So I hate talking about money for the most part. I mean Jamaal and I talk about it all the time, friends and I joke about how we're po' etc, but a serious conversation about cashmoney is something I love to avoid.
I was commiserating with a college friend about loans today. I was saying how my repayments are going to triple and it's a bit freaky as one month's student loan payment will be approximately one and a half times a week's pay and that if she goes to grad school she should look for grants or scholarships or some sort of supplemental to her tuition. Instead of being like "oh good luck with the loans" she said "you live with your parents, I only have so much sympathy"
Yeah it's true. It's a choice I've made that's been working for me. Then this person tells me her month expenses not including food are $100 less than my entire month's take home pay. Which leads me to believe that she makes quite a bit more than me (or at least I hope she does, otherwise she's not eating!) She said that she'd love to have petty cash like me. Um. Um. Wow.
I so didn't want to get into it with her because I value our friendship way more than I care about her view of my lifestyle, but that really hurt. I mean seriously hurt. Yeah, I guess the truth hurts and all but her life is also a choice, and I wasn't saying that I had trouble making ends meet, how I lived paycheck to paycheck blah blah blah. I didn't even bring up the $700 I need to fix my car and how it's gnawing an ulcer in my stomach. Or the fact that after I pay loans and put aside my wedding money and my regular savings money I have $110 a week for food/gas/other bills (maybe this sounds luxurious, I don't know). I just dropped it and was like "oh silly me for complaining! sorry! I could have rent! I have it so easy!!"
The thing is though, it's not easy. Not really. And yeah, people say "find a better job" "move to the city, give up your car" do this do that - well that's not so simple either. I'm living in this limbo at the moment, waiting to see what's going to happen job wise, waiting to see if Jamaal will find a place and a job up here and when, trying desperately to save up simultaneously for a house and wedding. Things aren't simple.
I guess this post really has no point. I guess I just wanted to put it out there that just because I live with my parents doesn't mean I have an entire floor to myself, my own bathroom, my own cellar filled with dollar bills in which I swim every night. This choice also means that some mornings, like today for example, it may take me 2 1/2 hours to get from my house to my office. Daddy doesn't pay my car insurance, Mom doesn't float me cash for my cell bill or to fill up my gas tank or to buy my $186 monthly MBTA pass. Actually Amy and I never needed to ask our parents for money in college or as adults for that matter. Financially, we cover our own sh*t, and while yeah, we may live rent free, there are certain expectations we have to deal with that someone who lives on their own may willingly pay rent just to escape, like no, you can't do laundry whenever you want, no you can't get a pet whatever, no you can't have people over all hours of the day, no I won't pay you back for the $40 worth of groceries you bought for me at Whole Foods, no you can't SLEEP IN THE SAME BED with your fiance, no you can't take a shower at 5:20am that's MY time, no you can't cook in the kitchen right now I just cleaned it no no no. Then there's the whole "go to the liquor store and get me a 12 pack" "go get me a Boston Herald" "go get hot dog buns" "go to Wal-Mart and get me this" "you owe me $100 for the flowers I sent in your name to the funeral home" "I got an estimate on that car part it was $300 so I just ordered it you can pay me back" or "you WILL be around Saturday because WE HAVE to get XYZ done"
Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining, please, don't think of it that way. I really get along well with my parents, and my sister and I are so tight, bff tight, and things are good, and really affordable - I would be so f*cked if I lived on my own or even with a roommate and my credit card debt would be astronomical and Jam and I would be getting married at City Hall instead of saving up for this big fabulous event everyone is marking on their calendars. But you know what? All that is fiiiine it's totally my choice and I don't complain about it - I've made my bed and I'm laying in it and it is pretty damn comfortable. Not ideal, not a $3,000 mattress, but comfortable as hell. I'm just sayin' before you go and knock a friend down a couple pegs cause you think they're life is so f8cking fantastic or so incredibly simple and delightful and they have not a care in the world -
THINK. It's probably a little more complicated than you thought.