Matthew and Brooke Bennett.

Matthew Bennett and his wife, Brooke, increased their income from $67,000 to $180,000 in three years.The couple has multiple cars and lives in a condo in Austin where they’re enjoying life as DINKs.They plan to buy a house and start a family once they reach a combined income of $350,000.

This as-told-to essay is based on a conversation with Matthew Bennett, a 25-year-old mining equipment brokerage representative in Austin. It has been edited for length and clarity.

Before my wife, Brooke, 26, and I married in August 2021, we made about $67,000 in combined income from our data entry and construction jobs, respectively. We both graduated during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, so the jobs we wanted were hard to come by at the time.

We’ve now been married for almost three years and have a combined income of $180,000, thanks to both of us finding higher-paying jobs and sticking to our long-term financial goals. I’m a mining equipment brokerage representative, and Brooke is an administrative manager.

We have multiple cars but save money in other ways

2022 was a year of growth for us financially. I got a new job as an inside sales coordinator for a major construction company and Brooke’s salary also increased as an administrative manager.

Although we do enjoy going out to eat on the weekends, during the week we always try to cook healthy meals at home and make our own coffee.

Cars are a passion to both of us — I have a BMW M2, a Mercedes GLA class, one Range Rover, and a Saab 9000, and then we have a Toyota Corolla that we split with a friend for our side hustle on Turo, a car rental site.

We also have the Range Rover listed on Turo. It’s a fun way to make the cars pay for themselves. We make about $1,250 a month from the Turo side hustle.

We were able to afford a luxury trip for our 2nd anniversary

We’ve been contemplating moving to California in the future, so I planned a trip to Los Angeles to celebrate our two-year wedding anniversary.

The weeklong trip cost roughly $6,800. It was our first luxury trip as a married couple, and we stayed in four-star hotels, rented a luxury car to drive, and enjoyed fine dining at upscale restaurants.

The cost was incomparable to the overall experience for us.

We have a financial marker to meet before considering children

We’ve never been in a major rush to have kids. Financially, our goal was always to make at least $150,000 annually from our combined incomes before our first child. Now that we’ve met our initial financial goal, I’m aiming a bit higher.

I’d like to make around $350,000 by the time our first child is born. Our other goal is to buy a house.

The great thing about having the income we’ve steadily grown over the years is that it will allow us to have kids and still enjoy our current lifestyle. We don’t want our kids to worry. We want them to have nice clothes, afford to go on outings with friends, and have a quintessential growing-up experience.

Even though we’ve worked hard enough to be well off, we want our kids to understand the value of a dollar and ensure they know we got to where we are now because we worked hard for years.

Before we have kids and lose our DINK status, we wanted to experience life in Austin

We used to pay $2,400 to rent a home in San Antonio. When our lease was up in March, we decided to finally take the leap and rent a condo in Austin with a stunning view. Our rent has increased to $3,475, but our water and power bills have decreased. Our grocery and gas expenditures haven’t changed, but we’ve been able to increase our going-out budget.

Although we’re paying significantly more in rent, it’s worth every penny for the experiences we’ve had so far in Austin. We love the outdoor hiking opportunities, the dynamic food and drink scene, and the ability to meet other couples and friends our age.

We have one other goal before we have kids: To open a coffee shop. It’s still a work in progress, but it’s high on our list of life priorities. For now, we’re enjoying DINK life in Austin.

Read the original article on Business Insider


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