Rachel Shinto and Scott Johnston earn a combined income of $200,000 in San Francisco. Here’s how they split finances as a couple, save for the future and live comfortably in an expensive city.
This is the latest installment of Millennial Money, which profiles people across the U.S. and details how they earn and spend their money.
San Francisco residents Rachel Shinto and Scott Johnston, both 28, may live in the most expensive city in the U.S., but they’re still able to save money, invest for the future and enjoy their lives.
“I literally feel energy when I come into the city,” Shinto says. “I think it’s a magical place where you can make anything happen if you want to.”
The couple, who got engaged earlier this year, share a one-bedroom apartment in Diamond Heights, a San Francisco neighborhood, and earn a combined $200,000 per year. They agree that they’re able to live well. After living on $300 per month while in the Peace Corps, Shinto says dealing with San Francisco prices is easy: “I’m living my dream life right now.”
Johnston acknowledges that they’re lucky to earn as much as they do. “We’ve never had to worry, but we do make a fairly comfortable salary,” he says.
Because Johnston earns more, he pays more in rent and covers the utilities, but the couple typically split expenses evenly. “I don’t think we’ve ever fought about money yet,” Johnston says. “There’s nothing to hide — we’re open about it.”
The couple plan to get married in 2020 and pay for the wedding using their savings. They’re budgeting around $40,000 for the event. Long-term, Johnston hopes to be financially independent by 40 and start a real estate company with friends. Shinto plans to continue working until she’s 62 so that she’ll receive her full retirement benefits. But she doesn’t mind: “I love my job and I believe in public service.”
Despite their varying retirement aspirations, they’re still partners in their finances. “Now that we’re engaged, my money is her money, the way I see it,” Johnston says. “We’re going towards the same goal.”
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Living On $200K A Year In San Francisco — Millennial Money