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23 year old - my situation!!
Old 11-07-2014, 12:19 PM   #1
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23 year old - my situation!!

Hey to everyone! This is my first post on the forum and I'm glad I found it!! There seems to be a ton of really knowledgeable people here and I'm excited to know that I'll learn alot by browsing these posts. Here's a bit about myself and where I'm currently at in my life:

I'm 23 years old, born in '91, and I graduated from college (Tennessee Tech University) at 21 with a bachelor's degree in Business Administration/Finance. I'm currently working in my hometown at a small bank in the compliance department. I don't make much money yet, around $31,000.00 a year, but I'm hopefully expecting a decent raise in the coming year as I've heard through the grapevine that I'll be getting promoted to an officer at the bank. I've been full-time at the bank for nearly two years now and I'll be looking to buy my first home in the next year or two. I'm living at home with the parents right now while I try to get everything situated for the coming years, and I pay them rent once a month (I've done this ever since I landed the full-time job). I've recently taken a great interest in becoming financially independent and just finished reading "The Millionaire Next Door" and have just started "The Millionaire Mind". I would highly recommend these two books, they present several interesting case studies regarding the frugal lifestyles of the wealthy. I have no debt. I drive a 2006 Dodge Dakota that is fully paid off and had no student loans in college. I plan to drive this truck for as long as I can, and I plan to never buy a brand-new vehicle. I started allocating money to an employer-sponsored 401k a few months ago as soon as I became eligible and am currently contributing 18% of my paycheck ever month to this 401k. In the bank I have $12,500.00 in CDs and have cash reserves of a little over $28,000.00. In addition to this I also have a little over $50,000.00 in a mutual fund. I track my expenses and budget every month and try to live as frugally and below my means as possible. Luckily, my girlfriend does the same. I have recently began pondering the idea of doing something extra on the side to make a little more money that I can put directly towards savings/retirement. A few things that have crossed my mind have been starting a business, investing in real estate, or simply giving guitar lessons to make some extra cash. With banking hours I feel that doing something to make some extra money is highly possible since I get two days off every week, along with only working half a day on Saturdays. I am also trying to keep my eye out for other job opportunities that may be available to me as well (compliance in banking isn't the most rewarding/enjoyable job in the world).

I'm sure that I'll have many questions for this forum in the future and I look forward to learning and starting on this path to becoming financially independent! Thanks for taking the time to read!
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Old 11-07-2014, 02:44 PM   #2
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I can only say that you are 1,000 times farther on the financial independence track than I was at your age.

I love the idea of teaching guitar for a side job--totally different than your full time banking job and rewarding in different ways. I vote for that.
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Old 11-07-2014, 03:00 PM   #3
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I was way better than the average 20-something at saving and NW, but I didn't hit your NW until I was 29. Suffice to say, you're well on your way! Get the income up as you said you might, and you could be there in no time!

Reading this makes me wish I was even smarter in my early 20s... what a great head start! Nice job.
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Old 11-07-2014, 03:33 PM   #4
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Wow, have some fun and enjoy life along the way, too.
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Old 11-07-2014, 04:55 PM   #5
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What a refreshing and inspiring first post. I have no doubt you will reach whatever financial goals you set for yourself. I know that there are many wizened greybeards on this forum, but don't underestimate what you can teach us as well. Keep us in the loop and apprised of your progress. And great to know that your girlfriend is on the same page as you. Our shared commitment has been enormously helpful for my wife and me these last 22 years of serious LBYMing. Our payoff starts in a scant 252 days.

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Old 11-07-2014, 05:35 PM   #6
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That's an impressive start, I'm sure you'll be doing quite well going forward!
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Old 11-07-2014, 05:38 PM   #7
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Thanks I appreciate it! I have worked hard up to this point in my life. Started working part-time at 12 years old. Went through some periods of over-spending in my teenage years but I have that taken care of now. Nice to be among like-minded people here on this forum.

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Old 11-07-2014, 09:36 PM   #8
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Great start on the road to financial independence. Living below you means should be your watch phrase; but, remember that phrase begins with living. Don't be so frugal that you miss out on this phase of your life.
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Old 11-09-2014, 07:11 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kagarnett View Post
...and I plan to never buy a brand-new vehicle....
Hi kag,
I use to say the same thing. Due to your young age and interest in wealth, I predict that one day you'll be enjoying new sports cars, motorcycles or Dodge trucks if that's your thing!

Welcome aboard!
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Old 11-09-2014, 12:42 PM   #10
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Congrats on a great start. One thing I noticed... your salary appears pretty low to me. At Megacorp, I hired lots of undergrad business/finance majors. The starting salary in 2013 was $50-55K, and this is in a low COL area. I also checked salary.com for banking compliance analysts. The average was $39.5K for the lowest level position, which is 27% higher than your salary. A senior compliance analyst (bachelor degree, plus 2-4 years of experience) averages $50.9K. It goes up from there... coordinator, specialist, manager, director.

You're off to a great start and it's clear you want to move even faster. I'd start by making sure you're compensation is fair and there's plenty of room to grow where you are. If not, maybe this bank and your hometown is not the best match for your goals. Just something to think about. Your salary just struck me as too low for your educational background.

Again, congrats on a great start and good luck.
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Old 11-09-2014, 04:03 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Cobra9777 View Post
Congrats on a great start. One thing I noticed... your salary appears pretty low to me. At Megacorp, I hired lots of undergrad business/finance majors. The starting salary in 2013 was $50-55K, and this is in a low COL area. I also checked salary.com for banking compliance analysts. The average was $39.5K for the lowest level position, which is 27% higher than your salary. A senior compliance analyst (bachelor degree, plus 2-4 years of experience) averages $50.9K. It goes up from there... coordinator, specialist, manager, director.

You're off to a great start and it's clear you want to move even faster. I'd start by making sure you're compensation is fair and there's plenty of room to grow where you are. If not, maybe this bank and your hometown is not the best match for your goals. Just something to think about. Your salary just struck me as too low for your educational background.

Again, congrats on a great start and good luck.
In today's market, your mega-corp reference for an entry level position looks a bit on the high side for a business major. Here is one listing for a compliance position in Pittsburg that appears to be in line with the OP's situation:

https://www.pittsource.com/postings/87120
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Old 11-09-2014, 11:28 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by DFW_M5 View Post
In today's market, your mega-corp reference for an entry level position looks a bit on the high side for a business major. Here is one listing for a compliance position in Pittsburg that appears to be in line with the OP's situation:

https://www.pittsource.com/postings/87120
Well, I wasn't hiring compliance analysts for banks, much less a university payables dept in Pittsburgh. I was hiring entry-level corporate financial analysts in the DFW area. In the DFW area, if you have a business-related bachelors degree from a mainstream school, have a decent GPA, and can effectively navigate through an interview, your starting salary will be in the 50s. No question about it. Here's a link to salary.com for an entry-level financial analyst position in Dallas, TX, which averages $51,843. Add two years experience (which the OP has) and the expected range goes to $50,959 - $54,050, which is right in line with my direct experience at Megacorp one year ago.
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Old 11-10-2014, 09:12 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Cobra9777 View Post
Well, I wasn't hiring compliance analysts for banks, much less a university payables dept in Pittsburgh. I was hiring entry-level corporate financial analysts in the DFW area. In the DFW area, if you have a business-related bachelors degree from a mainstream school, have a decent GPA, and can effectively navigate through an interview, your starting salary will be in the 50s. No question about it. Here's a link to salary.com for an entry-level financial analyst position in Dallas, TX, which averages $51,843. Add two years experience (which the OP has) and the expected range goes to $50,959 - $54,050, which is right in line with my direct experience at Megacorp one year ago.
I could not get on to the site you referenced, but here is one from indeed, which shows entry level financial analyst positions in Dallas have starting salaries that average $41K:
Financial Analyst Entry Level Salary in Dallas, TX | Indeed.com

It also sounds like OP started a few years ago, and the job market and starting salaries were even softer then. My advice would be if you like the work environment, the work you are doing, the benefits, and there appears to be good growth opportunities within your company, give the company 3 years of your time before jumping elsewhere for a higher salary. I've hired a lot of people over the years and never cared too much for frequent job changers that are just out for a higher salary.
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Old 11-10-2014, 09:36 AM   #14
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Congrats on the start. It looks like you are doing great. If you do something on the side. I'd give the guitar lessons, assuming you have the guitar and are qualified. That means there's no money spent to make money. I'd use that money to have some fun with, fund some travel.
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Old 11-10-2014, 10:03 AM   #15
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...give the company 3 years of your time before jumping elsewhere for a higher salary. I've hired a lot of people over the years and never cared too much for frequent job changers that are just out for a higher salary.
5%-10%, yes, I agree with you. Many Millennials miss out on real growth opportunities by chasing relatively small base salary increases. But depending on which salary link you believe, the OP is anywhere from 32% to 67% below market. That's a different situation altogether.

I'm not saying the OP should leave, especially given the potential promotion opportunity mentioned. Just something to think about. I think the more important criteria include: doing what you enjoy and what you're good at, and doing it at a company where the culture is a good fit and there's plenty of growth potential.
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Old 11-10-2014, 12:06 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Cobra9777 View Post
5%-10%, yes, I agree with you. Many Millennials miss out on real growth opportunities by chasing relatively small base salary increases. But depending on which salary link you believe, the OP is anywhere from 32% to 67% below market. That's a different situation altogether.

I'm not saying the OP should leave, especially given the potential promotion opportunity mentioned. Just something to think about. I think the more important criteria include: doing what you enjoy and what you're good at, and doing it at a company where the culture is a good fit and there's plenty of growth potential.
I agree, testing the market in ones specific geography (unless willing to relocate) is wise, but those other factors are the really important ones.
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Old 11-11-2014, 09:23 AM   #17
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I appreciate all the salary research, I've been at the bank for around four and a half years total. I've only been full time for close to two years as I was part time during college. I'll probably give them atleast another year or two to see how much of an increase I get when I become an officer. If it's not much of a raise and if I can't see any other chances for a decent increase in the near future then I'll probably have no other choice but to look for a higher paying job since I'll be starting to look for my own place soon. What I'm making is ok for now, but for my goals this salary won't work forever.

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Old 11-12-2014, 05:46 PM   #18
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kag,

re: about your salary

I assume you have an annual performance review. My advice (having been a mega corp mgr in my former w*rk life) is to make sure to document the ways you are adding value to the company...numerically in dollars & cents. The more ways you can show you are making money for the company, the better. Then make sure you talk about it with your boss; don't be shy. Good luck!
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