After i met my boyfriend at 16, i’m sure all my mom thought was, “Shit.” Within a month i was deep into the “cupcake” phase and new that my love for this man would permanently force me to strive to be with him for the rest of my life. In retrospect, the next year consisted of me homeschooling, and finishing all my high school classes ridiculously quickly. With only 2 classes left i decided to apply for an Internship with Mac Cosmetic, I didn’t qualify. This unfortunately didn’t stop me from making probably one of the best mistakes of my life, lying.
According to my family i was 17, heading to Atlanta so i could attend Georgia Tech after high school graduation and receive in-state tuition, and already had a job lined up. Little did they know that my boyfriend was coming with me, neither of us had jobs, and we were dumb. Dumb, dumb, dumb.
We rented an apartment sight unseen, and had no money left over after paying the pro-rated rent and the deposit. We were two broke kids and two dogs without any money, in a $1600 a month high rise that we honestly shouldn’t of qualifies for. Life was great. My boyfriend had credit cards and we were enjoying the city life, until the bills came. If we hadn’t of gotten jobs within the first two days of moving into Atlanta, we would of been homeless within a month. We walked into restaurants and found positions cooking and serving. Immediately we realized that there was no way we were going to be able to afford $1600 a month, so we got out of that apartment as soon as possible and took a huge hit to our credit. We all live and learn. We then moved into a 1 bedroom apartment in the middle of the city, near both of our jobs, for $900 a month. Since their was two of this, it worked out. Within two weeks we both received paychecks, ate ramen noodles for three months straight, and ended up making it. It wasn’t hard, and life isn’t supposed to be hard. If your expecting to read this and hope to find out some secret way to making it, there isn’t one. The secret is to work. As long as you show up somewhere everyday, make money, and budget appropriately, you can make it anywhere. The world is not designed to work against you. So many people fail, because they don’t know what it takes, or just aren’t committed.
We used the 50,30,20 percent. We looked at our total combined monthly income, and budgeted as following:
50% towards bills- rent, utilities, food, mandatory gas, things you NEED.
30% to live on- Luxuries, eating out, entertainment money
20% to savings- Every penny counts.
Because we worked on obtaining a zero balance and had money going to a specific place every month, we succeeded very quickly in getting a foothold, and living comfortably. There is no trick or specific way you have to live, just pay your necessities, allow yourself a savings minimum, and an appropriate amount of money to allow yourself to live a healthy and happy lifestyle. My boyfriend and I enjoyed things like surfing, skating, dining-out, and exploring. So we allowed ourselves to indulge more in eating out, because we knew that most of our leisure activities were free. Also, being under 21 we did not have to worry about bars or social spending.
The city is a place of wealth and opportunity. We moved to the city with $1,000 in a bank account, 2 credit card with a $500 limit, and two extra dogs to feed. If i had to answer the question of, How do I do it? I would simply answer with one word: Mindfulness.