A speech-language pathologist in Alberta

Today: a speech-language pathologist working in healthcare who has a $145,000 joint income and spends some of her money this week on a maternity dress.

Occupation: Speech-Language Pathologist
Industry: Healthcare
Age: 30
Location: Greater Edmonton, AB
My Salary: $101,000
My Husband’s Salary: $44,000
Net Worth: $169,000 (Our home is worth $475,000, I have $55,000 in a defined benefit pension, $23,500 in savings and investments, and my car is worth $5,500. )
Debt: $390,000 (This is the $370,000 owing on our mortgage, plus W.’s $20,000 student loan.)
My Paycheque Amount (1x/month): $5,524
My Husband’s Paycheque Amount (2x/month): $1,379

Monthly Expenses
Mortgage & Property Taxes: $2,123 (I pay for the mortgage, and W. pays for utilities.)
Home Insurance: $117
Life Insurance: $53
Car Insurance: $222 (for both our cars)
Water: $90
Gas: $130
Electricity: $160
Internet & Cable: $180
Both Our Phones: $160
Student Loan Savings: $1,500 (W.’s payments are on hold during the pandemic, but he’s been putting away $1,000, and I’ve been putting away $500 to pay off a significant part of the balance in a lump sum.)
My Husband’s Health & Dental Benefits: $29.76 (My employer covers mine.)
Defined Benefit Pension Plan: $865.94 (This comes off my paycheque, and my employer kicks in $950.34.)
Netflix: $13.99
New York Times: $4.50
Savings: $1,000 (I’m pregnant, and I’m aiming to set aside $5,000 for maternity-leave expenses.)

Was there an expectation for you to attend higher education? Did you participate in any form of higher education? If yes, how did you pay for it?
I was a huge nerd in high school, so nobody was surprised when I went to university. My parents and grandparents paid my tuition and rent during undergrad, plus my grad school tuition, so I was lucky to graduate with no student loans.

Growing up, what kind of conversations did you have about money? Did your parent/guardian(s) educate you about finances?
My parents impressed upon me the importance of saving. We used to watch Gail Vaz-Oxlade’s Til Debt Do Us Part and Princess, so we had lots of talks about what not to do with money.

What was your first job and why did you get it?
When I was 16, I got a job coaching gymnastics. This gave me spending money, and I started building up my savings account.

Did you worry about money growing up?
I always thought my family was middle-class, but as I got older, I realized that my parents were in a very good financial position. My mother didn’t need to work, and they didn’t have a mortgage on their house.

Do you worry about money now?
I worry about money somewhat now, because I’m going on maternity leave for a year, but I laid out a detailed budget for that time, and I know we’re in a good financial position. I also know I’m privileged — my parents paying for school meant that I could put all of my disposable income towards saving for a house. They also paid a significant portion of our wedding costs and contributed to our down payment.

At what age did you become financially responsible for yourself and do you have a financial safety net?
At 22, I started paying for my own rent and food. A couple of years later, when I moved to Alberta for work, I became fully financially responsible for myself. I know that if anything happened, my parents could help out, but I don’t want to be in a position where I have to ask.

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