How I saved $30,000 in 7 months as a 23 year old

with almost no work experience

Before I tell you about my current financial success story, let me tell you about my not so successful financial story prior to these last 7 months.

People often tend to forget the work and planning that was set up before any drop of success was ever tasted.

2015 was the year

  • I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease and put on medication.
  • I lost my ability to walk for 6 months and as a result, I lost my day-job as a server in a fine-dining restaurant and moved home.
  • I realized that I wasn’t only unemployed but didn’t have a college education or degree to fall back on.
  • I got depressed and gained weight from not being able to exercise.
  • I hit rock bottom.

2015 was the year

  • I listened to my instincts and pursued painting full heartedley.
  • I created a collection of 16 pieces with no expectations.
  • I invested the remaining $2,000 in savings I had left into my craft/art supplies.
  • I had the luck t0 move home with my parents rent-free.
  • I understood that life has a lot of bullshit that you dont have to care about if you don’t want to.
  • I came to the conclusion to purge distractions like toxic habits and boring conversations.

2016 was the year

  • I started with zero dollars in my bank.
  • I regained my health and returned to the gym and the hospitality industry.
  • I started as a busser for 2 months, then became a lunch server for 4 months, and now a dinner server at one of the top resorts in the world (Sierra Mar, Post Ranch Inn — Big Sur). Previously, I had 8 months bussing experience, 1 month food running experience, and 1 month serving experience. The reason I kept moving up was because I worked double shifts, was a reliable and hard working employee as well as continued my education in food and beverage.
  • My 2015 collection was recognized by a coworker on my first day of work at the new restaurant. I discovered she was opening a restaurant and she approached me to create 6 installation pieces + design work for the startup (Cultura, Carmel). I continued to paint while working the restaurant job. This company also covered the cost for a 5 day trip to Oaxaca, Mexico for “inspiration” purposes for the paintings proposed on the contract.
  • I decided to work at the new restaurant Cultura as a part-time server two nights a week once it opened to be able to talk to guests about my art and since the opening 3 weeks ago, I’ve sold a piece from my studio and landed 3 commissioned pieces.
  • Because of the exposure of my work in the restaurant Cultura, I was asked to participate in a 2-person portrait show in a local gallery in January.
  • I created residual income by selling prints/magazines online through my website.
  • I participated in an art show and won first place and I now have a solo show set up in 2017.
  • I was represented by a gallery in Australia(19 Karen Gallery).
  • I managed to save up $30, 000 after having fully funded a trip to Spain and Portugal that I’m taking in two weeks(which includes the cost of my flight and lodging). I’ll be receiving paid time off during the entire trip from my job as a server since I’ve accumulated enough hours this year. I’ll return from my trip to two jobs and a studio space for painting(at home).
  • I learned to trust my instincts and to follow the rules and expectations I set forth for myself.

I don’t know how or why things happened the way they did. All I know is that at every step of the way, I struggled — to be happy, to be confident, to trust myself, to enjoy the ride and to recognize my successes and failures as a part of the process. When a certain opportunity arose, I took it regardless of the potential outcome since who the fuck knows what the future holds.



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