In September 2018, this Texas woman, then 36, Moneyist wrote to ask how she should invest her windfall — more than $150,000. It was small by some people’s standards, but it was life-changing for him. She did not have a college degree, said she would not make more than $30,000 a year, and worked full-time for $10 an hour, in addition to a part-time job for $15 an hour. She paid $1,050 a month in rent. She paid off her car, and bought a “tiny house,” which she owns free and clear. she wrote in an update a year later. She deposited $70,000 into a high-yield online savings account. She topped off her retirement portfolio and invested $30,000 in emerging markets. She maxed out her IRA and invested $10,000 between very safe dividend stocks and ETFs. He also spent $7,000 on dental work in Mexico. And today? Five years after her first letter, she has updated MarketWatch readers on her progress and what she learned from the experience.:
Dear Moneyist, There are many more Americans who earn less than $50,000 a year than who earn more. I think we’re really underrepresented in the financial-advice world. I’d love to see more columns helping people invest $25-$100 when they can. He is empowered to invest. I may never be Warren Buffett, but when I open my accounts and see how they are growing it really fills me with a sense of pride and determination. how am i doing beautifully. I hate to say it but the pandemic was a blessing for me personally. I feel terrible to say that many others have suffered and are still suffering because of the loss and destruction, but for me, the pandemic opened up a world of possibilities. The shutdown landed a job opportunity in my lap, and I’m now making about $4,000 a month after taxes. Yes, me! I have never made so much money before (outside of the inheritance I received). I’m still frugal and live on about $1,800 a month, and that includes health insurance, long-term disability insurance, full coverage car insurance, and pet insurance! Everything else goes to savings and investment. I won’t say what I’m doing because that might identify me, but I will say that it’s a job that allows me to be happy every second that I “work”. “‘Small living forces you to be mindful. Not just of your space, but of yourself and how you live in your space.'” My tiny home is one of the greatest decisions I’ve ever made, and one that makes me happy. has really changed my whole mindset on it. As I’ve been in it I’ve tweaked certain parts of the design to be more efficient, and I can honestly say that I intend to live small as long as mobility isn’t an issue — Hopefully age-related and not some sort of accident!- forces me back into a more traditional dwelling. Small living forces you to be mindful. Not only of your space, but of yourself and how you live in your space. It may sound strange, but living small has actually made me a better person and improved the quality of my life in ways other than financial. I would like to address some of the comments I read in response to your previous article on my letter. While most were really supportive others were judgmental and Coming from a place of humility. I want to thank everyone who wished me well, and let them know that their words meant a lot to me. People take time out of their day to read about me and wish me well. I send them all virtual hugs and hope everyone is happy and healthy. However, I would like to address some of the comments that were less encouraging. Several people insisted that my letter was obviously fake because of how well I wrote, and that someone with my education level couldn’t possibly be in the financial situation I was in. I was less hurt by this attitude than I was completely taken aback by it. . People genuinely believe that educated people can’t struggle financially, just floored me. “There are more ‘poor’ Americans than ‘rich’ Americans, and we’re not stupid or lazy. We’re trying to make it work.” . We’re nurses living on the street with two roommates to afford rent. We’re teachers still living with their parents because they can’t find enough roommates to qualify for an apartment. We’re cops working at Home Depot next door trying to save a child. It does. We’re lawyers Ubering just to afford student-loan payments. There are more “poor” Americans than “rich” Americans, and we’re not stupid or lazy. We’re trying to make it work. Am — usually holding 2-3 jobs. This country has an economic crisis. I believe it comes from unchecked capitalism. When corporations are allowed to buy single-family homes and raise rents drastically, and banks/credit institutions obscenely When people are allowed to prey on high interest rates, you promote an environment of exploitation. Our society allows young people to be targeted before they graduate high school. Credit-card companies and college-loan institutions start preying on people as soon as they turn 18. If their parents are financially illiterate, and most public schools rarely teach financial literacy, many young people start life with insane debt. Furthermore, wages do not keep pace with the cost of living in this country, and you have many educated “poor” people. I just couldn’t believe the comments that insisted this story was fake because I was too educated to be poor. Then I was mad. Crazy because that stereotype is what prevents so much change. Nothing good will ever happen if we keep thinking bad of each other. Anyway, thank you again for thinking of me and sharing my story. Hope it helps more people. As I said earlier, investment is truly empowering. I didn’t know it before, but I know it now, and I wish it for many more Americans. Honestly, not low income, but I’m still a couponing ladyDear not so low income, Thank you for your insightful and eloquent letter. Your words and story continue to inspire me, and I hope to inspire many others in America who have never started in life and/or continue to face financial struggles. I wish you the best in everything in your life, and I hope that better things continue to happen to you. you Email The Moneyist with any financial and ethical questions at email@example.com and follow Quentin Fottrell on Twitter. Check out Moneyist Private Facebook group, where we find answers to life’s thorniest money issues. Readers write to me with all sorts of dilemmas. By emailing your questions, you agree to publish them anonymously on MarketWatch. By submitting your story to Dow Jones & Co., publisher of MarketWatch, you understand and agree that we may use your story or versions thereof in all media and platforms, including by third parties.. Moneyist regrets that he cannot answer questions personally. More from Quentin Fottrell: ‘We grew up poor and financially ignorant’: My children are 14 and 16. Is it too late to save for their college education?