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Thursday, April 2, 2009

I'm Going to Live Cheap if it Kills Me

So I'm pretty sure three weeks before graduating from college, most people are not thinking about how excited they are to move back in with their folks. Given however, that moving home is a reality that lots of grads face, I would also be willing to bet that those same people would be even less excited to find out out that not only are their parents ecstatically awaiting their return, but also that these same parents have decided to move...Moving? that's not so bad, you think. Well, now imagine that your parents just told you they're moving to a smaller house in the suburbs, and that you'll be sharing a room with your teenage sister.

Welcome to my life. I'm almost 22, and I'm 3 weeks away from a degree, I have no money saved up, and I'm going to try to keep living on my own if it kills me. So, given the desperation of my current situation, I've had to get a little creative with how I'm going to exist for the next few weeks, months, and years. For starters, I'm looking at jobs that would allow me to live rent free. Enter, cruiseline jobs, and Nanny abroad programs. Yes, that's right, I am willing to swab a deck, change a diaper, or chase around your non-english speaking brood of 12 children if it means I don't have to move home. Okay, so to be perfectly honest, that's not entirely true, but I am applying to work as an activities director on several major cruiselines (might as well get some use out of my PR degree and extensive event planning experience), and though I haven't applied yet, I can think of much worse things than living rent free with a family in Barcelona for a year (even if it is a 6 day a week job).

In the meantime, I'm trying to scrape up some semblance of a nest egg for after graduation, and that involves living on the cheap. Now, there is living cheap, and there is living dirt cheap. Allow me to explain the difference. I have managed not to buy food for 2 weeks at a time. Part of this is due to the fact that I had the flu last week. The other part of this is due to my extreme resourcefulness. For example, in the past seven days I have horded food from staff meetings and potlucks, taken a free on campus cooking class, rationed a working lunch into two meals, and convinced myself that a packet of airplane peanuts constituted a healthy breakfast.

Necessity is the mother of miracles. I'm pretty sure Jesus turning the 5 loaves and 2 fish into enough food for five thousand people, was actually the work of a starving college student who told him how to stretch it by adding water or peanut butter. Anyhow, in the coming weeks, we'll see exactly how cheaply I can survive, and still obtain the essentials that a girl needs in college...like beer, resume paper, and formal dresses.