Wants vs needs - there is no difference to me.
Do I need to buy food for the week? Yes. Do I need that $600 limited edition Deadly Ponies Bag? Also yes.
I NEED IT ALL.
I'm at a constant battle with myself with what I should be spending my money on. By the time my paycheck rolls around, I already have a list as long as my arm of the things I might be able to afford that week.
Am I the only one who feels like they have to sacrifice one thing to be able to afford the other?
"Okay, so, If I buy these jeans, I just won't be able to go out this weekend. Which is fine... that's totally fine... *dying on the inside and gritting teeth*
Oh...but it's Susan's birthday party on Saturday, so I have to go out. And I'll need something new to wear. Not to mention money for alcohol, dinner, and an Uber. Oh and a gift for Susan, she loovvveess scented candles!!"
I know, I'll just put the jeans on my credit card. That way I can do it all and still afford my smashed avocado on toast this weekend. #WINNING.
Hold it right there Char, ya bloody idiot. Didn't you get that credit card for 'emergencies'?
Anything bought on my credit never feels good. But not being able to do or buy something I'm pining after also doesn't feel that good. Mum really wasn't lying when she said "money doesn't grow on trees."
I'm aware this is an immensely shallow and first world yarn, but this save or spend debacle is a toughy for a lot of people.
We millennials are the trend setters of fashion and food. We aren't heavily influenced by flashy advertising or marketing ploys. We rely on our peers to give us the 411 on what's trending. If one of our IG role models who we have built a one sided relationship with is wearing it, eating it, or talking about it, then it must be legit. We trust them. We want to be like them, so we attempt to mimic their buying habits. We are moths to a flame, magpies to a diamond, candy to a child.
We are so easily persuaded into thinking we need something just because everyone else seems to have it. We always want the newest, the fastest, the easiest, and the trendiest items on the market, and we need them NOW.
Then next month rolls around, and there's already a new and improved version out there of the item you just bought. DA FUQ!? Now what do I do with my 2 in 1 hair dryer that can brush my teeth and dry my hair at the same time? How do I get my mitts on the one that can butter my toast too?
This cycle is very very dangerous for our savings. It''s not fair. The big dogs are always harping on about how we should stop brunching and be saving to buy a house, saving for retirement, and for our bloody great grand kid's retirement - but how can we with all these short term temptations being dangled in front of us?
We spend to live it up short term, not save to survive in the long run. Should I be buying something more expensive that will last? or a cheaper version so that I can buy other things I want/need? The struggle is real.
I'm at an age now where I'm getting a bit pissy that I'm paying off someone else's mortgage, when I should be looking at paying off my own. But with all these tales in the news about first home buyers having no luck, I'm absolutely terrified to even think of this as an option.
Kiwi Saver is great n all - but the bitter sweet thing here is that it's making it easier for more people to afford a deposit; thus making the competition tougher. A great government initiative, but I'm still petrified.
They say at this age we have the most disposable income we will ever have - so "be wise". Well alrighty then, way to scare a girl right into opening her purse. I had better buy those Jimmy Choo pumps now then, seeing as I definitely can't have them in 10 years.
And just like that - the advice has backfired and I'm on the bones of my ass again.
Tips for fellow budget battlers (that I also need to take):
- Pay all your actual living costs before anything extra (food, transport, rent etc.).
- Have multiple accounts (e.g. car account, holiday account, serious savings account). Try to only dip into these if it's what the account's purpose is.
- Chop up your credit card. That relationship is unhealthy. He's holding you back gal.
- Give money to your mum to look after. Lol. I do this. Don't judge me.
- Splurge on the staples, save on the one offs. Pieces you know you will live in or use everyday are items you can justify spending a bit of coin on. Staple basics like a good winter coat, leather boots, and a good pair or jeans are worth the extra $ if they will last you longer. Things like plain white tee - no one is going to notice or care if you got it from Kmart. That spag bowl stain is still going to be just as hard to get out, even if you got it from David Jones.
- Borrow or a rent a dress that you are likely to only to wear once. Sites Like Oh Rent Me or Designer Wardrobe are an absolute god send.
- Open up a smashed avo on toast stall. $25 a pop. You'll have a deposit for a house in no time.
(Image via Pinterest)