Saturday, February 27, 2010

Paying Rent

So before I can write in "real time," I feel we should start at the beginning of my journey into adult life. It is my thinking that you become a real life adult the minute you move out of your parent's house, and start paying your own rent. At this point you're pretty much on your own, or at least most of us are. It is now your responsibility to pay your bills, feed and clothe yourself, and to make sure you stay out of harms way. I was pretty good at the first one of these, mediocre at the second, and the third is a matter of opinion.

When I moved out of my parents house a year after college, after saving a good amount of money by commuting a total of 3 hours every day and crashing on random friend's couches, I was responsible for all of my own bills for literally the first time in my life. My parents had been very generous with my sisters and I, and throughout college my only real monetary concern was if I'd have enough money for spring break with my friends. Anything I made went into my own pocket for use on booze, diners out, and fun. When I moved out, I had no real concept of what paying my own bills was going to mean, or how much money I really had to throw around. In other words, I had yet to discover the concept of a budget.

As I had mentioned in my previous post, I work in the music industry, which right out of college meant I made next to nothing. So, most of my money when I became an independent person (hahaha) went to my rent, booze (are you seeing a trend here), and my gym membership. I remember what a great diet moving out was, because I was afraid to spend to much money on food. I think I lived off of a Costco sized box of Special K Bars and Soy Crisps that my parents had bought me for a few months. Needless to say, I do not recommend this diet to anyone. Nonetheless, I survived.

I would like to be able to tell you how I managed my money back then, maybe give a few pointers to those starting out on the same path, but the truth is I don't really know. I'm one of the lucky few of our generation that actually managed to come out unscathed by credit card debt, however I was balancing my income with credit cards. There were times when our land lord wouldn't cash our checks for a long time, and when she did it would leave me scrambling, but I always had money some how. However, some how may have been the depleting savings account I had built up from living with my parents. Overall, I'm very glad my husband is great at budgeting, but I'm also glad I had the real world, "grown up" experience of doing it on my own.

At this early freedom point in most of our lives, we relish in being a "grown up." I use quotations on those words, because I'm not really sure I know the meaning of them, or when you really become one. As my blog's title indicates, I STILL really feel like I'm playing make believe in my grown up world. Back then I felt like someone was going to point a finger at me and say "just kidding, time to go home now. Did you really think you could live all on your own?" But life is an adventure, and I was having a great time diving in head first for the first time on my own.

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