Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Finally! Paying all my own bills!

This has been years in the making. I have pretty much covered all my own bills since I graduated college, but I always had a little help here and there from my mom. Ok, maybe a little more help than I should have.  She paid my car insurance. She would help cover any of my medical expenses. I used her credit card to pay for my gas.  She gave me the down payment for my townhouse.

I started getting uncomfortable with all this help and wanting to be fully financially independent at any cost around 25 or 26. I was a grown up. I should be able to afford to take care of myself financially!

But life is way more expensive than I thought. And entry level jobs pay way less than I thought they did. And raises don't go as far as you think they will. And eventually all your friends get married and there is no one left to room with so your bills essentially double! And don't even get me started on taxes.

Last year I lost my job and I took a job where I was basically making what I made 4 or 5 years ago back when I had a roommate. Only now I no longer had a roommate. Things got really tight. I had to get creative. I had to give up things I never thought I could live without...ahem DVR. I had to get my own health insurance and give up health insurance. No more savings.  No more 401K.  No vacations.  No concerts.  No fancy dinners out.  I had to pinch every penny.

Thank goodness I found another job a few months ago and I am back to making almost what I made before. I still have to buy my own health insurance and I still don't have DVR. But it's ok.

Living like that for a year helped me think about every single purchase. Do I really NEED that? Is that thing worth not ever getting hardwood floors or going on vacation next summer?

At the same time I don't feel super guilty if I splurge when I buy something that has been on my wish list.

But I will return something in an instant now. Sometimes before I would keep a shirt I ended up not really liking just because I felt it wasn't worth $10-$20 to take it back. Not now! If I get something home and think I won't use it, I take it back!

I'm still trying to get used to my new budget. I get paid on a different schedule and I had to add health insurance and gas into the mix, but it has been a few months and so far so good!

I am officially financially independent!


Erin said...

Congrats! I'm slowly, but surely, moving my way towards financial independence, and I can only imagine how wonderful it feels! :-)

Aisha said...

Yay! Go Suz!!! I am kind of in the same boat you were in. I was laid of in 08' moved overseas to my mom's and am now trying to get back outthere on my own. It's gonna be a little tough, but like you said you just have to look at things you need and don't need and weed it out. I'm super happy for you!

Celebrate the Malleable Reality said...

Congratulations! I'm glad to see that someone else out there is trying to be an "adult," too!

Shoshanah said...

Congrats on such an accomplishment! I think I finally made it there too, when my parents sent me my triple A bill. Its the last thing there had been paying, but now I'm finally completely on my own.

Carolyn said...

WOO HOO!!! You're a rockstar! I'm about to embark on a year in which I will have to examine every single purchase and well... I'm so not looking forward to it.

EKN said...

WooHoo!!! Congrats! I totaly know what you mean about trying to make ends meet. It's tough!