Monday, 22 October 2018

Inktober/Blogtober Crossover: Day 22

It's kind of ironic that today's Inktober prompt word is "expensive," given that I am someone who just seems to be perpetually poor.  My job pays little more than minimum wage and my life just feels like it has a never-ending number of expenses.

Yes, I know that will sound extremely annoying to people who don't live with their parents (yes, I'm 36 and live at home, I am that broke), but it's not like I don't pay rent.  In fact, on a typical month, between a third and a full half of my wages are immediately paid as rent.  Then another huge chunk goes on paying off my car, before I have to remember to save enough for my phone bill, my chorus membership and petrol for the month.  What I have left to spend on myself is... Not much.

But when you don't earn a great deal, you develop ways of budgeting that allow you to still live the kind of life you want (or at least, you try!).  So, every now and then, when I notice I have a bit more left over for myself than usual, I squirrel some away into an "emergency" bank account.  I try to make sure I have enough in there, that if something goes wrong, like my car breaks down or my MacBook gives up the ghost, I can scrape together the money to repair or replace things.  I also have another bank account, that I try to put money into whenever I can, which I build up over the year to help me pay for everyone's Christmas presents.  Thinking ahead is something you get pretty good at, when your income is not a lot.

Oh, and money saving pots?  I have two.  It's amazing how the cash inside adds up, if you just pop a pound in, now and then, when you can afford to.  And then, should you suddenly need a fiver, you've got it stashed away!

I even have a pot in which I save pennies, along with two, five and ten pence pieces.  It all adds up and it all helps.

The thing is, I do sometimes have expensive tastes.  Like, way beyond my means.  For exampe, if I had a choice about where I'd like to eat out, it would be at Number 6 in Padstow.  Yes, the Michelin starred restaurant owned by a celebrity chef.  I've been there maybe three or four times (once, I was even the one who paid the whole bill!) and I love it.  I would rather save up to eat there and miss out on other things, because I know it'll be worth it when I'm sat, shovelling their Jacob's Ragu alla bolognaise into my face.

I'm also obsessed with clothes, make up and shoes (hi, yes I'm a stereotype).  But I've learned to shop at the cheaper end of the high street and I am a demon for a sale rail.  Today, I'm also wearing what has become one of my favourite items of clothing: a turquoise-y/green skirt I bought from a charity shop for less than four quid.

I would love to live the life I dream of, just being able to jet off on holiday somewhere expensive, or to pop to the shops and spend a hundred quid like it's nothing.  But at least knowing how hard I've saved for the things I own and the places I go, means I really appreciate them.  And when I can treat a friend to drinks, lunch or dinner, or take my parents out for a meal, or buy a really nice gift for someone, I know I'm spending the money I do have wisely.  Because I'm using it to treat those I care about and to create experiences, which in turn become fond memories.

On that note, I'm off out to lunch.  I think I've earned it.

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