The Old Man and I sat down over my finances today and went over what it’s going to take to get me in a place I’d like to be, financially, by the time I’m 30.
He and Steph are my age and have two cars, a house, an IRA, and money in the bank. I had a great time traveling around the world and getting all these degrees, but the roaring twenties are just about done, and it’s time I focused on getting some of the things I want to have in my 30s. A house, a garden, some money in the bank. Financial freedom. A place to put my books. It takes planning, and hard work. You don’t just wake up one day living the life you want.
Boy, do I know that.
A lot of my whole “where” I’d like to do my life thing depends on if I still have a job in April, but if the job works out, the two year plan that the Old Man and I put together gets me a car in a year and a little house the year after that and pays off all of my staggering credit card debt in about the same amount of time. That’s not factoring in raises or book/freelance writing money.
To be dead honest: it’s not a fun budget. It is not happy in the least. I’ve been working with a budget that makes me happy and comfortable the last few months, but it’s also meant blowing $400 on going out, eating out, coffee, books, and other misc. items.
This budget cuts out prepared meats, expensive cheese, most of the gourmet nuts I eat, and $300 worth of coffee and going-out money. Chipotle money. Ohhhhh… my Chipotle money.
It also means I’m putting nearly half my paycheck toward credit card debt. If I want it paid off in two years and I want a garden of my own, that’s how it has to be.
I hate math.
At the same time, I’m ready to grow up, you know? Pushing thirty, living paycheck to paycheck, even if you’re living quite comfortably, isn’t worth it if you’re still renting out a room somewhere and taking the bus at 30. It’s just not the sexiest thing in the world, and not the life I want to have at 30.
It’s a really tight fucking budget, dammit. There’s going to be a lot of cabbage-eating and tuna fish the next two years.
You have to decide what you want out of life and take the steps neccessary to get there. It’s not always fun, not always easy, and it takes a great deal of courage and discipline, but it’s worth it.
I wanted to make a living as a writer my whole life: right now, I do. I wanted to travel around the world. I have. I wanted to sell books: I’m working on it. I wanted a house and a garden and a couple of dogs. Now I need to build that, too.
Pick what you want, and go there.