I had a friend that I went to uni with who had SAVED every dollar that she earned since she was 14.
By the time we were twenty, I reckon she had about $50 000.
At this time I was surviving pay check to pay check, living at home and partying up a storm.
I thought this would be an EASY amount to save, once I put my mind to it and was all grown up.
I have always spent MORE than I have.
Notable fails in my budgeting ability include:
1. Getting my first job at McDonalds and finding a way to spend the total $55 that I would earn in a week before school in the chemist.
2. Getting a NOKIA 3310 when I was 18 and texting every person I knew… for days… and racking up a bill of $500.
3. Moving to London with about $1000 and no job (because I spent the four years before that spending my money on booze, shoes, nightclubs and handbags).
4. Being in CONSTANT overdraft in London, for about 4 years. NOTE. Overdraft in London of 5 pence will incur a fee of 50 pounds. I was paying these fees off well and truly after I moved home to Australia.
5. Making poor decisions when under the influence: such as, using joint account card to buy booze. Bargaining with friends to put Champagne on my credit card in exchange for night club entry or other said treats. GOING INTO OVERDRAFT TO BUY CIDER AT TESCO (yes this happened).
6. Moving BACK to Australia with no money or job, and incurring debt with my parents and new boyfriend. (which took 6 months to pay back.) I even had to get my flatmate to buy my flight ticket home!
7. All this time, I ALWAYS had some kind of money owed on my credit card and would never pay it off.
It took four years of rebuilding my finances, learning the hard way (living at home I might add with the promise to my Dad to save at the same time).
I paid off my debt and eventually got into a position to buy our little apartment.
I can proudly say today – THAT THE ONLY DEBT I HAVE IS MY MORTGAGE!
What do I do now that is different?
I now save for my bills fortnightly so there are no surprises. We pay for as much of our holidays as we can in advance. I don’t buy my lunch. I spend more money on sporting gear and yoga these days than I do on nights out. I invest in things that feed my soul like writing workshops or travel, rather than collecting ‘things’ or having nights out that I don’t even remember. I don’t spend money in bars or fancy restaurants if it’s not a special occasion.
I still buy too many clothes but I think about them much more than I used to. (Which means I am in the process of change.. right?)
I can afford to travel because I choose to live in a small apartment instead of a house with a massive mortgage.
I do not regret the fun I had… but boy I wish my future self could have given me a few tips to save so many months of hassle.
Are you rubbish with money?
When did you learn the value of money?