10 Year Challenge: Personal Finance Edition

It’s a bit late for the 10 year challenge posts, but eff it. I found I was curious about this if people want to play. How were your finances in 2010 vs the beginning of 2020? Bonus: where do you want to be by beginning of 2030?

I’ll go first:

2010

Net worth was around $3,000 USD, was halfway into my first year at university in my mid-early-20s. Most of my college expenses were being paid by education award from doing national civilian service, fellowships, and the Pell Grant.

No debt, just opened my first credit card in order to build my credit, but not really using it.

Rent was $288 per month living with 4 other people.
Giving was 10% of take-home pay (around $80 per month).
I was saving $50 in a roth IRA every month.
My annual income that year, according to the social security administration was: ~$13,000.
I worked three jobs: as a library assistant, a computer support tech, and a graphic designer for campus career services.

2020

Net worth is ~$25,000, give or take market gains and business expenses.
Rent is: $615 in an apartment with one other person.
Annual Income: Between $30,000 - $70,000 depending on business and if I keep job
Work: FT job is doing data for $50K year, second job is $1,200 month salaried for radio station, third job is ~$200 a month take-home running my own business (most business profits go into freelancers and COGS).
Debt: $0 personal but waiting on taxes, may have tax debt in April.
Have 6 credit cards (with no carry over balances but open limit of $40,000) due to the hobby of travel hacking. FICO score ~810
Saving At least $6,000 in a Roth IRA, including cash savings around 30% of gross income.
Giving is 5% of take-home (around $1,500 annually).

2030 Goal

Net worth is >$150,000.
Annual income is >$70,000.
Saving: 50% of annual salary.
Giving: 10% of take-home.
Living somewhere quirky, urban and within my means - with a BATHTUB DAMMIT.
Debt: $0 personal unless I have a property.

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2010:

Net worth was -$42k, as I had student loans from undergrad. No other debt. I had my bacherlor’s and was at work on my master’s in 2010. I had about $2k in emergency fund savings in case shit really hit the fan, but that was it.

I made approximately $16k that year as a TA. Rent was $635 a month, living with four other people. I didn’t have a car and got around by foot/bike/bus entirely.

2020:

Net worth is $85k. Student loans are down to $22k and I hope to get rid of the higher-interest ones in the next year or two and let the low-interest ones coast. I have over $100k in assets, which blows my mind, and no debt besides student loans (despite aquiring both some CC debt and a small car loan in the last 10 years).

I now make $90k a year as a linguist/consultant. My job is not as fulfilling as academia, but it’s also much less stressful. Rent is $1100 a month, a small apartment shared with my partner, and I do now have a car. I am able to save so much and also to give much more, both of which please me immensely.

2030 Brazen Goals™

Net worth is over $750k. Student loans are gone af. I own a small house with a garden. I’m in the last stages of preparing for early retirement.

I either (a) now make well over $100k a year doing my linguist thing or (b) have downshifted to do something that pays my bills and allows for a little saving as I let my investments grow for retirement. I don’t need a car and get around mostly by bike and foot again. I either save a ton/a respectable amount, and I give a large portion of my income.

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Well of course I’m into this.

2010

I was in college. Net worth hovered from $0 to $1000 – I had not college debts because of my scholarship but I perpetually spent any money I happened to make on food that was NOT dining hall food. I didn’t even have a credit card, which was a saving grace because I would NOT have been responsible with it.

Rent: Free, because it was paid for by scholarship $$. I want to say it was worth about $10k in value for the semester so $1000 a month? Which is honestly kind of awful for half a room in buffalo…
Giving: Oh god I don’t even know. I know I tended to throw money at random charities on impulse but I didn’t track at all.
Saving: Lol. I think one of my summer internships automatically enrolled me in something, because I had like $1000 or something in TIAA from that time when I actually started trying to figure out my net worth.
My annual income: Let’s see, I had a summer internship and was a TA. Probably like $4k? I don’t know. I didn’t even track. I was just good enough with money to not go into debt only because I thought getting a credit card without a real job was impossible.
I worked two jobs: As an intern over the summer and as a TA throughout the year.

2020 – note debts and assets have to be considered split with husband.

Net worth is ~$450k with the paid off house, $130k without.
Rent is… nothing. My house is paid off. So I’m in the same place here, lol. I guess if you count insurance & property taxes as “things I need to pay to stay in my house” it’s ~$400/month.
Annual Income: $120k personal $265k household (yes I know it’s ridiculous).
Work: Full-time mid-to-senior software engineer.
Debt: $35k solar loan and $19.5k on a car. I have a lot of credit cards but I pay them off every month. Credit score is like 790 at last check.
Saving: Maxing out 401ks and putting 85% of take-home pay to debts, which will go to investments once paid off.
Giving: Still sporadic and unorganized and unknown as in college years and needs to be improved.

2030 Goal

Net worth is 7 figures.
Annual income is unnecessary, but happens occasionally from hobbies or work I want to do. I think it would be cool to be making $1000/month from stuff I want to do.
Saving: I want to save half of whatever we make from annual income.
Giving: Since I don’t expect to be making money, I want 10% of our annual spending to be giving, which should fit in our 4% rule.
Living in the house I have now, but with no lawn, ten years of growth in fruit trees and berry bushes and perennial veggies, a privacy fence, with fuzzy animals and a 6 year old gallivanting around, and without the awful carpet and with cabinets and counter tops that aren’t literally falling apart.
Debt: Never again.

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2010

Sophomore/Junior in college.
Net worth Uhh, probably -$8,000 or so.
Debt Approximately $9,000 in student loans. I did not have nor want a credit card.
Rent No idea - lived on campus so it was part of my tuition package.
Giving Sporadic and minimal.
Savings Probably between $1,000 and $2,000. This was before I was really tracking my spending. I never overdrew on my savings account or ran out of money.
Annual income Pretty dang low.
Job: I worked part time as a TA and a cashier at the bookstore during the school year, and cleaned dorm rooms full time during the summer.

2020

Married DINKs,; all debts and assets are shared.
Net worth Without mortgage - $154,000. With mortgage - -$177,000
Debt $331,000 mortgage. No student loans or credit card debt.
Home $2300 mortgage
Giving Sporadic and not as frequent as I’d like.
Savings Monthly contributions to mr krmit’s 401k, personal IRAs, Vanguard, and savings buffer. Average savings rate is 20-30%.
Annual income ~30k individually, ~73k household
Job: Freelance stage manager

2030

Net worth Positive net worth including our mortgage debt.
Debt Mortgage is smaller. We’d maybe consider a loan for solar panels, but for nothing else.
Home Living where we are, but with a few fresh coats of paint, mature edible landscaping (fruit trees!), and solar panels.
Giving Have a system for it.
Savings 30-40% saving rate

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2010
Starus Ten years into my second career in MegaCorp. 25 years in the world of full time work
Net worth I wasn’t tracking - probably decent as my 401k would have recovered some from the recent recession. Guessing $200K-$300K-ish
Debt less than half of the home mortgage - $50K(?)
Home Yep, nothing fancy.
Giving not enough. $ and occasionally one off volunteer gigs via work. Give about $2K
Savings more than a decent emergency fund - flirting with $100K (to lazy /stupid to invest on my own).
Annual income low 6 figures with bonus
Job: Patent agent in MegaCorp

2020
Starus RETIRED since July 2015. Act as support animal to Old Dog.
Net worth 7 figures (whut?)
Debt Nope
Home paid off (before retiring)
Giving still don’t track well. More spread out than 10 years ago
Savings Been investing since 2014, and living off this since 2015
Annual income about $18K (pension)
Job: Nope (other than the service animal stuff)

2030
Starus still retired, not yet to RMD age
Net worth still likely 7 figures
Debt likely none
Home paid off (though I am getting tired of these winters - it is possible we could move if spouse retires)
Giving need to be better here
Savings um, likely about 2 years of expenses pulled from investments. I will have had to start withdrawing from investments - gives me a bit of a cold sweat thinking about that.
Annual income $18K (pension) plus whatever gets pulled from investments.
Job: no way!

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2010

Moved from West Coast to East Coast for grad school mid year. First half of the year I lived at home and worked substitute teaching in the local public school district, tutoring, and TA-ing in community college ESL and remedial English classes. I didn’t have student loan debt because half of college at community college + a scholarship + my parents having saved for my college, expected it to cost more, and my brother not pursuing higher ed. I didn’t have a credit card yet, though I got one either at the end of that year or in 2011
Net worth Roughly zero. I spent savings on travel between undergrad and grad school, and miscalculated funds needed to start living on my own, which included two months of rent and living expenses before my stipend actually kicked in.
Debt I think I borrowed a couple hundred from my parents that I then paid back pretty quickly once my stipend kicked in.
Rent I think it was $715/month
Giving Nothing systematic
Savings Nothing, really, and no system for it
Annual income Really sporadic income from the multiple jobs first half of the year. Pretty sure the stipend was $20k for the first year fellowship, maybe a bit less.
Job: PhD student – on fellowship year one with expectation of teaching freshman comp the following year.

2020

Quit grad school (with MA), moved from NJ to Philly, acquired dog, partner, lots of credit card debt along the way. Working 3 low paying jobs that I like.
Net worth -$16,673.12 to start the year. Not a good place to be, but at least I’m not ignoring it anymore!
Debt About $20k in credit card debt, $1k in medical debt
Home $625 monthly – Sweaty and I split rent on a 3br 1.5 bath rowhome
Giving low level patreon subscribers to OMD, another podcast. Sporadic giving, usually to animal rescue, mutual aid disaster relief fundraisers, bail funds, etc.
Savings Very new Roth IRA and even newer 401k. Automated HSA contributions (for the moment going to paying off a medical bill). About $1250 in quickly accessible savings.
Annual income 3 hourly jobs and one variable schedule job makes it hard to say, but very roughly $30k?
Job: Veterinary staff job low end of full time, part time retail job, variable hours pet sitting.

2030

Net worth Positive net worth unless homeowning enters the equation for us.
Debt No consumer debt or medical debt.
Home Ideally owning a home, but that feels really far away!
Giving Have the flexibility to work it into the budget (more than the $3.50 monthly Patreon bill!!)
Savings Max out IRA at least, have a multi-month emergency fund.
Annual income No idea. I don’t really know that I would need much more than I earn now if I didn’t have debt, but hopefully I wouldn’t have to work as many hours to earn that, and hopefully I could earn more to play catch up with savings.
Job Probably still working in the veterinary field, more management or communications than front desk, with some kind of additional work in the fitness industry, likely as a trainer.

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2010

Working at 2nd real job after university. I think the end of this year is when they moved the office from an easy commute for me to 2h each way, which somehow I managed for 2 years. The company was in such a state I was given a ton of people management and operational responsibilities way too early. I’m still benefitting from that trust & experience today.

Our invested assets increased from 7.5% to 9.5% of our way towards our FIRE number in 2010.

We were paying the mortgage for the house we’re still in, which I think was $918 biweekly (the first 5 year term in a 25 year amortization, a pretty standard Canadian mortgage at a fixed rate of 5.35% iirc - ah, if I could go back and suggest going with a variable rate). We rounded up to $1000, and we also put in 20k in lump sum payments that year (ah, it would be nice to go back to me then and point out that the market was on sale).

I don’t think I was really thinking about FIRE until 2012. At this point I was focused on a Freedom 50 or 55 goal.

2020

On track to be at 90% or more of our FIRE number, markets willing.

Since 2010 I’ve left 4 jobs, always with having another job in hand, and I’m now at a very big org with basically the same title and number of people reporting to me as in 2010, but working much more reasonable hours. I’m making a bit more money, but probably not much more than inflation, especially compared to my 2012 salary+benefits. Our variable expenses are actually a tad lower than 2010.

We live in a paid-off house. We could probably sell it for about 2.3x what we bought it for.

Our savings rate is uncertain because of the Shadowy One’s employment situation. Basically our plan is to invest whatever comes in after taxes for them, and max out my rrsp space.

2030

probably doing some care giving to support one set of parents
probably not working f/t, but maybe doing consulting or short term project work. Maybe seeking f/t depending on what the markets have done to our investments.
perhaps still in this house after doing some renos, maybe in a condo after having downsized, maybe having moved to NZ

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Warning: some of these numbers are ridiculously large

2000, because I can

2000

Net worth on Jan 1 was $90,967 (sooo close to six figures!). 2000 was my first full year in my current city (moved in Oct 1999).

In 2000 I earned about $48,000. I was active duty military, so about a quarter of that income was from tax free allowances. I also received $357 in investment income!

I’d just bought a house, so I had mortgage debt of $140,550. No other debts.
My monthly mortgage (PITI) payment was $1,102, plus a monthly condo fee of $128.

I saved $2000 in a Roth IRA (the contribution limit at the time). I hadn’t figured out recurring transactions, so I’d been throwing in a few hundred dollars whenever I remembered then truing up at tax time.
In October 2000 I figured out automatic investing and started sending $150/month to the Roth IRA and $350/month to taxable Vanguard funds.

Between 2000 and 2010 I: bought a car with my first ever car loan, paid it off, left active duty, was unemployed for 8 months, got a new job, bought a big, expensive house, sold my condo, got a different job, deployed overseas for a year.

2010

Net worth on Jan 1 was ~ $702,000. (Thank you, inflated housing prices of the previous decade.)
I had a job I loved but was waiting for a promised promotion. My annual salary was ~$100k. I also earned ~$13k from my military reserve service (second job) and received ~$3,500 in investment income. I paid nearly $30k of this total in income and payroll taxes.
I had mortgage debt of $335k, but no other debt.
My monthly mortgage payment (PITI) was $2,569 for a detached house.
I was maxing out my TSP (401k equivalent) and Roth IRA ($16,500 and $5,000 respectively) and investing an additional $600 per month ($7,200 annually) after tax.

Between 2010 and 2020, I:

  • got my “dream” job
  • bought a car with a car loan
  • learned about FI
  • paid off car and refinanced house
  • reached FI
  • quit working

2020

Net worth on Jan 1 is an insane $1,842,000.
Mortgage debt is down to $105k
Mortgage (PITI) is up to $2,970 in the same house.
Work: none planned
Annual income is complicated. According to the IRS I made over $50k in 2019, but most of that is my own money I just moved around (Roth IRA conversion and realized capital gains from selling investments); the rest (<$10k) is dividends. I also received about $20k in nontaxed stipend from my schooling. I expect similar “income” in these categories this year.
Saving: negative
Giving about $2,500 in 2019, likely more for 2020.

2030 Goal

Net worth is >$1,600,000
Still no job
Still no saving
Giving: 10% of expenses
Living in the same place
Debt : $0 (mortgage free in 2024!)

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I’ll play

2010

Net worth - My best guess is around -$7,000 I had some student loans and very little savings
Debt: About $8k in student loans
Rent somewhere between $0 and $350. I was living in a two family home owned by my Dad and at one point he told me not to worry about paying rent. I really should have been saving more when this happened but I did not.
Giving Random amounts here and there probably totalled ~$500 a year
saving I think I had started my daughters 529 plan around now if so I was putting in a hundred or so a month.
Annual income $35,000 It would soon jump up to $45k by 2011 and I would finally feel like I was making good money
I worked as an accountant at a Freight Forwarding company. I had been there about 6 years at this point

2020

Net worth $35,000
Mortgage: $450 a month for my half - I told Mr Pug it didn’t make financial sense for me to move in with him :wink:
Annual Income: $82k (including $10k bonus)
Work: Finance and HR manager at a biotech company, been here 2.5 years
Debt : $36k in Student Loans
Saving ~$79k (about $68k of which is in retirement mostly 401k and $10k in DD 529 plan) Savings rate is about 50%
Giving $80 a month

2030

Net worth is: $650K
Annual income: $125k
Saving: $650k and ready to pull the plug on working!
Giving: $5k annually maybe more
Living : In a cute little town in Massauchetts with lots of bike trails, parks, and a great school system
Debt : ~$40k left on mortgage

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2010
Guessing maybe $450k (about $300k in my foreign pension from the UK).
Annual income $115k for two of us.
Debt, zero, Mortgage paid off in 2006.
age 48.
Giving about 10%

2020
NW is about $3.3 to 3.4M (house $400k, foreign pension $600, investments $2.4M)
Income $20k in rent plus $14k dividends.
Age:… Nearly dead
Giving… Probably around $10k.
Job: Retired in 2014.
Credit score… Haven’t the foggiest idea.

2030 Goals…
Not dead!
Not broke…

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2010

Net worth was around $8,000 USD, Was close to finishing up at college (the first time, lol). Was on a full ride scholarship at a state university and working part time on campus. Money was from saving every raw cent I ever saw growing up.

No debt , (although I took on a ton of debt when I went back to school in 2012. 2010 to 2020 hides a lot of backsliding lol). I had my first CC starting at 15, and I’m neurotic enough (and had parents who educated me on finances thank goodness) I’ve never once carried debt on any of them.

Rent was like $450 per month (my share) living with a boyfriend and our dog on one side of a super shitty duplex. (Highlights of living there include someone breaking into our garage and not taking anything. You know you’ve reached a new poor student low when that happens haha)
Giving was sporadic and not tracked.
My annual income that year , was probably like $4k?
I worked : as a peer writing tutor, and for the company I had with my BF editing thesis.

2020

Now married, all our finances are combined.
Net worth is ~$375,000 and this doesn’t count our paid off car (a 2017).
Rent is: $COUGHCOUGH super expensive in an apartment with my husband, dog, and baby.
Annual Income : just my husbands right now (basically- I’m still employed and do my required trainings, but not taking contracts, so like$300 tops for me lol). Last year ~$85k as he took some time off between jobs. Expecting like $110k this year.
(Also though, me not working means not paying for child care. And not that we could even use normal daycare because of schedules, but it’s like $1700/mon average in my area, so my not working definitely isn’t negligible savings there).
Work : I’m still technically a home health nurse, but not taking work currently as I’m home with the baby. Maybe if we can figure out childcare with our crazy schedules I’ll go back this year, maybe I’ll try to find another job, maybe not. Husband took a new job part way through last year for a decent pay cut, but life is way better as a result.
Debt : $0 as of October-ish of last year. (Paid off ~$75k worth of student debt and a car in that decade, in addition to cash flowing nearly $60k of medical expenses out of pocket)
Credit score is ~820 for me, ~810 for husband.
Savings: maxing IRAs for both of us ($12k), anything I make goes to my 401k (lol Probably gonna be negligible), maxing our HSA (although may pull it all out to reimburse ourselves for medical costs, TBD), putting I think about $11k into husbands 401k for the year? Plus will have a SEP IRA contribution this summer from the first half of last year at husbands old job, probably another $8-10k?
Giving: only $20/month scheduled, but periodic one off donations. Probably $500-1000/year depending on the year. Pretty low right now.

2030 Goal

Net worth is >$1mil.
Annual income is either $125k+ for one worker, $175k+ for two, or we’re only hobby working for way less
Saving: 50% of annual salary.
Giving: 10% of take-home.
Living i hope we can own a house, in the city proper if we still want to be here, with an induction stove and good insulation, with a fenced yard.
Debt : $0 personal unless I have a property.
Misc goal: not need to take the medical expense deduction anymore :joy:

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That made me kinda laugh sob.

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Same :rofl: