Talk about getting rid of my latte factor…I just stopped paying rent. My boyfriend and I became apartment managers, and now our rent and utilities, as well as one business phone, are completely paid. Before we moved, I was in a very nice but expensive place (my reward to myself for making more money and paying off all my debts). But I could see that paying high rent wasn’t getting me where I wanted to be. Now, I’ve used this chance to max out my 403(b), so I’m putting away the full $14,000 this year. I have my 403(b) in an equity index fund for now. It was in a variable annuity last year. In addition, I have some after tax investments in mutual funds and a money market account. My boyfriend and I manage student apartments, so now I’m looking into some college campus REITs that have just gone public.
My boyfriend is in debt, but we’re starting the money dates, so we can work on our financial goals together. I have a job in education, but we are both also actors and writers.
Recently, two things occurred to me. One was that the way things are going, I could save for a trip to Italy, which is a big dream of mine. It was such a great feeling to think about putting away just a little each month specifically for that. Then I thought, hey, I could actually take my boyfriend. At first I thought that was somehow weird for a woman to take a man on a trip. I’m still struggling with that one. It wouldn’t be weird the other way around.
But my second goal is to become a television writer, and I realized that I could leave my current job and take a lower paying one as a writers assistant. That might push the trip to Italy back a couple years, but then I’d really be getting to do what I want. My expenses are low enough at this point to be able to take a leap into a new position and work my way up. If I get this job, I’ll know how to set up an IRA for myself and keep saving for retirement, and my 403(b) will just keep earning interest.
I’ve gotten this financial part of my life down, and now I’m using this freedom to explore what I can do for my career. If I don’t get the writers assistant job this year, though, I’ll be in Italy consoling myself!