When I claimed I wasn’t making any New Year’s goals and resolutions, I may have told a tiny white lie. I have one single resolution I am genuinely sticking to past the month of January, and I’m so determined to see it through I’m putting it right here on my blog.
I am going to save money.
Money and I must have some kind of love/hate relationship, because it’s always a great time when we catch up, but we seem to part ways impressively soon afterwards.
Spending money I don’t even have is actually an exceptional talent of mine. Getting a credit card was probably one of the worst decisions I could have made, but do I regret it? No. Because my wardrobe is fabulous and…yes, ok I have a problem.
So 2015 – the year of saving. It’s been declared.
Money is a really difficult thing in your 20s. Everything you want to do seems to cost it, but all the work you can get doesn’t seem to pay a lot of it. You want to be out, having a good time and socialising with friends at expensive pubs and clubs, but old mate Jiminy Cricket is also buzzing in your ear about house deposits and ’emergency funds’, let alone paying off uni debts and bills.
I envy those around me who manage to hold onto a dollar long enough to multiply it numerous times and take those frequent trips overseas or pay off their car long before they’ve forked out all the extra interest.
Case in point is my little brother. While I spent my $25 fortnightly wage from our shared paper delivery job when I was 12-years-old on flared jeans and Backstreet Boys albums, he hoarded his away like a squirrel collecting nuts for the winter. He bought his own car outright before he even turned 18 and these days sends me the occasional screen shot of his bank account balance just to really rub it in. Little twerp.
Actually saving money when you have a bad habit of reckless spending is a really difficult thing to do. We’re only one week into the year and the number of times I’ve had to pull myself up on making spontaneous shopping trips or ‘browsing’ in Target just in case I
need want anything is seriously concerning. I’ve had to set up direct debits into my saving accounts just so I can’t even get my hot little hands on my moola before it’s safely tucked away for a rainy day (or more specifically that extended overseas trip I really would like to take before I’m 50.)
The reason I’m really keen to save? I’ve been eying off extended volunteer gigs since I was a teenager. I studied Indonesian all though high school and actually took classes at a university in West Sumatra for two months when I was 21. I would love to work in Jakarta with a not-for-profit, work on my language skills and give back to the country that gave me some of the best experiences of my life. As well as catch up with some long lost friends I had to leave behind when I came home.
Financially though, I haven’t quite worked out how to manage it. If I had have dived in the deep end and taken off overseas when I finished uni, it wouldn’t have been a problem. But then I wandered off track, met the love of my life and bought a house with him, so now things are a teensy bit more complicated. Mortgages, rates and bills – oh my!
(Let’s completely ignore the fact the volunteer program I’d really love to get into has a cut-off age of 30. Because life doesn’t end at 30 – just your youth apparently.)
I’m sure I’ll sort it out, but one thing I’m sure of it that having a few extra cents in the bank will make all of these decisions much easier.
One other trick I’m going to do this year is this handy little 52 week challenge I discovered in the inter-webs (and what a fantastic place it is!) A sealed money tin and a few bucks a week may just pay for those plane tickets outta here, and if they don’t – well I guess they’d almost cover the rate payments on my house too. Because Mr Cricket is a serious party pooper.
So if you’re looking for me anytime soon, I won’t be at my local shopping centre or eating out at an expensive restaurant. I’ll be at home, cooking my own (admittedly boring) meals and thinking about how much I’ll be enjoying myself in 12 months time when I’m posting selfies from a tropical island and driving all of my Facebook friends insane for once.