Why Did I Move Out Before Saving?
Although I didn’t have to go, I moved out of my parents’ home at 18, with my son. We moved into his father’s one bedroom apartment. I had an empty savings account and a bus pass. Both our salaries were barely above minimum wage. We also received public assistance by way of an Independence Card and child care assistance. Neither of us was remotely familiar with managing finances nor were our parents. We worked and we were barely able to make ends meet by living pay check to pay check, just like everyone else in our circle.
Because we had no cars or driver’s licenses at the time, public transportation and taxi drivers were our chauffeurs to and from work. Fighting cold winters and hot summers while waiting at a bus stop with a child in tow was no easy feat. We weren’t miserable, we thought that this was how life was supposed to be based on our own circumstances. We acted on what we saw around us.
Living conditions were subpar. The three of us shared the apartment with several unfriendly roaches and mice. We had to dip water out of the tub daily because it wouldn’t drain after we bathed and maintenance wouldn’t repair it. The neighbors managed to blame us for everything that was wrong with the building.
What We Ate Back Then
Local sub shops and pizza shops became our supermarkets. We would each eat an entire pizza to ourselves or a foot long sub occasionally. Could that have been why I gained so much weight? We only shopped at the supermarket to buy food and milk for our son.
A year after living there, I found out that I was pregnant again. I had no idea how that happened. Seriously? GTFOH! I was in such denial that I refused to get prenatal care. When I finally rolled into a doctor’s office, I was 6 months pregnant. I was so embarrassed because I was bringing another child into the world without a pot to piss in. No strategic family planning was going on there.
On the Road Again
Moving forward, two children in tow at the bus stop, still fighting hot summers and cold winters. At that point, we were catching three buses to and from work every day. Then something happened! I finally obtained a driver’s license and my dad assisted me with getting a car! Making Strides! However, I still had no clue on how to manage money or how to eat healthy. The weight kept coming on and I remained broke and big. Hey, at least I had a car!
For My Millennial Friends
What I learned from this experience was that it wasn’t necessary to put myself in a situation to struggle. I had children without a plan and with nothing to give them. Take care of your needs and finances first. Trust me, you have time! Seek guidance.