A Week In Santa Cruz County, CA, On A $132,000 Joint Income

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Welcome to Money Diaries where we are tackling the ever-present taboo that is money. We’re asking real people how they spend their hard-earned money during a seven-day period — and we’re tracking every last dollar.

Today: an accountant working in government who has a joint income of $132,000 per year and spends some of her money this week on storage bins.

Trigger Warning: This diary mentions death and the California Wildfires.

Occupation: Accountant
Industry: Government
Age: 32
Location: Santa Cruz County, CA
My Salary: $82,000
My Husband’s Salary: $50,000
Net Worth: $72,200 (joint savings, husband’s Roth IRA, my CalPERS pension, and my 457 Plan minus debt)
Debt: $4,800 (my car loan) and $4,000 (husband’s student loan)
My Paycheck Amount (1x/month): $6,800 (my monthly gross amount before taxes, health insurance, SS, pension, 457)
Husband’s Paycheck Amount (1x/month): $4,100 (gross amount)
Pronouns: She/her

Monthly Expenses
Rent: $1,600 (for a one-bedroom house in the mountains north of Santa Cruz proper. We were insanely lucky to find a rental with rent control and all utilities and internet included. Our rent has not increased in five years.)
Husband’s Student Loans:


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