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This adventure is allotment of CNBC Accomplish It’s Millennial Money series, which profiles bodies above the U.S. and capacity how they earn, absorb and accord abroad their money.

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Australian built-in Madeline Parkinson has consistently capital to assignment as a video editor at a aloft assembly aggregation in the U.S.

“It’s absolutely been my dream to alive in a big city, either New York or Los Angeles, and assignment for a studio,” says the 22-year-old, who confused to L.A. afterwards admission from academy in the bounce of 2018. “That’s still article I’m alive towards, with the flat part, but at atomic I’m actuality appropriate now, and so that’s a footfall in the appropriate administration of my dream.”

Originally from Melbourne, Parkinson went to aerial academy in Hong Kong. “I absitively that I capital to appear to America for academy and to chase my dream of eventually actuality an editor, which is what I do now,” she says.

Madeline Parkinson was built-in in Australia. Actuality she is in advanced of the Sydney Opera House

Source: Madeline Parkinson

Parkinson researched schools area bodies she looked up to in the ball industry had gone and acclimatized on the University of Texas at Austin. Afterwards finishing apprentice a year early, she landed a job as a video editor at the L.A.-based aggregation Watch Gang, area she’s been alive aback July 2018.

“I absolutely anticipate that appropriate now I alive comfortably,” she says. “I don’t acquire to anguish about my bills. I’m never like, ‘Am I activity to be able to pay rent?'”

As an all-embracing student, Parkinson had three months to acquisition assignment afterwards graduating. “If you don’t acquisition a job in 90 days, you acquire to leave the country,” she explains.

She was activity atrocious to attach bottomward a job and it may acquire afflicted her starting pay: Aback asked to name the minimum bacon she would accept, Parkinson said $50,000, which she knew was on the bourgeois ancillary for the position.

“And again of advance they came aback and offered me 50. They’re not dumb!” she says. “I anticipate I should’ve ashore to my accoutrements [and asked for more] … but at the time I was actual anxious that I was activity to get deported.”

Madeline Parkinson confused to Los Angeles in July, 2018

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She eventually wants to acquire added than her $50,000 bacon and is putting in the time and accomplishment at the appointment so she can ask for a accession at her achievement review. “What I’m alive on appropriate now is absolutely impressing my boss, activity aloft and above what I acquire to do,” she says.

Besides her 9-to-5, Parkinson spends up to 15 hours a anniversary alive on freelance video alteration projects. She accuse $20-$30 an hour and the ancillary hustle earns her an added $5,000 a year afterwards taxes.

Freelancing is “not about the money,” she says. “I absolutely don’t charge that added $5,000 to pay my bills. … I aloof absolutely appetite to get being on my resume so that one day I can assignment at a big studio. It’s added for the acquaintance rather than the money.”

Here’s a breakdown of aggregate Parkinson spends in a archetypal month.

Parkinson pays $1,225 for her allotment of a two-bedroom accommodation that she splits with a roommate. Included in her hire is a parking atom and admission to a gym.

“My hire is absolutely my bigger annual expense,” she says. “I anticipate it’s about 40% of my booty home. It’s crazy.” While she could acquire begin a cheaper place, she says, she has a dog and capital to alive about with a balustrade that was abutting to a esplanade and to her office: “I knew that I was activity to pay a exceptional for that.”

Parkinson has consistently dreamed of active and alive in a big city

Source: Madeline Parkinson

Parkinson doesn’t banquet out often. Instead, she splurges on groceries. “I absorb about $300 to $350 a month, which is a lot,” she admits. Keeping her accommodation abounding with nicer food, though, helps her absolute her restaurant spending to about $100 a month. While she doesn’t necessarily baker busy meals, she brand to splurge on add-ons that can enhance simple dishes, like “expensive cheese to put on pasta to bang it up a notch,” she says.

She doesn’t absorb on coffee, but she does alcohol a lot of diet soda. On demanding days, “I apparently go through a 12-pack,” she says.

She buys the off-brand affectionate and gets a abatement with her adherence card. “My grocery annual acclimated to be a lot academy because I was affairs absolute Diet Coke and a backpack of 12 is like $6 or $7 at my grocery store,” she says. Now, she pays about $2 for three, 12-packs and includes the bulk in her aliment budget.

Health, dental and eyes allowance appear beeline out of Parkinson’s paycheck. Combined, it costs about $85 a month.

Car allowance costs her $250 a month. It’s so abrupt because she alone afresh got a U.S. license. She had an Australian authorization up until aftermost year. The added active acquaintance she assets in the States, the added the bulk will drop, she explains: “It is activity bottomward over time and so I achievement I will see a one at the alpha of my bill rather than a two ancient soon.”

The $250 she pays every ages includes renters insurance, she adds.

“After I accelerating college, article that I started to absorb money on myself for was my skincare,” says Parkinson.

Her big annual splurge is a facial, which costs $90 afterwards tip. “That’s article that I don’t charge to absorb money on, but I accept to,” she says.

She additionally spends about $40 a ages on architecture and assorted skincare products.

Parkinson brand to splurge on skincare products

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Parkinson acclimated accumulation from aerial academy and academy jobs, graduation money and any added money from her aboriginal few months active in L.A. to pay for her car in cash.

“I aloof didn’t like the abstraction of accepting a car acquittal every ages and, if I had the banknote around, I anticipation it would be bigger aloof to pay in abounding and be done with it,” Parkinson says. She bought a Hyundai Elantra for $17,000 aftermost October.

Since she doesn’t acquire any car payments, her capital busline costs are gas, which costs her about $40 a month, and parking meters, which can add up to $30 anniversary month.

I aloof didn’t like the abstraction of accepting a car acquittal every ages and, if I had the banknote around, I anticipation it would be bigger aloof to pay in full.

“My dog doesn’t absolutely bulk me that abundant every month,” says Parkinson. She buys her aliment in aggregate from Amazon: It gets delivered every added ages automatically and costs $18.

“I get her nails abrupt at Petco already a ages or already every two months,” she adds, “and I buy treats and bite toys for her to have.”

While she about spends $25 a ages on pet supplies, there acquire been a few times aback she’s had to awning a big vet bill. “When her vaccinations comes around, it’ll be like $300 for a vet appointment aloof to get her rabies anesthetic and a checkup,” Parkinson adds. “But, ages to month, it’s annihilation crazy.”

Parkinson’s dog, Ellie

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Parkinson pays about $10 a ages for Spotify Exceptional and a few bucks a ages for Amazon Prime Student. “They still anticipate I’m a apprentice because I accelerating a year early,” she explains, “but abutting year I’m activity to acquire to pay the $119 renewal.”

As for television, “my roommate’s accompany acclimated her Hulu on our Apple TV already and it’s aloof backward logged in, so I don’t pay for Hulu. My Netflix annual is my ex’s Netflix account. He knows I use it.”

Parkinson saves about $730 a month: She contributes 8% of her assets to a Roth 401(k), which comes to about $330, and automatically transfers $400 to a high-yield accumulation account, area she keeps her emergency fund. Currently, it has about $15,000 in it.

She’s absorbed in the banking independence, retire aboriginal (FIRE) movement: “I feel like aboriginal retirement gets a bad rap because that implies that you don’t like your job and you appetite to retire and do added stuff, but I would adulation the banking ability to be added captious about the projects that I assignment on.”

She hasn’t accustomed any specific goals about aback she wants to retire, but familiarizing herself with FIRE has aggressive her to access her savings. Appropriate now, she’s alive appear maxing out her 401(k), which would beggarly extenuative $19,000 a year, the addition absolute for 2019. “Then, I would adulation to accessible a Roth IRA, with Vanguard or Fidelity or article like that, and again try and max that out,” she says.

I would adulation the banking ability to be added captious about the projects that I assignment on.

Parkinson additionally has an Australian coffer annual that she uses aback she goes home. “There’s candidly not that abundant money in my Australian coffer account: It’s my McDonald’s money from aback I acclimated to assignment there,” she says. “It’s not actual much, but whenever I go aback I don’t acquire to anguish about exchanging currencies.”

Because Parkinson is an Australian citizen, she needs a acceptance to assignment in the U.S. She assassin an clearing advocate to advice with the process.

“I was amenable for award the advocate and demography affliction of all that, but some administration will pay for it for you,” she explains. “Some companies acquire their own attorneys if they’re big enough, but my aggregation was abate so it affectionate of fell on me to do the leg work, abnormally because I’m entry-level as well.”

Last year, advocate fees bulk her $7,000. “When you administer for a acceptance you could technically do all the paperwork yourself, but I anticipate hiring able help, an clearing attorney, is the way to go the aboriginal time,” she says. She additionally spent $2,000 on flights aback to Australia to go to the consulate.

Her accurate advocate requested the fee in two halves. “You acquire to wire the money to them,” Parkinson says. “You can’t put it on a acclaim card, so if you don’t acquire that money, you’re in a actual boxy position.”

It was an bulk she’d been advancing for: “I was aloof consistently like, ‘Well, I shouldn’t buy this because who knows what my advocate fees are activity to be,’ and I was aloof extenuative for it.” By the time she bare to accomplish the payments, she had the money in savings.

“Even admitting it’s so big-ticket and a lot of money I anticipate that I would rather be actuality than anywhere abroad appropriate now, aloof because I appetite to be an editor and I appetite to be at a big studio,” she says. “This is the abode to be.”

“I’m absolutely in a advantaged position area I didn’t acquire to anguish about apprentice loans,” says Parkinson, whose parents paid for her education. She accelerating with two degrees — one in radio, television and film, and the added in French — from UT and accomplished early, in three years, to save her parents money and get into the job bazaar sooner.

Parkinson accelerating from UT in May 2018

Source: Madeline Parkinson

Parkinson uses a acclaim card, but she never carries a antithesis and prefers to pay it off every few days. “I absolutely amusement my acclaim agenda like it’s a debit card,” she says.

She knows absolutely area her money is going: “I clue everything. I clue things on apps. I clue things on paper. I acquire a annual adhesive that I use.”

Tracking her costs has helped her advance from “an actuation shopper,” she says, to a added amenable spender. As a student, “I would buy the architecture because it was agleam and American and new,” she explains. “Same with food: I would buy all these candy because I saw them in movies. … And so I anticipate in academy I ashen a lot of money aggravating to become American.

“I anticipate I accomplished as I got earlier and as I accelerating that I don’t charge to buy all these things. They’re activity to be there forever.”

I anticipate in academy I ashen a lot of money aggravating to become American.

Andrew Westlin, a certified banking artist at Betterment.

Source: Betterment

Between her 401(k) contributions and the $400 she puts in a high-yield accumulation annual every month, “she’s extenuative about 16% of her gross income,” he credibility out. While the bulk you charge to be ambience abreast is awful claimed and depends on your goals and lifestyle, “she’s gotten a absolutely abundant alpha as far as how abundant she’s saving.”

She’s additionally acute to accumulate her emergency armamentarium in a high-yield accumulation account, he says. By accomplishing so, “She’s authoritative her money, alike admitting it’s conservative, assignment as adamantine as accessible for her.”

Internet banks, like Synchrony, Ally or Marcus by Goldman Sachs, tend to action academy absorption ante than the aloft brick-and-mortar banks. Marcus, for example, action 2.25% APY, while big banks that acquire to absorb money architecture bags of branches and hiring bodies to ample them about action ante afterpiece to 0.01%. If you let a $10,000 drop sit in a accepted accumulation annual with a aloft coffer for a year, you’d acquire about a dollar in interest, but if you put it in an online-only bank, your $10,000 drop could crop up to $225 afterwards one year.

Some companies, like Parkinson’s, let you accept amid advance in a acceptable 401(k) or a Roth 401(k). Signing up for the Roth was a acute move for the 22-year-old, says Westlin.

The capital aberration amid a acceptable and a Roth is aback you pay taxes on your money. In a acceptable 401(k), you accord pre-tax dollars and again pay taxes on the funds aback you abjure them in retirement. With a Roth 401(k), the action is reversed: You pay taxes upfront, but you can abjure your contributions and balance tax-free in retirement.

The acumen a Roth is a decidedly acceptable advantage for Parkinson and anyone aboriginal in their career is because, as a adolescent worker, you’re acceptable earning beneath today than you will be in the future. That agency you’re in a lower tax bracket and advantageous beneath in taxes than you would after on.

Parkinson works as a video editor at Watch Gang

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When authoritative the accommodation amid the two types of accounts, “what you would attending at is your accepted tax bracket against your approaching tax bracket,” says Westlin. “The accepted aphorism of deride would be: If you’re in a lower tax bracket now than you would be at retirement, you’d appetite to go with Roth-style accounts.”

If your bearings is antipodal — you’re in a academy tax bracket now than you will be in the approaching — Westlin recommends activity with traditional-style accounts. “You would pay taxes in the future,” he explains, “but you’d be in a lower tax bracket again and pay a lower allotment tax.”

Contributing to a 401(k) is one of the easiest agency to put your money to work, addendum Westlin, aback contributions are beatific anon from your paycheck and you never get the adventitious to absorb that money.

However, “some 401(k) affairs can acquire aerial fees and bound advance options, ” he says. That’s why he recommends Parkinson attending into her plan capacity and accept the advance costs, authoritative fees and any added added expenses.

“No bulk what, she should consistently save abundant in her 401(k) aboriginal to get the abounding employer match, ” he says. Some companies, like Parkinson’s, will bout whatever addition you put appear your 401(k) up to a assertive amount. It’s about chargeless money. “But if the 401(k) has academy fees and bound advance choices, she should again focus on a Roth IRA afore accidental added to the Roth 401(k).”

No bulk what, she should consistently save abundant in her 401(k) aboriginal to get the abounding employer match.

Andrew Westlin

certified banking artist at Betterment

A Roth IRA is an annual advised accurately for retirement and works analogously to a Roth 401(k) in that contributions are burdened aback they’re made. You can’t accord as abundant to a Roth IRA as you can to a 401(k), though: The addition absolute for IRA affairs in 2019 is $6,000 a year, or $7,000 for bodies age 50 or older. For 401(k) plans, the addition absolute is $19,000 a year, or $25,000 for bodies age 50 or older.

Parkinson spends a lot on skincare per ages — $130, with $90 of that activity appear a facial — and that’s OK, says Westlin, abnormally aback she’s already extenuative for her approaching and is debt-free.

“Saving as abundant as accessible is abundant but it doesn’t beggarly we should cut aback on everything,” he says. “Balance is important.”

Source: Madeline Parkinson

“The best allotment is that she’s already acquainted of it,” he adds. “And I’m abiding that if things anytime got in a bind, she’d be able to cut that out, at atomic for a aeon of time. Area splurges can be added adverse and area you ability appetite to accede acid aback on them is if you are in debt already or you don’t acquire an emergency armamentarium or you’re not extenuative at all.”

But as continued as you’re extenuative abundant anniversary month, “having that splurge is a abundant way to amusement yourself.”

When it comes to extenuative for the future, there are equations you can follow, such as, “you should save 15% of your assets for retirement,” says Westlin. “But at the end of the day, it absolutely comes bottomward to everybody’s own claimed situation.”

That’s why Parkinson can annual from cerebration about aback she wants to retire and how abundant she’d like to absorb in retirement. It’ll advice her actuate absolutely how abundant she needs to save in adjustment to ability those goals.

“It’s abundant that she’s focused on aggravating to up her 401(k) and save more, but by ambience a bright goal, we can again actuate how abundant she absolutely needs to save,” Westlin says. “As continued as she’s extenuative that much, how she uses the blow of her money is absolutely up to her, whether it’s spent or acclimated on added savings.”

Besides retirement, it’s acute to set added accumulation goals. In Parkinson’s case, she’s already congenital a solid emergency armamentarium that would awning her for three to six months and she doesn’t acquire any debt. That agency the $400 that she’s sending to a high-yield accumulation annual can go appear any added banking ambition she may have, says Westlin, like affairs a home or advantageous for a wedding.

She could additionally put that $400 in an added retirement plan, like a Roth IRA, abbey a assorted mix of funds herself or use a robo-advisor, which would administer a portfolio for her. Another option, he adds, is to advance it in a target-date fund, which are pre-structured funds created to hit assertive goals over a defined aeon of time.

Any of these options will “make her money assignment a bit harder,” says Westlin.

What’s your annual breakdown? Allotment your adventure with us at [email protected] for a adventitious to be featured in a approaching installment.

Don’t miss: The annual breakdown of a 28-year-old adept who supports his ancestors on $90,000 a year

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