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Coastal Couple Earning $210,000 A Year

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Everyone wants money, yet discussing it within the parameters of a relationship could be intimidating. When handled incorrectly, finances can crumble an enchanting partnership – however when done in tandem, the proper money conversations can go quite a distance. That looks different for different people, though. Welcome to Money Talks, AskMen’s new series on the relationship between our money and our relationships. Let’s talk about cents, baby.
Are open, bi-coastal relationships forged on Tinder the future of romance? Matt and Gabriella say yes. The creative pair shacked up in a hotel for a weekend and have been going steady ever since. They split their time between New York and Los Angeles, and understand how to address their financial privilege while not losing sleep over enjoying the finer things in life (like lingerie). We asked them about how living in different cities affects the way they talk about finances (and, okay, about the lingerie, too).
AskMen: How did you two meet?
Matt: We met the old-fashioned way: on Tinder. We actually matched when I was in Los Angeles and she was in New York. Let me say that investing in Tinder Plus was worth it; you can change your location settings. I knew I’d be in New York for about a month for work and was hoping to line up some dates while I was in town. I got a little more than I bargained for.
Gabriella: But obviously, it was worth it. I actually didn’t realize how much time he spent in L.A. when I agreed to go out with him; I might not have swiped right easily knew he lived in LA. My parents were long-distance and had a fairly ugly divorce therefore. But I’m glad I did so; I guess both of us got a lot more than we bargained for.
That which was your first date like?
Gabriella: He took me out for first date cocktails in the low East Side and back again to the hotel that his company was putting him up in. Honestly, it had been among those situations where we hit it off, had sex for like three days straight, and by enough time the weekend was over I was his girlfriend.
Ah, yes, that could be a fun solution to fall in love. You mentioned your parents – does how you were raised impact how you see finances?
Matt: My folks were fairly traditional. They taught me to help keep a good savings, and I’m more comfortable with buying Gabriella’s flights to see me in L.A., dinners, and vacations.
Gabriella: Yeah, but with that said, I’m financially independent. If anything were to occur with Matt and me, I make enough to cover my NY rent. I’ve roommates, but I’m fine with that. Obviously, I let him care for travel, because I wouldn’t have the ability to see him easily didn’t But my mom was always completely influenced by my dad, and I believe it encouraged me to pursue my career in advertising and understand that I have trajectory and do not have to be worried about having nowhere to go should anything happen.
And that means you two are fairly comfortable discussing difficult conversations, like what would happen in the event that you split up?
Matt: Yes. I own my home, that i consider our home, as Gaby is in L.A. most weekends, and weeks aswell, since her company comes with an L.A. office. And vice versa, her NY lease is under her name. Might work brings me to NY for longer stretches of time. I’ll either get yourself a accommodation on my company’s bill or stick with Gaby…but sometimes I admit the roommates annoy me. While I don’t mind spending money on things and we’re pretty flexible and fluid with finances, should we split there wouldn’t be much stress. She’s on my phone bill, but that’s it.
Gabriella: And I Venmo him for this monthly. Matt: I tell her she doesn’t have to, but she insists.
Perhaps you have discussed future plans, such as for example marriage, and how that could change how you talk about money?
Matt: Somewhat. Neither folks is completely stoked about marriage or kids, but we’ve discussed adjusting our NEW YORK situation. Ideally, within the entire year, I’d want to find and rent a location of our very own, because hotels can lose their sex appeal after years of residing in them, and as I mentioned, it would be nice for Gaby to have a place to stay that’s just ours, no roommates.
How does being bi-coastal affect your finances? What are some extra expenses that other couples might not deal with?
Gabriella: Well, flights, obviously. And over the past six months to cope with the distance we’ve been experimenting with opening up our relationship a bit, and so we went to counseling to discuss the best way to do that.
Matt: The counseling costs like $250 a session, and since we go to someone specifically for open relationships, unfortunately, it’s out of network. I think insurance companies like monogamy.
What are some of your favorite ways to splurge?
Matt: Definitely on dinner. We don’t cook a lot. Especially since we don’t see each other every day, and are often tired from traveling, the idea of cooking just seems exhausting. Often we’ll use Seamless or go out to celebrate just being together.
Any hot purchases lately?
Gabriella: I had been eyeing Dita Von Teese’s line , and Matt surprised me with some of her lingerie the last time I flew out. Matt: It was a mutually beneficial purchase.
How much do you spend on the following:
Rent:
Gabriella: I pay $1,000 a month for my room in New York, and I know, kill me.
Matt: My mortgage is about $1,200 a month, plus since I own, any home repair issue that comes up.
Monthly car expenses:
Matt: Gaby doesn’t have a car, and mine is fully paid for but I pay about $2,000 a year in car insurance.
Debt payments:
Gabriella: Yeah, I’m privileged, I’ll be the first to admit, because I don’t have any student loans. I really try not to use my charge card aside from emergencies. I pay about $150 per month toward medical bills.
Matt: I’m debt free, and in addition guiltily privileged. Depending on month I’ll put several thousand roughly on my charge card, but I’m good about paying it off.
Food spending:
Clothing spending:
Matt: Probably about $200? I have a solid collection of suits and work clothes when I need to look nice, but I’m a sucker for designer t-shirts and sweatshirts; I will usually grab at least another one of those a month, even if it looks like everything I already own.
Gabriella: I use Rent the Runway’s Unlimited , which is basically Netflix for clothes. Since I’m in different weather situations as a result of this relationship and we go out to nice dinners a lot, it actually saves money as opposed to purchasing. It costs $159 per month.

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