Living on $110,000 in Boston, MA

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On the Break Your Budget Blog, I dive deeper on all the topics we discuss over on my socials; from personal finance, to navigating your career, and starting a side hustle. Plus, I share my routines, habits, hobbies, and favorites things!

Hi, I'm Michela!

Welcome to Salary Series! I am asking real people what they make, what they do, and how they spend their money. If you are interested in submitting your information, you can do so here.

Profile:

Job Title: Pricing Analyst
Industry: Tech
Location: Boston, MA
Annual Salary: $110,000
Bonus: $9,000 Annually
Education: Boston College – Economics, 2021

Financial Profile:

Essentials:

Rent: $1,618 (my half)
Utilities: $100.00
Food: $600.00 (already paying for boyfriend 2/3 of the time on groceries)
Dog Food: $100.00
Grooming: $100.00
Pet Insurance: $104.00
Car Payment: $236.17
Gas: $120

Non-Essentials:

Dining out: $1000.00 (trying to reign this in)
Dog: $50.00
Shopping: $100.00
Donations: $150
Gifts (weddings, birthdays, etc): $50

Financial Goals:

401k: $1,650
FSA: $24
Roth: $300

Assets

HYSA: $15,103.81
401k: $93,334
Roth IRA: $19,528

Debts

Car Loan: $6,000 (0%)

Net Worth

$121,965

Please provide any additional context around your financial situation that may be helpful. 

Hi! I’m at the point where I want to start saving for a wedding, but don’t know if it’s best to invest or HYSA that money. Aiming for a 2027 wedding. Also the numbers I see for wedding costs are astronomical. Also, my boyfriend (6 years) is going to be a very high income earner once out of school (graduates in 2028 as a surgeon) so wondering if I should dial back some of the retirement investments and ramp up a wedding/ buying a house fund. Buying a house wouldn’t be until 2029 when he is done with school. Thank you so much.

Did you parents pay for college/ do they support your financially in any way?

They paid for half, I paid for half by working during school/ over the summers/ some loans that are fully paid off (why I’m now able to prioritize retirement).

What tool(s) do you use to manage your money? 

Google sheets but I NEED to get a dashboard. I look at financials all day in excel for work so working on them on the weekends feels like extra work.

Do you feel confident in your finances?

Meh. No, I’m in a constant state of feeling like I spend too much.

Do you feel like you are financially “behind” your peers? Why/why not?

Not really, I hang out with a lot of students who aren’t earning/ investing at all so feeling fine

What is your biggest money struggle?

BUDGETING!!!

What financial goals are you working towards right now and why?

Understanding how much of boyfriend’s expenses I can take on. I won’t take any on until we’re engaged, just bc that’s a line I’ve drawn, but I want to know if I pared things back, he could stop taking out loans and live off what I earn

Are you looking for tips/advice? If so, please ask your question here and I will do my best to answer. Make sure you provide as much info/context as possible!

Yes! Mostly around the boyfriend financials/ wedding saving situation. I know a lot of workplace women that struggle with this. Men will take over women’s bills without much hesitation but vice versa my female friends have some side eye on me helping my boyfriend.

Michela’s Advice: Based on the information you’ve provided, it seems you can financially withstand taking on a few of your boyfriend’s bills. That being said, (in my opinion) until there is legal commitment (i.e. marriage) I would not consider financially supporting him beyond covering his groceries and picking things up here or there. Your focus pre-marriage should be to build up YOUR nest egg, and his should be to build up his own. After mapping out your monthly budget, you have around $900 that is not currently being allocated. This could be used to begin saving for your wedding!

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