Marnie! I have a bunch of your prints hanging in my dining room. I didn't realize why your name was familiar until the very end, but I'm glad this is all working out.
@angelinha Forgot to specify that the $220 leftover would be if I were living on just 20% of my income, as would be the case if I were saving so much. So those costs don't include anything besides food and transit.
@EmmaP What do you *eat*, though? Or pay for transit? I just did the math on my take-home and even if I ate very frugally for one at $60/month and only took public transit with a monthly pass, I would have $220 left over for everything else like housing/utilities/cat food.
@Human Centipaul Sure, but I don't think that "I lived in a crappy apartment saving money and then I too became a slumlord, yay!" is a very satisfying narrative. I'm curious about her ongoing investment in the property, assuming she makes one.
Wait, but did you fix the ruined ceiling, etc.? How much did that cost?
Library assistants, yeah, sure. Actual librarian jobs, not so much.
@BillfoldMonkey Thanks. I was fine, but it still makes me shaky to think about that intersection. They've started doing construction that blocks off the sidewalk there now, so it's even more dangerous, and I can't find a route that avoids it. Biking! Woo! I've never biked in winter, and I don't think my tiny Italian racing tires can take it. But it sounds fun, apart from slush.
Even better: my 25-minute bike ride to/from work instead of a 45-minute walk-and-train combo. I've never driven in my life so I can't compare those, but biking clears my mind and gets in exercise that I otherwise don't have time for. (Not that I've been biking since I fell in traffic a few months ago, but I wish I were.)
Oh hey, this is my life exactly. Except that gym money goes to utilities instead (because I can't find a gym that's closer than 30 minutes away from me) and I /am/ able to save 15% of my income thanks to a generous matching plan from my employer. But not for long, since that fund gets tapped out if I have surprise bills.
@Kthompson The way you stopped spending so much money and started saving sounds great, and it's something to be proud of. But you're really lucky, and $40k/year isn't actually that little money. (That's what my field pays, on average, to someone with a graduate degree in a major city, for example.) What's frustrating to me personally is that so many methods of saving money & growing what you have require enough extra money on hand that you can afford to experiment with it. I make enough that I can throw in 5% to my work-provided retirement plan, for example, which matches and supplements my contribution so that I'm putting 15% before taxes into my retirement. But because of that, I'm living mostly paycheck to paycheck while paying off student loans and occasionally buying enough low-key meals out that I don't hate my life. I don't have any extra money to put into investments or specialty funds. I know that this will get easier as I go on with my career. Hopefully my next job will pay me a little more so that if I keep the same lifestyle, I can afford to save more. But when you CAN'T cut anymore, or when you come from a background where already the generations before you can't retire, I don't think it's whining to question this system or express frustration. Especially when so many people frame these difficulties as moral failings.