Have you ever been in a place where you can see exactly where you want to go? You even have inkling about how to get there. The only problem…the “how” seems impossible, out of reach, and unrealistic for your life.
Hand raised, insert me in that position last year at this time.
I was approaching my 35th birthday and thinking about where I was supposed to be in my life right now, according to the predisposed notions that we all seem to have ingrained in us.
I was living in Atlanta; single, childless and merely a Support Specialist for a Fortune 500 company, which is a nice way to say: I was at the low end of the totem pole. And my paycheck proved it.
Don’t get me wrong; in a household of 1, I was far from destitute and doing things I enjoyed, like traveling and spending time with friends. But none of that felt long term.
One thing that stuck out like a sore thumb – money – not enough coming in and too much going out.
My savings allowed for one mini-emergency, nothing close to that “6 month of living expenses bare minimum” that financial analysts tell you to have. My 401K had 2 loans against it, 2 credit cards at 90% of the max and let’s steer clear of the depressing amount that was the balance of my student loans.
But hey, I have the degrees. That means something right?
Something had to give. I didn’t want to live in debt; one missed paycheck away from a bad situation.
I went into solution mode: I could get a second job…but great… another job that I wouldn’t particularly relish getting up to go to. I had done the “second job thing” years before at a retailer that shall remain nameless.
After 2 months I realized that, not only was the bi-weekly check not worth my time and exhaustion, I could actually make more money working overtime at my current job.
I could follow that old adage: “work smarter not harder”. Try as I might, it felt like I was swimming against the current.
One thing had been floating in my mind for a while – moving back home.
Back to Houston. Back to my parents’ home to save money. Lucky me, I worked from home and could take my job with me. Solution: I could hit this debt thing with the double punch!
“Noooo!” screamed my dramatic inner voice, “Not home with those crazy people. I will go mad. It would feel like too many people in one house.”
And for a woman who loves coming home to her own space… ABORT!
Okay, that was maybe a bit much, but for anyone who has moved back home after college, or gone back home during a particularly trying time in life, you know the madness that can ensue.
It was a toss-up.
Give up the life I had; the loved parts as well as the work-in-progress parts, for the one I wanted. The one that would feel like I was actually moving forward and making life decisions like a mature grown-up does.
In February 2016, I sold, donated, and threw away everything that didn’t fit into my Hyundai or hadn’t been shipped via UPS, and moved back home to start the next chapter of financial empowerment.
Though I am at the beginning of my journey, it feels great to not pay the bare minimum on my credit card, to put extra in my savings, to set a budget, and feel happy when I come in under-projected.
Don’t get me wrong, I miss my life as it was, nothing about this is easy. But doing something drastic never is.
Sometimes the idea that you’re screaming, “No” against, is the very one you should be saying, “Yes” to.
In the end you’ll get even more than you imagine.
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