If you are anything like me your finances are in a mess. You are trying to recover from the debt mistakes you have/or are currently making (Retail accounts, guilty!). You are still trying to differentiate between a need and a want. There are so many things you want/need to do, i.e. travel, buy cars, stop renting and start paying your own bond, save for the future, etc.
I have really learnt the hard way. I went from being very wise and careful with my money to spending like a mad woman who had millions to spend but only had limited time do it. I could never have enough, I always wanted more. This sort of makes me greedy right? But I am not a bad person and to describe myself as greedy makes me feel like a bad person.
Confessions of a Shopaholic was basically my life story except I already have the guy and none of my stuff is designer. I use the term “was” very loosely because I am still recovering. I am still learning to say no, I am still trying to stop myself from even looking at online shops (it always leads to a spend).
I look to the future and get scared because I don’t have a savings and I hope that I will one day be able to walk into a shop and buy what I need and perhaps the odd want, rather than sacrificing what I need for what I want.
Also, being a relatively new home renter, I am still learning the ropes of having to remember to buy black bags (I always forget) or to have money aside for when something needs replacing like a light bulb. A light bulb versus a pair of sunglasses from the dude on the side of the road? I don’t get to make that decision anymore because I am a grown up.
More attention should be paid to the importance of savings in school, there should always be financial advise in place for young adults because it isn’t easy (not for me anyway). We all want a good life and sometimes that want is way too costly in more ways than just rands.
Finances in my twenties so far have been a disaster but I still have five more years of my twenties to turn it around, but for now, here are some tips for in case you are in the same boat as me (well more like a canoe because who can afford a boat?)
– Learn to differentiate between a need and a want.
– Stop living to your means! If you get an increase at work or you do something extra on the side to earn extra cash, don’t raise your way of life to match. Save it!
– Stay away from debt. The only debt you should have is a car, your bond and a cellphone contract.
– If you love fashion, invest in closet staples that are of a good quality and then incorporate trends cheaply (Mr P or Jet, they are pretty on top of the trends)
– Stop worrying about show and tell. Believe me people will like your expensive shoes on Instagram and then forget about them so don’t get yourself into debt or spend more than you should for what people will think of you.
– Thrift and DIY – self explanatory.
– Find hobbies (mine are reading and watching series) so that you don’t always have to be out and about to keep yourself occupied.
– Surround yourself with people who understand and don’t get upset when you can’t go to that cool restaurant that costs and arm and a leg because you literally cannot afford it.
– Never impulse buy.
– Don’t buy unless you love it.
– Book lovers – library!
– Make a budget and stick to it no matter what
– If you have any debt work on getting that settled NOW instead of anything
– With Christmas coming up, search Pinterest for gift and DIY ideas (I have found some really cute ones for the girls at work and the girls in my lift club already, it will cost about R20 for all of them)
– Don’t holiday/eat out if you are even a little bit worried about money for the rest of the month.
– Shop around for cheaper options whether it be food, toiletries, household goods, fashion, anything.
These are just a few of the tips and rules I am trying to stick to and I hope that my story can help you. Our twenties are about living and learning so don’t be too hard on yourself but do make the necessary changes.