Monday, November 19, 2012

#ProjectMoveOut : Show me the money

I am not sure why but people (the infamous "people") think I am well off in the money department. You have sadly mistaken. Many of those people who are saving money by living with mom and dad probably can afford living on their own more than I can. Its the sad truth. This gave me an idea. How about I share with you how much headache money is in my life.

Let's start with my loans. I have almost $200,000 ($100,000 and something) in student loans. I'm not even exaggerating. I wish I was. Sallie Mae begs me to pay them about $900 a month. On top of that, my federal loans are split into about 3 other places, also asking for money. This alone makes me want to curl up in a ball and die, but then my parents would have to figure out how to pay them. That's just selfish.

I used to own a store called Alpak Station. This store is now closed due to the lack of customers over time and us over extending ourselves with the second store. I beat myself every night thinking about how I should've never opened that second location. Ugh!  Anyway, this is an investment I will never get money back from but also need to settle debts for. There are bill collectors who do not care if the store is closed, they still want their money! Right now I owe almost $800 for one last notice bill. 

Sidenote, I have not gotten my physical degree yet because I still owe my alma mater $132 plus a late fee. Not much, but I just paid back a couple of old debts that needed to deal with first. No need to be vain and get the degree so I can stare at it when I have other affairs to take care of. Just being honest.

I don't have a car and some may think that I'm lucky cause that means I don't have to pay for gas or insurance. But let's talk about public transit. PATH just raised their fare by 25 cents. MTA is planing on doing the same. I go to work 5 days a week to my day job. Then have to commute to anything regarding freelance. And not to mention when I go out for social events, but what's that? I don't have a social life. Only work. The number breakdown monthly commuting is about $64 for the Hudson light rail and about $68 for the PATH. Then another $70 (always subject to change depending on work) for MTA. These are just monthly fees.

I have a weird dilemma with my day job. Since I'm walking around in different neighborhoods or tableing at event, I can't bring lunch to work most of the time. If its Summer, I could eat in a park. Then the dilemma is what am I able to carry in my backpack all day that will be fine for when I want to eat it. Then I also use lunch as a time to dine somewhere with a restroom. I've thought about not spending money on dining out for lunch and it really doesn't make sense.  So instead I put myself on a budget and make sure I always make dinner. Sundays I make a large amount of food to last for a variety of dinners for the week.

Rent... Oh rent. A topic I don't want to touch too much. I will say, on top of rent, I started to spend at least a hundred bucks on additional household things a month. It definitely adds up. Fans, toilet paper, cleaning products and such.

In the end, this says something about the lack of money flow from my books, clients and other projects. Its not that I'm not getting any or enough from each. Its about still growing. I'm still young and eventually will get better at all this. I hope one day all this will be a memory. 

My advice, BUDGET. A good working budget is the best way to not drive yourself insane. Although you may feel the strain of the lack of funds, still find ways to enjoy life for cheap. No shame in paying discounted prices for things or eating less.