Tonight I found out: Figuring out a budget does not happen super quickly. Not when you're engaged in trying to find out if there are any loopholes at all - but at all - that will allow you to keep everything but $20 of your income from slipping off into expenses. The apartments I've been looking at are all unaffordable, but even if I reduce my rent budget I still won't be able to do much else but stay there. The fabulous vacations will be me treating myself to a manicure/pedicure at home instead of visiting D in paris. The gourmet meals will be the ones I make for myself with decidedly un-gourmet products. That gorgeous purse that was going to be my birthday gift to myself will stay in the shop, and the lovely watch that was going to be a christmas gift to myself will adorn another's wrist.
And so I find myself despairing. Because this is not how I imagined life out of law school. Where is the 200 grand job with all the perks? Where is the fancy apartment in a new high rise in NYC? Where are all the delicious meals on the firm's expense account? Where are the designer clothes I'm supposed to be wearing? Where are the loan payments that make my loans disappear in two years? Where are the savings that I was going to put towards my own house? Where is that life I had imagined for myself?
And yea yea yea I get to help the world and do some good and feel like I'm contributing to humanity.
But somehow at 1:45 am as I sit here with the lamp on thinking I should go to bed not because I'm tired but because I need to reduce my electricity bill, that really just doesn't seem to matter. Not one bit, not at all.
I'm not money hungry. I don't blow money on expensive purses and shoes and watches and jewelry. I travel cheap-ish. I cook at home. I don't judge people in terms of how much money they have or how expensively their apartments are furnished.
When I realize that I probably won't even be able to buy any new books or pay for a Netflix subscription...it really freakin hurts.