Money Journal: A week in the Dutch neighborhood of Minneapolis on a $128,000 salary – thug – thug | Directory Mayhem

Welcome to Racket’s new Money Journal series in which you can spy on the finances of an anonymous Twin Cities neighbor. Interested in submitting your own? Email for instructions on over-sharing the financial details of your life! H/T to Refinery29 for pioneering a great concept that we look forward to localizing.

Personal information

work: Design Program Manager
Age: 33
Area: Holland neighborhood in northeast Minneapolis
education: Master’s degree
salary: $128,000
partner’s salary: $89,000
Estimated net worth: -$55,000 (total debt $337,000; total assets $282,000)


  • Student loans: $86,000
  • Personal loan: $47,000
  • HELOC: $10,000
  • House: $194,000

MMonthly expenses

Paycheck Amount: $11,820 per month total (spouse is paid biweekly, I am paid monthly)

family help: $0

Rent/mortgage: $657 is paid every other week


  • Health: $225 (before taxes from my paycheck)
  • Dental: $28 (before taxes from my paycheck)
  • Life: $845 term used towards retirement (Editor’s note: We checked with the journal keeper – this is actually the monthly amount.)
  • Car: $81
  • House: The house is paid for every two years out of the mortgage account, but we pay an additional $10 a month for a $1 million umbrella policy that covers everything; it’s more like personal liability insurance.
  • Pet: $126

401K/Retirement: $429.33 from me, $65.38 from my husband

Student loans: $795

Phone: $111


  • Spotify
  • Hulu/HBO
  • apple tv
  • Netflix

Money Talk – Questions and Answers

Did your family talk about money growing up?

No, it was just me and my mother growing up. We didn’t have much money. I think I remember seeing a W2 a year ago and it was about…$24,000 in 2005. We were pretty poor.

Did you worry about money growing up?

I knew we didn’t have any money, but personally I never worried about that because I had the basics. When I was 16 I got my first job and I was abominable with money. I got credit cards when I was 18 and I DID NOT know how to use them properly. In addition, I found out in my late 20s that my mother had issued a credit card in my name and ruined my loan.

At what age did you become financially independent?

I went to college and my mom moved out of state – by that point I was living in college year-round and with my sister during the summers. I would say that was when I was about 19 years old when I was financially independent. But I started buying my own clothes when I was 16. I didn’t own a car until I was 23.

How did you learn to plan your life?

I’m still bad with money. I’ve made stupid decisions with money and I should be in better financial shape.

Have you ever received an inherited income, a large monetary gift, or a large insurance payment?

nope I have never received any inheritance or insurance payments. I’ve also never received a gift of more than $100 on a holiday.

Are you worried about money now?

I’m not trying. I have many years of work left to save for retirement and I will only continue to make more money. Growing up with nothing didn’t help me though – I buy the dumbest stuff. But we’re working on it now with a financial planner.

How much do you think a person or household needs to earn to live comfortably in the Twin Cities?

I would say $78,000 a year. A good apartment costs around $2,000 and I’ve always been told that the apartment should be 30% of your salary. But I also think it really depends on your debt, credit and payments. If I didn’t have personal student loans, I’d be really lucky. I think about the $4,700 I pay out every month on my various loans and I think –Impressive, what could I do with it? My personal loan is due to be paid off in 10 months. That will be a great relief. But we also want to redo our kitchen and it’s going to cost $60,000, so I always have money on my mind.

day 1

10am: Finish off for groceries and some Halloween decorations. $172.

11 a.m.: Starbucks. $5.

11:15 a.m.: I wanted burrata, but Target didn’t have it. I ended up with ricotta and ice cream bars. $18.

11:55 a.m.: Car wash. $15.

Noon: Went to the Home Depot to get paint and primer for exterior window trim and a new back door light. $196.

5:30 pm We use Imperfect Foods as a supplement to our regular foods. $50.

5:45 p.m.: Every six weeks, Chewy ships our auto-ship dog food, cat food, and litter. $105.

In total: $561

day 2


In total: $0

day 3

8am pre-nail appointment Starbucks, I’ll take one for myself and one for my nail artist. $12.04.

10 a.m. nail appointment. $108.

11am: Post-Nail Starbucks, grabbed one for me and my husband! $12.47.

3 p.m.: Amazon. I needed some items for cakes I’m making for friends’ children’s birthday parties and also a book for my 13-year-old niece, who says she wants to be a quantum physicist. I will support this dream until the day she has another. Then I support that. $79.02.

In total: $221.53

day 4

10:42 am: Amazon again, this time ingredients for a fondant for a cake I’m baking. $15.28.

In total: $15.28

day 5

21:20 Wine and cheese flight with a friend at Sister Sludge while our other friend was working. $37.

11:15pm: Travel to LA next month and buy Comedy Store tickets for $57.76.

In total: $94.76

day 6

9:10am A to Z Creamery, this very exclusive ice cream shop sold online that you have to pick up in Hopkins. It’s so expensive but so good. $15.20

In total: $15.20

day 7

10:11 am Lattes at Amy’s Cupcake Shoppe in Hopkins. Had to pick up the ice cream I bought yesterday. $12.68.

1:06 p.m.: Some groceries for Cub to bake. $63.48.

8:15pm: After baking all day I really didn’t want to cook dinner so my husband and I went to the Blue Door pub to get burgers. $50.62.

In total: $174.30

Week total: $1,082.07

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