Minor Celebrities

People are so giddy when they get to hear the inside scoop on Hannah and my finances. Besides feeling like a minor celebrity every time I’m asked what my financial system looks like, I like to imagine I would be just as interesting without my finance knowledge. Meh.

Today is all about transparency. I’ll share with you Hannah and my automated financial system, savings goals, spending, investing, and aspirations. The purpose is to hopefully inspire trust in you as you see that we follow and have success with the exact same principles that we teach you. Sure, I won’t give you our exact salaries (for obvious company confidentiality reasons), but I’m sure you could look them up on Glassdoor if you really cared that much.

Moreover, our hope is that you internalize that, regardless of how much your salary is, there is always enough money for the experiences and travel you love. Oh, and that your finances should only take a few minutes each week to stay on top of – we minimize that too.


A Little Background

I’ve always been a finance nerd, but I haven’t always been rich. My sophomore year of college was probably the hardest challenge I’ve ever come up against. Because of my natural animosity towards debt, I refused to ever succumb to outspending my humble income.

I was taking 17 credit hours, interning part-time at a hedge fund for free, and working close to 30 hours each week at a valuation services firm. With my aspiration to enter investment banking when I graduated and to retain my academic full-tuition scholarship, I was required to keep above a 3.92 GPA. That year, I learned how to minimize my expenses by spending only on the things I cared about, and to focus my efforts on the things that really mattered. With so much on my plate, I learned efficiency and organization and stayed out of debt.

These principles have translated into how we handle our finances.


How Our System Flows Together

Hannah and I churn credit cards. It provides us great free travel benefits right now, which is something we value immensely as we look to save money each year and just started with our careers. I won’t get into our credit card churning much more in this article, but I’ll link you to a previous article if this is something you’re interested in. We try to keep our conscious spending plan and categories simple. Check out the screenshot below… not our actual spending plan but still represents our categories.


Before our salaries are deposited directly into our Charles Schwab High Yield Checking Account, we contribute just enough pre-tax to our 401(K) to get a full employer match. We have automatic payments set for each month to pay down the full balance of our credit cards without us having to look at them, so we don’t carry a balance and trigger interest payments. We have set up an automatic transfer each month from our Charles Schwab checking to our Capital One 360 Money Market account. Unfortunately, we just barely cross the combined married salary limit and are not eligible to contribute to our Roth IRA. Otherwise, we would load up our savings here first before setting aside more pre-tax income to our 401(K). Currently, we’re keeping more of our savings liquid for potential upcoming expenses like Business School. We use YNAB to help track our expenses and determine if we’re living according to our conscious spending plan. And we sit down together once a month for 30 minutes to evaluate our financial standing and how we’re doing. And that’s how we do it.


Your Turn

We would love to hear from you and see what your financial system looks like! Do me a favor and email us at chad@wallstreetminimalist.com with your finance plan and questions. Let us know which of our blog posts have been most helpful to you, and what advice you’re excited to implement! We receive emails each week and respond to each one personally. Can’t wait to hear from you!


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