Learning to Save

I’m at that point in my life where money is starting to matter.

I mean, it’s always¬†technically mattered, but I grew up one of those priveleged kids that never really had to think about it until I went off to college. Even then, I had scholarships, and I haven’t had to put much effort into covering living expenses.

Now, I’m a few months away from graduating and entering *gasp* the real world…

I know where I’m going — LA if you haven’t read any of my other posts. It’s an expensive city. In comparison to Iowa City, or most other similar places in the Midwest, it’s insanely costly to live in.

If you’re moving to a new city/state. Try using some tools like this to compare.

cost comparison
I know, I used Des Moines, not Iowa City. I thought it would be good to compare “big city” with BIG CITY

I’m looking at about $1,300/mo just on living expenses as one of three tenants in a two-bedroom apartment. That doesn’t accurately figure in gas money, groceries plus eating out, or all my utilities. That’s a rough estimate, and I’m not great at estimates.

My goal was to have $8,000 in a savings account the day I drive up to my new appartment. That means that money is¬†in addition to the security deposit, first month’s rent, and moving expenses to get myself all the way the the West Coast. Yikes.

I have had to swear off spending in order to make this saving possible — I’ll get like one more scholarship refund and I don’t have room in my schedule to work anywhere near full-time. So, I’ve cut back on expenses.

I never thought I had a spending problem until I told myself I couldn’t spend. It’s ridiculous.

I must have been spending hundreds of dollars eating out of the house or paying for dumb activities. I’m aware of that fact, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy to change.

It hurts every time I walk by some place that sells french fries I can’t buy. I verbally whine every time someone asks if I want to go see a movie or go bowling — apparenly I used to be totally fine with spending money on these activities.

I now have mason jars I force myself to put spare change and small bills into, rather than leaving them in my wallet at the end of the day. I have an app that puts spare change from my debit purchases in an investment portfolio. I intentionally opened a savings account with penalties for transfering funds into my checking account BECAUSE I KNEW I WAS WEAK.

I am weak. I like spending money, and I like instant gratification. Saving is a bitch.

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