I knew from the beginning that I wasn’t in love with the apartment. The living room space was nice in theory, but difficult to appreciate under its permanent cover of the other girls’ stuff and clutter. My bedroom was at the end of a long, narrow hallway, with one high, small north-facing window that provided dingy light in the mornings, and none at all by noon. There was no built-in storage, and the ancient stove ran cold, with one reliable burner and two that never worked at all. The backyard, which had seemed charmingly ramshackle when I first saw it on a nighttime tour, turned out to be brown and barren, and the front porch was filthy with years’ worth of dust and dog hair.
After a summer of sharing our “the year we saved $10K” stories, we are reaching the end. Here are two more stories to share: one from Emma, who has a finance blog of her own called Let’s Talk About Money, and one from Irene, who saved money by fighting fires.
Emma: I save $12,000 every year, and have since I got my first job out of college. I do this by:
- living with roommates in a not-so-great neighborhood - rarely eating out or buying new clothes - rarely traveling (I go on yearly vacations but never anything over $1000 for two people) - driving a used car that I paid cash for
Right now, in my current job, after I put my $1000 into savings, that leaves me $800 to pay rent, food, bills, insurance, etc. I have a liberal arts degree and work in marketing/content creation.
Remembering the people we've lived with.
A recent episode of The Colin McEnroe Show discussed the joys and challenges of living with roommates
, with guests like Susan Salisbury, the director of residential life at Trinity College, who talks about how she matches college roommates together in residence halls (she looks at the surveys students fill out saying whether or not they're early or late risers and what their study habits are like, and then matches everyone using pen and paper), The Atlantic's
Derek Thompson, who talks about some of the economic consequences of more millennials rooming together for longer periods of time (instead of buying houses and starting families, which they're postponing for monetary reasons), and an appearance from two of those dudes from Fortress Astoria
(those best friends and roommates who have been living together for nearly two decades). A caller asks something like, "How do you keep the peace when your roommates have a hard time doing things like taking out the trash when it's their turn on the chore board?" (CHORE BOARD!). The Fortress Astoria dudes respond, "The only agreements we have are to pay the rent, and wash your dishes. Everyone just has to be conscientious of each other." If only it were that easy.