I honestly thought that once I had a real “adult” job that involved a 41K plan and a water-cooler that my days of eating Ramen for breakfast, lunch, and dinner would be over. Oh, how wrong I was.
In college I learned to love the taste of meat-flavored powder. I also learned how to pair Ramen with other food staples (such as bread) and condiment (spaghetti sauce) to liven up my meal. But, after awhile, no matter how much effort you put into trying to spice the relationship up, Ramen gets old. Once I even went so far as to make myself a cheese and Ramen sandwich.
Since graduating with a BA in English lit in ’07 and landing a job at a reputable newspaper, I’ve upgraded to Spaghetti-O’s. Sad, I know, but I’m broke and don’t know how to cook. I’m so broke in fact that just yesterday I ate my cereal with milk that was suppose to expire three days ago. And I washed my hair with dog shampoo.
When you’re in your twenties, money can be both your best friend and your worst enemy. When you’re rolling in it, you think nothing of going out and buying round after round of pints for your 20 fabulous friends. But when rent is right around the corner and you have $1.27 in your checking account it feels like the world could end right then and there.
I try to be responsible with my money. I always pay all of my bills on time and in full. I no longer bounce checks. I have an ING account. I am trying to climb my way out of debt. I have a budget that I (very loosely) follow. My credit card is safely stored away in a mug of ice in my freezer.
But no matter what extremes I go to, it seems that at the end of the day I am broke. I am always broke. And I have no idea where all of my money goes. I mean, I do know where it goes. It just doesn’t disappear. But it all goes away so fast that sometimes, it feels like it’s doing just that. Disappearing.
I recently picked up a second job bartending at weddings on the weekends. Hopefully, this will help put me ahead. I really don’t like the idea of working six days a week, but drastic times calls for drastic measures. And I’m starting to really, really hate Ramen.
My mother once told me that your prime earning years are in your 40’s and 50’s. So this means, I still have a good 15 to 20 years to look forward to of being perpetually poor.
Sometimes, I compare myself to my friends that make twice as much as I do and I find myself wanting to strangle them. I love what I do for a living, but there will always be that twinge of regret that I didn’t major in accounting or biology.
So, until I write my novel, I’m going to be having Ramen for dinner every night. I think Ramen is recession proof. Poor people will always buy it.