Today I went to the optometrist and got some new glasses and sunglasses, and I went to the salon and got my hair done. Then I came back to my parents place and balanced my checkbook. After a rather pricey trip to get my car fixed yesterday, and my updated appearance today, my checkbook is looking a little sad. You see while in grad school I couldn't find a job. Priority for graduate assistantships were given to Doctoral students, and the small college town saw me as overqualified for work at retail or food service and hired undergrads rather than me. So I didn't have a job for two years. I lived on student loans, massive amounts of student loans! Although it was enough to survive on, it was just enough, and I never had any savings. So when I moved back in with my parents I took out money from an IRA that was left to me from by late grandmother.
All right a little financial advice for you, don't leave an IRA to a relative who is 50 years away from retirement. There are a lot of rules and regulations that I have to follow with that money because of my age, and taking it all out is not an option right now. So every year I take a bit out and use it to pay down a credit card, pad my savings, or a vacation fund. This year it was for moving expenses. Moving isn't cheap! Slowing the money I thought would be enough is depleting, and I don't know how I'm going to go on my trip, move, or even buy gas.
Money has always been a big stressor for me, and I hate that. Unfortunately in our world right now, gaining financial freedom is difficult. There's a line in a Savage Garden song that goes something like "The struggle for financial freedom is unfair, and the only ones who disagree are millionaires." I know it's not 100% accurate, but I feel like it's dead on right now. I just feel like I'm in a hole, and there is no way for me to get out on my own, and no one is throwing me a rope. I've said it before, I'm not a "pull yourself up by your bootstraps" person. I think that sometimes you do need help in some situations, I'm in one now. This is why I am leaning on my family, but they are only able to help so much, they're in the same situation I am. My sister was even laid off earlier this month.
I have amazing friends. Several have offered to let me stay with them wherever I end up living until I find a job. One has even offered to let me live with them permanently. Be prepared friends, I will most likely take one of you up on your offer. I promise as payment I will cook for you, ;-) My friends are amazing for more reasons than just offering me a place to live for a while. My friends cheer me up, and prevent me from dropping into the deep depression I know I would be had I been going through this a year ago. I get phone calls from the road when they're traveling just because they missed me, or are bored driving through the middle of nowhere Indiana (I'll take it, lol). I get Facebook messages from them saying that they love me. I get text messages talking about how my new haircut makes me look younger (this earned bonus friendship points, lol).
The point is that I may spend money on new clothes, glasses, and haircuts but none of that matters. My friends love me for my inward appearance, and since I began on this journey that appearance has been polished from it's tarnished state to now shine. How I feel about myself matters more than how I look. So I may be broke, and I may be homeless, but as long as I have the best friends and family in the world, this girl couldn't be richer! Sorry for the corny cliche, but it's true. I love you guys, and you know who you are! =)