I am currently in the extremely fortunate position of working at a local law firm and sharing a house with the love of my life – expense free. I am lucky and so very blessed, of this I am more than aware. But it wasn’t always this easy…
Like most teenagers, my first job was inevitably as a waitress – Running up and down, dealing with complaints and compliments in almost equal shares, working double shifts and earning minimum wage on a good day. After school, during what I called an ‘educational gap-year’ I worked at a bar for the most bittersweet year and a half of my short life. I fell in love with the vibe and stories, the music and the constant feel-good environment, but the late nights, the struggle with the overly-friendly folks that drank enough Tequila to swim in and the working weekends while everyone else were either at home watching movies or standing on the other side of the bar, screaming for brandy specials… Not so much.
In all fairness, the long hours paid for the little flat that I learned to call home and put food (or take-away’s) on the table when my mom took a night off from feeding her constantly tired, almost-adult daughter. It was a struggle, one that every person has to face at some point, the place where everyone has to start. You learn to buy the things that seemed to always just be there (yes, you actually have to buy toilet paper and spices) and you learn to survive on a budget when you don’t have any budget. You appreciate the random lifts, the warm meals and the late-night visits from friend and family alike more than you would’ve ever thought possible. It’s hard and fun and lonely and great and an adventure all at once.
When I finally moved in with my boyfriend and his amazing family, it was like going home after a long holiday; warm and friendly and familiar. No rent to pay, home-cooked suppers and soup on rainy days. And that is exactly what made it so hard…
Pay Day comes, you pay any accounts you may have, settle any debts and there you are with surpluss. Who knew that was even possible? So, the obvious solution is to spend it all. As quickly as possible and preferably on clothes and shoes that you will hardly wear but are just oh-so-pretty. At least, that’s what I do. Every. Single. Time. I go home with bags full of make-up and tops and do puppy-eyes when my boyfriend sees them. The excuse is always the same, “Honey, I accidentally bought everything I saw.” Being the hero that he is, he always chuckles good-naturedly and kisses my forehead and I got away with impulse shopping. Again. And for the rest of the month I accidentally can’t even buy a sandwich at lunch time because I am totally broke. Again. And just a tip, Puppy eyes don’t work at supermarkets.
So, next month I vow to commence shopping only from the 20th on and only with any money that I might still have left after I have put away some saving and bought all the things I need, not just what I want. It doesn’t sound easy or fun, but maybe learning some responsible spending habits might not be such a bad idea in the long run.
And if I do happen to slip up and accidentallly buy those pretty shoes that I just happened to spot on my morning errands… Well, recovery takes time.