Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Spending Hiatus

I'm currently 23 years old, recently graduated from college, and living with my parents. It's tough to be done with school and not find a "real" job right away. Don't get me wrong, I love my retail management job, but I don't make near enough for all the time I put in and how many hours I work. Living with my parents these last few months has left me with nothing but work, time, and no financial responsibilities. It's been wonderful to be bill-free and able to spend my money on whatever I wanted. Especially because I've been a shopaholic since I was able to pick out my own clothes. My mother, bless her heart, is a wonderful woman who only ever wanted to make me happy. However, I have no impulse control and I think that can at least PARTLY be attributed to the many shopping trips she and I have taken since I was a little girl where I have rarely ever heard "no."

Now, as I said I've had little to no responsibilities towards which my hard-earned money had to go. And have I spent this time saving up my money? Of course not! Now I find myself a few months away from moving into my first apartment that I will be paying for completely on my own. Yes, I will have a roommate who will be sharing the bills, but I will be paying my half of the rent, utilities, groceries, etc. Along those same lines, I will be taking my phone bill, car insurance, etc. away from my parents so the burden will all be on me. I have been beyond blessed with parents who not only have the means, but the desire to support me as I have gone through school. I have always held a job, but the money I earned was meant for "play" or extra expenses that weren't necessary, but more a choice on my part. I know my parents would continue to pay my way until I have a "real" job as a teacher, but I am feeling as though it is past time for me to be fully responsible for myself.

I have a few months, it will be April or May before my roomie-to-be and I can move into our new place, but I've come to the realization that I need to start saving and putting money aside for the big move now. I have some credit card debt to pay off, and from putting together a budget I've become aware of just how tight it's going to be for me with all my bills, rent, and other responsibilities. This being said, I need to be on spending hiatus so as much of my money as possible can go towards paying of my credit card and setting money aside in preparation for my move in a few months. This is going to be incredibly hard. I love spending, especially on Lilly Pulitzer. I'm going to need help!

My hope is that through this blog and my Lilly-loving friends, I can live vicariously through y'alls purchases and moral support. I want and need to be independent, and I want to be successful at it. My parents have made it clear- once I move out, I'm on my own. I don't want to have to come back home because I "couldn't make it." I know there are plenty of others who live on a tight budget on less money than I make, so I know I can do this! Help me stay on track, y'all!

xx Emily Ann


  1. Good luck, I know you can do it! I figure out I want to spend $ on (like lilly and happy hour) and literally buy everything else super cheap (like walmart). It's worked out pretty good for me!

  2. Good luck, I'm sure you can do it. I always check the sale papers for the grocery stores around here, Target, CVS, and Walgreens every week to see if anything I use a lot of is on sale. Also, Dollar Tree is your friend. Try to find me 175 sheets of toilet paper for $.25. If you do, actually, please let me know, because I love finding the most cost efficient scenario possible!!

    I'm going into a spending hiatus/severe reduction for the next year while I try to set aside some funds to buy a house.

  3. You can do it!! I've been in this boat for almost two years now, and while it can be really challenging, it also gives you a HUGE sense of accomplishment to be so independent - totally worth it! I second everyone else's advice about shopping around for the best prices for household items and food. I also find it really helpful to make a point to use cash as much as possible; it makes you a lot more aware of where each dollar goes. Withdrawal whatever amount of money you've allocated yourself for that week, and make a deal with yourself that when it's gone, it's gone. Once you've paid off your credit card, treat it as an "in case of emergency" tool only. One other piece of advice: don't be too hard on yourself! Budgeting and getting acclimated to life on your own is an intense process, and sometimes all the planning in the world isn't enough to stop an unexpected expense from popping up or the numbers not coming out 100% the way you thought they would. Give yourself permission to make a mistake or two (it's only human!) and just be sure you learn from those mistakes in the future. We'll all be here rooting for you!

  4. I'm in about the same place in life where you are--I'm in my last year of law school and I am about to enter the real world for the first time. And I can totally relate to your post.

  5. I am 22 with a degree in engineering working part time and living in my parents basement so I can relate. On my currently salary there is absolutely no way I could move out so I immediately put money into savings, pay my bills, and then the rest is mine. I don't touch my savings at all but I can 100% relate to this post. I also know what it is like to be hard on yourself because sometimes I look in the mirror and think I am pretty much a failure. It is also hard loving Lilly so because lordy can it be expensive :)