How I Lived In Chicago On 00 A Month, Total | Making it Work

Living on a low income is a reality all too many Americans face, and we should strive to change that. Learning to live on what you have is a universal truth for so many. Here, one woman shares how she was able to make her very low student income work for her while living in a big city.

Making it work is brought to you by wealth simple which gives everyone access to simple affordable investing on cruise control when i was seventeen the only thing i wanted to do was move out of my small town i had a very non diverse graduating class of less than ninety students it took half an hour to drive to the grocery store with the best prices and i spent

Over an hour on the school of us every morning just getting to school i was done with the isolation i finally found an apartment in chicago with roommates i’d saved up the security deposit thanks to my job with a local wedding photographer for most of my college life the only money i earned was through work-study jobs i mopped floors changed light bulbs rearranged

Classrooms whatever was needed i later got an amazing job in the library but due to the nature of work-study jobs i was unable to work more than 20 hours a week and at minimum wage working only 20 hours a week on top of my homework assignments i had a lot of difficulty finding a second job every month i made a little under seven hundred dollars to pay for my living

Expenses this was for everything rent utilities phone bill food etc i had to get extremely creative here’s how i managed everything number one rent to start off i was specifically looking for an inexpensive apartment that wasn’t in a terrifying neighborhood and i couldn’t pay more than $400 in rent for anyone in a major us city you know how bananas that is i

Found a three-bedroom apartment on the far far northwest side of chicago where i had to take a bus to the train to get to school thankfully i had a free public transit pass provided for students but it took an hour and a half on average to get to class or work it was rough but the entire apartment was only $1,100 a month and it was nice the only thing at left was

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Laundry and of course the location was an ideal otherwise i seriously lucked out total 366 dollars a month number two utilities utilities in total included gas electric and the at&t bill these were the biggest stress factor for my college experience in the summer my roommates liked having the air conditioning on which could make my bill more than 120 dollars

That was a panic but i always made sure i had at least 85 dollars in my account covered just the electric bell the scariest situation ever was during the 2013 polar vortex with windchill it got below negative 40 degrees in chicago that year we got a gas bill for our heating that was over $600 i genuinely cried i called our gas provider to see if there was some

Sort of mistake there wasn’t i sold the piece of camera equipment and got a little bit of help from my family to pay for this bill average $80 a month number three phone bill prior to moving to chicago i had a cell phone but not a smartphone i got my first smartphone after i moved a free iphone via my provider and my bill was $60 a month total $60 a month number

For food i had a $40 a month food budget and i ate 100 percent crap food i ate a lot of $1.00 in mcdonald’s cheeseburgers which was an inexpensive way for me to get out of my apartment i eat a lot of peanut butter and i had a quesadilla maker so i ate a lot of canned refried beans and tortillas at one point i so desperately wanted a desert i fried cut-up pieces

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Of tortilla in a pan with oil and covered them in cinnamon sugar i was really really broke i also wasn’t great at cooking and was generally depressed i 110 percent blame my diet on me being depressed and then being depressed made me not want to cook so i ate crappier it wasn’t until i realized i qualified for food stamps that i started eating better i suddenly

Went from a $40 a month of food budget to an almost $200 a month food budget the minute i got that first $200 i cried and i went to whole foods i got into eating some better things and the food stamps genuinely were my saving grace the $40 i budgeted prior went to treating myself to dinner with friends on occasion just places like potbelly and chipotle but still

A treat total $40 a month number five laundry doing laundry when you don’t have a washer and dryer in the building is awful i had plenty of clothes though so i only did laundry once a month towels were used to fight scenes worn multiple times and my mother equipped me with multiple sets of sheets i would drag my folding cart slash laundry basket up and down the

Stairs each month and then walk to the laundromat it would cost me about $15 to wash and dry absolutely everything i had total $15 a month number six remaining funds this is where some wiggle room happened mostly i put a little bit of money into savings for school break when you are on break from a school term you typically are not allowed to work a work-study job

I had to anticipate not getting a paycheck between breaks in the middle of the school year total – miscellaneous expenses and savings 139 dollars these six items accounted for my entire budget there were many times where my bank account was less than $3 the day before my direct deposit hit my saving graces were my tax refunds every year an extra amounts i could

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Save when i got to a certain level with my photography in retrospect i am still amazed i pulled this all off i didn’t destroy my credit i didn’t go into more debt by living on campus instead of an apartment and really i wouldn’t change a thing i learned how to manage my money i really gained an appreciation for money and i would do it all again of course living

This way was hard extremely hard and i don’t recommend eating the way i did but you live and you learn we may always be striving for a better life but building the future you want means starting with what you have and with a company like wealth simple you can start investing now no matter where you stand financially wealth simple is online investing that’s as simple

And human as it gets in just five minutes they’ll build you a custom portfolio to fit your personal goals and timeline just answer a few easy questions and they’ll manage your money for you on autopilot set it forget it and let your money grow in the background you can turn on automatic deposits as well as set up a smart savings account with higher rates than big

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How I Lived In Chicago On $700 A Month, Total | Making it Work By The Financial Diet

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