How the Baby-Sitters Club Does Money: Mary Anne

Kristy is kinda envious of Mary Anne's life but is too good a friend to say anything

Mary Anne married Logan.

It was a shock to everybody. A pleasant shock, or at least a “let’s pretend we think this is a good idea” shock, and in fact their wedding, which took place during the summer after Mary Anne’s freshman year of college, was the last time the entire BSC was together.

They’re still married. They still live in Stoneybrook, or technically just outside of Stoneybrook, in an old farmhouse that they remodeled together, nearly from the ground up.

They’re also financially independent.

They didn’t plan this, when they got married; but Mary Anne knew how quickly you could lose things that were important to you. She didn’t want to wait for things. You could lose what you had while you waited.

So they married young, and Mary Anne immediately began pitching the idea of designing a fire-proof home. It couldn’t be done, as it turned out, but her enthusiasm led her towards architecture and then into construction, dragging Logan with her the entire way. (Logan didn’t mind. Logan likes Mary Anne.)

Mary Anne at first thought she’d do the actual building work, but her nerves were still too flinchy and she wasn’t any good on a ladder or with a power drill. Her organizational skills were what made her valuable, and by the time she was 32 she was the Executive Vice President of Operations at Stoneybrook Construction, pulling in six figures and giving speeches at high school Career Days about being a woman in a male-dominated field. (She hates giving the speeches, and takes beta-blockers beforehand.)

Logan is the stay-at-home dad. They had their two children right away — Mary Anne knew that life was short and you couldn’t wait for what you wanted — which meant Mary Anne was done with the infant and toddler stage of life by the time she was 25 and was able to focus full time on her work. Her focus on going after what she wanted as fast as possible put her family on the track to financial stability a good five years ahead of her peers.

That was Logan’s doing, really; he was the one cooking the meals, balancing the budget, and setting up auto-deposits into their savings accounts while Mary Anne spent long hours at the office. He was the one who first read Your Money or Your Life after taking the kids to the public library, and the first person to suggest that they could become financially independent. He began switching their funds from savings into investments and reading early retirement blogs.

They ended up hitting F1 after eight years, and they did it on a single income. (Having Logan take care of nearly all of the domestic work helped things considerably.) Both of their kids are in college; the oldest one is graduating this year. Mary Anne could stop working any time she wanted, and the two of them could enjoy decades of retired life together, but she isn’t going to. She’s in her prime, and she is finally truly happy.


Previously: Claudia


12 Comments / Post A Comment

bgprincipessa (#699)

Wow I apparently do not remember Mary Anne’s back story, but it sounds sad.

What’s F1? This is the only money blog that I am interested in, so I don’t know these things unless they’re explained here…

HelloTheFuture (#5,275)

@bgprincipessa Mary Anne lost her mother to cancer and lost her home and all her possessions in a huge fire. For a long time her father made her, like, stay within arms length because he was afraid of losing her too. Then she rebelled, in a sort of sweet and polite way, and started dating, cut off all her hair, pursued her own interests.

F1 stands for “financial independence” if you read a lot of early retirement blogs. It means that you earn enough money from your investments that you no longer need to work. It is often associated with living a modest life on a home/land you own, growing and preparing most of your own food, eschewing expensive purchases, etc. You keep your overhead low and save as much money as possible.

bgprincipessa (#699)

@HelloTheFuture Excellent explanations for both, thanks! Oof, what a story though. So much story for one character. I can definitely see why she would go down this path then.

Allison (#4,509)


I knew she’d be very on the ball, but I love the how she got there part.

I think this is my favorite one! I always had a soft spot for sweet, (justifiably) neurotic Mary Anne.

keystar (#4,042)

This is lovely. I rebel the way Mary Anne does, but I was always a wee bit jealous of her. But this makes me soooo happy. (But also still jealous, because I wish I had kids young!)

Also, is Logan basically Mike Dang??

KittyConner (#3,108)

@keystar My first response to this is was “Um… NO. Logan is a Logan and Mike Dang is a Mike Dang and no way in heck is Logan a Mike, that is the beauty of The Billfold!”

But you meant the one who likes Mary Ann and not the one who likes Pret sandwiches, so yes, maybe that Logan IS a Mike!

Megano (#739)

I feel like a jerk for pointing this out, but I’m having trouble figuring out how Mary Anne could be a vice president of a construction company by 32. VP’s (even for the small firms) usually require about 10-15 years of experience managing construction projects as well as a degree (at least 2 years) in business management. Given that it takes about 5 years after getting out of school to manage projects, this means she has to be starting out in the industry at about 17. Also, how did they pay for her education? It’s statistically unlikely that she became a VP without any kind of post-secondary education (particularly if she is making 6 figures) and that’s going to make a difference in what happens with their money.
Signed, Architect At Least 15 Years Away From A Vice President At 35.

HelloTheFuture (#5,275)

@Megano This is absolutely fair. And I don’t think the math works on their F1 lifestyle either. This piece was more the “fantasy of if everything worked out perfectly with no problems starting from the day you graduated high school.”

Megano (#739)

@HelloTheFuture Yes! I love reading these, but the thing that I love about the Billfold is that the website as a whole (hi Mike!) is pretty clear eyed about cost (including opportunity costs), and this is….not.

I think this is the year Mary Anne gets surprise pregnant!

HelloTheFuture (#5,275)

@Ester Bloom This is absolutely what happens.

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