0

Day Three

6 a.m. — Ugh, the alarm goes off and I am not having it. I feel kind of crummy, which I attribute to last night's rich food and drink. I stumble out of bed and through my morning rhythms, though I skip the smoothie today. Just not hungry yet. D. heads out the door and I once again curl up with some reading and an Americano. It's still cold out in the mornings but I check my weather app to see that we'll start to get into the 70s over the next 10 days. I am ready for some heat.
7 a.m. — I settle into my work routine: email, calendar and a little bit of PowerPoint work. My meetings start early today so by 8 I am off to the races with back-to-back calls until lunchtime. During an optional webinar on AI, I grab a quick bite (oatmeal with chai spice and blueberries). The webinar is super interesting. There are so many applications for this technology in our consulting work and I feel part apprehension, part anticipation.
12 p.m. — Then it's time for a lunch break (BLT). I water my indoor herb garden and see little shoots of thyme popping up through the soil. Cute! Hopefully the rest of the herbs aren't far behind.
12:20 p.m. — I make a call to a bike shop in Palm Springs to reserve a few cruiser bikes for four days. I'm taking a long weekend there with two friends and we plan to soak up the desert heat while pedaling. I provide my credit card for my portion and let the girls venmo me for theirs. $80
12:30 p.m. — D. gets lunch by work. $9.50
3:40 p.m. — I reach a good stopping point in my work and I can't shake this crummy low-blood-sugar feeling so I put on some activewear and head to the gym. When all else fails, sweat those toxins out. As I return home, I notice our neighbors have put a for sale sign in their yard. I google it and see they're listing for $600,000. We bought our house for $460,000 in 2020...nice appreciation. We don't plan to move any time soon but it's good to see that equity for future reference.
5:45 p.m. — D. is finally home. After a couple of years working from home together, I miss him now that he works on-site. I talk him into a Thursday evening happy hour in the hot tub (it's not a hard sell).
7:30 p.m. — I slide a Costco cauliflower pizza in the oven. We enjoy dinner and a beer while watching John Oliver's episode on Open AI, followed by the latest episode of Survivor. At 9, D. starts to play Rocket League on his PlayStation and I head up to bed to enjoy a solid hour of reading. First a book about pacifism, then a bit more of Daisy Jones and the Six. Lights out by 10.
Daily Total: $89.50

Day Four

6 a.m. — I wake up sans alarm and lie in bed, reading stuff on my phone, while D. jumps up and scrambles to get ready and out the door. After a bit, I will myself to start the day. Pour a cup of coffee, fix a bowl of yogurt and migrate to the couch where I jump straight into work, reviewing some case studies that my team members pulled together for this sales pursuit.
8:50 a.m. — I take advantage of the slow Friday and head to the gym for an hour-long vinyasa class, which feels like the perfect end to this work week. I get home for my morning meetings and work diligently through lunch (leftover cauliflower pizza).
12 p.m. — D. grabs lunch by his work again. $8
2 p.m. — The workday is winding down and I need fresh air. I meet up with two coworkers who live near me and we spend an hour walking the river trail not far from our house. It's raining gently but no matter — it's great to be outside in a beautiful setting, moving briskly and catching up with these ladies.
3:30 p.m. — After a shower, I diffuse my hair, put on some makeup and head to a café downtown for some final afternoon work over a cappuccino and a croissant. I plug away for a couple of hours on our sales pitch, then power down for the day. I stop by the library and pick up a couple of books. $15.34
5:30 p.m. — Meanwhile, D. stops at the store to pick up paper plates and such. $12.98
6 p.m. — I meet up with some friends for Mexican food and margaritas. It's a fabulous meal and even better conversation. We're having such a great time that we opt to relocate to one of their houses for a glass of wine and a movie night (Palm Springs). $41.94
11 p.m. — I arrive back home and see D.'s poker night with his guy friends is still going strong. Six of them huddled around the poker table in the garage, with a haze of cigar smoke in the air. Classic. I accept their offer to join for a round or two and before I know it, it's past midnight. I go all-in on one ill-fated hand and lose — my cue to tap out. I say goodnight and climb into bed to read until 1 a.m. Who am I, even? I later hear from D. that he and the guys go strong until 2:30, including a late-night hot tub session — wow!
Daily Total: $78.26

Day Five

7 a.m. — Why can't I sleep in? No alarm but my body is awake and ready for the day. D. is sound asleep and probably will be for a while but I drag myself out of bed. I have a bit of a headache, undoubtedly due to my margarita-wine combo last night. I head downstairs, drink a bunch of water, make a strong cup of coffee and an everything bagel. I settle on the couch and turn on Daisy Jones and the Six on Prime — I've almost finished the book and am interested to see how the show is.
9:30 a.m. — My sister calls and we chat briefly. She had a funny memory from our childhood and we laugh about it together before moving on with our days. I make a to-do list, then start a few chores: water the plants, take out the trash and treat the hot tub after the guys' late-night party. I see the garage is a mess but I'll let D. clean that up when he wakes. I plan out meals for the week and then submit my grocery order online for pickup later today: salmon, chicken thighs, a bunch of produce, bread, milk, eggs, Tillamook cheddar cheese, deli turkey slices — all the essentials. $88.61
11:20 a.m. — Yesterday was payday so I open my computer, check our bank accounts and see a charge for my passport renewal application ($130). I also update our budget. Every two weeks, D. and I sit down to review our budget, pay some bills and check on our quarterly financial goals. This quarter's goals include paying off about $3,000 on our credit cards, adding $7,000 to our savings and setting aside $4,000 for a planned trip to Australia in November. $130
2:15 p.m. — After some low-key work around the house, D. and I head to a nature park near our house. I go for a run while he walks around. It's 60 degrees and sunny; you couldn't ask for a nicer day to be outside.
4 p.m. — I swing by the grocery store to pick up our grocery order and fill up the car with gas. $35.01
4:15 p.m. — I also pay to swap out a propane tank in case we want to grill this week. $19.99
4:30 p.m. — When I'm back home, I put away groceries, whip up a green smoothie and take my book out to the hot tub for a long soak.
6:20 p.m. — For dinner I make penne pasta with mushrooms, zucchini and chicken sausage. D. chats with me while I'm cooking and decants an Italian sangiovese for pairing. Then we take our bowls of pasta and glasses of wine and settle in front of the TV to binge Daisy Jones and the Six. I'm enjoying the characters, the music, the story — it's even better than the book. By 10, D. cleans up the kitchen and then we head to bed, tired after our crazy shenanigans last night.
Daily Total: $273.61

Day Six

7:30 a.m. — Ahhhh I am feeling much better this morning. Fully rested, no hangover, ready for the day. D. continues to sleep but I make my way downstairs for the normal drill: coffee, reading, relaxation. Then I hop on my computer to start doing some research. It's our 10-year anniversary next month. D. planned some incredible experiences for our five-year and eight-year anniversaries and now it's my turn. At some point, D. joins me downstairs and I whip up a green smoothie.
9:30 a.m. — We both get dressed and ready, then head out the door to church. Our church is small and intimate and I enjoy catching up with a few friends before and after the service.
12 p.m. — After church, we change into hiking clothes and pack some PB&J sandwiches into our backpacks, then drive to a nearby hike I've been wanting to try. This one is further east in the desert. The hike is 10 miles but a gentle climb, and I promise D. it'll be a breeze. We enjoy the first hour talking about D.'s career trajectory.
1:45 p.m. — We take a break to eat our sandwiches and admire the views. The wind is insane and by mile seven, we're both feeling pretty beat.
4 p.m. — We finally complete the hike and agree we've earned a celebratory beer. We stop by a brewery near our house and enjoy more conversation (this time discussing my job and career prospects) over a round of IPAs and a shared burger. $42
6 p.m. — We head home again and I shower, put on pajamas and crash on the couch. We spend the rest of the evening watching TV and winding down from a lovely weekend. I'm in bed by 10.
Daily Total: $42

Day Seven

5:30 a.m. — Back to the start of another week and the alarm seems early today. I get up, brush my teeth and put on work-appropriate loungewear. Head downstairs, make some coffee and water my herb garden — looks like oregano and sage have peeked through the surface of the soil. Cute, cute, cute. By 7, my meetings start and I'm back-to-back until lunchtime, squeezing in some work on our sales pursuit with every free minute I have. It's due to the client tomorrow and the finishing touches are a mad dash.
1 p.m. — I take a quick break from work and realize I haven't eaten today. I heat up some leftover penne pasta and blend up a green smoothie, then I get back to work until end of day. D. has a day off today and he spends it cleaning and organizing the garage and tending to the landscaping.
5:10 p.m. — I finally get a handle on my work for the day and consider it time to clock out. Whew, I'm beat. I consider going to a strength class at the gym with some friends but am still fatigued from our hike yesterday and the long workday today. Instead, I park on the couch and read for an hour before starting on dinner. Tonight I keep it simple and make a tray bake of chicken thighs, potatoes and carrots with fresh herbs. Toss it together and shove it in the oven.
7:10 p.m. — We eat dinner in front of the TV and finish the final two episodes of Daisy Jones and the Six. Overall I truly enjoyed the show — great characters, fun music, quirky fashion. Totally recommend. By 9, D. tidies the kitchen and I head up to bed to wash my face, brush my teeth, put on pajamas and crawl into bed. He soon joins me and we both read for a while before turning out the lights.
Daily Total: $0
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