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Finances

Why I’m Broke Despite Having a Well-Paying Job

I’ve been dreaming of traveling around the world. Finding the hidden oases in Thailand, walking down the streets of Japan, that’s where I want to be. Anyone else have a major ocean craving? I know I do.

So what is keeping me from acting on my wanderlust? Money.

Now, I consider myself to be pretty well off in terms of money.

First of all, my parents are very well off, courtesy of their own hard work, so it’s not like I’m ever going to starve. Also, I have a well paying (for my age and qualifications), full time job.

I’ve been lucky enough to move out with a roommate at nineteen years old, and I pay my own bills.

So the purpose of this post isn’t to convince you that I’m poor, I certainly am not. I’m just here to rip into my bad spending habits and tell you why I’m terrible at saving money.

There’s the question of the day. Why am I terrible at saving money?

1. I love to shop

You heard it here first, folks. I am an impulse buyer. I buy snacks, makeup, and home decor on a whim. I fall prey to expensive subscription boxes, full of things (or, god forbid, food) that I absolutely don’t need.

Have you ever heard of online shopping? I have, and it’s the worst thing that I’ve ever discovered how to do.

The fix? My boyfriend had the bright idea of leaving his debit card out of his wallet. That’s it. He took some money out of the bank so he could buy only a certain amount worth of things, and that’s his spending money for the month.

I should take it a step further and deactivate my card from sites like paypal and doordash, but I like how simple of a fix it is.

2. I eat out a ton

I’ve always been really quick to spend a ton of money on food. I guess I think it’s worth it because, y’know, I need to eat to live.

Those ten dollar meals are really starting to add up, especially when you’re eating out as much as I do.

There are so many other factors to food, too, like sometimes I’m not just spending ten dollars a meal. Sometimes it’s closer to twenty-five. I know I said that I’m pretty well off, but I most certainly should not be spending close to two hundred dollars a week by eating out. That’s just a no no.

I know I touched on this a lot in my The 3 choices I make that make me feel fat post, but I order delivery a lot. Especially now that there are pick-up companies that can deliver food from wherever your heart desires.

I mention in that post that applications charge you more for the food you’re eating, to support their business (and I know from experience in the industry that some restaurants are charging more on skip the dishes to help off-set the amount of revenue apps take per order).

3. I spend a lot on other people

My language of love is spending on people, and I really hate it.

Put yourself in my shoes for a moment, though. I’m a nineteen year old with a well paying job, and a lot of my friends are in minimum wage jobs. Some of them even work part time because the jobs they can find don’t have the hours they need.

I’ll help out by paying for their dinner, buying them little things that make me think of them, stuff like that.

The problem with that kind of love language is that I start to feel more and more upset when people take and take and never give. I’m thinking it too; “Regan, that doesn’t even make any sense! They never even asked for the things you offered to pay for.” I know, I agree!

I shouldn’t feel upset that they aren’t reciprocating, because they show that they care in other ways. I always seem to feel like it wouldn’t be hard to do the bare minimum, though, like an iced coffee one in a while.

Its horrible, but I’m only human!

So what’s the fix?

Budgeting.

This won’t blow your mind, because if you’re around my age you probably didn’t get a budgeting class either, but we had one class in grade ten that had a section focusing on managing your money.

So all the information on managing money I have is “save enough that you can pay your bills”.

That’s how I’ve been going about it: I pay my bills at the beginning of the month, and whatever I have leftover, I spend on whatever the heck I want.

I want to change this by budgeting. I put together my very own excel sheet, and as I go, I’ll add to it and subtract from it.

Currently, I have no idea how much I spend a month on groceries, transportation, and the like, so as I gather receipts I’ll be able to put that info together for myself.

Meal Planning & Making My Own Food.

I’ve discovered this week, during my first time meal planning and prepping ever, that you need a lot of food to even get you through the week. I went and got tons of food two days ago, and I still need to go back out and buy myself peas for my fried rice tonight.

In the end, spending 100$ a week on food is much cheaper than spending ten or twenty dollars every meal (even more, including delivery).

The moral of the story is that eating out isn’t good for me in any sort of way. It should be saved for special occasions, and I want eating out to feel like a privilege again. I want it to feel special again, and in order to do that, I must stop eating out.

Be selfish.

Of course I’ll still spend money on my friends every once in a while. Birthday presents and Christmas presents are a must.

But I’m not going to pay for things for them willy-nilly anymore.

I work hard for my money and if I want to spend money on other people, I’ll donate to charity from now on. And, that said, I’m not really rich enough to be spending as much as I do on friends either.

I’m still learning.

In the end, I need to implement better saving skills if I want to be able to fund my passions, travel as much as I want to, and (if I make it that far) retire. I also need to save for an emergency fund, because life happens. If my car breaks down, I’m going to need a lot more money than I have right now to fix it.

And there are probably many more strategies that I don’t even know about (look back at the part where I told you I had one class dedicated to budgeting that took about a week to complete).

I also want to be in a position where I’m never worried, or waiting for my next paycheck, like I am right now. I want to be strict enough with my spending habits that I’m never nervous about my money situation.

Money can’t buy you happiness, but it sure helps.

Do you have any advice on saving money? Did you make any realizations when reading my post? I love hearing from you, so please feel free to share your thoughts!

Thank you so much for reading, I appreciate your time a ton! If you liked what you read, consider giving this a share!

See you next time.

The 3 Keys to Success When it Feels Like You Have No Time

Doesn’t it just feel like there isn’t enough time in the world to get the things you need to get done, done?

I often feel like this, usually when the hanger sets in at work and I don’t know what I’m going to do for supper.

This feeling happens when I think about my future and I have no idea when I’m going to find the time to get started on my dream passion projects, or achieve goals I want to achieve.

I know I’m not the only one who has the same problem.

There’s only six that I have after work to get everything I need to get done, if I want to get enough sleep to function the next day.

If you’re anything like me, you know that you’re going to want to spend that six hours laying in bed, watching Game of Thrones, or scrolling through Instagram’s ‘for you’ page (I can get sucked into that page for hours).

The thing is, I know I should be getting my workout in. I know I should be meal planning, and working out, and writing for my blog. There’s really something about an 8-5 day that takes it out of you.

So when you’re about ready to throw in the towel, what do you do?

1. Narrow down what is important to you

You may have read my about page, and you can even see the “about” section in my sidebar.

Anyone can see that I want to be an activist, a health nut, a traveller, etc. I want things even beyond that list.

I can’t do everything. I’m barely hanging on doing what I’m doing now.

The key, then, is to break it down. Focus on one or two things at a time. I don’t have all the time in the world, so I’ve got to give myself some time to get used to habits that I want to introduce into my life.

Say you want to be healthy like me. You have to give yourself time to meal plan (a lot, as I’ve discovered this past weekend). Give yourself time to figure out a process that works well for you. Figure out what works and what doesn’t.

Then, let it become a habit before trying to introduce something new into your life.

Another example is trying to reduce waste.

It’s going to take time to train your mind to remember that you need to bring the reusable cutlery packets every time you want to go out for fast food (and also to remember to ask them not to put cutlery in your doggy bag)

It’s going to take time to figure out which composting option works for you, and which items you can and can’t recycle.

Everything takes time, and seeing as how I don’t have a lot, using mine to really focus on getting a habit ingrained and down pat is essential.

I show you an example of narrowing down what’s Important to me in the first of my Monthly Goals Series.

2. Set time apart to work on what matters

It’s so easy to get sucked into other things that aren’t important. Have you ever found yourself twenty videos deep into a youtube page about whether a cat likes this or that food better?

I have.

When it’s time to go to bed, and I’ve done nothing but binge Riverdale on Netflix for the third time in a row, I’m left with a feeling of dissatisfaction.

Life starts to seem like an endless loop. Wake up, go to work, eat, couch potato, sleep. Repeat.

The dreamer in me wants so much more.

So how do I cut lazy time out of my life?

Taking time out of your day to do specific things. Saying to yourself “from six to seven, I’ll work out.” and acting on it. Set it as an alarm in your phone, put it in your daily calendar, and do it.

Have the necessary items already easily accessible to you so its not a chore to do what you already don’t feel like doing. Trust me, it’s so much easier to work out when my shoes, clothes, and water bottle are already in my workout bag. That means I just have to grab it and go.

And if all else fails, please remember; five minutes is more than nothing. Ten minutes is more than nothing.

Do you feel like you have absolutely no time to work on what you should be? Put five, ten, fifteen minutes on your clock. Set it and use that time to really buckle down and do what you should be.

Doing breeds motivation, not the other way around. So get to it, and if when that timer goes off and you’re done with it, you got fifteen minutes of work done. That’s the worst that can happen.

3. Plan

I say this so much, but planning is crucial for whatever you’re doing.

Wanna eat healthy? Plan what you’re going to eat. Want to work out? Decide what parts of the body you’ll focus on and what workouts you’ll be doing. Need to write a blog post? Brainstorm what it’ll be about and the points you want to touch on.

I’m terrible at planning. I’m the type of person who has a vision and just goes at it, no plan in place.

And guess what? I usually fail.

It’s really discouraging, especially because I hype myself up about a project, and rush in head first only for it to fail.

Here’s an analogy for you. A carpenter is trying to build a chair. She has all these ideas of interesting designs she wants to mark into the chair, and rushes right into it, head bursting with inspiration. Forty eight hours and one chair later, she’s disappointed with her work. It wasn’t as grandiose as she was hoping, and it’s a little small.

Now here’s the same carpenter, same idea for a beautiful, hand-crafted chair, but she’s sitting at her drafting table, making sure every single detail is to her liking before so much as touching a piece of wood. One week later, and she has a chair that she’s so proud of, and is every bit as captivating as she’d made sure it would be.

This goes for all things. It goes for projects, like chairs, or artworks, or blog posts. It also goes for lifestyle projects, like becoming healthier. Have you ever given up before you even started because you didn’t plan, and couldn’t think of what to do on the spot?

You want better for you. And so do I.

Where could it take you?

I just want you to imagine for a second that you put these keys in the locks. What would your life look like if you opened the door to do what you really want to do?

Could you quit your nine to five? Would you post cute gym pics of your rockin’ bod to instagram? Would you have the peace of mind of someone who’s doing all they can to preserve the beautiful world we live in?

I’m in the same place. For years now, it’s been Netflix and unhealthy snacks and forgotten projects.

But I want to see where life can take me.

I’d love to hear what you think of my strategy when I feel like I don’t have any time. Do you do anything different? I always love hearing new ideas to trick myself into being productive.

I always appreciate a share, and even if you don’t, thank you for reading! See you next time.