You know when your bank account is just slowly counting down to zero, but you're not really sure what happens at zero because you've never truly had to deal with $ZERO$ before? You've been taken care of in high school. Want to go to the movies? - you ask dad for a $20 and you're on your way. Want to get a present for your best friend's birthday? -Mom's got your back. Halloween Horror nights? - "Have fun sweety!"
In time I was allowed a reasonable allowance so that I could learn how to budget my money and save for bigger things and bigger trips. And I have to say, I was really quite bad at it. Especially having money in a bank account with a debit card. If I wasn't holding the money in my hands, it seemed less real and easier to spend.
When my older brother and I turned 18, we each got a pretty big chunk of money that our mother wanted us to have to help us through college or help us get started in whatever we wanted to do after high-school. Both of us attending FSU, we decided to invest in buying a condo so that we could have a roommate, charge rent, and hopefully get that money back after school. The last thing we wanted was to see that money go down the giant sucking drain that is student housing and apartments. Really. They suck you dry and try to charge you for anything and everything.
But anyways, I've been pretty well off, and very lucky. Lucky that I had the opportunity to finish high-school with some free college under my belt through dual enrollment. Lucky to have had parents that planned ahead and were able to provide a reasonable college fund to help me out. Lucky that I had good enough test scores and grades to get some decent scholarships and grants. Lucky that I had a mother who thought of her children's futures and was determined to still be there for them even after she was gone. I've been more privileged then many, and I am so thankful for that every day.
When I came into that money, I was determined to make it last and make my mom proud. My actual schooling is pretty much paid for, and I am determined to finish school without a mountain of debt. Yes. Debt free. What's left of my mother's money is slowly depleting however, and I can see zero in sight. So what's the plan?
It's time to work.
Yes I have had jobs through college, but those who have tried know that it's hard to balance classes and clubs and social time with a job that is willing to give you decent hours. My freshman year, it was a food joint on campus. My sophomore year, it was an elementary after-school program. A step up in hours and pay, but still not enough to make a profit after all the bills are paid. Mortgage, utilities, HOA fees, car insurance, cable bill, gas, groceries, textbooks, vet bills (kitties are expensive!). It all adds up to be way more than your care-free 8 years old self could ever imagine. Balance. It's time to look at my life, my needs, my goals, and find the balance.
You do get those families though where the parents pay for everything in college. They want their kids to have the full experience - student by day (their job) and being a drunk baby by night (there... privilege?). And that's really A-okay by me. It's just not how my family functions. We manage comfortably but are by no standards considered rich or upper-class in any way. I'm just lucky that my parents plan well. I'm lucky that I have been able to spend these past couple years not only spending my time at FSU to gain knowledge, but also grow as a person through some financial stability. However...
My dad is lovingly pushing my out of the nest - no bungee attached. Time to fall or fly, and as I'm currently falling slowly toward that impending $ZERO$, I'd say it's time to fly :)
No more dumb money blowing YOLO college shit. No more living at Panera. No more Friday night beer fests that you don't even remember. It's time to really think about what I want in life, and prioritize.
So what's my genius life plan?
Step 1: Figure out what I want
- Make enough money to support myself through college
- SAVE and invest in my future
- See the world - Travel for as cheap as possible for as long as possible
Step 2: Make it happen
Take online classes
WORK, WORK, WORK, WORK, WORK!!! - at the school, babysit, coach gymnastics
- Expand my Etsy shop
- Sell my closet
- Sell everything else
- Plan a trip