Living Together On $124K A Year In Portland, Oregon | Millennial Money

We both grew up in Portland. We like all the activities
that there are to do. You can go up to the mountains or be
at the ocean all within a couple hours. I think that we’re definitely living
a comfortable lifestyle with the salary that we have right now. Being able to
have a house as well as putting money for retirement and also
our other savings goals. I think that we live
pretty comfortably on our salary. I’m Marissa and I’m 25. I’m Jacob and I’m 28. Together we make $124,000 a year. And we live in Portland, Oregon. I will say that working for a non-profit,
I don’t make as much as what I could at a different business. But I really enjoy the people that I
work with and the organization that I work for. And so I think of that kind
of outweighs the fact that I could be making more elsewhere. When I graduated college, I got a
job working in a finance department. And then from there, after a few years,
I moved into marketing, which is what my degree is in. And just
within the last year, I’ve received a promotion there. I am an accountant by day and
I am definitely an Excel nerd. I’ve created an Excel budget template. And so that’s what I’d like to use
to track all of our income and expenses and keep updated on how our
budget is going month by month. Our mortgage payment is about $2,400 a
month and that also includes taxes, insurance and PMI because we didn’t put
20% down when we bought the house. So we spend about $300 a month on
groceries and another $100 a month on eating out. And a lot of our eating
out is us going to happy hour. We spend about $150 a month on gas for
our cars and we also save about $75 a month for car maintenance. And whether that’s for doing oil changes,
which Jacob does at home, which is nice. And also putting on new tires
or other routine car maintenance that we may need. So since we are married,
we’ve decided to have combined finances. And so instead of splitting expenses down the
middle or he takes a portion, I take a portion, we just have all
of our money combined into one account. So we started our debt-free journey
right when we got married. I had graduated college and then we
got married a couple of months after that. And so we just lived our
lives like we were college students, even though we were bringing in income. And that really helped us to be able
to put more money towards paying off debt. The big one would be after we
were married for a year, we actually moved out of our apartment and
we moved in with Marissa’s parents. We still paid them rent, but it allowed
us to dump almost all of our income after, you know, paying insurance and
paying all of our other expenses. Everything else just went to debt and we
were able to pay it off much quicker because of that. It feels
awesome to be homeowners after living in an apartment
for a couple years. We saved and saved and saved and then
finally we were able to afford a down payment for a house. So we moved in just a couple of
months ago and we are loving it. It’s nice to have our own space. Owning a home was always our end goal
for paying off debt and being just really mindful of our finances. And so it feels honestly
like we’re living the dream. So we were able to save by
increasing income and also reducing expenses. So having my extra business income come in
has really been a huge help in saving for that down payment. We just were renters for a long time
and our apartment was decently nice, but saving money on the cost
of rent was huge. We already from day one of marriage,
we were living a very simple lifestyle. We never really adjusted from that even
once our debt was paid off. We just kept putting that money away
into savings for a down payment. I have a YouTube channel at Marissa Lyda
and also have a website and an Instagram account where I talk about life
and money and how you can enjoy life while still accomplishing financial goals
through the use of a budget. I’ve been doing YouTube for about two years
and before then I started my blog of The Budgeting Wife, where I was
sharing our debt-free journey and I’ve been doing that for about three years. So I definitely started my
blog as a hobby. When Jacob and I got married, we
immediately were working on paying off our student loans and I had a lot of
people ask me questions about, “What are you doing and why are you doing that?” And so I said to start a blog just
for a hobby, to be able to share our experience. And I did that for about
a year until I then started actually deciding to take it seriously and learn
that you actually could make money from the Internet. And that’s when I
started making money from my blog and YouTube channel. I definitely also work on
my business on the weekends and when I come home from
work during the weekdays. Wherever I can squeeze in extra time,
I am usually on my laptop doing something related to my business. We are actually expecting our
first baby in May. And as an expecting mom, I would love to
be able to be home more with my baby. And so being able to work from
home with my business would be the dream. I was also raised for the majority
of my childhood by a single mom. I think that a lot of the things that
she did as a single mom have definitely inspired me as a grown adult. It’s just the way that she was able
to provide for my sister and I. And we didn’t have much, but
we still really enjoyed our childhood. And so I think that she
managed her money really well. Just learning a lot from her has
transpired into me wanting to be really cautious and conscious of
my budget decisions. Marissa actually was still driving her high
school car when we first got married and for I guess about
three years of our marriage. And then I was driving a truck
that I had gotten in college. So we decided it was time to upgrade. So now, we currently drive a new-to-us
2006 Honda Pilot that has about 190,000 miles on it and
then a 2013 Corolla. And we were able to use both the sale of
our old cars as well as a little bit of cash to pay both of those in full. We met when we were attending college,
which was at Corban University in Salem, Oregon, so just a little
bit further outside of Portland. Our wedding was paid for by
our families, which was really awesome. And I remember when we got engaged, my
mom and stepdad came to me and they said, “This is how much money
we have for your wedding. And you can either decide to
spend it or save it. We don’t care, but it’s
how much we’re giving you.” And so I wanted to be able to
save as much of that as I could. So Jacob’s family also pitched in on some
wedding costs and so did my dad. And so we used all of that money to
cover costs for our wedding, and it cost less than $10,000. And we had an awesome
time and we were able to save a little bit of that extra money. And we actually used it to put towards
our very first loan that we paid off. As far as our savings go, we contribute
monthly to a 401(k), a 403(b) and a Roth IRA. And then I actually have an
HSA through my employer that I save for medical expenses as well as we have
our $25,000 emergency fund that we’re putting towards. I think our investing
philosophy is just to start. And even when we were paying off debt, we
put in at least up to what our company match was because we knew that
having a lot of time is really beneficial in saving for retirement. So just putting something in
and starting is great place. We do travel now that we are debt-free. We’ve been able to go, like I said, on
a cruise and we also have gone to Hawaii a couple times. And last Christmas we went to Disneyland
at Christmastime, which was like my lifelong dream. And so we have been able
to go on those trips because we’ve saved a little bit of money
each month to go towards travel. Just like a few hundred dollars each month
have added up to go on vacations. Sometimes we’ll have a trip planned and I’ll
know that this trip is going to cost us $3,000. And then I take that amount and divide
it up by how many months until this trip. And I can save
that amount each month. Now that we are expecting a baby,
we are saving more towards baby-related costs. And so we aren’t saving for travel
right now, which I am kind of sad about, but I know that it’s
also for a good reason. I think that we’re good with money. I consider us good with money. I think
that we budget and we’ve always been tracking our expenses and our income and
have a plan for our future finances. Yeah. And I think we communicate well
about what we spend money on. If we’re seeing an area of our budget
is too tight, then we might talk about loosening it. So we budget
well and spend well. And give well. I think that maybe we
were a little bit extreme in our debt payoff journey and maybe you don’t need to
be as extreme as we were to pay off debt. But I will say that I am
really thankful that we paid off our debt as soon as possible and we did it,
like, right when we got married because those couple of years
of sacrifice were hard. But now we get to live
the life that we’ve dreamed of. And we’ve only been married
for four years now.


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