Being Broke But Living Life To The Fullest

by Kristina Tahnyak on August 1, 2011 · 4 comments

piggy bankAs a DINK, the only time I hang out in a couple is when I am with my boyfriend Nick.  My single girlfriends are my usual crowd of people that I hang out with, some of whom still live at home with their parents.

People choose to live at home for a number of reasons such as saving money, stability, or fear of change. Some people are forced to stay at home for reasons such as religion, culture, or the necessity of taking care of a sick parent.  The longer we can live at home without paying rent the more money we can save.

People who stay at their parent’s house after college graduation tend to save a lot of money because they enter the workforce full time and have little or no expenses. I have a friend who moved out of his parent’s house at 33 years old and right into a brand new 2 bedroom condo. How many of us can say that moved out of our parents house and right into our first home? Probably not many of us, but it does happen.

I moved out of my parent’s house at 18 years old with $200 in my pocket and another $150 in my bank account.  I would definitely be much better off financially if I would have stayed at home and lived with my parents while attending University. I would also have started saving money a lot sooner if I didn’t have to start paying rent, paying my University tuition, and paying for weekly groceries all at the same time.

I have loved the experience of living on my own, but I haven’t always loved my financial situation. We have to grow up very quickly when we move out of state at 18 years old. Life on my own was great, but the money was not.  At the time I worked part time in a call center for a major financial institution as well as part time at a major retail chain. Luckily I was able to transfer to a new location out of state.  I didn’t have a lot of money in my pocket when I moved out but at least I had a guaranteed regular income stream.

I was struggling just to make ends meet and I kept asking myself if the experience of living away from my parents (and their divorce drama) was worth not being able to have everything that I wanted. The answer was Yes!  All I really wanted was to be on my own, even if that meant living without material possessions. I quickly grew up from a spoiled little kid to a carefree and broke young girl in her late teens.

When I was young and broke I thought that the experience of living on my own in a big city away from my family was all the experience that I needed; I wasn’t into exploring new places or trying new things.  Now twelve years later I am a well established professional with the disposable income to support my curious lifestyle; now I never feel completely fulfilled.  There is always a new country that I want to visit; there is always a new experience that I want to try, or a new item that I want to purchase.

It’s funny how when I was younger just living on my own was enough of an experience to make me happy, and now I can’t get enough new experiences.

Photo by Images of Money

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Carrie Smith August 1, 2011 at 9:50 pm

I was lucky enough to have parents that owned a duplex and they let me stay there for about $100 rent and I just had to pay utilities. It gave me the sense of independence I wanted, while still giving my parents a safety net knowing where I was and all that.

I agree, sacrificing to stay with your parents can add up quickly in your bank account, but I was too anxious to get out on my own. This post has great advice for anyone thinking of experiencing life on their own for the first time!

2 Kristina August 2, 2011 at 9:45 pm

@ Carrie Smith I was also anxious to be out on my own for the first time, I left home at 18. Saving money just isn’t worth it if we aren’t happy and enjoying life. Afterall money doesn’t buy happiness.

3 Andy Hough August 19, 2011 at 1:23 pm

I agree that the experience of living on your own is worth having to struggle financially a while. I’m not sure how many people in the current generation would agree with that though.

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