Fighting Poverty and Depression

I have a series of frustrations, the big one being personal finance. You see, I’m the extreme case of keeping up with the Jones’ except in my part it was a role that I had to play from the moment I moved to the US and vice versa.

I came from a developing country where my family is comfortable. My father is an immigrant to the US and I didn’t have a relationship with him growing up. He sends money to my mother and as a dollar-earner it has afforded my brothers and I, private education in the best schools in my country along with a housemaid. But we lived in a neighborhood that is just a slight improvement to favelas. My friends in grade school never came over, and we didn’t really hang out, outside of school.

When I moved to the US, those two facts – a housemaid and private schools – left an impression to my middle school friends here that I came from money. 13 year old me who didn’t have any friends here to begin with, thought I’d play along with this narrative in order to get friends. This lie kept going partly to the fact that my father also did not know how to manage money well. He gave my brothers and I an allowance of $50 every 2 weeks. I felt rich with cash in comparison to my cousins and friends back in my native land, and to my middle-school friends. This narrative kept on going for the next 17 years. If you meet me now, you wouldn’t think I was ever poor.

But the truth is, I’ve got over $128,000 in student loans and no savings. I’ve had stock investments before, but I had to use them because I moved out of my father’s house for what I claim was a “mental health reason” but now that I think about it, it was an emotional decision. I talk big in making high-risk high-reward business ideas, but I haven’t had the money to implement any of them. And recently, I lost my job because my place of employment is struggling.

It’s taken me awhile to come to terms to this but I’m ready to attack this debt and financial issue head-on. I know it will take perseverance and a lot of discipline. I’m hoping having a personal blog to keep me accountable and transparent can steer me towards that goal during times when I’m feeling less determined.

Since I’m new to this, I’d love to hear stories and meet people that are also struggling.

Advertisements

I have a conundrum…

I have in my savings, about 2 months worth of local salary. This amount of money can usually feed and house a family of 4. So I can live off it, for maybe 3-4 months.

My problem is, I left some important paperwork in the US. and I need to actually get it personally. This means, I’ll have to spend that money for a ticket to go back. I think I know what I have to do. Which is, go back to the US. Because while there, I can earn more. It’s just a bit scary to use up the money I have left to run an errand.

Someone guide me.

Since I don’t have bills, I can develop some website and see if any of them can have income in a month before I have to buy a ticket. Thoughts? Suggestions?

-S

Of Frustrations When Moving Back Home

I recently moved back home, because it makes sense financially. I don’t have much savings to live off of, and with what little I have, I would rather spend it on investing for projects I want to pursue. But because I lived in North America for awhile my family here in South America thinks that I’m made out of money.

My family can be classified as upper/middle class over here, well at least if we think of family in the extended sense. It’s an expectation for parents to pay for school/ help out their kids over here but that didn’t happen to me while I’m in N. America. So when I come home, I’m expected to bring presents/ treat everyone.

When I asked my aunt about meeting up, she asked me for a gift. I told her, I don’t have any because I’m moving home since I’m broke. She jokingly said “you still don’t have savings” or maybe it wasn’t a joke even.

It’s frustrating for me because, unlike my cousins, I had to take student loans out for college. Unlike my cousins, nobody went to my graduation – I didn’t even walk. Unlike my cousins I don’t get christmas money or birthday money. Unlike my cousins I paid for rent. So I think it’s so unfair that the expectation of me having my shit together seems a bit high. I already feel like shit that I don’t have my shit together. I’m just annoyed with the misconception that everyone that moves to the Western World thrives.

I didn’t… and it’s also largely because of abusive father but that’s another topic. I’m feeling a little down after this move. My lifestyle is a definite downgrade, but I plan on using my “educated-in-north-america” card as much as I can in order to open doors and thrive here, and there and everywhere.

XXX
-S

Almost There

I’m almost home! It’s a major step financially and career wise, and I’m not so sure if it’s the right call still. But they say do something uncomfortable. I know I need the change for many reasons. In case I forget why I am doing this here is a list of reasons to remind me.

  1. I need to not be in the same country with 1 or 2 exes. – It’s just unhealthy right now. Someday maybe we can occupy the same space without feeling regret/ sad/ unloved but as of now I need to be able to wish them happiness without feeling small.
  2. I can’t afford my city. I don’t have a secure job and living there is becoming more of a survival task rather than a thriving task.
  3. I want to have a better relationship with my mom and brother, and that’s difficult with a 4000 mile distance.
  4. I can start my own practice in South America for way cheaper than starting it in the US.
  5. I need new people and be in the environment that I want to eventually have impact on.

Dear Me,

You can do this. This is the right call. I know you’ll miss your friends but when you’re back on your feet you can come back and visit them. As often as you’d like maybe you can just put it in your budget. You can do so much with the little savings/ money you have. It would also be easier to start your digital projects when you’re in a place where your living expense is not that much.

You can do this. I promise you can. Just keep going, you’re improving and you’re growing. In one year, you’ll look back at this and know this was the right call.

Love,
yourself

Fight and Flight

My past employer is disputing my Unemployment claim based on “misrepresentation of facts” Basically, I got unemployment because the business is participating in illegal activities which is – not paying their employees on time. After that, I have been harassed and sent inappropriate messages before they even knew I applied for unemployment.

They’ve made me very emotional, angry and frustrated through this whole process and I think I have every reason to. So, I don’t want to represent myself during this hearing and would prefer a lawyer to handle it. I’m nervous and so uncomfortable but I know in the end I am right. Am I worried that I’m a low-income minority woman taking on 2 rich white male? Yes. Yes I am.

So if you have any suggestions or words of encouragement I could really use it for the next few days. I will keep fighting this.

-A

So Much Good Signs!

I’ve never been the one to look at coincidences, events and symbols as signs of things to come, but lately I really think and believe that things are falling into place and I am exactly where I am supposed to be. I am happier – definitely no longer depressed. I feel productive and have been building momentum for working on my own things. I’m not sure where this creative steroid or high is coming from but I wish I can bottle it up and relish in it.

I’m nervous about my big move, but I know it’s what I’m supposed to do, and before that I have to finish a lot of work and fund it. Maybe I should just push for my $20,000 goal in one month. Realistic? Probably not but if for once I’m following signs, then maybe I should keep going with this in mind and really give it all I’ve got and go all in.

I’m not playing. I’m all in.

Best,
-A

Where the Wind Blows

I have officially told my roommate that I’m leaving at the end of the month in September. I’m not sure if it’s the best decision, but I know that I cannot afford to pay rent so I’ll be moving home. My income has been unpredictable and that’s the scary part when it comes to moving to a new city, but even as I’m typing this I am realizing that it makes so much sense to be home. I’ve been a little aggressive lately when it comes to side hustles, so I hope it all works out. Fortunately, moving back home means cutting some expenses, but my travel costs and a possible lost of access to my clients is a worry that I will face once I’ve settled in.

I wish it was so easy to save money to buy a house instead of rent, and to pay off debt. But I know that taking this step means I will be spending less and I can focus/ concentrate on my financial goals. It’s so easy to feel discouraged and nervous so blogging and typing about it actually really helps.

Boost!

I got a boost of happiness lately, I’m not sure what the source is. I think it’s doing what I love and being my own boss. I participated in a flea market sort of thing in my city this weekend, and I sold some of my crafts! The road getting there is a bit hard and difficult and I learned so much about how to work with people, but overall it was a great experience. I actually ended up almost wanting to stay in my city because of it. But I know not to be distracted by small victories as if they’re the source of my true happiness. In fact, I didn’t profit. But, what is important is that it gave me energy to keep pushing on working for myself. I want to make it so that I can have my own workshop/ studio but I probably need at least $10,000 to make that happen. I’ll need that soon too, since I’m about to give up my apartment. I’m questioning whether or not it’s the right decision but I kind of want to just decide and commit to it, so I can’t look back. I need to not have other options, so that failure can’t be one of them. I have to make it work. Fortunately, my new boost of energy has kept me so productive lately.

Here’s to hoping I can keep selling my crafts and keep finishing passion projects that will eventually lead to me actually getting paid by working for myself!

Best,

-S

Re-strategizing.

I just updated my list of things to pay-off/ do and unfortunately, I haven’t accomplished as much as I want to by now. I’m about 10 weeks away from leaving my apartment and there are still big decisions to be done before that could happen successfully. Like, where am I going? What am I doing with my life? The next month will be very unpredictable. I have a few projects that are coming to fruition, and I am hoping some of them will yield me some form of income.

I can feel getting close to failure, which in a way is good. Because, I really don’t/ cant have a back-up plan. So failure is NOT an option. One thing I know is that consistently talking about things do help. As long as I keep being active with blogging maybe I’ll be more productive.

Wish me luck! and I will try my best and give it my all.

-S

A New Habit I’m Building.

I think I would be more effective if instead of writing on my journal at night to reflect on things that happened on my day. I want to start writing when I wake up. The idea is that, I will be more proactive rather than reactive when it comes to my day. I can write about my plans, and ideas instead of ranting about what happened during the day. I’m going to try to do this for blogging too.

How this would affect this specific blog:

  • I can write about how I plan on spending my money instead of how I spent it. Of course I can write about how I spent it too, but I think that my budget will be more actively on my head if I write about it first thing.

 

What do you guys think? When do you write on your journal? If so why do you like writing during that time of the day?

-S