Leo & Christina
Christina, 28, is a nanny and makes $50,000 annually, with an additional $20,000 in overtime. One perk of her job is free housing (in a New York suburb) and no utility bills. Leo, 32, is an IT professional for a large company and makes $90,000. They currently have a little more than $40,000 in stocks and close to $50,000 in Leo’s 401(k). Christina and Leo have saved nearly $100,000, and paid off all their student loans since they don’t have any living expenses. They plan to use the savings to build a house in the next year.
When they first moved in together, after just four months of dating, Christina and Leo opened a joint checking account, and started contributing equally to cover the cost of living expenses. After they got engaged, they started sharing a savings account — once they got married, they closed their individual accounts and began contributing solely to the joint checking and savings.
“Combining everything has always made the most sense to me,” Christina says. “That’s how my parents did it. It just feels weird to share everything else once you are married and to keep separate finances.”
They’ve been very lucky in recent years that Christina’s job provides them with free housing, and Leo can work remotely, which allowed them to follow the family Christina works for out of the city. Since they don’t have to pay for housing, they’ve worked hard to just live off of Christina’s salary and save everything Leo makes. That will change this year, as Christina plans to leave her job, and Leo will become the sole breadwinner for a while. She’d like to start her own nutritional therapy business once they’re settled in their new home, and they’re also hoping to save money by prioritizing a less consumer-based lifestyle.
“I would say we are moving toward a simpler life,” Christina says. “We are planning to grow as much of our food as we can, including raising chickens, hunting, etc. This is not just to save money. I think it’s important for our health and developing our [future] kids’ work ethic.”
Malani suggests Christina and Leo should make sure they’re getting the best interest rates on the cash they’re saving for their down payment.
“For sums over $20,000 to $25,000, the dollars you’ll earn in interest really start to become significant,” she says. “We recommend CapitalOne360 because of its user-friendly system and money-management tools, like sub-savings accounts, as well as its higher interest rates.”
Next, Malani suggests Christina and Leo look into investing. “One thing we’d suggest is to find an advisor who prioritizes your goals and uses investments as a solution to achieve those goals within a given time frame,” she says.
Curated by Erbe