Keeping a Budget

Being part of the real world means keeping a budget.

I am no longer able to abuse my meal plan or go back to my residential life owned apartment with nice furniture and access to emergency maintenance crew. Being part of the real world means paying bills, taking on part-time jobs to pay for rent. It means that I cannot go out for dim sum and drinks as much as I want to.

I grew up in a sheltered environment. And while I got myself a scholarship so that the burden of tuition did not fall on my parents, they still supported me with monthly allowance to pay for food and housing. The only things I paid for with the money I earned via work-study were sorority dues, cellphone bills, and clothes.

Last year I declared to my parents that by 2014, I would be financially independent. At the time, it seemed like a very feasible task. But having just moved to Boston, I’m finding out that the cost of living is incredibly high. Right now it seems like a very daunting task to become 100% financially independent from my parents. It’s scary.

Right now because I don’t have a solid job offer, my savings is taking a hit. Of course the hope is that I will soon find a job, but at the current moment, my budget is extremely tight.

It’s been a hard transition because a lot of my friends do not understand. I cannot go out to spend dollars on brand name coffee or go out for drinks. I cannot drop money on non-essentials. I’ve spent hours on excel, trying to figure out how much money I really need on a month to month basis. I’ve found Mint.Com to be extremely useful in figuring out my budget and what my regular spending looks like.

Hopefully I can save money on furniture; I plan on spending hours and hours on Craigslist to buy used items for a low price.


Welcome to the real life. Welcome to living paycheck to paycheck. Welcome to the life of a Nillionaire. Welcome to adulthood.



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