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Learning to budget so you have ‘freedom money’

Today I have negative eighty-six cents in my bank account. Wow that sounds much better when you write numbers out in words. As a result of requiring an eighty-six cent overdraft, the bank has charged me thirty dollars (again still sounds better in words), because evidently the over-riding policy of all banks is to let you fall on your sword then stab you in the back as well for good measure. Anyway to be honest it’s not really the bank’s fault – I just love me some good ol’ bank bashing yeehah! – no, I believe the thirty dollar fee was really an idiot tax. Why? Because I logged on to transfer money to the direct debit account to pay a bill, but got distracted by a video update on the economy….ok ok I actually got distracted by how freaking long Tom Piotrowksi’s beard is! WTF? How do you get to be a ‘market economist’ AND look like a remaining member of the Occupy Sydney movement? Massive respect…..anyway so basically as a result of Tom Piotrowski’s grooming habits, I didn’t transfer money across to pay this stupid bill. 

Anyway I seem to find myself in this conundrum on a monthly basis. Following a rather vivid dream where the ‘Richest Man in Babylon’ staged a sort of divine intervention for finance people, and wouldn’t stop chanting “a part of all I earn is mine to keep” at me whilst trying to hit me with papyrus, I decided to save more. However the key issue with this plan is that I get paid on the 15th and this is when I optimistically put some money away to be saved. However towards the end of the month, it’s always the same conversation that I have in my head “shit shit, I’ve got $30 to last me 14 more days…that’s possible right? Yeah easy, I can live off $2.14 a day” WRONG. After about 2 hours into my $2.14/day budget, I realise I want a can of coke and end up drawing on my savings as “working capital” which is never paid back. Savings fail.

But wait. What happens between the 15th and the next 30 days that follow? Why do I end up with $30 for 14 days, you ask? Well, the main driver is probably the fact that in addition to the 15th of every month being pay day, it just so happens that “Live Like a King Day….Hurrah!” falls on that day too…. [unfortunately this day is still not recognised as a public holiday by the fascist Australian government, but pretty sure every Australian worker with no immediate or known dependents celebrates this day every month]. For some reason on this day, all long-term foresight is restricted and it’s as if the number deposited into my bank account, puts on some sexy lingerie then starts to seduce me into spending it…and before I know it I’m prioritising buying a 15 pack of sour Warheads over any potential savings.

However it is possible that part of my attitude to savings is driven by the fact that I am of a different generation…one that is enquiring and enthusiastic but is also still struggling to cut the umbilical cord and is ultimately still dependent on their parents to help them perform basic daily activities. I realised this when I, in a rather tool-like manner, complained to friends (who mind you also agreed) that it should be compulsory for rental properties to come with dishwashers “after all who uses a washing machine or dryer”….people who don’t get their mum to do their washing need a washing machine and dryer, that’s who. And what would I have done with the savings from not doing my washing at my home? Probably put it towards the philanthropy work I do for parking inspectors across Victoria.

But  this is not to say that I’m some douchey, wanker banker, YOLO-believing, analyst that walks into Ivy Pool Bar and throws bills in the air because I want all the girls to think I’m a total baller (albeit a total baller who needs to go back to work after this drink).…no I do put money aside for key monthly expenses, (legitimate) charity and paying down outstanding debts, but it’s the lack of discipline in relation to building up capital which I probably should be concerned about. And this is not about saving for a house or a car. It’s about the fact that every dollar you save is actually one more dollar to add to your pool of what I like to call ‘freedom money’ – for the inevitable day where I get fed up with working for someone else, actually act on that awesome e-card by throwing a ream of paper in the air and saying “Looks like its fuck this shit o’clock” then walk out straight to the beach where I discover that I have this intrinsic ability to surf without any lessons or direction, and spend the rest of my days travelling, surfing and potentially growing a Tom-Piotrowski-fuck-you beard too. Ah to have that freedom.

About Arani Satgunaseelan (78 Articles)
Corporate nerd. Wannabe blogger.

2 Trackbacks / Pingbacks

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