So my goals before my twenty-second birthday next July 30th are to:
- apply for a team lead position at the Target near my town OR get a job with the company I want to work for and am interning with (MSNBC)
- graduate with a major in Comm Studies and a minor in Poli Sci OR finish my major with an on-line class to graduate in December
- get an apartment in New York and begin saving for a fully-funded emergency savings OR save up enough for an apartment AND an emergency fund to move to New York in July
- pay off my credit card
- begin paying off a debt to my parents
- open a retirement fund on my birthday
As to why it's kind of either or:
My name's Kristina and I'm currently twenty one (and one month). I go to school at a little university in northern Alabama, and have recently been awarded an internship with my most favorite television program evar. I get by okay - I have a $1000 emergency fund, and I have enough to eat and go places and pay rent and bills. However, I have a habit of not eating very well and not keeping track of my spending, so I could be doing a whole lot better in terms of my fiscal and financial health. My parents are very hands off about finances - I was never taught much about responsible spending and savings, they gave me a credit card before I left and promised to pay the bill, and I didn't make much effort to learn on my own until now.
I owe my parents $3000 for the loan, and we're using $3000 of the bonds my grandmother gave me when I was wee to cover the rest. I also owe $2990 on a credit card due to teenage stupidity.
So my net worth I guess would be:
-- $2990 in CC Debt (12.25%)
-- $3000 in Family Debt (0%)
+ $3005.23 in Savings
+ $1986.60 in Checking (will be moved to savings)
That is my net worth at this very moment. I had planned to have my CC Debt paid off by the end of the year - I get a scholarship refund, and I can usually swing about $300 in payments if I eat very very cheap and don't go anywhere. But the internship in NYC has kind of thrown that plan for a loop. I'm hoping I can work hard enough to get some kind of job with the company after the internship is up so that I can move to NYC in January and finish my major to graduate with a degree in December. If this is the case, I plane to have the credit card debt paid off in June so I can begin making payments to my family in July.
However! If I don't get a job, and I return home, I plan on making small payments on my CC while I'm away ($175 a month or more depending on how well I budget) so that when I get back, I can return to my old job, make a big payment with the money I have left, use the other half of my scholarship to finish paying it off, and recoup my losses by working a lot. I was also up for a promotion before I got the internship, and I've been given the impression that if there are positions open, I won't have a problem moving up quickly. My rent and utilities here run me less than $500 a month, since I don't have cable. I can earn about $1000, and the promotion would give me an extra $100 or so. I plan on having at a minimum $1700 left when I return (return of the security deposit on my NY room and $1000 from my scholarship I won't touch unless I have to) with $700 less on my credit card. Hopefully I can budget well in New York City to pay off another $1000!
So mostly this journal will be about me trying to learn to budget while in the big city. I'm hoping I can maybe get a weekend job at a grocery store or something to earn a little extra money for my credit card and to get a discount on things to save a little extra. The internship is unpaid, so I'll be living on whatever money I have in my account when I leave.
I've never been to New York for more than a couple of days at a time. So if anyone can give me a heads up on what groceries and whatnot might run me monthly - or help me figure out if I can survive a month without a bus pass - I'd really appreciate it! Of course I'll take any advice I could get.
It's definitely disappointing to have to push back my plans to be debt-free, but the experience is well worth it to me, and aside from the massive professional gains, will help me finally get into an environment where I can really buckle down and learn how to be frugal and live a well-budgeted life.