No, there are no extra 0’s missing there ;) I just got finished reading Jacob’s incredible story on how he blew through his $100,000 inheritance before he turned 21, and thought I’d copy him. With a much less exciting story, haha…
Like Jacob, I, too, did not know or care about budgeting back in the college days. I was constantly watching my accounts to make sure I had enough for beer and pizza money every week (priorities!) and rarely had over $500 in it. The rule with my parents was that they’d help pay for college and books, but I was on my own for everything “extra” – a fair deal to say the least.
So I’d work my ass off during the summers to fill up my spending account, and then drain it entirely by the time the semesters ended :) Floating by with some part-time jobs I’d take in school too – like working at the bookstore to
pick up girls help people find books, helping out at the local mall, and working for our university paper (I was a budding photographer for a bit).
Anywho, at graduation I got all kinds of gifts and checks as one usually does from their loving family, and I was dead set on moving into my own place by my own beach with my own very best friend. We had found a room in a house for only $500/mo (we were going to put in bunk beds, haha…) and I figured my lump of graduation winnings would tide me over for quite some time while I “did the responsible thing” and look for a full-time job ;)
This lump sum was $1,000.
So, being the non-future-planner I was back then, I signed the lease, packed up my stuff, and drove Eastward towards the salty waters of my new dream locale. It was summer time, I had cash in my pocket, a new degree, and I’d soon be sitting at my cushy job designing logos with a view of the ocean in my office. ‘Cuz I was *that* good to get my own office for my first job, haha… Life was good!
Until it wasn’t….
Fast forward 3 weeks and I was out of cash (who knew you had to pay for rent in advance?), out of roommates (my friend bailed the week before moving in), and I had a grand total of 0 jobs lined up. It was pretty embarrassing to say the least – especially after I mouthed off about how awesome and famous I was gonna be living my dream a the beach ;) Oops.
Days later I was back and moved in with parents where I got the “real world” talk. I’m pretty certain they knew what the outcome was going to be – and probably had my bed at home all made up just waiting for my return – but being the loving and brilliant parents they are, they allowed me to go out and fail on my own so I’d come away with some life learning lessons. And there was a small chance of me succeeding too since I do get lucky every now and then…
Anyways, I went from $1,000 in cash to broke in a matter of weeks and learned an important lesson along the way: You have to plan ahead, no matter how much it bores you. Maybe not 12 months, or 12 years, but definitely at least 3 weeks :) At least when it comes to your finances.
Now Jacob learned an entire other set of lessons along his adventure – and has the humor to realize how much of a bonehead he was (which I hope you’ll read about and enjoy when you get a sec), but I think it’s important to look back at these times of ours every now and then and appreciate how far we’ve come. We’ve all done some pretty stupid things in our lifetimes – especially while young!
I’m proud to say that just one year later I got my act back together too :) I set out on job/life excursion #2 to New York City with just a few suitcases and some cash (double what I brought to the beach), and lasted a whole 2 and a half years all by myself with a new set of friends and adventures. And more parties and trips around the world than I knew what to do with! (It turns out working for the airlines has some advantages :))
We live and we learn, right?
What are some of the ways YOU blew through some money back in the day? What did you end up taking away from it all?
Photo by jlegate
Jay loves talking about money, collecting coins, blasting hip-hop, and hanging out with his three beautiful boys. You can check out all of his online projects at jmoney.biz. Thanks for reading the blog!