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babygrenade t1_j3m2pxm wrote

Think you should have done Inheritance at the same level as gross salary, instead of a little nub on its own, so then it becomes a clear Money In -> Money Out flow.


Coloncologne OP t1_j3md79m wrote

I agree with you, thank you. I just wanted to make it clear I wasn't taxed on it but it would look much better to do that further up the waterfall for sure


Gadekryds t1_j3q6pq4 wrote

Oh dang yeah. Thought it was some really amazing savings until I saw your comment saying half of it was inheritance


Coloncologne OP t1_j3lw8mf wrote

Visualization is called a Sankey Diagram made via a free site called Sankeymatic.

Data source is a personal finance spreadsheet where I manually inputted income and transactions throughout the year.


aquatoxin- t1_j3mo8oy wrote

What area do you live in that your rent is that low? Sick post, dude

ETA: just remembered roommates are a thing


this_took_4ever t1_j3lxgf6 wrote

Impressive savings amount! What types of things are in misc? I’m doing a sankey for 2023 for the first time ever and am trying to finalize my categories this month.


Coloncologne OP t1_j3mcs1k wrote

There was a period of 3 months where I was too depressed to track my expenses and I didn't feel like going back and inputting 3 months of transactions all at once, so I just took the total amount for those months from my credit card statements and lumped it into the miscellaneous category to at least have the dollar amount in the tracker.

Misc isn't used much but it's typically for weird expenses that don't really fall into the other categories. For example, fines from my apartment building or amex membership payments


this_took_4ever t1_j3msovw wrote

So sorry to hear you weren’t well during that time. I hope you’re better now. And know that I loved your chart!


pale_blue_dots t1_j3o7ern wrote

"Miscellaneous"... Over $12,000!? Hmmm now.... what are you doing young man/woman?! ... kidding, but I am curious!


BlizzardArms t1_j3nhhrx wrote

This is a nice display. I don’t want to say anything negative about you specifically but I do want to point out something.

Here is a person who puts $10,000 cash into savings in a year in addition to their two retirement funds, who also spends $10,000 per year on going out and going out to eat

Nothing wrong with that at all.

It is just such a great illustration of America that you in that position are the kind of person who just gets $20,000 dropped in their lap tax free but other people are not even getting their food stamps


mikevago t1_j3o7xv6 wrote

And, again, not directed at OP at all because to his credit he didn't do this, but any time you hear "this person saved $10,000 a year, why can't you?" it's inevitably a 26 year old who earns six figures and has no dependents. Like, I'm 47, have seen my income steadily increase for my entire adult life, and only just got to the point where this kid is. So — surprise! — I wasn't able to save any money while struggling to pay rent and raising two kids on credit card debt.

And let's be clear, I had it easy! Middle-class upbringing, in a town with great public schools, graduated from a state university without a dime of debt, no serious medical issues, no real family drama — but I live in NYC, it's expensive, and I don't work in finance or tech, so it's hard to get by.

Which is all to say that being in the financial position OP is in is exceptional, and we need to remind ourselves of that sometimes.


I_lick_windowz t1_j3ovfq6 wrote

Simply out of curiosity, why did you stay in NYC if it’s so expensive? I have friends that live in NYC and say it’s way too expensive and don’t earn enough because they don’t work in a super high paying profession, and I’m always confused why they don’t just leave.

If I was living in a city that had me struggling on credit card debt, I would probably seek work elsewhere. That’s why I’m genuinely curious (not an attack on your choices, I understand there can be external factors like family, visas, etc. that restrict mobility).


mikevago t1_j3oygpz wrote

> why did you stay in NYC if it’s so expensive?

This is where the jobs are. In my field (publishing) and in general. And that means a couple things:

A) If I had stayed in my hometown after college, I would have been a waiter instead of a newspaper designer, which was the first rung on the ladder.

B) If I moved to my hometown now, it'd be very tough to find a job in my field, and even if I could demand any job in town, it'd pay half what I make now.

And then there's just the fact that my life is here. My friends, my kids' friends, relationships I have going back 25 years. And, there's just a lot more happening here than where I'm from (which is, realistically, the easiest place for me to move). And I don't just mean nightlife and whatnot. I mean the possibilities are endless in a big city and feel very limited in a small one. If I lose my job, I know a few dozen people at maybe a dozen other publishers I could call. A friend from high school who stayed around there lost his job and there simply weren't any others. And he has an MBA!

It's a problem for the whole country. There are places with lots of high-paying jobs that are too expensive to live, and places that are cheap to live and don't have good jobs. And maybe you can luck into a situation that avoids that trend, but overall that's the trend.


I_lick_windowz t1_j3p88sm wrote

Thanks for the thoughtful answer. Agreed that NYC has so much to offer. It’s unfortunate that it’s so unlivable for so many jobs - meanwhile multimillion dollar apartments go empty because some billionaire wanted an investment vehicle…


mikevago t1_j3p8k0x wrote

Agreed. The city would be so much better if they banned investment properties and actually used our housing stock for housing. Or if they just killed all the billionaires; either works for me.


77Gumption77 t1_j3s9tgv wrote

> It's a problem for the whole country. There are places with lots of high-paying jobs that are too expensive to live, and places that are cheap to live and don't have good jobs. And maybe you can luck into a situation that avoids that trend, but overall that's the trend.

There is, of course, absolutely no problem with the choice you made. But you have to understand that you did just that- you made a choice. And your perspective is one endemic to those living in NYC- there aren't the kinds of jobs I want elsewhere, therefore there aren't jobs elsewhere. You chose to have a career in a very particular field: publishing. This is not a high-paying field. You made a choice to earn less for a job you preferred.

There are literally 100,000s of unfilled jobs that pay more than publishing all over the country. With comparable experience, you could have earned more tiling floors or doing roofing. You could have been a sheet-metal worker, plumber, electrician, cop, welder... the list is long.

Personally, I cannot understand the appeal of living in NYC (as someone from Cleveland, having visited friends there many times). It's a fine place to visit. But have an acre of property on a street with a community center (with an indoor pool!), good public schools, and the rest... for less than the cost of a 1BD Brooklyn apartment. Really- my mortgage is around 3K/month. I don't understand it, but, then again, you probably don't understand why I'd want live in Cleveland, either XD. To each his own.


mikevago t1_j3sjdf6 wrote

Obviously, everyone has their own priorities (and I absolutely understand wanting to live in Cleveland). And I'm in Jersey City, which is a little cheaper than NYC proper, and we have a few of the best public schools in the state. (and we have public pools here too, and an indoor ice skating rink!) And not to brag, but my mortage is less than yours (I happened to buy when interest rates were at their absolute lowest!).

But you can't really tell a children's book designer "you could have been an electrician!" any more than you can tell an electician "you could have been a children's book designer." I'm really not cut out for that kind of work at all. I gravitated to this career because it was what I was good at and enjoyed. (And I was lucky to be able to do that, and everyone should be just as lucky).


Training-Gold5996 t1_j3o1r10 wrote

Yea, glad someone picked up on that. Listen, no issues with the OP as a person. But it's definitely a lot easier to sit back and make a graph like this when you're 26 and earning over six figures (albeit in IT in DC :)). I noticed he has nothing outgoing like student debt and has a nice chuck incoming from inheritance. Basically, this is a privillaged person celebrating his privillage via data viz (probably charging his client by the hour while he does it :)) before heading out to Bluejacket.


Coloncologne OP t1_j3rjf3m wrote

It's easy to do this and I'm not perfect by any means but it's important to not make judgments based on face value.

I have $28K in student loans. I didn't make payments, because student loan payments have been frozen for the past year plus, which helped me save way more this past year.

My inheritance was from the sudden tragic death of an immediate family member. While I am grateful for the money, I would trade it all and more back.

My parents worked blue collar jobs. I attended public schools and public university. I didn't even know what government consulting was until my senior year of college when I needed to start applying for jobs. I didn't know what I wanted to do with my life and I still don't - I just knew I didn't want to worry about money the way my parents did.

A few years ago, a post like this one in this subreddit inspired me to start tracking my expenses and begin budgeting. I posted this visualization to get some congratulations but also to hopefully inspire someone else to take control of their finances.


Coloncologne OP t1_j3rks2c wrote

Absolutely. It is a sad reality that those who would benefit from a windfall the most are the least likely to receive one.

It's a resolution of mine to reduce Going Out and Dining Out. The Going Out category includes all my vices...alcohol, nicotine (a big expense I finally was able to quit thank god), as well as any other drugs.

As for the saving, I think I was able to save this amount because at 26, my expenses are about as low as they ever will be, given I live with roommates, have no dependents, and student loan payments have been frozen for the past year plus.

Lastly, I am grateful for the $20k but it came from the sudden death of an immediate family member, so it doesn't feel very lucky but it's still a privilege I suppose. The way I look at it is that it's as if I don't have student loans, because the amounts are roughly the same.


BlizzardArms t1_j3rn712 wrote

It’s nice to hear your reply isn’t nasty, seems like most replies are people who wish for open class warfare. Congrats on kicking nicotine, it’s a very tough thing to do and it’s impressive you found the motivation without kids or a spouse.

I wish you luck although this graph shows you don’t really need it


hero_of_my_story_bl t1_j3nyo3s wrote

They can work hard to improve their lives. People who need help, get help whether from the government or charity. If people want to be in the position to spend $10,000 on dining out, they can work hard to improve their lot in life.


[deleted] t1_j3o0cta wrote



hero_of_my_story_bl t1_j3o0tme wrote

I did it, and I have friends who did it as well. What I noticed growing up poor is that most people who "made it out" had good long term planning skills and made good decisions for their future, even if it required a short term sacrifice or lack of gain. Most people who didn't, generally just messed around and didn't seriously plan for their future. After a certain age, I have little sympathy for people who are poor and complain about it.


[deleted] t1_j3o2u14 wrote



hero_of_my_story_bl t1_j3o4um5 wrote

Well, I did. I went hungry some nights in middle school and high school. Went on two vacations my whole life until I started making my own money (both paid for by other family members). Most of the people I am thinking of from high school simply didn't know what they were going to do after high school. A lot of them went in to college without a plan, and later dropped out. I worked hard during high school to get a scholarship, and then in college I worked hard to get an internship and a good job. Now I'm able to support my family as a result of that. Most of the people who "try and fail" that I've seen hardly tried at all. I'm talking people who applied to some random state colleges, got in, went for a year and then stopped doing homework or showing up to class before dropping out.


[deleted] t1_j3ob3mv wrote



hero_of_my_story_bl t1_j3ooi93 wrote

lol the high school I went to specifically had a program for getting kids into college. We had a class we took for 4 years prepping us for it, they made us all apply to city & state colleges. Didn't matter, a bunch of people just went because they didn't have anything else to do without a plan. What I call going hungry is having to skip dinner, or simply eating a small dinner, to the point where I was hungry going to bed. I was very skinny growing up because of that, took me. a while to bulk up in college & after.


[deleted] t1_j3or8t6 wrote



hero_of_my_story_bl t1_j3orw3v wrote

lol, you're so pathetic. Guess what, they told you that too, you just didn't listen in college. That's why you're a loser now, and you're going to keep being a loser until you learn to make good decisions.


[deleted] t1_j3osdb3 wrote



hero_of_my_story_bl t1_j3ot5c4 wrote

"special college prep classes" yeah it was literally a regular public high school. No application needed, no test scores, just a regular public high school. If you spent more time paying attention in school and thinking of your future you would've gotten the same info I got. Instead you're a loser in what, your 30s? Probably working some dead end job or for the government? Here's a tip, go look into some high paying careers you think you might find enjoyable, go back to college and study a related major, and get a job in one of those fields.


[deleted] t1_j3ouwl4 wrote



hero_of_my_story_bl t1_j3oviz6 wrote

I commented because I saw someone jealous of someone else's success and responded accordingly. I don't really care about anything else you said, but I did grow up in poverty and get out. I grew up really poor, didn't have the same experiences as most of my friends growing up, even the ones who were also on free lunch in high school (80% of my school was on free or reduced price lunch, it was an inner city high school). You just can't believe that someone can pull themselves out of poverty because you're so used to blaming society and others for your failure that you don't want to think that maybe you could be to blame.


mikevago t1_j3o77r8 wrote

Obviously I don't know anything about that commeter's personal history, but dollars to donuts, it's, "if I, an able-bodied white man, can make it in this country than surely anyone can!"


BlizzardArms t1_j3ob8rp wrote

They’re like “me and the majority of us who went to college…” oh you’re full of shit ok


Flyerton99 t1_j3qr7fc wrote

They worked at Goldman Sachs.

At best they suffer from massive survivorship bias.


hero_of_my_story_bl t1_j3oogge wrote

I'm a hispanic immigrant, don't give me some shit about being a "able-bodied white man". Stop making excuses for yourself. You're a loser because you're not able to plan for the future, not because of some invisible bogeyman of racism/sexism/homophobia. My being non-White has actually only been a benefit to me in my career.


BlizzardArms t1_j3o0lgh wrote

My point is that people who are in a position to “blow” $10,000 on “going out” are the people who end up just being handed $20,000 tax free. People who are literally starving because their food stamps are 3 months overdue don’t get shit


anotheralpaca69 t1_j3m1vuj wrote

What is inheritance? That part is confusing, it is coming from your salary.


Coloncologne OP t1_j3mc0m9 wrote

Inheritance is a dollar amount I received from a deceased family member and it's not taxed. I wanted to make that clear so I thought I would include it separate from taxable income but as another person mentioned it probably makes more sense to include it further up the waterfall.


CookieEnabled t1_j3nesq7 wrote

Is it generally not taxed?


ShellYonce t1_j3oia3o wrote

CFP here (Certified Financial Planner). Inheritance is generally not taxed to the person who receives it. The deceased has to pay estate tax if their estate (everything they leave behind) is over $12,290,000. This amount is set by Congress and people try to avoid going over this amount as estate tax is super high (up to 40%!)

One strategy to avoid estate tax is through gifting. There is an annual gift amount that people can give while living that doesn’t count toward the exemption. This year it’s $17,000.


CookieEnabled t1_j3p2ig7 wrote

So after I win that $1B MegaMillions (about $340M after 40% federal and state income tax of the cash option), I still have to pay estate tax?


ShellYonce t1_j3p33k1 wrote

If you die with more than $12.29M in your estate then yes. Now there are some ways to get money out of your estate. You could put it in an irrevocable trust, but then you don’t have access to the funds (hence irrevocable) or you could give it all to charity. Prolly other things, but that’s above my pay grade.

OR Congress could increase the estate exemption amount, which lots of wealthier folks would support.


mikevago t1_j3o7dch wrote

The U.S. only taxes inheritance over a certain amount (and that's well over a million dollars). Republicans talk about the "death tax" as if it's crushing the common man, but it's a millionaire's tax that very few people pay.


Ludwik2006 t1_j3ncoyw wrote

I have many questions but what do you eat?


Prestigious-Rip-6767 t1_j3od1ua wrote

i know you might not have taken the data on a very regular base but how do one take a reading or measurement of something he wants to track say every day?


rude_duner t1_j3piiem wrote

I just started doing this for myself this year and my method has been using Google Sheets. Just a few columns for different types of spending and some charts, nothing fancy.

The neat part about using Google Sheets is that you can download the app on your phone, which makes updating it on a daily basis easier. I actually kind of look forward to updating it after I spend money now.

Also I tend to use my credit card for every purchase that I’m able to. It’s a good way to build credit and have a record of everything you spend, just make sure you only spend as much as you can immediately pay off


Equivalent_Horror628 t1_j3psbwf wrote

You can also create a google form to populate your google sheet which makes it slightly easier than updating google sheets directly 🤓


Prestigious-Rip-6767 t1_j3q050d wrote

that's a clever one. but i thought there would be some app that helps take a reading on regular specified bases, feels strange that there isn't something like this


Equivalent_Horror628 t1_j3qafup wrote

Mint does track all your expenditure.

But you are giving them your financial data and you don’t get as much control in terms of reporting as you do with Google docs.


hero_of_my_story_bl t1_j3op44t wrote

There are programs you can use that connect with your bank account / credit cards that will automatically categorize your purchases. I think mint is one.


CrunchyTreacle t1_j3ozk1m wrote

I enjoyed the visualization of 401k vs roth 401k!


benconomics t1_j3pq4on wrote

I have a family 5 (including myself). I feel like we do about $2k a month in groceries....


mach5823 t1_j3puczh wrote

Gotta bump up those retirement contributions.


Ancient_Fact_8850 t1_j3r5yxx wrote

As finance nerd. You make way too much to be only investing $6k in-pretax savings. Also, depending on your senecio you might have over contributed to your Roth IRA.


Margie_Star t1_j3s8v9a wrote

As a 27M in DC I relate to this story well, though I certainly don’t spend 9K a year on going out and dining. I guess having no friends saves some money


ThePriceIsRight_b t1_j3q1nib wrote

Nice graph and tracking. As some others have stated I would agree that this is an abnormally high salary at that age. When I was 26 I can only think of one person I knew personally making over $100,000 and now I have several friends who make seven figures a year at 40, but none of them were even at $100k at 26!


ToufeujTouflam t1_j3qmguo wrote

0.6% of budget for gift, not the most generous in Washington


J-D_M t1_j3qx5iv wrote

🤔😯 Great tracking & breakdown! By far, TAXES are your #1 expense! $29K in just income tax. 😥😡 Not even counting Sales & Use taxes that you pay as part of almost all of your other expenditures, or property taxes... and it's only going higher, never lower over time...👿