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I’m 41, Make $159K a Year, and My Partner and I Live in DC

YNAB Money Snapshots

Welcome to YNAB Money Snapshots—where you see a real picture of someone else’s budget and finances. They’re all anonymous, because sharing money is still a squirrelly topic for many, but we think airing them out in the open makes you better with your own money story. 

As you read these budgets, keep in mind that some people make lots of money and some people make a little bit of money, but we know it’s what you do with that money and how you feel about that money that means more than any yearly salary. 

See how a software consultant in Washington DC making $159,000 a year spent his money in April.


  • Name: Tony R
  • Age: 41
  • Location: Washington, DC 
  • Job: Software Consultant
  • Living situation: I live with my partner, G; he and I are engaged. We hope to adopt a puppy soon!

Income: $159,000

Savings: $32,000

Debt: $700,000

  • Mortgage 1 (Primary residence): $454,000
  • Mortgage 2 (rental): $246,000

April Inflows: $9,343

  • Payroll: $6,384
  • Partner G's Mortgage Contribution: $900
  • Mobile Check Deposit: $9
  • Rental Income: $2,050

April Spending

G and I largely manage our budgets separately. He uses a different budgeting program (for now), so we manage our finances separately. I earn about 3x what he does (he works for a non-profit), so I end up taking on 2/3 of our living expenses.

My Savings Categories

Right now my top savings goals are:

  1. Saving for an emergency fund (my Emergency Fund category and my Pershing Brokerage category are bundled together for my full emergency fund of 3-6 months living expenses)
  2. A trip for my partner’s 30th birthday
  3. A cruise once lockdown is lifted
  4. Our wedding! We got engaged last August in Thuya Gardens (in Maine). We’re waiting for things to be safe to gather to give this one a date.

My Month

Due to COVID-19 I made some splurge buys to help me get through (hello, new VR headset!) and spent more on groceries/eating out due to InstaCart and extra tips for service workers as a thanks.

My Story

I come from a small city in upstate NY. I moved to DC in 2006 and started making more than I ever had in my life. Soon after, I realized my credit card bills kept going up. How could that be? I was making plenty of money! Surely I could pay all my bills! I didn't live extravagantly at all. 

Well, then I started envelope budgeting around 2007 or 2008, which quickly showed me I was spending 10-15% *more* than I made a month! What a shock!

Over the next couple of years, I embraced my budget and paid down those credit cards in full! This definitely required some thoughtful decisions about what to pay in cash and what to finance, and the empowerment to be able to choose. It was a slog to get to this place, and I needed to refocus a few times.

Now, I'm able to pay my cards off automatically, in full, each month without worrying about carrying a balance, and I know where my money is going. Having it "on paper" in front of me helped to see the reality, instead of closing my eyes, jumping, and hoping to land someplace soft! YNAB helps me to be mindful of spending, otherwise my lizard brain will take over. :-)

My Financial Goals

Prioritize and build up my emergency fund, to do what I can to make the best of the COVID and post-COVID economy.

I would rate my current financial situation: 5/5

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I’m 41, Make $159K a Year, and My Partner and I Live in DC