How i managed to live on minimum wage independently for 3 years

When i was 19, i was at very rough point in my life. I had just dropped out of college, because didn’t want my parents to waste money on useless education. Spoiler alert : Now i’m doing fine and getting paid six-figure salary at tech company, but let’s focus on my main story.

So i was out of college and working at Walgreens. Pay was not quite minimum wage, but very close to it. And i didn’t really want to move back in with my parents, as they were quite angry with me for not going through my education. I got my friend to let me stay for a little while, and even though he wasn’t complaining , i knew he was bothered so i had to figure something out. Rents in New Jersey are not as high in NYC, but living there is still pretty expensive compared to the rest of the country. So i was looking at around thousand dollars for a room, which was around third of my salary. It was doable, i thought, so after a few weeks of desperate search, i found a room in decent location for seven hundred dollars. It wasn’t the room of my dreams – it was tiny and couldn’t fit much but the bed, one small closet and a desk with a chair. But it was perfect for my situation, so i jumped on opportunity and rented it for myself. With housing covered, now i had to figure out how to feed myself and save some money to start something on my own. I always dreamt of starting my own business, so this was my opportunity to actually do it, nothing could hold me back. Well, except for lack of money, but that could be solved.

Feeding myself didn’t turn out to be as expensive as i had expected. I’ve always watched my spending and looked twice at price tag before buying something, but now i became obsessed with saving money on food, and i was doing great. I managed to buy most things at discount and even though it wasn’t the healthiest diet, i was getting by just fine. Thanks to these extremes that i went to in order to save money, i had spare hundred or two that wasn’t assigned to anything, so i decided that i’d make that going out budget. So at the end of the day, it wasn’t that bad. I was never dining in restaurants, but i always had money to go out to see a movie on weekend and even invite people.

Now fast forward nine years, i’ve learned programming myself and moved out to San Francisco where i got a job. I did start some businesses, some of which have failed, but i’m not planning on giving up so easily. I have much more budget for my own entertainment now, but i still try to keep it down and go through online reviews carefully before buying anything. I dream of starting tech startup now, and have few good ideas, so i’m looking forward to future and what it holds for me.


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