Sometime last year, a friend said to me that I must be a great saver because of my future and recent travel plans. I remember smirking and telling her I actually wasn’t. I had a dirty little secret. I was living beyond my means and sadly living my best life on the excess money from my student loans. I knew that this was not the best financial decision. I knew that at some point I would have to pay back the money. I knew that I should have taken out just the amount I needed for tuition and nothing more. As you can see, the things we know we don’t always do.
In 2016, I began traveling more frequently. I was also in a relationship where we traveled a lot. I was hooked to the thrill of it all. Going to LAX started to become something I looked forward to, something I craved. I would send text messages to my friends pouting through my words about how long it had been since my last flight. I was able to travel using up my tax refund (which I should have saved or used to pay down debt), using my credit card at times, and just going broke to buy plane tickets. It was not the most glamorous way to travel, but I made it work, and it made me happy.
August 2016 came around and I started my women’s health Nurse Practitioner program and that meant that I would be traveling less. or that’s what it was supposed to mean. I did travel less, but I still took the loan money. Spring semester came around and again, I received a disbursement of loan money. I hosted women’s retreat early 2017 (see post here about the retreat and to sign-up for future information) and went to New York, Greece and Greek isles, Essence Music Festival, and Rome. I was living my best life! I was also living a sham. When I decided to take a break from school, I realized I would no longer be taking out any loans, and also my loans would be going into repayment soon. When I took an honest look at my finances, I realized I did not make enough to support my new lifestyle. That was a harsh reality check. I had been living a lie. The way my finances are set up, I could not support this type of globetrotting AND more ‘adult’ expenses. When I sat with this revelation, I wanted to sulk…and I did. I told my friend I could not understand how I could be here in this predicament. But I understand that life is not only about the about decisions and choices we make, but also how we deal with them.
So here I am, accepting my actual reality. I make enough to live indoors, pay my bills, keep gas in my car, buy the necessities with the normal extra item(s) from Target every now and them, and squirrel away like $30 to my savings. That may (or may not) be an exaggeration, but you get my point. I will have to implement so many life changes in order to get back to the grand life I was living the past two summers…and I don’t want to! I’m a big brat about this, but that isn’t going to help me in the long run. I’m choosing to put on my big girl panties and do the work. You know, adult. I have already implemented the mantra -“There is food at home.” I have been taking my lunch to work. I am in the process of working EVERY DANG DAY. I am putting into place a serious plan to pay down debt. It is necessary for me. I wanted to live my best life, and now I have to work to have it. No more flexing on the gram about a life that I truly didn’t work hard for. All the ingredients are available for me to live the way I want, all the things I prayed for to be available for me but…