Here’s the thing – it’s not money I dislike. I really don’t mind the feel of cold hard cash in hand at all, and receiving my first Google Adsense paycheck for this blog made my week. I hate what money does to people. That’s what I dislike.
Throughout my fairly sheltered millennial lifespan on this planet, I have met people who have all sorts of attitudes to money. Frugal individuals who track every penny they spend, and big spenders who will always choose the pricier option purely for the sake of it. Sometimes, people’s money-related beliefs correlate to their individual financial circumstances, and they handle their dolla the way you’d think they would. Sometimes, they don’t. And funnily enough, it doesn’t surprise me one bit.
But back to my point – money affects people. Whether it’s having money or trying to obtain it, it has the power to change someone’s outlook on the world and the way they treat others. I have seen it all too often where this is not a change for the better, and yet the person is still blissfully unaware of the effects of their behaviour on the rest of society. The change is so subconscious that it doesn’t even occur to the person to stop and think twice. Perhaps the reason it’s so subconscious is because as a culture, we have normalised behaviours associated with people in different tax classes. So much so that it almost becomes a self-entitlement thought process – because it’s all we see via the media and around us. Self-perpetuating, if you will.
Now, I am aware that I am generalising massively and not all rich people drive BMWs dangerously close to our rear ends on motorways. Not all those who are less fortunate sit on their arses and live on benefits either. Whilst we’re on the subject of stereotypes, not all millennials spend £20 a week on avo on toast. I am, however, quite happy to spend close to £20 a week on breaded chicken, a good crusty bread and Lotus biscuit spread. That Lotus stuff is the stuff of unicorns.
Growing up, I was always taught to save for a rainy day. My parents instilled in me the value of putting money away and being thrifty from an early age. So much so that I now keep an Excel spreadsheet of my income and all my outgoings.
Don’t give me that look. Numbers make me happy, okay?
On a serious note – I derive genuine pleasure from saving. When I input that “= income – outgoings” calculation every month into my “savings” field, my nerdy heart does a happy little dance. I like knowing that I have made the conscious effort to save a little something of my own every month. Not something that has come from the bank of Mummy and Daddy, but mine.
MINE. *Smeagol voice
What am I saving for, you might ask. So many things – a house, driving lessons, a car, shoe shopping, spontaneous romantic holidays with my partner, insurance for said car (which I will DEFINITELY be needing), and more shoe shopping. They all boil down to one thing, really.
Getting to make my own choices.
Being in a position to have those choices at my liberty. Being able to call the shots in my own life without having to depend on someone for funding, and therefore being free of any financial power play. Getting to make my decisions without being answerable to anyone. To me, that’s the ultimate form of self-love – taking care of yourself by giving yourself freedom, and giving yourself freedom by equipping yourself with the tools AND the right mindset to make the most of that freedom. Here are some of my favourite lifestyle tips concerning money I have learned over the years – here’s hoping that they benefit you just as much as they have helped me.
Save for a rainy day.
You never know. You just don’t. There’s no way of predicting what will happen in the future and when you may need a particularly large pot of money. It may be a situation where you need it to bail yourself out, or it may be the ticket to an opportunity of a lifetime. Give yourself peace of mind now and start putting a little away every month. It’s also a great way to curb that temptation to spend impulsively – we all know how slippery that slope is.
Money is a means to an end at the very least.
Don’t allow yourself to become so obsessed with money that all your decisions ultimately revolve around how to make more of it faster. Money is simply a tool that enables you to do the things that make you happy, and to give to others. It should never be about money for the sake of money.
There should never be a positive correlation between someone’s salary and the way they should be treated.
There’s a reason they tell you that it’s a huge red flag when your date is rude to the waiter. When someone treats people differently purely based on their pay grade or social status and nothing else, that reflects on them, not the person on the receiving end.
Keep a leash on that impulsive spender in you.
When you see something online that you “reeeally need”, keep scrolling. Carry on browsing, look at something else. Come back in a few days and ask yourself again if you reeeeeally need that same item. If the answer is no, let it go.
Know when to invest.
This goes for material assets and investing in yourself. True to both kinds of investing, just because you aren’t seeing any returns now doesn’t mean they won’t ever show up. Good things come to those who wait. If you are in a position to do it, look into fixed rate cash ISAs and invest your pot of money wisely. Get a yoga mat and make a point of doing a workout every other day. You’ll be aching for the first few weeks or so, and you may not be able to splash out as much as you used to do, but you’ll be enjoying the results sooner than you know.
Defend your rights to your money and making honest money.
Be proud of whatever it is you do to bring honest money into your account. Whether you do a 9-5 job, freelance or work a number of odd jobs to pay your way, be proud of the fact that every cent you make is hard-earned. You’ve earned the rights to that via your efforts, your abilities and your contributions to society by doing the jobs that you do.
Know what’s important to you in life.
Life is darned short – anyone who tries to convince you otherwise is probably not doing enough with theirs, envious of your spirit or just miserable. Figure out what your priorities are. It might be raising your family, your career, your passions. Whatever it is, chase after it instead of allowing yourself to get sidetracked by all things materialistic and being the person who ends up missing out on the things they love most in life.
Disclaimer: All images used in this post have been obtained from Pixabay under a Creative Commons License and edited on Canva by J, exclusively for thenellybean.com