I legit have zero savings after working on IB for 3 months, feeling scared

So the title says it all, I was wondering if any of you are in the same boat.

As at right now I have USD130 in my account to last till the next payment cycle and while I do spend some money on going out its mainly because my sign on bonus and first 3ish salaries payments went to my siblings who I am/was supporting since they do not work and I do not come from a rich home.

I managed to save about 3k from my signing bonus after I paid the broker fee and security deposit for my apartment but my siblings and a few old friends slowly gobbled up the rest and now I've stopped supporting them because living paycheck to paycheck is horrible. 

I can't wait for the stub bonus to hit my account so I can start saving again.

Did any of you live paycheck to paycheck during the early parts of your careers? I feel like a fool and kinda ashamed (had a hard time looking in the mirror after seeing my account) for blowing my savings on my family not because they are bad people but because they feel like I did not sacrifice anything since I technically have a stable job so no one feels like I am under any pressure even though I am, and now I have to turn down happy hour for the next couple months till I get back on my feet again. 

I grew up poor and promised if I get a job I would never want to feel broke again but here I am in MM IB feeling just that way, I think thats why I feel ashamed of myself.

Comments (25)

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Nov 20, 2022 - 12:48pm

New York / SF is pretty hard to maintain a great savings % especially your early years, so we usually save 100% of the bonuses but minimal base.

Btw you should keep a healthy boundary in terms of your finances. Don't burn yourself to keep other people warm. Take care of yourself first and then if you have some money left around, help the closest to you.

Nov 20, 2022 - 7:21pm
rebrand, what's your opinion? Comment below:

If you support your siblings now, they will never have a reason to become independent. Stop sending them money and focus on building a stable financial foundation for your own life. Once you give people handouts they will always have their hands out. Don't set yourself up for a lifetime of being asked for money.

Most Helpful
  • Associate 3 in IB-M&A
Nov 20, 2022 - 7:51pm

Absolutely stop sending money to your siblings or friends, or parents, or anyone, right now. $100 when you go home for Christmas, absolutely. But any portion of your regular paycheck is ludicrous. And yes, I know there are cultures where you are expected to support your family, but you are literally bankrupting yourself to do so - especially siblings. If they shame you about it, tell them New York is expensive and you need money to put food on your table. Take a week or two off of talking to them if they don't get it.

That said, it's okay to not be saving a TON of money, especially right now with inflation, high rent costs, etc. Depends on what your rent payment is, but $500 a month, maybe $1000 if you're frugal is all most first years can afford, and then save most of your bonus of course. Don't let the guys on here saying they've got $100k saved after their first year keep you from saving what you can. Good news is you're close to the stub bonus and have learned this lesson before all of that disappears. Put the money somewhere safe (in your Fidelity account, so it's a compliance hassle to take out, tell your family it's not accessible) and do not let them have any more of it.

Again, I get some families expect their kids to support them. And you will likely be able to in a few years, perhaps not bankrolling them entirely but helping out a bit if you choose. But you are 23 or 24, just moved to NYC, and are spending it on siblings and friends. That is not okay.

  • Manager in CorpFin
Nov 21, 2022 - 12:35am

Time to be a big boy and cut the support payments out. No reason for anyone to not be working especially if they're grown adults (in this case grown adult is 18 but can work at 16 too). You have to put yourself first as you've put in the hard work to get where you're at and escaped being poor. I understand you probably feel an obligation to support your family but now it's their turn. Nobody is bailing you out now and nobody is going to bail you out god forbid you get laid off etc…

Nov 21, 2022 - 2:03am
Dr. Rahma Dikhinmahas, what's your opinion? Comment below:

It's pretty common.  In your case it's siblings you support, in others' case it will be something else.  Bonus is key.  Just hang til then, you'll be fine.

Nov 21, 2022 - 2:37am
ASEANalyst, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I definitely relate to you.

Out of my first 4 years of working, i prolly only saved around 2% of my total net income during those 4 years. There's a point where i already amassed 1 year worth of income as my emergency funds. But that got wiped out during 2021 when i needed to support the whole extended family with their hospital bills. You might see this as necessary, but the law of unintended consequences always reigns supreme.

"No good deed shall go unpunished" they said, and they are true. Now that I clearly established within the family as a major earner, I am expected to fund not only my parents retirement (they don't have any money), but my older sister's daily expenditures (transportation and sometimes venmo) because she made almost half of my income and also another family's unexpected needs (eg. loaning money when their business had lower profits, paying for some brother of another mother through college, etc etc.).

All of that happening in record high inflations, massive lay-offs within the industry, and bone dry dealflow.

All i can say to you is be tough on others, no matter the relationship. We earned the privilege of earning 6 figures--unless you got accepted through nepotism--and nobody has the right to tell you that "your income is our money".

Nov 21, 2022 - 9:33am
Faustian, what's your opinion? Comment below:

If your siblings are adults and capable of working, then you're doing them a massive disservice by enabling them to live off your hard work while they sit around. You're on a path to success, and I'm assuming you worked hard to get there. To not expect the same level of drive from your family, and actually enable the opposite, is a disservice.

Those who resemble doormats may find themselves being walked on from time to time. Stop wasting your money, push your family to improve their situations.

Nov 21, 2022 - 1:42pm
alexela, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Saving during the first couple of years in NY can be very challenging. be sure to keep your priorities in check because the city doesn't operate like other places, it'll suck all your cash v quickly. you need to stay afloat no matter how high you perceive your salary to be. I used to be in the same boat and used to send money to a sibling who turned out to be completely unappreciative and even ungrateful about it, because people who do not live in high-stress high-demand environment only see the glitz and glamor from the outside. They rarely understand the grind and sacrifice that come with it. Don't stretch yourself. My relationship seems to be permanently strained even though it all stemmed from the best of intentions…

  • Assistant in IB - Gen
Nov 21, 2022 - 1:56pm

Them "gobbling all of it up" is straight up a lack of respect for you. Good on you for not doing that anymore. Save your bonus, or at least don't do what you've been doing without it.

Nov 22, 2022 - 7:40am
ConfusedGuru, what's your opinion? Comment below:

You are being completely used man. Stop that shit right now. I understand in certain cultures it's expected, but it's fine to think about yourself. At the end of the day, you're the one that's busting your ass to make the money. No way in hell should you be paycheck to paycheck 

Nov 22, 2022 - 8:29am
Smoke Frog, what's your opinion? Comment below:

You said you give money to family AND friends? Sounds like you're gonna be one of those guys that's perpetually broke due to your low self esteem. It's ok man, many people have no confidence and give others money so they have people in their life to talk to.

  • 1
  • 3
Nov 22, 2022 - 1:42pm
Klavin, what's your opinion? Comment below:

You need to reduce the amount you send home to family and completely eliminate any form of monetary assistance to your friends.

It's one thing to send money back home to support family. It's entirely unnecessary to give money away to your friends unless you're in a position to be giving monetary gifts, which you clearly are not. Stop doing that.

  • Analyst 2 in IB-M&A
Nov 22, 2022 - 5:41pm

I'm paycheck to paycheck in IB only because I have a SERIOUS gambling problem. please halp. 

Nov 23, 2022 - 6:15am
Hayek, what's your opinion? Comment below:

First don't beat yourself up too much. You're very young and figuring things out. Spending a bunch of money on helping relatives is ultimately a much better waste of money then buying endless bottle service or expensive watches. 

Second, as others have said, you need to put up boundaries and look out for yourself first and foremost, because nobody else will. On planes they tell you to put on your oxygen mask before you help others. Focus on building up 3-6 months worth of living expenses before you even think of sending money back home.

  • 3
Nov 26, 2022 - 4:35pm
Jamie_Diamond, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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  • Analyst 2 in IB - Gen
Nov 26, 2022 - 7:53pm

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