Mint Money Audit: Affording Life After Grad School

With a brand new PhD under her belt, our latest Mint audit recruit, Renee, is ready to take on the real world with gusto. The 34-year-old is eager to buy a home and ramp up her retirement savings. She currently lives in San Francisco and has just started a full-time earning $87,000 a year (before taxes).

Renee also received a sizeable inheritance, totaling about $200,000 of which she used $30,000 to pay off her student loans.

So, why does Renee want an audit, exactly? Her finances seem perfectly in order, it seems.

As Renee explains, she wants advice around the best ways to plan for big goals like home ownership and retirement. “I’m especially eager to buy my own apartment, but it is extremely daunting (and expensive) in the Bay area,” she says. As a result, she’s leaning to move to New York City (Brooklyn, specifically, where she thinks may offer more bang for her buck in some neighborhoods.)

She wants to know how much of a down payment she can reasonably afford and how to budget for monthly housing costs.

First, though, I wanted to learn more about Renee’s finances. Here’s what the quick audit revealed:

  • Retirement savings: $40,000 in a 403(b) and Roth IRA. She allocates $200 month from her paycheck to the 403(b).
  • Rent: $1,850 per month
  • Groceries: $400 per month
  • Where is all that savings parked? $100,000 in index and mutual funds, another $50,000 in an 11-month CD earning 1.5%, and remaining $20,000 in checking.

To check out my advice for Renee visit the Mint blog.

you might like....

So Money

Ask Farnoosh

I’m tired of paying rent and bad landlords. How can I get ready to buy my first home or apartment in an expensive city? Can I invest in an index fund or should I wait until my student loans are fully paid off? Answering these questions of yours and more on today’s Ask Farnoosh with special co-host George Itzhak, NBC Nightly News Producer.

Listen Now
all episodes

So Money

Dr. Habib Sadeghi

Do you think that everything in life happens for a reason? Our guest today thinks so… especially when reflecting upon his own life. Dr. Habib Sadeghi is the co-founder of the Be Hive of Healing Integrative Medical Center in Los Angeles. He’s known as the Healer to the Stars and has helped celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow and Coldplay’s Chris Martin improve their emotional well-being.

Listen Now
all episodes