When I landed my first job at a technology company over a year and a half ago, it was the role that got my foot into the world of corporate. All at once, I finally had full coverage health benefits, stock options and a steady income well above minimum wage.
Before the offer came, I had gotten used to hustling, making job hunting my full-time job and supporting myself by working odd roles like giving out free samples at Costco and being an executive assistant to an ex-attorney and a Youtube star.
I would take on any temporary jobs in order to pay off my student loans and much of my savings went to either 1) rave events (poor investments, by the way) 2) my $30,000 loans at Chapman University (P.S. I had a full ride academic scholarship to USC so I had no debt there).
Right after graduation, high paying jobs were difficult to come by, and I was incredibly wary about my future. The first valid step I had to take was deciding to move back to my parents' house in Orange County in order to lower the cost of living expenses and food. I also adapted to a minimal style of living by not shopping for things I didn't need while asking my parents to help me pay off all of my high-interest loans first (I paid them back later on).
I remember thinking, "Could this be my life? Is this my trajectory?" The thought of busting my ass off for a college degree from a prominent institution to now grinding it out for the next 5 years and still be struggling financially scared me.
Then, when my grandmother passed away, I had a constant voice in my head that told me I had to start my own side business and that was the birth of my wedding and events hustle. Today, I am able to contribute 21% of my paycheck to my retirement investments, another 40% of my personal savings/stocks, etc. and leaving me enough money to live comfortably.
One of my greatest achievements is now being able to live debt-free. At the end of the day, it was about the kind of life I wanted to build. At the time, I valued financial freedom over an extravagant lifestyle so I had to write down all of my spendings down to very the last penny. Whether you are earning a six-figure salary or entry-level income right now, it really comes down to saving and investing that money appropriately.
Until next time,