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The reserves are now empty…


Since July of last year, I have gone from a significant and steady full time income to 7 months at a 30% reduction from that full time number.

On February 23rd, I became unemployed with income of just a few hundred dollars for that next month.

In mid-March, I started a part time job at $25 per hour, less than a 1/3 of my typical hourly rate. Bringing in right around $2,000 per month. (I do have to say that I LOVE this job. Very, very much. And I love the owner whom I get to work with. It has been such a refreshing change for me. And I come to an office every day.)

And then last week, took on another part time job at $40 per hour a little less than 2/3 of my typical hourly rate. (No payment yet.)

But with all that said…the reserves are completely dry. And as of last week, I am late on my first bill after 9 months of being under and un-employed.

Not panicking

And I have to say, I am not worried. I know this will all work out.

But my gut reaction…I am so freaking proud of myself! Anyone who has followed me knows that my financial life, especially when it comes to have savings has been a nightmare for the most part. But guys, I had enough in savings to make it through 9 months.

I’m continuing to look for side work, pick up website design for people, and applying via Upwork for contract/freelance gigs.

Less to worry about

Another side of this is that my obligations are lessening. The twins have moved away, back to Virginia. Princess is pretty much supporting herself. And we are just six weeks away from Gymnast moving.

Loaded and ready for her first roadtrip – Texas bound!

Oh, and my sister visited and fell in love with one of my dogs…so I have gone from 7 dogs, to 6 (Princess’ Chihuahua passed a month-ish ago), and now to 5.

I know these are not significate cost savings for me. But they are definitely burdens off my shoulders mentally. And that helps. Turning the corner and my best not to dig too deep of a hole while I get back on my feet.

Read more from Hope

Hope’s First post on BAD – March, 2014

Hope’s Most Recent post on BAD (before this one) – April, 2023

The Adoption Story – April, 2014

How to Get Out of Debt When Living in a Big City


Living in a big city can be an exciting and vibrant experience, but it often comes with a higher cost of living. From San Diego, CA, named the most fun place to live in the United States, to other bustling metropolises, the financial challenges can be daunting, especially if you’re already in debt. With careful planning and disciplined financial habits, you can achieve financial freedom.

Create a Budget and Stick to It

Creating a budget is essential when managing your finances. Take the time to assess your income and expenses accurately. Identify areas where you can cut back, such as dining out or entertainment expenses, and allocate a portion of your income towards repayment plans. You’ll probably be surprised by the impact of cutting down on small expenses.

Minimize Housing Costs

Housing in big cities can be costly. Consider downsizing to a smaller apartment or exploring roommate options to reduce your rent or mortgage payments. Whether you’re moving to the city for the first time or have lived there for years, research the housing market thoroughly to understand the average cost of rent in your area so that you’re not overpaying.

Tackle High-Interest Debt First

If you have multiple debts, prioritize paying off those with the highest interest rates first. This approach saves you money in the long run, as it reduces the amount of interest that accrues over time. Focus on paying more than the minimum payment to accelerate your progress.

Explore Debt Consolidation

Debt consolidation can effectively simplify your repayments and potentially lower your interest rates. Research reputable consolidation programs or consider a personal loan to consolidate your debts into a monthly payment.

Boost Your Income

Living in a big city often provides opportunities to increase your income. Consider taking up a part-time job or freelancing to supplement your primary income. Use the extra money solely for financial repayments to expedite your journey toward becoming financially independent.

Adopt a Frugal Lifestyle

Adopting a frugal lifestyle will benefit you in the future. Cut unnecessary expenses, such as subscriptions you rarely use or expensive gym memberships. Cook meals at home instead of dining out and explore free or low-cost entertainment options in your city.

Take Care of Your Health

The initial cost of medical or dental care might be off-putting, but neglecting to care for yourself, in the long run, will be even more expensive in the future. According to the CDC, the three oral conditions that are the most detrimental to overall health and quality of life are severe gum disease, cavities, and severe tooth loss. It’s hard to know the condition of your mouth without consulting a professional, so regular cleanings and dental appointments are a must. Remember, taking care of your health can help prevent expensive dental procedures down the road.

Create an Emergency Fund

Unforeseen expenses can throw off your repayment plans. Establishing an emergency fund is essential to avoid further financial complications due to emergencies. Take the money you’re saving from cutting down on costs like eating out, and aim to save three to six months’ living expenses (ideally more) in a separate account.

Plan for the Future

Your future financial well-being is as important as fixing your current situation. Consider estate planning options, as approximately 75.12% of estate plans filed in the U.S. in 2021 were wills. Consult an attorney to ensure your assets are protected and your loved ones are cared for.

Improving your finances while living in a big city may seem challenging, but it’s achievable with the right strategies and mindset. Take these steps to build a financially secure future and tackle your financial situation, so that it doesn’t affect your lifestyle while living in a big city. With perseverance and strategic planning, you can regain control of your finances and pave the way for a debt-free future.

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