I was searching through some old emails the other day, looking for something unrelated, when I came across this gem from 2006. 10 years ago my finances were quite different:
ill see you tonight dad. I got a fix-it ticket for the camaro's registration and its due fees in full with smog in 30 days, i dont know what they will do if i can't pull it off. The same day i got the fix it ticket in scotts valley the clutch hydraulic line took a shit on me somewhere near brookdale, good thing i practiced shifting with no clutch in the crx's, so i made it home. here is the list for the first two weeks of school so you can get an idea of how fuct i am:
1. fix it ticket -480$ for registration, god knows what for smog.
2. books from amazon -430$
3. buss pass -80$/month
4. rent to jackass who i already moved out in like 5 days but he won’t give any back because he's an asshole: -1,000$
5. school -1,648$
6. car insurance is due ~400$
7. food and stuff at school comes to like -20$ a day not including gas and bus fare after I get a pass.
8. I work one day a week and make approximately +120$.
9. No place to work on cars and make money on side...
I wouldn't have it any other way. see ya tonight.
As you can see, my main expenses revolved around college tuition and rent. In these early times I did not have the ability or the need to write cohesively, hence the interesting descriptors. A few things should stand out from this short peek into my early life:
I was very familiar with cars (i.e. the camaro, crx, and smog references) and I used this familiarity to “flip” vehicles for $$ on the side. This was hands down the biggest money maker I had when I was unable to work a 40 hour week. I would buy a car with a problem, fix it, and sell it again. My favorites to flip were the 944 and 924 porsches, free money babay! Maybe I will tell you guys my secret sometime.
Some people in the world are not as honest as we are. At the time I had rented a room from a guy named Kirk. Needless to say when I moved out he did not return my last months’ rent and I was unhappy about it to say the least. In hindsight I am glad my 21 year old self did not retribute by hurting the old guy because that could have cost me a lot more than 1000$. It’s weird what you end up accepting. In the long run I actually harbor very little resentment for Kirk because I could see he was a miserable person and his life sucked. And I am sure that every year I was out improving myself and working hard, he was just sitting around in his house listening to Grateful Dead and smoking weed.
Working one day a week on the side used to net me 120$ wohoo! This was possible because I had built up a network of people and businesses that recognized me as an electrician on the cheap who could also do HVAC. These trade skills enabled me to stay afloat even when times got very hard. I mean, you have to be pretty DARN GOOD at what you do in order to get businesses to line up with cash for 8 or 12 hours of your time once a week. This financial snapshot was clearly from right when school started, but during the summer it was 60+ hours every week working a trade to save up for the next semester.
Maybe I will go into a college expense breakdown at some point, but since my father could come up with the cash I needed for tuition I made it out of college debt free. I would like to note that I paid for everything besides the tuition by myself. That includes the rent, food, gas, cars, insurance, etc.. and this is a matter of pride to me. One of the driving factors for my work ethic was my dad who worked harder than anybody to sustain my family. I didn’t want to burden him by being a deadbeat, which is why I moved out at 18. As anybody who has worked through college without a golden parachute will tell you; it is definitely not an easy task, but well worth it!
When I came across the old email I got a bit sentimental. My life used to be so hard but I kept on truckin’. I miss who I used to be but I recognize all the improvements I’ve made along the way were for the better. Now I’m sharing my insight with people all over the world and hopefully we can all pull a little harder because of it!