Since moving back to the city I’ve made a very serious effort in getting my personal finances in order. I’m fortunate that I can live at home rent free and although I live rent free I still try to contribute to my family as much as possible. I’ve never had a lot of money growing up, which led the start of my problems. I’ve been financially independent since middle school never asking parents for money and as I got to college the only way to go out and do things was credit cards and whatever money I can make for the week. I didn’t want to be a financial burden on my parents so this is what life tossed at me. I paid for college with scholarships and loans that I took out in my name. Anyway ….
Fast forward to 2013, after 2 years of going crazy in long island, Im back in NYC. First thing I did was take advantage of a referral that a close friend of mine gave me to his financial adviser. Daniel my financial adviser gave me a run down of what I needed to do to do to secure my finances in the future. I came up with a realistic budget that allowed me to save for retirement, pay off my debt and still be able to go out.
Living in the city is tough. There is always something to do or some place to go. I’ve always been a bargain hunter and if I went out, I made sure it wasn’t going to hurt my wallet. For me just hanging out with friends is the ideal hang out for me. I gave up going to EDM festivals, I gave up going out to eat on a regular basis and became very frugal. There is a huge difference between being cheap and being frugal.
I also read the book “I WILL TEACH YOU TO BE RICH” by Ramit Sethi which really put things into perspective. I made my credit card companies work for me instead of the other way around. The book taught me to be proactive about things that I was entitled to but was too lazy to do anything about. Making a phone call to the right person will make a huge impact. I turned two unused credit cards into a vehicle that pays me $250 a year by doing nothing.
Hanging out with friends, doing low cost activities, being active and biking instead of using a metrocard, making my own lunch……all these little things in combination with the savings plan laid out by Daniel I freed up a lot of extra funds monthly which i then used to pay off the credit card.
Now that I am credit card debt free I can focus on investing and saving. There is also a huge psychological change that occurs because my outlook is so much more positive now. I feel like a huge load came off my shoulder and for once in my life i now have OPTIONS financially.
Anyway this was a very long winded post but I just wanted to stress the point that saving money and being disciplined doesnt mean you have to live at home and never go out. It all comes down to budgeting and not over indulging.
Also forgot to mention……if you want to pay off debt faster….. DONT GET A GIRLFRIEND!!!! lmao