A few years ago when I was a couple years out of college and into my graduate program I made a huge decision that my career path needed to take a sharp turn. At the time I was going to grad school for something that I knew would make me very successful and give me a very comfortable salary but wouldn't necessarily make me happy. I knew I needed a change but I wasn't entirely sure what kind of change. I ended up leaving grad school and living off of a part time research assistant job. Not having any issues in college with working off a part-time job, of course I thought this would be doable but soon enough I knew that wasn't the case. Fortunately I learned quick how to use my money conservatively while living on my own in the beautiful city of Boston. I found fun (AND FREE!) ways to still continue my lifestyle like visiting a museum on their monthly free-night or hosting friends for a board game night. I did some research and found affordable healthcare that rewarded me for being healthy by having lower monthly premiums. While I did rack up some credit card debt, after I started getting into some frugal spending habits I was able to bring down my thousands of dollars in credit card debt to $0 in just a few short months!
It's a fulfilling accomplishment when you can get yourself out of a deep downward spiral to rock bottom. It makes you think twice once you're at a comfortable state (monetarily speaking) about how important to you that regular $5 coffee is or even that $500 Coach purse. Money cannot buy happiness. I REPEAT: MONEY CANNOT BUY HAPPINESS! But it sure can lead you to figuring out what is most important in your life and what makes you happy, which isn't the things you have but the experiences you've gained.