The other day I wrote about changing the way I spend my money, and I didn’t really get to my why, so I wanted to elaborate about that today. For some genius hacks for how you can reduce your spending and define your wants vs. musts, check out The Simple Dollar’s article here.
What I have been really missing in life is a cushion. I live paycheck to paycheck, even though I make a lot more money than most people in the world. I also have an incredibly daunting amount of debt, both private and from law school loans. The number of days I have felt hopeless about my loans are countless. And when I feel like, “what’s the point?” of paying anything towards my insanely huge loan balance, that’s when I make the dumbest financial decisions.
Ever since I graduated from law school six years ago, I have been worrying pretty much nonstop about my finances. How am I going to pay off my $250k in law school debt? How will I pay my bills? Will I be able to afford rent next year?
Now, I’m not saying that my worries were productive or even inspiring of smart financial behavior. Yes, I paid all my bills on time and have a great credit score, but I certainly shopped too much when I was super stressed out and ate out when I shouldn’t have… and all sorts of other dumb things.
What I realized was that I was never going to get ahead by being one foot in and one foot out on my financial approach.
Sure, I had a budget, but I didn’t follow it when I wanted to buy myself a new pair of shoes (even if I needed them for work).
And yes, I paid everything on time, but I didn’t plan for foreseeable yearly expenses (like $1000 for car insurance every 6 months or my yoga passes every few months). So every time January came around, I’d simply put my car insurance payment on credit and be back in the red. Or I would put my workout classes on credit without adding a line in my budget for these expenses.
Last night I was thinking about my favorite topics to ponder and write about. You may have guess it if you’ve been following my blog for some time – MILLENNIALS are my favorite topic.
Why’s that? As a Millennial, my thought process really differs from people I work for and can sometimes cause misunderstandings or even clashes. And I know I’m not the only.
In the times when I disagree with people I may work for or with, it helps to get an idea of the bigger picture. Do we disagree on transparency because of personal ideas or is it because our generations have different values and viewpoints?
This month, I was listening to Shonda Rhimes’ audio book called Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person. It’s really good – it has all sorts of well-told stories you’d expect from a professional writer, and then some. She also shares great insight about her weaknesses and how she turned things around after becoming successful.
I connect with Shonda’s story on so many levels. She started out with a funny disclaimer that she’s a liar. That she comes up with stories for everything. And while she used to get in trouble for it as a kid, now this is how she makes her living.
Ever notice how indecisive people are rarely satisfied?
They spend their time going over the possibilities that would occur if they went one way, and all the other possibilities that would be there if they went the other way. But when I say possibilities, what I really mean is that indecisive people often focus on all the things that could go wrong, or what they could miss out on if they went one way, and not the other way.
What they fail to acknowledge is that life is a series of choices, and that it’s impossible to have it all.
So before I tell you about the more formal volunteering I’d like to do, I did get to help out an undergraduate and law school student this month. I formally mentor a first year law student and I also informally took under my wing a smart undergrad former Navy lady!
It’s been super fun hearing where these “kids” want to end up and the thoughts going through their minds as they search for who they’re meant to become. I know I had a similar path and really needed a helping hand and kind ear to listen to my aspirations. So far, I’ve really enjoyed connecting these bright ladies with people that can help them even more, and just sharing my own story on the path to finding where I’m meant to be!
Happy 2016, everyone! We’re two months in, and it feels like this year is already moving right along.
I know I haven’t shared in a very long time, and I have been realizing more and more that I really miss this outlet to share and introspect about what is going on in my life (and the greater world).
Let me just say that life is wonderful! I moved out of a fairly horrible living situation, with an amazing living opportunity thrown into my lap completely unexpectedly. I’ve reconnected with good friends in the area, traveled to big cities for all of my holidays, and just had a wonderful time growing up and being content with who am I am and what I’ve become.
As I am nearing the corner of turning 30 in a few years, I’ve noticed that I am significantly more at peace. I’m more confident in my body, even though I was much skinnier in my most insecure years. I’m calmer, even though my responsibilities have grown. I’m happier, even though I’ve seen true cruelty, encountered monsters, and had my share of debt.
Note: This post is a continuation of Monday’s post about roommates!
The Perfect Roommate
In terms of roommates, I’ve lived with the elusive PERFECT roommate (alas, I got the dream job, and had to move away from the city we shared, and had to live with complete strangers, who indeed are not perfect).
Ever since I’ve moved out from my parents’ house to go to college at the ripe age of sixteen, I’ve lived with roommates.
As an introvert who needs space from people, a mini-OCD freak who likes to live in an orderly fashion, a wannabe chef who cleans as she goes and never leaves dirty dishes in the sink, and early bird who goes to bed early, I’ve always made sure that I lived with people to learn to adapt, work on compromising and generally not turn into a nutcase who talks to herself because she’s alone all the time.