I came to expensive Chicago in 2009 as a college freshman. I have been on my own since I moved here. I have essentially taught myself how to manage my own finances through speaking with bankers, attending finance seminars, researching budget tips and utilizing budgeting tools. Since living in Chicago I have managed to work two jobs, go to school, live on my own, and go on a cruise with friends. I am able to finance flights to see my family up to 4 times a year by what I call active budgeting. I work about 50 to 60 hours a week, maintain above B+ grades and at times do feel overwhelmed at the thought of adulthood not ending anytime soon. What keeps me positive is that each month I can write a rent check, each month I can deposit disposable income into my bank account, each month I am able to cook myself a healthy meal to take with me to school and work. I have managed this far along by cutting back on unnecessary cost such as excess shopping, dining out, unnecessary monthly bills such as internet/cable bills and putting aside any extra cash from tax refunds,tips or bonuses from work into a savings account that accumulates interest. I also set aside a small amount each month after my bills are paid. Through all of this I have developed discipline, a hefty savings account and the knowledge that the financial tips I have learned will help me in the future when I do obtain a career that will pay me a livable salary.