This Uber account executive makes $90,000 a year. How does she spend her money?
Who Sophy Huang, 25, with her six-year-old tortoiseshell cat, Jolene
Where she lives A 600-square-foot condo in King West Village with one roommate
What she does Account executive at Uber
What she makes $90,000 a year
Huang was born in Sichuan, China. In 2001, at the age of six, she immigrated to Toronto with her parents. Huang lived across the GTA—in North York, Pickering and Scarborough— before eventually enrolling in the co-op management program at U of T Scarborough in 2013.
During her undergrad, Sophy worked several cashier jobs, making minimum wage, before getting experience at larger companies, including Scotiabank and Ontario Power Generation, through her co-op program. In 2015, she started a food blog on Instagram, @sophyeats, to document her love of food, using the money from her part-time jobs to dine at some of the city’s top-rated restaurants, like Canoe and the Chase. Any leftover cash went straight into a TFSA.
In 2017, Huang graduated with a bachelor’s of business administration, then landed a corporate sales job at Uber, where she would eventually earn $90,000 a year. Then, in the fall of 2019, with a little bit of help from her mother on the downpayment, Huang purchased a 600-square-foot pre-construction condo in King West Village for $622,000. She finally moved in, upon the unit’s completion, in September 2020.
Huang started working from home during the pandemic, using the extra time to launch an online shop for handmade cards and take some online analytics courses. These days, she wakes up at 7 a.m., thanks to an east-facing bedroom and her cat, Jolene, who usually licks her face first thing in the morning. Huang bought a bunch of houseplants when she moved to pretty up the interior. The picturesque view of the CN Tower from her bedroom workspace makes working remotely a little bit more tolerable.
Currently, Huang is saving for future home improvement projects, including painting a mural in her room and installing a plant wall shelf in the living room. She expects those to cost a total of $300. In the long term, she hopes to have saved enough money to retire by 60 through investments and her company’s RRSP matching program.
Mortgage $2,700 a month, which includes condo fees, utilities and monthly mortgage payments. “My roommate pays $1,000 a month for rent, which goes toward paying the mortgage.”
Groceries $200 a month, from Metro, Longos and Walmart. Her regular shopping list includes eggs, frozen vegetables and fruit. “I use the app Flipp for grocery coupons, then I go to whichever store has the best deals.”
Cellphone $60 a month, for unlimited call and text, with Rogers, as part of a corporate plan.
Internet $25, for unlimited high-speed Internet, with Rogers. “I get a discounted rate because my entire condo building is registered with Rogers.”
Delivery $300, with Uber Eats, from restaurants like Oyster Boy and House of Gourmet. “I haven’t been dining out nearly as often as I used to due to indoor dining restrictions, which means more money spent on delivery and takeout.”
Subscriptions $35 a month, for MasterClass, Disney Plus and Spotify. “I’ve been watching a lot of Pixar movies, like Up and Coco, which are included in Disney Plus. I’ve also been learning how to cook through MasterClass cooking classes from renowned chefs like Massimo Bottura, one of the top Italian chefs in the world. I recently learned how to make pesto from scratch.”
Pet-related costs $120 a month, for cat food and pet insurance. “I pay about $20 a month for Hill’s Science Cat Food, which the veterinarian recommended. Then I get Friskies paté cat food from the grocery store for about $40 a month. I was really paranoid when I first adopted Jolene, and the adoption centre recommended I get insurance, which covers everything from surgeries to shots.”
Transportation $170 a month, for gas and car insurance. “I drive my mom’s 2007 Honda CRV. It’s been pretty reliable so far, great for weekend road trips and for picking up groceries.”
Gym $0. “I’ve been using a wellness app called Bright Amenities for at-home workout classes. It usually costs $48 a month, but it’s covered by my work benefits. I like to do the yoga and chair stretch classes.”
Investments $2,000 a month, with WealthSimple, an online investment service. “For someone like me in their 20s who doesn’t really know how to invest, I can just put my money into an account with WealthSimple. Instead of having to purchase stocks or invest in portfolios, I fill out a risk assessment questionnaire and they do everything for me. For the past two years, I’ve earned about five to eight per cent interest using a medium-to-high-risk portfolio.”
Online classes $2,034, for a six-week intro to data analytics program with Lighthouse Labs, a tech education company. “I’ve been itching to learn throughout the pandemic, and thought now would be the perfect time to learn some new skills and pad my resumé.”
Home decor $2,000, for a couch, papasan chair, coffee table and rugs, from Facebook Marketplace. “After months of browsing the home decor sections of Pinterest and Instagram, and watching way too many home DIY YouTube videos, I went on a shopping spree and purchased some stuff to make my new space feel like home.”
Humidifier $80, from Amazon. “I keep it in my bedroom. I read online that it’s good to have a humidifier if you’re indoors all the time, because it adds moisture to the air and improves your skin. Since I’m working from home, I figured I might as well have softer skin.”
Weighted blanket $75, from Amazon. “I also read something online about how weighted blankets help with your sleep. I’ve definitely been sleeping better since I started using it, so I think it’s working.”
Candles $10, from Winners or HomeSense. “I don’t go for any particular brand. I like the floral scents and put them in my bathroom.”
Skincare products $200, for a seven-step beauty routine, from the Abnormal Beauty Company.
Plants $150, for snake plants, spider plants and calathea plants, from garden centres. “I turned my condo into a plant sanctuary,” says Huang. “It’s nice being able to take care of them and being able to see them grow.”