This post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link. Please read my disclosure for more details(Last Updated On: November 1, 2018)
In March, I had over $11,000 in my bank account. I even wrote a post about how awesome I am at saving money!
Today, I have less than $400 in the same bank account. $400 doesn’t even cover half my rent. I won’t be getting more money until the end of August which means I’ll have to survive 6 weeks on $400. That amount barely lasts me a week.
In other words, I #$%^ed up royally.
None of my friends seem to believe me when I tell them I’m broke. They’re all like, “Don’t you have that house in Canada and isn’t it worth like a million dollars?” Well having a high net worth doesn’t necessarily equate to positive cash flow! Like in my case!
What the hell happened?
I can officially say that I don’t have enough money to pay rent AND that I’m waiting for my next paycheck. Can I also say I’m now living paycheck to paycheck?
According to CareerBuilder 78% of full-time workers live paycheck to paycheck. The struggle is real!
So here’s what happened…
I basically wasn’t mindful with my spending and spent frivolously. Here’s what I spent all my money on.
I spent $2,000 on my blog
I started blogging in March in an attempt to make a full-time living blogging. I went all out and invested over $2,000 on my blog. I signed up for a ton of blogging courses because I wanted to learn from the best of the best and not repeat costly mistakes. I also self-hosted my blog. These expenses added up fast (but it’s worth it, in my opinion).
On the bright side, I’m earning money from my blog (but not enough to cover all my initial expenses). I’m sure I’ll get there soon.
Total cost: $2,000
I overcommitted to some “grad” trips
Back when I had over $11,000 in my bank account, I thought, “Hey, I have some extra cash lying around, why don’t I just book myself some holidays to reward myself?” So, what did I do?
- I went to Spain to study Spanish for two weeks (1,000 euros)
- I went to Italy for a week to study classical dance (1,000 euros)
- I went to Manchester to study yoga with a yoga guru for one weekend (300 euros)
Looking back, I am not sure if it was worth the money. All three of these experiences were phenomenal and life-changing. I love travelling with purpose – to learn something new. However, I may have gone a bit overboard. Why 3 trips? One is enough.
Total cost: 2,300 euros
I transferred money back to Canada to pay for taxes and other expenses
I keep forgetting that I have a property in Canada that needs taking care of.
I had been transferring money back to Canada regularly and not really keeping track of it. I’m good at budgeting, but I only kept a Swiss budget and not one for all my expenses back in Canada. Big mistake. Lesson learned.
Total cost: $3,000
I unexpectedly moved apartments
My lease ended in June. I had originally planned to wait until September to find a new apartment. My plan was to live rent-free at my boyfriend’s for the summer so that I could bum off him and travel with my extra money.
However, things are a little rocky with my boyfriend right now. Also, I found a really awesome apartment in the middle of the city and I wanted to snag it while it was still on the market. That meant signing the lease from July (and paying 2 extra months of rent!).
In Switzerland, you usually have to pay a rental deposit plus 1-2 months of rent when you sign a new lease. For me, that equalled to $3,000 which I unexpected had to pay. Also, now I’m out 2 extra month’s of rent money which I had never budgeted for (whoops)!
Total cost: $3,000
I finished my Master and stopped receiving my monthly scholarship
For my 2-year Master, my university graciously awarded me with a scholarship of $1,600 per month. However, in June, it ended, and I never readjusted my spending habits to reflect that. Instead, I actually spent more than I normally do.
Total cost: No cost but I should have adjusted my lifestyle after I stopped receiving this money!
How are you going to get out of this mess?
The good news is, once I start my PhD next month, this will all work out. My monthly salary will not be stellar but it’ll be enough to cover my regular monthly expenses. Within a few months of working, this situation will undo itself. The problem is that it’ll still be another 6 weeks before I receive my first paycheck!
What are my options?
- Well, the good thing is, I can always reach out to my parents for help. However, I don’t want them to know that I’m in a financial mess right now. I also am a bit ashamed to ask for their help. I’m a grown adult now, I should be able to handle myself. So, I’m not going this route and it’s really not an option.
- I can also ask my boyfriend to borrow money. However, I want to be an independent lady. I did speak to him in case my plan doesn’t work out, asking him to lend me $1,000.
- I’m not going to go to the bank to borrow money. Mainly because I don’t want to go into any debt. I also don’t have a credit card so I won’t be able to charge anything to a credit card :S
- Selling my house is not an option because it’s presently occupied and I don’t want to deal with it! I know it’s not really a good investment since I’m paying so many fees out of pocket but I have to keep the property to keep my parents off my back!
- I decided to forego my trip to Paris. A good friend of mine invited me to Paris and now I have cancelled it. The transportation + food + entertainment costs would have been too high and I simply can’t afford it right now.
- I’m no longer going back to Canada this summer. Originally I was supposed to go and spend a few weeks seeing family. But I cannot justify leaving an apartment empty in Switzerland while paying rent and then incurring even more costs in Canada. Huge no-no! My family will just have to wait. Also, this gives me a great excuse to skip my cousin’s wedding and avoid all the awkward questions about why I’m still not married yet.
- I’m not sure if this is healthy or not but I’m eating less. I am only eating 2 meals a day, and only vegetables. This helps me cut my food budget and get my summer body on 🙂
- I am taking a break from dancing. Normally I pay around $165 a month for classical ballet lessons. This summer, I’m just going to take a break and exercise at home instead.
- I could try to do more side hustles to earn more side money. Right now, blogging is the only thing I’m doing and I’m not earning a whole lot from it!
- Unfortunately it’s forbidden to Airbnb my place, otherwise, I’d probably do it. My apartment is in a prime location, I could probably get a really good price on it. I mean, I could probably get away with it, but I’m not sure if I want to risk it right now. We’ll see.
- I’m trying to eliminate as many expenses as possible. For now, I haven’t signed up for Wi-Fi yet. I’m going to my university everyday to use the Wi-Fi for free. This saves me $60-80 a month.
- I’m not going to let myself go shopping and buy anything unless my life depended on it. I wanted to buy a new laptop and phone this year. Guess that’ll have to wait!
I thought I had everything in order but everyone messes up sometimes.
Seriously, I don’t remember having a bank balance this low since I first moved to Switzerland. I remember coming to Switzerland with only $1,000 in my bank account and waiting until the end of each month for my monthly scholarship money to come in. I was living paycheck to paycheck so to speak. Sigh. I thought those days were over now but life seems to be quite cyclical, doesn’t it?
To be honest, I’m a bit excited at the prospect of re-evaluating my living expenses and trying to cut it down even further. I’ve been told that “I live off the land” and that my budget is already as lean as it gets (for someone living in Switzerland, that is). Well, I’m sure I will be able to identify more areas to cut costs.
Have you ever been this broke before? Do you have any recommendations for me?
- How To Finally Stop Living Paycheck To Paycheck
- The Quick and Easy Way To Start A Budget
- 5 Reasons Why You Need To Start A Budget Today
- How I Save Thousands of Dollars Per Month By Living Frugally
- 10 Things I Stopped Buying To Save Money
- 10 Life Lessons I Learned From Doing A Master Degree Abroad
Recommendations for you
- Free Guide to Starting Your Own Blog! - This is a free guide I wrote to help you start your own blog!
- Free Resource Library! - I started this library for subscribers and I will be adding more to it every month. Free downloads for blogging, budgeting, moving abroad, etc.!
- Ebates - Get cash back for shopping online! Get $10 back when you spend your first $25!
- Airbnb - I love Airbnb and it's how I afford to travel so much without breaking the bank! Sign up for $40 off your first trip!