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?
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.
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.