I thought it might be beneficial (and fun for any readers) for me to make a post stating my first big goal and talking a little more about my motivation to achieve this goal. To begin, I don’t know if anyone reading this has been in the following situation, but if you have, you understand where I’m coming from.
The embarrassing living situation…
After meeting my girlfriend a couple months ago, we went out on a few of the typical first dates and then spent some time at her place since I was picking her up and dropping her off anyways. After about a month, my birthday arrived and since my mom is a great cook and always offers to make my brother’s and I whatever we want for our birthday, I decided to invite my girlfriend up to my house for this dinner and to meet my parents (I had already met hers and spent some time with them on an unexpected trip to visit a friend of mine near where she grew up, so it wasn’t anything weird to have her meeting my parents so soon, plus I’m sure she wanted to see where I live).
I’m gonna side track for a second to explain some of the details on my living situation. Since my parents are retired and spend about half of the year down south in the warm weather, they needed someone living at the house to take care of it. My two younger brothers still live at home and the rent money we all pay helps my dad cover the expenses on the house while he’s gone (hey, New England ain’t cheap to live in). So, combine that with the fact that cheap rent helped keep my own expenses down and I really had very little reason to move out.
When I graduated from school back in 2006, I had been with my girlfriend at the time for a while and we were both living at home, so it was no big deal; it was sort of a mutual situation. After we broke up, I dated a few other girls but it always seemed to work out that when they came over, my parents were down south, so it was like I was just sharing a house with two of my brothers. But now, I’ve finally run into the situation where my parents are home for a few months and the “privacy” I’ve enjoyed in the past is gone. Bringing my girlfriend over to the house to have dinner and meet my parents is one thing, but going into my room with her to “watch a movie” while my parents are right on the other side of the wall is COMPLETLEY different. It took all of one visit for me to realize that this situation just isn’t going to work out for me long-term.
Of course, my girlfriend says it’s no big deal because she has her own place, but that just seems to make it even more embarrassing that I have someone a year and a half younger than me who is still in school trying to comfort me about MY living situation because we can just take advantage of the privacy of HER living situation. In my mind, this is just unacceptable and it’s time to make a change.
The biggest goal in my mind right now…
I think I actually stated this goal as succinctly and straight-forward as possible to my parents a few weeks ago: “I don’t want to be 30 years old and still living at home with my parents.” There’s nothing too lofty about this goal and even having to state this is, in itself, a little embarrassing for me. But I can’t go back and change how I’ve handled my finances and living situation in the past; the best thing I can do is fully evaluate where I stand right now and figure out what I need to do to get there.
And while I said “30 years old” to my parents, I really only said that to help give an impression of that guy you see in the movies who lives in his parents’ basement and does nothing but get stoned and party with no real goals in life and nothing to look forward to (by the way, no, my room isn’t in the basement and no, I don’t get high). In reality, I just turned 26 and if I’m still living at home at 28….well, that’s just not going to happen. If I could, I’d obviously be moving out and into my own place right now instead of typing this blog, but the extra expenses of higher rent, utilities, and anything else needed to maintain your own apartment would just add up to more than I can actually afford on top of my current expenses (which you will see in the next post when I do a full breakdown of my income and expenses).
So put it plainly, Jeffrey D…
I guess what it comes down to is that I want to move out of my house and into my own apartment before I turn 28. I’ve been 26 for a month, so this gives me less than two years to set and achieve the step-by-step goals necessary to put myself in a situation where I can move out and comfortably afford it. I believe it is more than possible without really changing my current lifestyle, but rather, just making a few small tweaks to my spending and managing the rest of my money better than I do now.
If you continue reading, you’ll see in my next post why I will most likely need a good portion of these next two years to get to that point. I’ll also go into some detail on setting those step-by-step goals and lay them out in black and white with rough deadlines.