I know, I know, it’s taboo to talk openly about money. Well, I’m doing it anyway.
Does anyone else feel like they are constantly playing catch up and can just never get ahead? Or is that just me? I have been trying and trying to save money, kill my credit card debt and hack away at my student loans. I even moved back to my parents house (every 25 year old’s dream…) in an effort to put more of my money toward my debt. I’m even dating a financial advisor! Which wasn’t planned but hey you’d think it would make a difference to my financial situation or that I would feel the pressure to be in tip, top financial shape since, you know, he sets the bar pretty high. Yet somehow still I find myself having to withdraw money from my savings to hold me over until my next paycheck.
This is a recent issue, it’s just been in the last 3 or 4 months that I have found myself struggling THIS much. It’s not like I ever had tons of money but I had enough that I could cover all my bills, add a little to my savings each month and still have some “fun” money left over. I know moving out of my parents house made a huge difference. Suddenly (only not so suddenly) I had to pay rent, electric, utilities, cable, internet, groceries…etc. and whatever other apartment costs that popped up. But I didn’t expect it to break the bank. I had been saving to move out for almost 2 years, I truly thought I was ready. Just before I moved out I also changed jobs, which I know is playing a factor in my financial stress. I had been bartending for a year and a half, an industry in which the money fluctuates a lot and often times (as was the case with me) you are making more money than you realize. So when I changed to a “real” job as some people call it (I put it in quotes because I think bartending is a very real job) I actually ended up taking a bit of a pay cut. The problem is that I thought my pay cut was one amount and after filing my first taxes since changing jobs I came to find out that I gave up a significantly larger amount of money than I thought I did. It turns out bartending is actually a very lucrative and, trust me, very real job.
My entire life I have always been good with my money. I started working when I was 15, just shy of my 16th birthday. The day before my first day of work I went to the bank and I opened a checking & savings account. As I got older and started taking on bills, I began budgeting. I check my bank account daily, I update my budget regularly. I don’t spend frivolously and until Christmas 2015 my credit card never saw more than $200 in the 4 years it has been open.
So why now? Why are you allowing this to happen, Allie?!
I keep telling myself I can start over in June. The lease on my apartment runs out in May so I have to pay rent one more time. I moved home early for a handful of reasons which are far too personal and too long of a story for this blog. So I know in June when I no longer have to pay rent I can knock out my credit debt in one swift payment and then I’ll have extra money each month that I can put towards student loans and into savings. But honestly right now, I’m just wondering if I’m even going to make it to June. I know it’s just a month and a half away, or as I like to think of it just 4 paychecks that go towards major bills, but to me it feels like an eternity.
Normally I wouldn’t be one to wish anything negative on another person but part of me hopes I’m not the only one feeling this way. I can’t be the only post college 20-something thats struggling to make ends meet. I can’t be the only one that finds life after college pretty rough.
Just keep running, Allie, it can only go uphill from here.