Today’s post is the first in what I hope will be a series of quarterly net worth reports. I love seeing actual numbers from everyone in the personal finance community, so I thought I’d join the party and share my own numbers as well! It’s my hope that you find this report helpful as you continue on your own financial journey…
Ms. FP and I have a sort of general plan as to how we plan to use our money over the next decade or so. The plan isn’t rock solid though. There are a lot of balls in the air and we’re at a point in our life where we aren’t quite sure what the world might throw at us. We’re getting married in the spring, Ms. FP is still completing her residency, we have her student loans to pay off, and of course, kids and other major life events will pop up. Needless to say, its important that we’re okay with rolling with the punches.
Luckily, both of us aren’t particularly big spenders. The skills we’ve learned from living on less and saving money should hopefully continue throughout our life, even if our best laid plans don’t come to pass.
One of the assumptions a lot of people make when thinking about their income is that it will always go up. There’s this general belief that the amount you are earning today will just naturally increase. Each year, you’ll do better at your job, you’ll get a raise, and you’ll just make more money.
The thing is, this isn’t always true. Your income doesn’t stick to a single trajectory. It can go up or down. And heck, over the long term, there’s no guarantee that your income will rise…
Yours truly got out of debt in June 2016. This month, I didn’t have to pay a student loan bill for the first time in over 2 years and I’ll tell you, it felt weird. But it’s such an amazing feeling.
So here’s what’s crazy. I just got out of debt. And I’m going to be going right back into debt again. You see, Ms. Financial Panther and I are getting married next year and she has $130k in student loan debt. Ouch! What’s yours is mine though, right?
I’m not worried however. We’re both pretty smart (I think), work in high earning professions, and expect to make a very good household income…
By almost any measure, I had hit the jackpot. I graduated from law school in 2013, with honors, and landed a job at one of the largest law firms in the midwest. In an era when law students were – and still are – frequently finding themselves unemployed or underemployed, I was one of the “lucky” ones. My starting salary in my first ever real job was $110,000 per year. Here I was, a 26 year old kid making a salary that my middle class parents had never earned in their entire lives. The most I had ever earned in a year before was about $20,000.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary for 25-34 year olds in the United States is $38,324 a year. I was making nearly 3 times that amount. By 2016, my salary rose to $125,000 per year. I was a baller!
But, like almost all new lawyers (or almost anyone entering a high paying professional field), I also had sizable student loan debt: about $87,000 worth.