After making my decision to move in April, I sat down and figured out exactly where I needed to be, financially, in order to support myself. I determined my essential bills and decided to save up enough to pay those for 6 months. And I wanted to completely pay off my credit card. In total- I needed about $3,700. Since I make $12 an hour and rarely work over 35 hours a week for more than a week or two at time, it felt like a pretty lofty goal to me. And I only had about 5 months to do it.
The saving began starting with my May 1st paycheck. I was extremely frugal the first few weeks. I tracked every penny that I spent. I analyzed all my expenses- cutting those I didn’t really need (like Netflix), some I probably do need (health insurance) and lowering others (car insurance). If I had any control over the bill, I was in some way manipulating it to save money. I annoyed myself at how closely I monitored what I bought. But it was working.
In August I moved in with my dad, saving me $1000 I would have spent on rent. Around that time I stopped being so cheap with myself. My savings was growing, my credit card balance was shrinking and the final goal was within reach. “Enjoy the time you have left in Seattle,” I told myself, “Have some fun.” And so I did. But the terror of ending up destitute and homeless kept me from getting out of control; I was still saving.
A couple days ago, I made my final credit card payment and exceeded the desired savings amount. I feel great(!) for having reached such an significant goal. I feel ready, as much as I think I can be, to make the big move. I know I’ll be dependent on my family to house me for awhile, but otherwise I can take care of myself. That’s a huge deal to me.
So to the lattes I didn’t drink, the adorable clothes I didn’t buy, the night’s out I didn’t have (etc, etc), I say “I’m happy with my choice. Thanks for the temptation, but I pick financial security.”