Now that I have a job and am able to start budgeting again (whew! I hate non-budget life! Actually it was pretty nice but I'm much smarter with money when I have a budget), I will give you an update of where I'm at financially and we can go from there.
Taxes. Are. Awesome. Especially when you've paid tuition that year. My return was over $2000 and that's what's been keeping me afloat without a salary. Granted I haven't had many expenses thanks to my Aunt and Uncle being SO gracious to let me stay with them until I land on my feet! But student loans don't stop. I have been able to keep up with all of my loan payments and credit card payments so far and now I feel much better about continuing that now that I have a job.
Anyway, that was a tangent. I have roughly $1500 before my job starts. I pay $390 in loans each month (I got my Sallie Mae payments lowered for the first four years because I was jobless and knew my entry level job would come with a pretty low salary-I was right.) I pay an additional $100 to my credit card, which I no longer use at all.
I just paid $255 to take the train into the city from my Aunt & Uncles each day for work. That will last me through the end of the month. Advice: Buy in bulk! I'm looking to sublease an apartment for the summer until M (my NY bff) is done with her lease and we can move in together. Until then, I'm on a train. I found what sounds like a great place so I'll get more details tonight and hopefully see it this weekend.
I'm going to Target today to prepare for my commute: umbrella, travel coffee mug that will convert into a water bottle after my initial cup of joe, lunch box and an ice pack.
I am also starting to make a list of meals that are transportable, filling and CHEAP. Apples and peanut butter will likely be my go-to breakfast and I will likely live off tuna-salad sandwiches for lunch.
Maybe not having money will force me to lose weight because I won't be able to stuff my face. That's great news because I need to be able to fit into my work clothes; those babies are going to be around until they're WELL out of fashion because there's no way I can afford new clothes for probably a year.
My base salary is enough to cover rent/utilities, food, transportation, phone bill and loans-that's after I did the math of estimated benefits and taxes taken out already. Thank goodness there is room for more pay with more hours as well as my second job (although seasonal/temporary), which will help me cover other expenses.
Anyway, that's where I'm at. When I have new ideas on how to save money, I will post. It may not be every day but it will be much more often. I hope to be able to document my progress on getting out of debt, while managing to live in the Big City. Because hey, if I can make it here, I can make it anywhere...right?
I start Monday!