Financing the Dream

Student Editor: Katherine Montgomery

Everyone knows that “aspiring actress living and working in New York City” is really just code for “waitress.” Living in the most expensive city in the country as a 19-year-old girl has its perks and downfalls.

“Annie! Dinner’s ready!” yells my roommate Brigette.

 Brigette was a French foreign exchange student that stayed with my family during high school. Once we graduated, however, she decided to stay in America. We decided to move to New York- two girls conquering the world! This worked out perfectly because besides being my best friend, Brigette is an amazing chef and is currently attending culinary school. This helps us out a lot in terms of finances. Affording to feed ourselves is harder than expected! In addition to her cooking at home all the time, I also manage to bring enough leftovers home from my work. This habit has helped us save so much money, overall. 

Mint.com sent a reminder about the electrical bill yesterday,” Brigette reminds me. 

That’s the one useful tool I’d recommend to everyone! It tracks spending, generates budget reports, and sends notices when bills are due. Thankfully, Brigette and I have super OCD tendencies so living together is rather symbiotic. We have several habits we always follow such as having color-coded reminders to pay bills and credit cards all around the apartment and taping up weekly budgets everywhere. Having these visible reminders has really been key to us keeping up financially.

“Hey Brigette, did you put our tips into our savings accounts yesterday?”

“Yep! They’re looking good! Maybe in a few years we’ll be able to travel the world!”

That’s Brigette in a nutshell- such a dreamer. A while ago we decided to take the tips we receive from our waitressing shifts and put them into our savings accounts. It’s not much but with the 2% interest rate, we hope our savings will increase eventually. We’ve been following this habit for about a year now, and it’s proving to be very beneficial.

As I walked into our kitchen area for dinner, Brigette asks, “wanna go out Saturday night? We haven’t had a night of fun in forever!”

Brigette is right, we haven’t had a night off in so long but I can’t forget the one rule we both promised to live by. Whenever one of us wants to do something we ask the other, “does this support me in the long-run?” Following our dreams and goals no matter what is the most important rule we live by. If something compromises our goal, we don’t do it.

I answer Brigette and say “well…does it support us in the long-run?”

“No…you’re right, I guess it doesn’t,” she responds sorrowfully.

We finish dinner and then pay bills and update the budget. Tomorrow, we’ll wake up and do everything all over again. We knew, initially, that it would be hard living in New York City but with a lot of organization, saving, and smart decisions we’ve managed to do pretty well!