Sometimes I feel a little unsure about what to write about these days on brokeGIRLrich because I am on the most solid financial footing of my life.
And I feel a little weirdly guilty – or like a fake personal finance blogger – and trying to shake that guilt is strangely hard.
BUT the entire point of chronicling all my weird financial choices and my thrifty living skills was with the hope that I would get to this point. It hasn’t been like a chose your own adventure book where I flipped to the end and knew I could succeed – I just kept plodding along, hoping that these have been the right pile of decisions at the right times. Sometimes they were. Sometimes they weren’t.
Here I am now though, in the amazing bubble of contentment called “not worrying about money” and if you’re not there yet, let me give you a few examples from the last few weeks of my life that have felt so good when they happened that I actually stopped and thought about each time I couldn’t make that choice in the past and was actively grateful that I could now.
#1 NJ Transit
I grew up in New Jersey but I’ve spent most of my adult life on the road. When I’m not on the road, I’m usually in NYC on a crazy strict budget. There have been many times living in NYC when the $20 round trip ticket to go see my family would cause me so much stress it was ridiculous. There were also a lot of days that I wanted to go home and couldn’t justify the $20 train ticket in my budget, so I didn’t.
I could go home every single day now if I wanted. And when I do pop home for just a few hours, I’m totally ok with that expense. Riding the train home without batting an eye over the $20 to get there is my new favorite thing.
#2 Throw Money at Inconveniences
I haven’t gone hog wild or anything, but my new income level definitely makes it a little easier to solve some problems. My RV is pretty darn cold. I bought an electric heater. I just went out and bought it. Furthermore, I was kind of scared of setting my RV on fire, so I just bought an expensive one with a bunch of tip over/fire guards on it.
When my doorknob kept sticking and I kept getting stuck in the bathroom, I just went to Lowe’s and bought a new one and some tools to install it and fixed that sucker. The notion that I needed to buy a hammer and chisel along with the doorknob honestly might have slowed down that project forever on a tighter budget.
My new work shoes keep rubbing my ankle weird, so I just went to the store and bought $20 of fluffy socks to stop that from happening.
I know, door knobs and fluffy socks don’t seem like a big deal, but when those expenses have stopped you in the past, once they don’t, it’s pretty incredible.
#3 Time With Friends
In an unexpected twist, I’ve actually had a chance to spend time with friends over the past few weeks. They show up to see the show and we usually go out to grab a bite or a drink afterward. I may drop dead of exhaustion… but it’s nice to see them all.
My cousin whose wedding I was in recently usually makes a lot more than me, so hanging out with her can be a little expensive. I know this and usually brace myself for it – though she’s also incredibly generous and often picks up tabs. She came to see the show the other night and we went out to a really cool Russian bar. The prices usually would’ve stressed me out a little, but they didn’t this time and I was able to pick up our tab for a change. Just being able to go out and not care what the bill totals to once in a while is kind of amazing.
Being able to grab the check, without already being sure of the total, yet still being sure it wasn’t going to destroy any of my savings and investing goals, was an incredibly liberating experience.
#4 Guilt Free Splurges
I have been indulging my candle obsession more than normal. And my RV smells amazing. And I regret NOTHING.
So if you’re trying desperately to not be a starving artist right now, I feel you. I’ve been there. And the only reason I’m not there right now, even with a higher income, is because all of the work I put in before.
There’s also nothing special about me, so if I can do it, you can do it too. Keep on keeping on and before you know it, you can buy all the candles too!