20-Something, Hipstercrite Life

This is the Post Where I Bitch About Money


Didn’t come from it, never had it, don’t currently have it.

If  money was something I cared about more, then I probably wouldn’t be poor. Though I’ve worked non-stop since I was legally able, I care more about enjoying life than working towards being wealthy. The little taste I got of the 24/7 work lifestyle in Los Angeles was enough to push me into a constant state of living paycheck to paycheck.

I don’t like being poor. It’s not fun to not have extra money to buy things like a new book or clean underwear every once in awhile, but it’s the choice I made. I keep thinking that one day, maybe, I’ll strike rich. Maybe I’ll write a book and sell it. Maybe our movie will make it big. However, the older I get, I wonder if I’ll wake up one day at 45 and think, “Shit, I’m still dirt ass poor.”

Of course, I’m only 28, so maybe I shouldn’t be rich. The only people who are 28 and rich came from money or work in stocks.

I’m also an “artist” in a sense, so I’m supposed to be poor. I will say this though, eating $1 frozen pizzas certainly doesn’t inspire creativity. It only gives you gas.

I went the freelance route recently, something I’m proud of doing and has so far has worked out, but the inconsistent paycheck definitely has me waking up screaming at 4AM.

A friend back home in LA asked me how the freelance life was going and I told her “good, other than picking up bread crusts from the sidewalk.” She told me it was no big deal. I told her it was. She said, “You know, you are doing what you want to do and in the end, you’ll be happier for it.” I would have liked to have agreed with her, but I was also looking at my bank account the moment she said this and my checking account boasted all of $25 in it.

Maybe in a year when my car is paid off or two years when my credit cards are paid off, I’ll be doing a little jig, but in the meantime I’ll continue to worry about it.

I used to fret about money a lot more. When I moved to Austin without a job lined up and $500 in my pocket, I definitely felt the crunch. It wasn’t a wise decision to make but it eventually paid off. When I fell behind on my payments, the calls from the creditors had me sweating. I eventually caught up, but it’s a place I never want to revisit.

What is this the point of this post? Who knows. Money has been on my mind lately because I don’t have it.

Money certainly doesn’t create happiness, but it does give you peace of mind.

On a side note- due to my poorness, I’m giving myself over to one of those drug trials where they pay me to remove my wisdom teeth. Luckily the drug is something minor and a name I know and doesn’t haven too many “x’s” or “q’s” in it.

On another side note- another delicious and inexpensive food item is microwaving cheese, Sriracha and Louisiana Hot Sauce on a tortilla in the microwave. Oh so delicious! Learned that one from a bonafide Arizonian.

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  • Reply dan January 6, 2012 at 5:58 pm

    Hah, have fun in PPD. I’ve done that shit a dozen times, and it is really not so bad. Is it an in-patient one or are you just doing the teeth? Either way, good luck.

    • Reply hipstercrite January 6, 2012 at 6:35 pm

      It’s the wisdom teeth and I have to stay overnight because there is Benadryl in the medication. Thanks for the info. I’m a little nervous.

  • Reply Trina January 6, 2012 at 6:48 pm

    It sucks having money troubles. People can try to make it sound easy for you, but reality is, it’s not. That’s what friends and family are for. To support one another. I’m sure you’ve got friends that’ll feed you, house you, care for you if times got super tough. That thought alone is comforting. Not very many people have even that. Count those blessings rather the cents in your bank account 🙂 You’re always welcome to my home for a good ol’ Mexican meal!

    • Reply hipstercrite January 6, 2012 at 6:55 pm

      Haha. Thanks, Trina! Luckily I’m not on the verge of homeless, but you’re right. I know that if shit hit the fan, I’d have friends and family to turn too. Luckily it’s never gotten that bad. I just live paycheck to paycheck.

  • Reply M January 6, 2012 at 7:23 pm

    Girl, you are singing my song. I totally, 100% feel your paycheck-to-paycheck pain, and I’m older than you! It’s very, very tough in this society to live off of what you love to do. I’m proud of you for sticking to your guns in that regard. It doesn’t make the frozen pizza taste any better, though. :S

    • Reply hipstercrite January 6, 2012 at 11:49 pm

      Frozen French bread pizza tastes pretty darn good though! 😉

  • Reply Omar January 6, 2012 at 7:48 pm

    The real pain comes when you have a family to feed. I dont either see myself spending my life to gain money for the sake of it. But the decisions you make along the road and the dynamics of the world you live in, let no choice but work-for money-to live.

    • Reply hipstercrite January 6, 2012 at 11:49 pm

      That’s why I’m not going to have a family until I’m older.

  • Reply Alisha Howard January 6, 2012 at 9:29 pm

    My God woman, you’re in my head! I’m doing and going through the exact same thing.Keep your head up!

    • Reply hipstercrite January 6, 2012 at 9:31 pm

      Thanks! We’ll march through!

  • Reply Van January 6, 2012 at 11:27 pm

    This may be the dumbest thing I’ve ever read. Ah what a shame the middle class girl with terrible money habits is poor. Maybe if you hadn’t bought a car, maybe if you hadn’t put so much on your credit cards, maybe if you hadn’t picked up and moved halfway across the country, you’d be in better shape right now. In other words, you made your bed, now lie in it.

    On a side note-you may be 28 but that’s about the age where people are long past living paycheck to paycheck. There’s a big scale between poor and rich, and you’re poor because of your own choices.

    On another side note-you aren’t poor because you’re an “Artist.”

    On another another side note-maybe you’ll make it big one day with a book. But you should probably try writing things that aren’t so self-centered and woe is me.

    Now let’s see if you publish this.

    • Reply hipstercrite January 6, 2012 at 11:39 pm

      Thanks for commenting!

    • Reply Mark January 7, 2012 at 12:03 am

      I don’t get it. She’s venting about how she feels, on a personal blog, and you aren’t happy she has these conflicting emotions? Boy, Van, you live in a black and white world.

      Also, a douchey world.

      • Reply hipstercrite January 9, 2012 at 3:02 am

        Thanks, Mark!

  • Reply Alexandra the Tsaritsa January 6, 2012 at 11:51 pm

    Wow, anonymous Van… way to be judgmental.

    I’m 26 and have been struggling with money. Money does not buy happiness, but it can relieve a little bit of anxiety. I have always been really good about saving money and being frugal, but a year and a half of unemployment has definitely taken a toll on my bank account.

    I’m starting a temp-to-hire desk job on Monday. I still want to write and create art, but I need the day job to pay bills. I think you just need to keep your head up and do what you’re already doing, and don’t let anyone get in your way. Collaborate with other young, inspiring entrepreneurs and create a community around yourself. Keep at it!

    • Reply hipstercrite January 9, 2012 at 3:03 am

      Thanks, Alexandra!!!

  • Reply Avy January 7, 2012 at 12:33 am

    The only problem with money is there is never enough of it.

    / Avy

    • Reply hipstercrite January 9, 2012 at 3:03 am

      Unless you’re the 1%.

  • Reply BE January 7, 2012 at 12:50 am

    I feel ya. When I was in Austin I remember having $20 to last the entire week. That was for food, gas, toilet paper, everything.
    I would basically live off smoothies for dinner and eggs for breakfast. It sucked. It was hard. I cried a lot.
    I couldn’t hack it so I moved back in with my parents and now have little to no debt, a phenomenal job, and the miss Austin every minute of everyday.
    You have your freedom, your creativity, and a magical town. Don’t take that for granted.

    • Reply hipstercrite January 9, 2012 at 3:04 am

      BE- I give you so much credit though. That must have been a hard decision to make. It’s very admirable.

  • Reply Deeyn January 7, 2012 at 1:01 am

    Wow, I am so grossed out by someone (Van) being so judgmental and self righteous. It’s totally normal to get bummed from time to time about money. These are feelings that many people can relate to. I can TOTALLY understand. I recently left a successful career to do something that I really love. All of my financial resources have gone to growing something that I love. BUT even knowing that there is a ‘greater good’ it SUCKS not being able to shop anytime I want, go on a holiday, have weekly manicures, whatever! Oh, and that period between freelance checks when you eek by on $50 for god only knows how long… yeah, that really sucks too. Yes, you do have to have a plan and usually I can tell myself that these are my decisions so deal with it BUT sometimes… it just really sucks.

    • Reply hipstercrite January 9, 2012 at 3:05 am

      Thanks, Deeyn. May I ask what you’re doing now?

  • Reply Elisa January 7, 2012 at 1:29 am

    “Your soul doesn’t care what you do for a living – and when your life is over, neither will you. Your soul cares only about what you are being while you are doing whatever you are doing.”

    – Neale Donald Walsch

    • Reply hipstercrite January 7, 2012 at 4:41 am

      great quote! thanks for sharing!

  • Reply David Lackey January 7, 2012 at 5:44 am

    In almost the exact same situation as you except that up until about a year ago (when I made the jump to freelance) I hadn’t ever worried about money before. I still try not to but at this point I don’t have much of a choice. Good news is the freelance work seems to pick up in the spring. What do you do, exactly?

    • Reply hipstercrite January 9, 2012 at 3:07 am

      That’s great to hear, David! I’m a freelance writer and do social media managing. It pays the bills, but that’s it. I’d love to actually, you know, save or buy new clothes sometimes. Haha. What do you do?

  • Reply Mary January 7, 2012 at 10:50 pm

    Man Van is a hater. Anyways, Lauren I love your stuff! I’m just another lost, confused 20 something year old and connect to so many of your posts. I didn’t come from money, don’t have it and won’t have it until i’m done with med school+residency so i feel ya! and will continue to live off loan money for the rest of forever..yuck..I also think you are frickin wicked! I wish I had the guts to do half of the stuff you did, keep rockin girl!

    • Reply hipstercrite January 9, 2012 at 3:08 am

      Awww…thanks, Mary! I really appreciate that boost! Kudos for you for doing med school! How’s it going?

      • Reply Mary January 10, 2012 at 3:57 am

        Well, I feel stressed and inadequate 90% of the time in school. I spend more time with a dead body than i do with my family+BF+friends. I will spend my youth paying off school loans. There are lots of times when i’m eating by myself and studying and i think, “i should have picked something easier that paid less and had a social normal life instead” I think about walking away from it all sometimes…because i’m pretty young. The debt is just scary to even comprehend without a decent salary. BUT despite all of that I cling onto the hopes of one day making a difference and providing really good care to the people who need it most. Now, let’s just hope it happens! otherwise my mid life crisis will not be pretty….haha

        • Reply hipstercrite January 10, 2012 at 11:12 pm

          I think you will be able to pay off your debts in no time. There never seems to be a shortage of medical careers out there. I’m sure it’s stressful, but you’re doing an admirable thing. Don’t give up!

  • Reply Randall January 10, 2012 at 9:23 pm

    Thank you. Needed to read this from someone else. It’s been heavy on my mind lately too.

    • Reply hipstercrite January 10, 2012 at 11:06 pm

      You’re not alone, Randall!!!

  • Reply Shawn February 15, 2012 at 5:11 pm

    Your posts are so relevant, and easily identifiable. The way you take a common problem amongst many, especially the young adults, and make it humorous is enlightening. I enjoy reading your posts, and the posts under “twenty-somethings” are most intriguing to me. I truly look forward to reading your next posts and find so much comedy in the sore subject-matters I too face. Anyways, Thank You for making my day!

  • Reply Resistor June 18, 2012 at 2:38 pm

    Put an adsense ad, or 3 on this site. boom,you have money.

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