I’ve always been very cheap, or “money-saavy” if you will, but I have never really had to be.
I was very fortunate to earn a scholarship for a college degree therefore leaving me with no debt when I graduated six years ago. I am grateful for that every day, especially when I hear about my friends’ monthly loan bills and how others are still paying off school debts well into their 30s.
I am 28 years old and haven’t lived at home for over six years yet I’ve accrued virtually no housing expenses thanks to generous friends and their couches, on-campus living, and a professional basketball career (housing included).
So with no loans, no monthly payments (save a phone bill and car insurance) I’ve been able to, essentially, do anything I want. Luckily “anything I want” doesn’t include a luxury car or lavish vacations but I’ve been comfortable, driven across country, and been to my fair share of Red Sox games.
But, about a month ago, Tanna and I decided to look for an apartment.
Yup. Talk about monthly payments… Well, we set our sights low (on rent price, that is) and as days and weeks went by we upped our “maximum”; southern Maine living is pretty expensive. But about two weeks ago we found the perfect place, for a little more than we had bargained, and have already begun to “budget.”
This was an unfamiliar word to me but my natural, cheap, and low-maintenance sixth sense has already kicked in. We’ve been to Sam’s Club (on a free day-pass thank you very much), made all home-cooked meals, and, probably most surprising, decided not to buy cable or internet.
Yes, folks, I am coming to you live from Baxter Memorial Library in Gorham, Maine and probably will be for at least the rest of the summer. We really have no use for the internet, own plenty of movies, and my life in Europe with non-English speaking TV programs have led me back to the free box sets of TV shows here at the library.
I do miss the side of Sports Center with my coffee, however. But I’ll have to get my kicks in on the TV-equipped treadmills at the USM gym (also free with the job).
Did I mention we have furnished our apartment for a grand total of $27 that we, personally, spent on a futon mattress cover and a trashcan? Thanks to our hoarding skills (“I’ll need that someday!”), our generous family and friends, and our money-saavy abilities we didn’t have to purchase many new furnishings.
This is just month one of my real-world adventures (oh, the excitement!); what will next month have in store? Tune in next week for more escapades and more “my hair-dryer uses HOW MUCH energy?” discoveries.