Living On $56K In Dallas Before Coronavirus Unemployment | Millennial Money
In January, Marek and Kothney-Issa Bush, both 28, earned a combined income of $56,000 and had settled into life in a tiny home community in Lake Dallas, Texas. The couple started the year completely debt-free, having paid off the last of their $125,000 debt in 2019. By March, the coronavirus pandemic resulted in Kothney-Issa losing both of her jobs while the national retailer where Marek worked as a theft and fraud investigator shuttered all of its locations. He’ll get paid for the next two weeks, but after that, he doesn’t know.
This is the latest installment of Millennial Money, which profiles people across the U.S. and details how they earn and spend their money.
Read more about Marek and Kothney-Issa’s budget breakdown here:
Check out their YouTube channel Living Tiny with the Bushes:
The Bushes estimate that they’ve lost about half of their monthly income so far, due to the effects of the pandemic. At the start of the year, Marek earned a $36,000 salary for his full-time job. Kothney-Issa worked as a server at a local restaurant, and she was on track to bring in around $20,000 a year. She also tutored on the side and was preparing to get certified to teach in Texas, where the couple moved in October 2019 after living in Florida for several years.
Before the pandemic, the couple enjoyed having some wiggle room in their budget after spending two years cutting every possible expense and working multiple jobs to pay off $125,000 worth of debt. They were still careful with their money, buying clothes at Ross and hitting up happy hour. But the Bushes were able to put around $600 per month toward discretionary spending like dining out.
Losing their jobs forced the Bushes to cut their spending dramatically. They dropped their budget for discretionary spending from $600 to $150 (“If that,” Kothney-Issa says), eliminated all spending on unexpected expenses, canceled their gym membership and are temporarily taking a break from saving. They were also able to put a pause on the insurance for one of their cars, so they’re only driving one for now. Donating to their church and supporting Kothney-Issa’s sister is a top priority for the couple, so they’re keeping it in the budget for now.
» Subscribe to CNBC Make It.:
About CNBC Make It.: CNBC Make It. is a new section of CNBC dedicated to making you smarter about managing your business, career, and money.
Connect with CNBC Make It. Online
Get the latest updates:
Find CNBC Make It. on Facebook:
Find CNBC Make It. on Twitter:
Find CNBC Make It. on Instagram:
Living On $56K In Dallas During Coronavirus Unemployment | Millennial Money