It's hard to aggressively save money while living in one of the most expensive cities in the US (and the 15th most expensive city in the world), and saving money needs to shoot way up on my priority list if I'm really going to be able to make this whole life-abroad thing happen. I thought through all of the possibilites, tried to create some kind of budget based on this raise I'm supposed to get in December, got a bit of a reality check at work, and I came to a realization: it's just not going to happen here. I really want to move to Amsterdam with at the very least $5,000 in savings (which thanks to the shitty exchange rate right now, works out to be €3,474) , and I'm nowhere near close to that goal. So I came up with an idea, talked it over with my mom, and at this point it sounds like the most realistic option I have.
If it all works out with The People In Charge, I'm going to leave New York City at the end of Janurary 2008 and move into her house in Los Angeles, California until April 15th. While I'm living at her house (which has plenty of room) I'll be exempt from paying rent and I'll work about 50 hours a week at her accounting firm. I've worked for them in the past and they were pleased with my performence, and since they always need extra help in tax season... it looks like I'll be welcome on board again. I'll make more than double what I make now and my only real expenses will be food, gas, and my cell phone bill.
This is going to be a pretty drastic move for me, even though it's only temporary (8-10 weeks). I haven't lived with one of my parents since I was a teenager, I haven't driven a car (which is necessary for LA) on a regular basis since 2001, and I don't even particularly like Los Angeles. However, I do have a lot of family and friends that live out there, and I might be able to meet some good film contacts if I make the effort. And most importantly, I would be able to save a lot of money - enough to get an apartment in Amsterdam. This does push my moving date back a bit - I orginally wanted to be in Amsterdam by mid-March, but arriving in mid-April shouldn't mess up any plans. I still want to apply for that Creative Producers Program at Binger, but the website says:
"The selection procedure takes place in two stages: a meeting of the international selection committee and an interview of the short-listed applicants.This procedure takes place between 5 and 6 weeks from the application deadline, and applicants are advised as to the outcome within 5 working days of the final interview."
Since the application deadline is March 15... if I was accepted and placed on the short list, I could arrive in Amsterdam right around the time I would need to be there for an interview.
It's a little shocking to think that if I follow through with this plan, I have just a little over three months left in New York City. That doesn't seem like much time, so I better do my best to make it count!