It's rare to find a 20-something who only has one job.
One of my best friends works as a marketing specialist by day and works at a boutique on the weekends. My co-worker sells health and beauty products for extra cash.
One of my closest friends from high school is a freelance chalk artist who also does graphic design work on the side.
My tattoo artist, Dylan Sartin, works for months to pieces of art to sell at Peter Anderson Arts & Crafts Festival.
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The list goes on and on. How many people do you know who have office jobs by day and serve tables or tend bar at night, just to have extra money?
I'm on that list as well. I work full-time at Sun Herald, part-time taking photos, and I picked up a seasonal retail job to make extra cash during the holidays.
Like many other millennials who work hard and still have to live with a stigma of being "lazy" by older generations, I make money just to spend it. I don't ever want to buy a house, getting married is downright scary, and I would rather chew on rocks than attend a budgeting seminar if means missing karaoke.
We work hard, but we also like instant gratification. The extra income I make is probably enough to pay off all of my credit card debt in six months and gives me room to put a down payment on my house.
But that's not how my brain works.
I put money back into my savings account, pay all of my bills on time, and I pay extra on my car note every month. My credit score is decent, my pockets aren't empty (usually), and my closet is pretty full.
Shopping? Yes. Dinner? Absolutely. Day trip to New Orleans? Who would say no to that?
The problem is I should be doing a lot less, paying off a lot more, and saying no to so many extras.
I started a budget, which started with eating out significantly less and bringing food to work from home. Next up, I'm doubling up on paying off my credit cards. Pretty soon, it's time to tackle double car-loan payments.
Budgeting is hard, but it's necessary. Two years ago, I gave up shopping for Lent and saved almost $900 in 40 days.
Now, I try not to completely cut out the things I love but instead do it in moderation. Instead of buying new clothes, I spend time in my closet arranging new outfits to wear. I still go to karaoke but try to not to spend money on eating late-night snacks after.
I've also found comfort in running and eating at home on the couch with a Shonda Rhimes show on repeat on Netflix. Her storylines are better than any movie I've paid $10 to see in the past year.