What Feels Right

Growing up in my family was never really stressful or uncomfortable; I had my moments of “That’s not fair!” and “Why can’t I do (blank) now?”, and I’m sure everyone else has too. However, after years spent learning lessons and growing up and out of my parents’ reach, I understand more of what they were trying to teach us. As my siblings and I grew up, we also grew used to my dad’s table talk, or his “high-horse speeches” as we have come to call them. Dad’s lessons always stemmed from his own experiences growing up, his growth in his faith, and the lessons his business successes have taught him, and my brother and I (and someday my little sister) both really appreciate what he is telling us. From my dad we learned why my grandma always goes crazy for Christmas gifts and why we really never NEEDED any of the gifts we begged for; we learned what a bargain was good for (if only I’d known a guitar in exchange for four years of marching band slavery was not a good bargain); and lately, as I approach my final semester of college and my brother continues in his post-secondary journey, the topic of jobs has come up. Sure, jobs have surfaced before as he pushed us to find a job during high school and to save all the money we could, but lately it has been put in the direction of finding what will make us happy and what will help us make a life for ourselves and our future families.

While I know my dad only means the best for my brother and I, these career talks have really stressed me out. In the past 5 months my biggest fear has been making the wrong choice; I don’t want to work in a job that I will hate, but I don’t know that I have an attainable Dream Job. I would love to be an editor or an event planner, but I also don’t want to move away from Kentucky. It’s become my home, and a few special people in the state have also become my home, and I couldn’t leave them. So the editing dream is gone. Event planning is a joke of a job to most people, and those who do venture into the business are jumping into a shark pool of sorts; the career is crazy competitive, and I don’t know how I can fit into that crazy world (even though I would love – LOVE – to be a part of it). After hearing about how important it is to find a job that you love, because “if you don’t love your job, you’ll end up more and more spiteful towards it each year”, I want to find “The One”. I know it’s out there, and I know that no matter what, I will be happy, but after hearing from the wisest man I know, I can tell that loving your job really is an important aspect of my future.

Today, I received an acceptance letter into graduate school for a Master’s in Higher Education, and I really think I could love the job; I don’t want to think I love it, I want to know like I know how much I would love to coordinate events or edit up-and-coming novels.┬áSo, instead of finding a whole slew of new things to worry about, I’m going to look at the bright side; I have options. My dream is never going to go away, and it will never be impossible to reach either. And if I decide to go with the unknown, I will find a way to love my job, or at least to love my life. I have some amazing people who will be going into the future with me, and I know for certain that that alone will help me settle into what feels right.

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Savvy savings…sometimes

I think that I’ve realized that I really can’t hold on to my debit card, no matter how hard I try. I can’t save my money. I always end up spending it all on things that I want but maybe don’t need so much. And that’s a problem because the real world is now one month closer than it was in November! That’s a scary thought…but I digress. I need to figure out how to save the little that I do earn at my part-time job. In a little less than a year, I will be paying off my (huge) student debt, pitching in on rent and utilities, not to mention groceries and gas money! My parents have done the best job they could teaching me how to save my money or to spend it wisely, but I am just not the saving type, which SUCKS. They have helped me out with my rent and utilities while I have been in school, and that has saved my ass many a time. But I still take advantage of the extra cash when I should be keeping it for good use. I think I am the least fiscally-aware being in my family. Seriously. My little brother has always been the most frugal person I know, and as I’ve gotten older, I’ve gotten more jealous of that trait.

I want to save more of my money so that as I pay off bills each month, I can still afford to eat at a nice restaurant once a month or go see that AWESOME new Avenger’s movie on a Saturday! I enjoy my Starbucks too much, my date nights, my cute new dress for Christmas, and just about everything else that I waste my money on. But for some reason, I just can’t stop. So, I’m going to challenge myself at the beginning of the year (so I can try not to stress over holiday expenses); I want to save more than I spend on the necessities for the entire semester. The approach I am taking is to withdraw the amount of money I budgeted for certain things (gas and groceries, mainly) in cash, and to lock away my debit card for the rest of each month. The amount of money that I will be saving should be fairly huge, and I will hopefully (hopefully, hopefully, HOPEFULLY) figure out how to save my hard-earned money before it’s too late to begin.

Budgeting is the least interesting thing in the world to me, and I know I am not alone in that respect, but I also know that as I get older it is becoming more important for me to use my earnings wisely, otherwise I’m setting myself up for failure before I can even get started. I find that writing about it is more of a motivator for myself, so if you’re out there reading this insanely boring post, I’m sorry. Go find something more interesting that I’ve written. But from January 1st, 2014 to May 10th, 2014, I’ll be keeping up on my budget and letting you all know how it’s going and if my challenge of choice is really doing the trick. Hopefully I can change my dirty habit before graduation day!

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Have you ever tried to find a way of saving rather than spending? Tell me about it!