Friday, April 9, 2010

Coming to terms with my unwealth

I went to law school and spent a ton of money on tuition and living expenses. I didn't think about the cost of all that stuff because HEY! I'm gonna be a LAWYER! I'm gonna make a BUTTLOAD of money after all is said and done!

Yeah, not so much.

Fast-forward to almost 2 years after graduation and I think I've finally decided (for sure) that I don't want to practice law. I'd been toying with the idea of taking the California bar exam, but ultimately decided against it. It's expensive, time-consuming, and I don't have any guarantee of passing it, or more importantly, finding a position as an attorney afterward. And California has this funny thing about licensed attorneys working as paralegals--they don't like it. So not only do I not have any prospects of finding a job as a lawyer, but I could never go back to being a paralegal. I think I'll stick with my current job, thank you very much.

But here's the problem with spending all that money on an education that doesn't doesn't lead to a fancy, 6-figure salary: it sucks your wallet dry. Do you have any idea how much my student loan payments are each month? A LOT. Add to that the cost of moving across the country with no savings and into an expensive house because I just HAD to live in a Craftsman, and BAM. Instant wallet-drainer. Not good times.

So what have I done to fix this money problem? Well, several things. First I stopped eating out so much. When Rad Boyfriend and I first started dating, we went out ALL THE TIME. That promptly ended when my car got towed and my car insurance was due and I was in a bad state. After that, I started bargain hunting when it came to groceries and shopping. (Three words: Trader Joe's and Target. That's all I'm saying.) Then I started looking for a second job. I dreaded the idea of having to work retail, but I sucked it up and applied to a bunch of different jobs, both retail and non-retail. I don't want to jinx anything, but let's just say I've had some luck in the non-retail department. (More on that later.)

And finally, the thing that will save me the most amount of money every month, I decided to move out of my very awesome, very expensive house, and into a 3-bedroom apartment with 2 friends. It's going to be quite a change living with 2 people and sharing a bathroom with a boy. But you know what? It's worth it. Not only do I love these 2 friends dearly, but we're adults now. We know how to respect each other's space and keep things clean. We all have jobs, we all have schedules, and most importantly, we all want to save some money.

So goodbye awesome Craftsman house. Goodbye kitties whom I've grown to love like my own. Goodbye Red, one of the best roommates I have EVER had. Goodbye font porch and walk-in closet and hardwood floors.


It feels good to be an adult and have my priorities straight =)


Liz said...

I need to start doing my shopping at Trader Joe's too. I always forget how cheap it is!

The Blonde Duck said...

Popped in to say hi! Isn't it hard finally being responsible?

Sabrina said...

You are making some smart choices. I am at the same point. I hate living paycheck to paycheck. Blech! I'm on the search for a second job! woo hoo!