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Budgeting. Ugh. -venting NOT asking advice-

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    12-20-2012, 09:30 AM
Green Broke
I'll tell you a bit about myself even though you're probably not interested. It's just your story reminds me of myself 5 years ago.

I'm Australian. From when I was 16-17 I worked after school and on weekends to pay for driving lessons because my mother didn't like teaching me and I passed my driving test just two days before my 17th birthday! It was great. I bought the cheapest bomby car and the freedom was amazing.

My parents paid for my horse all through high school. And then I hit problems in year 11. It wasn't the work load, it was the social side of thing. I was bullied, I was depressed, I was a complete mess. I changed schools to get away from the situation but by then I was such a mental wreck I felt the whole thing was pointless and impossible. We sold my horse when I didn't ride much (before I got a car I could hardly get out there - hours on the bus) and then a couple of months into year 12 I dropped out. Barely 17. I knew my parents would be horribly disappointed in me so I packed my car and left. I moved to Sydney, lied about my age and found a share place. Worked full time, going through crappy jobs earning the lowest wages because at 17 they barely seem to pay.

I ended up getting a decent job at a real estate/conveyencing place that was willing to give me a chance. For 40 hours a week I got about $350 (which is nothing in Australia) and out of that I had rent, food, car, electricity etc. And I realised that this was as good as it was going to get. No qualifications, high school drop out, sure my whole life my parents had cared for me but out in the real world no one cares about how smart you think you are or anything.

I went back to school. I didn't feel like I could ever go home so I went to a technical college and did year 11 and 12 in one year with mature people who were actually there to learn, not to muck about. It wasn't easy but then life isn't easy. And I got into university, and went, and graduated, and soon I'm going to do my masters. My job right now isn't perfect, but I'm getting paid more than 3 times the amount I was paid back then. I bought a horse in uni as well, I wasn't wealthy, but you can pretty much always find ways to make things work if you want them enough. If you try hard and are honest people are often willing to help you.

It's easy to make excuses. Yes rent isn't cheap but most people don't live in their own places in their teens, twenties, and even thirties sometimes. They share. And many share places let you have pets. You just have to look around. And if that's something you don't want to do then that's all fine.

But think about your life. Eventually you're going to have to make some decisions. The older you get the harder it will be. People will help you when you're 18, they'll forgive your mistakes, but the older you get the more self-sufficient people expect you to be. Even if you did year 12 and then uni now, you probably wouldn't finish until you were 24 - 25. Time is going to pass you by whether you do nothing or something. You can say you're young, you can say you are bullied, or depressed or whatever you are.

But are you going to let yourself be that person forever? Life is full of challenges and challenges are hard. Life isn't fair. And in the end all you'll ever have is yourself and the decisions you make.

I know you don't want advice but please think it all over. If I could go back and finish year 12 properly, have parental support through school and university, have a great horse funded by family and an easy life, well I'd have done it. Because here, after everything, looking back I could have made so many better decisions. And the things I thought mattered meant nothing.

Horses will pretty much never pay. And they'll always cost a fortune. If you have nothing behind you eventually this is going to be a big problem.

Anyway, whatever you do, good luck. But own your life and your choices, don't blame, take responsibility for the good and bad.
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    12-20-2012, 09:36 AM
BEP- $700 a month does not include utilities and its for a tiny apartment in a heavily crime infested area, loaded with active criminals and sex offenders. No yard for a potted plant, nevermind a horse.

Again there's nothing wrong with having your horse be your priority. It's just how you're going about it that ae'are saying maybe you should reconsider. The schooling and better job automatically equate to a better life for you and for more options in your riding career, and probably more time to spend with your horses. Again it's the big picture is what we are saying you should look at.
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    12-20-2012, 10:25 AM
I do have a year 12 equivalent qualification, it's not like my being a high school dropout makes me any different to someone who finished high school but didn't go to uni.

Unfortunately for me nothing really interests me for a career, outside of horses, and, well, I have a LONG way to go before I'm even close to good enough as a rider/horseperson to be a professional in that field! I have a passion for training, especially the troubled ones, so I hope one day I will be a professional breaker and re-trainer, but that day is a way off yet.

DancingArabian, rent doesn't include utilities here. Your electricity, water, phone and gas are all extra. Even in dodgy neighbourhoods I've yet to see rent on a house be less than $250/week [except public housing rentals which go on your income so if you earn next to nothing you pay next to nothing]. $250/week is around $1000/month. Our place is $250/week but WELL below market value and we only got it at this price because we did the landlord a huge favour. It's amazing what good karma can do!

I've seen rooms for rent as cheap as $90/week... but I don't do housemates. I don't want to inflict myself on people. Trust me... I'd be the housemate from hell. I'm not moving out until I can afford to rent my own place, purely for that reason. I only need one bedroom, kitchen, living room, bathroom and a yard for my dogs so it's not like I'm after a mansion or even a family home... more like a shack really, and when I move out I will likely be boarding my horses so don't NEED acreage for them.
    12-20-2012, 11:14 AM
Well now we've narrowed down some college majors for you :) Business or accounting. I suggest accounting. The math is simple and the computers do most of it for you. You will need business and accounting skills to be successful in your own business. It will provide you with good income while you're getting established and be a great backup just in case your business fails or if you get hurt and can't ride/train.

I'm not saying you should move out - I don't think that's a good idea at all right now. I'm just saying try to squeeze in one or two online classes at university. Do you guys have a community college type setup there? It's significantly cheaper for us than a university.

My concern is that things happen and you can't live at home forever, and you should be able to get lessons and the occasional piece of new tack without killing yourself!
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    12-20-2012, 11:31 AM
Now there's a thought. And I type pretty quick so if I fail as a trainer I could always go into accounting or be a secretary or something. I'm not really into desk stuff, rather be outside riding, but the bookwork is part of every successful business and if I ever want to run a successful business making a living out of horses I will sure as hell need to be good at that!

I can afford lessons, if I don't move my horse, but the trouble is I don't have reliable access to a trailer [so can't travel to a coach - my dad owns a trailer but he's ALWAYS working unless I "book" him for a show] and very few of the coaches around here travel to their clients. There is one coach who is very good for the confidence within reasonably easy riding distance but having ridden under him before I am not especially keen on going back... personality clash or something, he just rubs me the wrong way. So, the easiest way to get access to regular lessons is to move my horse out to where I work, because my boss is an incredible coach.
    12-20-2012, 11:44 AM
Is there anyone near you with a trailer who may be willing to split cost with you and go to a trainer together? Sometimes trainers give a little discount for a group lesson.

And you are right on with your thinking. It's why I went for accounting myself!

It's all about how you apply what you're doing. Do I really want to be an accountant? Not particularly. However it is part of the skills in my toolbox for the things I want to do (start a small business, make more money, etc). My job is not the thing that defines me as it is for many people. I really consider my job to be an extension of trying to be the best horse owner I can be. Make sense? Hopefully that gives a better light to my posts and where I'm coming from.
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    12-20-2012, 01:24 PM
Mm, nobody reliable... I have a friend who is really intermittent. One day she'll be in town and riding and the next she'll be in the city and have "quit horses" and 3 days after that she's back again. She's the only one who doesn't already have a coach they love, and she's flaked on me A LOT including giving me an iron-clad guarantee she could get me to a show as she was going and had put her entries in, then telling me 3 days before the show that actually, she wasn't going. I couldn't find another ride at such short notice and was just lucky the show organisers were lovely and refunded every cent of my fees. I now refuse to rely on this person.

The other friend with a trailer who doesn't have a coach, a] doesn't think she needs one and b] is getting out of horses for the time being, selling her trailer, etc. Plus my horse hates her trailer.

Once things ease off with all the tourists I will discuss with my dad about the possibility of him maybe getting a regular half-day off every single week... he is a manager at a fast food store and he is very busy this time of year to the point where one day off a MONTH specifically to spend time with me is simply not going to happen. Again... can't really RELY on my father... but if he makes a promise he tends to keep it. He just tends to run a little late.

My boss does group lessons of two riders at a time [her arena rule is no more than 2 riders at any one time, which I personally LOVE - only have to watch out for one person not one million!] but I'm at the point in my riding where I feel like I don't have all that much to gain from group lessons and private lessons just work out better.

I do believe my mindset is most of my problem with the classroom. I get incredibly bored with books, sitting still, being stuck inside. I can sit at a computer for 12 hours straight and not get bored, but as soon as it's a book in front of me or someone standing at the front giving a lecture I tend to switch off, and I really struggle for motivation. School/study has mainly been a source of boredom for me. I've had a few great teachers who encouraged me to extend myself but the rest of them sort of expected me to fit in with the rest of the class and study things I already knew. Because of that I haven't had much interest in going back to the classroom. An online classroom, however, works really well for me [that's how I got my high school equivalent qualification - I did go into a classroom but nearly all the work was on the computer/internet]. It allows me to take quick breaks when I get too bored, and switch back instantly to what I am "meant" to be doing when I remember I have actual work to do.

Working on a computer I completed a 15 week course in 11 weeks. Spending more than half that time on Facebook. Had I actually sat down and applied myself wholly I think I could have completed the course in 5 or 6 weeks.

That's the Asperger's brain - very clever academically but easily bored, unless the topic in question is the Aspie's particular obsession [mine is horses without a doubt but I also have side-obsessions - gaming, certain books, my art, writing...] in which case we can concentrate for hours to the exclusion of all else. We struggle socially and some will forever be considered "a bit odd". I have learned the skills to appear "normal" but if I like you and trust you, I can be myself, and "myself" is a rather eccentric person.

If you asked me to write a 20,000 word essay or story in relation to one of my current obsessions - horses is the main one, the Halo franchise the other big one, other things come and go - I could do it in 3 days or less [presently have almost 50,000 words on one Halo fanfiction and over 30,000 words on another]. If you asked me to write the same length essay/story in relation to something I have no interest in, it would probably never get done.

I need to learn to apply myself even if I'm not really that interested. Step by step I am working on that. I think the first step in that is to decide on a fitness regime and stick to it. I would like to have stronger outer thighs so I can ride a bike without my inner thighs pulling my legs out of alignment and making my knees ache for days... and I would like to increase my lifting/carrying strength. I would also like to be able to run for more than 100m [right around 330 feet], and ride strenuously without getting quite so out of breath... but I get so bored doing exercise, other than actually riding, that it's really hard to stick with it.
    12-20-2012, 01:33 PM
Take the same concept and apply it to schoolwork or exercise or whatever else.

Figure out how performing X activity well will help you with your interests. Writing good essays for school would improve your writing through the critiques which will make your fanfic better. Conditioning your thighs will help you in the saddle. You see where I'm going with it? If X bores you but is necessary, find a way that makes it important for something important to you, even if it's shaky, it's something.

Try a more active exercise like body pump or Zumba that keeps you moving and switching it up.
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    12-20-2012, 01:50 PM
Zumba sounds like fun. Honestly if I wasn't such a wallflower I'd go to the pub every night and just dance... so much win and fitness too! I am unfortunately petrified of the fact that I am even allowed in such establishments and don't have any of-age friends who I trust not to get totally hammered. I refuse to go alone, and I don't feel any safer with a companion who can't stand up straight.

In school I loved art and English. Art because, well, I'm artistic and love it, and it was the one class in which I could REALLY express myself [and the best art teacher was amazing and let us have phones/ipods etc on in class, long as the work was getting done - he is awesome and I wish I could have had him for every class haha!] and English because I have ALWAYS had some sort of a natural affinity with language, words and spelling. Learning other languages is something I'd love to do but I want to learn French from an actual French person [preferably a sexy Frenchman... mmm sounds good to me], because they claim the language is taught incorrectly outside of France, and I don't know any French people.

Hey maybe I could be an interpreter? I'd love to learn fluent French, German and Italian, and I'm willing to have a crack at Japanese and Russian, though I struggle with telling the Japanese letters apart [did learn my katakana briefly but haven't used it in years so have forgotten all of it... don't know any kanji and can't remember the name of the third alphabet] and wouldn't have the first clue where to start with Russian letters!
    12-20-2012, 02:20 PM
Kudos to you for being responsible and trying to live within your means, although I realize it is hard. Far too many people just buy what they want and pile up a lot of credit card debt they can never get paid off. I wish more young people were as responsible as you...

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