As most of my regular readers know, I do not live on very much money. This is definitely not because of my employers, they are generous people … it’s because of my past.
I went to a private university in Boston, year-round, for six years. Boston is one of the most expensive cities in the country. And, as an architecture student, 80-hour weeks left me no time or brainpower to work. Of course, I waitressed and had internships but nothing lasted very long because I always eventually got burnt out.
I stayed in school for my Masters, hoping to wait out the recession but, alas, I am one year graduated and only now starting to see the building industry come back. This time last year I had plans to move somewhere that would offer the opportunity of architecture or construction jobs. I have some mega school loans and needed to pay them off asap. Debt is a dark cloud that hangs over my head at all times and I wanted it to go away. Now.
Then love entered the picture and everything changed. Mike and I became a team and it was our best option, if we wanted to stay together, to move to Peoria, a place with a pretty quiet building industry.
Peoria has shown us many amazing things about this country that we never would have seen otherwise. We have been reflecting a lot lately on how much it has taught us. But, above all, the lack of income has been our biggest hurdle. We have adjusted to only spending as much as we earn (a foreign concept since I lived on loans in college). Goodwill is my new Target and TJ Maxx is my new Nordstrom. I triple think about everything I buy. “Have you previously though that you could use this? Is the price worth the time it will save or the feeling it will give? Is it worth it’s space when we move?” And, among more self-checks, I do not have a credit card anymore (except for the one I’m not using, only paying off).
But we would still like to save more than we do. And to be able to afford to travel and experience a bit more. So, in that vain, Mike sent me an awesome article about a guy people call Mr. Money Mustache. He and his family personify what we would like for our lives. Starting with loans is a bit tough I think. But maybe we’ll be able to retire by 40 instead!
Meet Mr. Money Mustache, the man who retired at 30
– Bangor Daily News (Kelly Johnson, Washington Post)
I would also highly recommend his blog: MrMoneyMustache.com