Saturday, April 3, 2010

$$ The Magic Number $$

I'm going to try and make this as short and painless as possible, because I do, I really do want you to read it to the end.

Hang on. I need mood music and a Coke. Ok.

We're good.

Okay, the first ten-ish short paragraphs are detailed history of the last four years of our journey. If you already know them or don't care, skim down and start reading at the bold paragraph. It explains the title and the reason for this blog's creation.

Brian and I moved out to Colorado in August of 2007. We had been out to visit his aunt and uncle two years before when they lived in Loveland. We mainly hiked and took a day trip into Denver and hung out on Broadway. I had a good time, but I never saw it as more than a place to vacation.

April 2007... Sallie Mae had a nice little letter [edit] PACKAGE she mailed to our little brown apartment..

Rewind to August 2003... I decided to go to the Savannah College of Art and Design and major in Photography. Private school, a million miles away from family.. 'nuff said. $$$,$$$

Back to April 2007. Like so many big decisions before in my life -Denver is a complete blur. All I really remember is Brian and I sitting on our 1960's Black vinyl couch, staring at the dark brown fake wood panel walls in our first apartment, thinking about the world of hurt Sallie Mae was about to rain down on us. We had done quick calculations and realized that in order to pay those bills, we would need to get rid of our highest expense; our shelter. Us, homeless?

In the next five minutes we decided to move to two and a half hours North West of Chicago to live with my parents. And move to Denver? I still have no idea when this was mentioned, or when I agreed to it. This was God directing us, we can't take credit for the amazing ride we've been on.

Living in my parents basement was an amazing experience, but I wouldn't recommend it to everyone. My parents are crazy cool and all four of us were on our best behavior. It was four months, Brian and I both got -great jobs actually.. I was able to get full time temporary work photographing for the local newspaper and Brian worked for a hair/beauty supply warehouse. Four months wasn't long enough for him to attempt to gain any clients, so working somewhat in the industry was better than the Wal-mart Dist. Center.

So far, situation... suprisingly good.

That summer Brian and I had cut our expenses more than in half. We didn't pay anything for rent, and our groceries were paid for. We paid gas for our car, any entertainment (which was limited to renting movies, and going out to the 6 screen theather, and the Drive-in) the occasional Angelo's pizza and of course, my weekly thrifting habit.

Come August, we had saved a little over seven thousand dollars. Want to save money? Move in with someone.

FOUR MONTHS = Seven thousand dollars. This seven thousand included some gift money, the selling of all our furniture, Brian's record collection and our rent deposit for our first apartment.

This post will end up being seven thousand pages long if I add all the detail about finding finding our good little apartment, and of course, "Ollie's Barber Shop" . So, lets skip ahead and work our way to the title of this post; $$ The Magic Number $$

Once we arrived I had to get a job, so Whole Foods was gracious enough to give me one. WFM is an amazing company to work for, especially in a crappy economy. I've worked at two stores and never heard of them laying anyone off, I had FREE health insurance, and tons of other perks including eating creme brulee @ 5 a.m. BUT. I was not designed to eat creme brulee at 5 a.m. nor was I designed to punch a time clock for Whole Foods. They carried me through, but in Feb of this year I finally realized that I COULD make it on my own.

Brian and I came up with a "magic number" ... a monetary number that I would have to make every week on my own, if I decided to quit working for WFM.

These numbers are relatively low compared to what other people around us make, so I feel in no way like I'm boasting by publicizing my magic numbers. My MAIN goal in posting these, is to encourage anyone that reads this to start getting unconventional in their thinking.. Think outside the box and start making EXTRA cash for you and yours, or, you know, what I did. I'm not going to say it, because it took me over two years to come to this decision.. and I don't want anyone blaming me for telling people to quit jobs in an economic crisis.. but I do want to be an encouraging voice in a dark, bleak, economy that says: "Look around!! Open your eyes! People are still spending money!! What can you do for them!?"

Over the span of this blog's life you will witness the ways in which I keep my end of the raft afloat. I do have a degree in photography, so I get freelance work which is the meat of this operation. But, I also purchase things at thrift stores, estate sales and pick trash out of the garbage. I give things makeovers and facelifts.. and then I sell them! My eyes are always open, and my house is always a mess. But, I LOVE IT. I've never been happier.

I no longer carry health insurance for my husband and I, so please don't ask us to go skiing, climbing, or offer him RIDES ON YOUR MOTORCYCLE!


  1. Ashley I think you might like to check this little blog out:

    I love their stuff! If only I could reach my magic number so that I can buy some of it. Perhaps we need to start a junk club?

  2. Thanks for the link!! I love it!!