Hello Everybody! Welcome!
I want to start a series on finances. I’ve learned a lot in the past year of my life. Moving out of your parents house at a young age while only working a part-time job kind of forces you to learn a LOT. Let me tell you how I got to be so wise…
Let’s go back to Jan 1 of 2018. I was over living at home – not because I was a bad kid – but because I wanted the independence that came with living on my own. I was tired of being questioned every time I even reached for my keys. “Where are you going? What are you doing? Who are you doing it with?” I was TIRED of it!!
So I did something reckless. Something irrational. Something that’s totally not like me.
I texted one of my co-workers, whom I had known of/about since high school (I worked with her mom at my previous job so I knew all the dirt). I knew she wasn’t the greatest human being, but I was desperate. I asked her if she wanted to get an apartment together.
Fast forward like two weeks and we were living together in a dinky 2 bedroom apartment that just so happened to be across the street from my parents (thank the good Lord). Things were going well. We painted and bought furniture; it was becoming a home. HOWEVER, things quickly fell apart.
First of all, I was working about 20 hours a week. How could I possibly afford about $400/month in apartment bills ON TOP of my $120 phone bill AND still have money for food? I have NO idea. I literally made $10.50/hr. I was bringing home about $675/month. Okay, so I probably could do it. Money would just be very tight. I was fine with that. I finally had my own place.
Here’s where shit gets real. Fast forward about two months. It was a few days before my 20thbirthday. I was living on my own and almost out of my teens (shout-out to me for beating teen pregnancy). The world was my oyster! I could do anything! So what did I do? I decided I needed a new car. I had been driving my parents ’97 Plymouth Neon since I got my license when I turned 17. It literally sat on the ground, the seats were this ugly multi-colored speckled fabric (featuring a red crayon stain brought to you by my little sister circa 2004, there was absolutely no A/C (ever experienced an Indiana summer with no car a/c?), the fabric “roof” was coming apart at the seams, and the dash was coming apart. It was a MESS and I was OVER IT. I could most definitely not go through another humid Indiana summer with no a/c in my car. So my roommate and I decided to take a peek at the pre-owned Hubler car lot.
I left that night with a car.
A 2014 Ford Focus to be exact.
WHAT was I thinking??? I could hardly afford my apartment! Let alone a freaking car! Plus, insurance! My oh my I don’t know what was going on in my head.
Anyway, so I walked away with my first big-girl purchase. I now owed the bank $180/month for the car, and Allstate a little over $200/month for insurance. I could now no longer officially afford my life. What did I do?
Honestly don’t even ask.
Okay I’ll tell you.
But first let me backtrack.
So, I used $1,000 I was supposed to use to pay for the last bit of my trip to Europe (see that post here) as part of a down payment on my car. Then the middle of March came, and I needed to make that final payment, otherwise I couldn’t go! Iwent to my mom’s mom and my dad’s parents and they were all gracious enough to let my borrow the money I needed so I could go on this trip of a lifetime.
There’s mistake #1.
This is really embarrassing but uh when it came to car payments I just didn’t make any. I literally didn’t make any payments for the first maybe four to six months of having my car. I just couldn’t’ afford it. Cue in the Godsends I call Grandma and Grandpa (AGAIN). They bailed me out and paid all of my car payments that I missed so I wouldn’t get my car taken away. So, there’s that.
Now you’re probably wondering how the hell I dealt with insurance.
Backtrack to back when I got the car… for whatever reason my roommate and I decided to get insurance together in case something happened to the other’s car and we needed to borrow a car. BIG MISTAKE. She got a car too, but hers was a 2016 so insurance was more expensive, which is why mine was so much because we just split the cost down the middle.
ANYWAY, I was somehow making the payments for a few months, but I knew it wouldn’t last long. Eventually I knew I wasn’t going to make the payment, so I told my roommate she needed to get her own insurance and I didn’t pay the last bill. So that’s almost $500 that I’m in debt in (don’t forget about the money I owe my grandparents too!).
So now I’m literally like $1,500 in debt. On top of the money I owe the three credit cards I have.
My financial life is a literal hot mess, but I’m figuring it out. I plan on taking you guys through my financial journey so y’all don’t make the same mistakes that I have.
I’m young. I’m learning. I’m growing. I’m figuring out how to do the adult thing while I am living completely on my own.
Tell me about a time you made an awful financial mistake.