I'm Erin, and have just finished catching up on every post on the blog, so where to now? The forum!
I'm a 34 year-old single gal living in a college town in GA and could be considered a townie. I moved here in 1999 for college, and then never left. I have 2 degrees I don't use (AB Music and AAS Veterinary Technology), and spent 1999 to 2010 working low-paying service industry jobs. I have been with my current company for almost 5 years, doing social media and PR. I like to bowl, read books in my yard, go to dance parties, badly play my piano alone in my house while I sing along, and badly play trumpet on a stage in a local band when I'm not singing along. (Note: my music degree is in neither of these instruments).
I finally have cracked the 30K/year salary level. I've always been fairly frugal, but there just wasn't ever much to work with. I grew up pretty poor (which does instill a fear of 'running out' of things that lead to weird spending like pantry-stocking/ stuff you might need because it's on sale) and had college debt the day I moved into the freshman dorm. To that end, my hair is very much on fire. I have debt of approx. $12K spread over 2 loans and 2 CC (highest APR is 10.5% on a personal loan from my bank that moved that debt from some way-high CCs); about $7.5K is school-related. This is the first thing I gotta kill.
Here's where my stats have me right now:
-Income: approx. $32K/year. I'm hourly, so overtime is a thing. Usual take-home is around $820 every 2 weeks.
-Rent & utilities: $550/mo. I'm a lucky motherfucker in this regard as I live alone in a 2-bed apartment on my friend's property. And I get fresh eggs to boot if I can avoid the dickbag rooster.
-Payments toward debts: approx. $420/mo.
-Phone/internet: nada. Phone is paid by work, Internet is inclued in rent. No cable, just Netflix.
-Food/household: around $200/mo. I get stuff on sale to keep a stocked pantry. Freeze lots of things as I cook in bulk.
-Cats: approx. $60/mo. They're getting old and just do better on the holistic stuff... (I have 3. That is enough.)
-Renters and car insurance: $55/mo.
-Bad habits (eating out, bars, cigs, clothes, shows, Amazon randomness): between $30-$100/ mo. depending on what's in the account.
-Gym: $30/mo. (I know. But I will sit on my ass happily without the 'I'm paying money for this' motivation).
Savings sit at:
-Direct deposit to savings: just upped it to $100 per paycheck, but was $50. Around $1700 now... wimpy.
-Contribution to 401K: 6%; 4% Roth, 2% traditional. Company matches 100% for first 3%, then 50% up to 5 (or is it 6?)%. Only had it 3 years, matching only started 1.5 years ago. Around $8K... wimpy.
-I also have an Acorns account for the whole round-up investmentioned thing since I don't have a big chunk to put that way at once. It's pretty new, like $130... way wimpy.
I don't currently drive, but have a 1998 Saturn manual transmission sedan that I got for free waiting to get back up and running via friends. I'm in the market for a new bike. Right now I take the bus or ride with friends. I drink more beer than I should, but that is also free (perk of the job).
I guess I'm doing OK by normal people standards, but hate that my savings is so dismal. I like my job, but wished it paid better, though where I live it's about on par. This city is notorious for depressed incomes with the excuse that it's easy to get by on not much here. I am considering finding something PT to boost income, but am also viscerally against anything that would cut into my personal time... hence wanting to be out of the rat race. A double-edged sword. I'm not a fan of the American corporate work "ethic" of live-to-work and shifty life-work balance. As Peter Gibbons said, "if I had a million dollars, I'd do nothing"... and I would never get bored because to me 'nothing' means 'whatever the hell I feel like doing at that moment'.
I'm hoping to whip my debt completely, find ways to cut back on frivolous spending (goodbye, cigs, which won't be hard since I'm a 3 pack a month kinda person), get to a point where my life is completely mine. I only wish I had started earlier.
Welp, there's my long-ass intro. Hopefully I'll learn some things from all y'all, if I haven't bored the pants off you already.