This chick next to me at Starbucks right now really wants to know :)
Or rather, she wants to know what her friend was doing on June 24th as she’s YELLING REALLY LOUDLY into the phone and I can’t concentrate on what I’m doing here! And now wondering what the hell I was doing myself all those years ago too?! It’s actually 15 years to the date, if you can believe that. Remember Y2K??
So instead of learning about the 3 simple steps to save money today (who cares about that, right?), you’re going to learn about what 21 year old J. Money was doing in 2001 instead. And hopefully you learn something from it ;)
After all, if you can’t look back to see how far you’ve come, why even have memory?
Here’s what I was up to on this day 15 years ago:
- I had just graduated college
- I was a bachelor about to jump into a 4 year relationship
- Had about $1,300 of c/c debt after financing a new Mac iBook (65 MB of ram, baby!)
- Was hustling three part-time jobs while looking for full-time work (boat renter in the morning, car washer in the afternoon, and dishwasher at night (my entire job history here))
- I was trying hard to get up to New York city to pursue being a rock star graphic designer/famous person/partier (I only succeeded in one of those ;))
- And I had no concept of money whatsoever outside of knowing you were supposed to “invest for your future” – which I promptly ignored.
I was pretty much a hot mess financial-wise, but the one thing I had going for me was that I was GREAT at chasing dreams. Within 5 months I had succeeded moving to NYC, had a stable – yet not exactly glamorous job (Old Navy), was pursuing opportunities, and was more or less enjoying the night life as much as a guy making $8/hour can ;)
It wasn’t perfect, but I was proving to myself – and to the adults in my life – that anything’s possible if you want something bad enough. Which ironically led me to better finances years later when I started applying that passion to money!
I was also learning that you had to get pretty creative sometimes if you wanted a better shot at succeeding. The first week in the city was a shock trying to find an apartment by myself when all I could afford was a crack house (no joke), so I scrambled to find roommates and eventually ended up in a much nicer – and safer – neighborhood even though 4 of us were crammed into a 3 bed/1 bath apartment. Where we took turns living in “the room with only 3 walls” and “the room where you can’t stand up,” haha… When that lease ran up, I moved across town into a friend’s living room where my rent dropped from $600/mo to $300/mo (in cash) which was entirely earmarked for “beer money” ;)
During this second year I also realized that my graphic designer/famous person route wasn’t paying off too well, so I instead made a list of other things that would be fun to do for a living too. Some of them had to be crossed off as they were pretty inappropriate, but the last item – “travel!” seemed do-able so I enrolled into a travel agent course which eventually led me to the airlines and I got to do exactly that – travel the world for pretty much free! I never had enough money to really go ALL out while there (turns out that job pays crap too), but man, what an experience… we’d literally fly somewhere new every other weekend, from Cancun to LA to London – it was crazy.
So that’s what I was doing around June 24th, 2001! Chasing dreams and exploring my new found freedom! I’d burn out a few years later after all that living paycheck-to-paycheck, but I learned quite a bit in the process, and particularly that financial freedom sure beats out regular ol’ freedom ;)
I’ve always thought that was kinda ironic, actually – that people tend to have tons of money but no time, or all the time in the world but no money. I’m glad we here have realized there’s a way to get both!
What were you doing in 2001? I bet you’ve come along way too.
PS: The three simple steps to save money today:
- Take out your wallet
- Pull out a $20
- Put it in the bank!