A Week In Chicago, IL, On A $65,000 Budget

    What was your first job and why did you get it?
    My first job was working as a lifeguard at my park district when I turned 16. I then worked at the same pool as a swim instructor. I really wanted a job in high school since my friends always had spending money and I wanted some too. I remember spending my first paycheck on Chipotle and buying it for everyone in my family.

    Did you worry about money growing up?
    Yes. My brother was born during the recession and my parents had just bought a house so I lived through that when they were cutting spending and budgeting more. We used to go on family vacations every summer but they stopped when I entered high school. That panic about money is still instilled in me today because my dad lost his job during the pandemic and he was the “breadwinner.” Watching my mom refinance certain things and watch my dad be unemployed for a while was hard.

    Do you worry about money now?
    I still worry about money now. My dad got back on his feet last year and now has a new full-time job and still works a part-time job so it worries me to see them do this as a young adult who can’t provide for them yet. I just want to make sure they can make ends meet. My parents never had to work multiple jobs like other families I knew growing up, so the fact that he’s doing that while I am an adult is a bit worrisome.

    At what age did you become financially responsible for yourself and do you have a financial safety net?
    I got my first full-time job out of college this year so I hope my time here helps me become more financially stable and responsible (I do work in finance so to hear and talk about figures makes me want to make sure I can save and invest properly). I am not financially responsible right now (but I am working towards it!) and my financial safety net is my parents and grandma should something happen. When I had an unemployment stint for a bit my parents helped me with rent and my grandma gave me some money to spend for the months I was out of a job.

    Do you or have you ever received passive or inherited income? If yes, please explain.

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