Note #100 // The Power of Money

Ah Monday, you've rolled round again - always too soon. Mondays tend to mark new beginnings: the start of a new working week, the day most people jump back on the health bandwagon after a weekend of calorific debauchery and generally when they start as they mean to go on. So, as this is the day packed with the best of intentions and positivity, which better one for me to throw my old, new focus into the ring. For me, all Monday's will henceforth be known as #MoneyMonday.

I've touched on the subject before, but it's a real area of weakness for me. Money management, isn't as sexy as an OOTD, but it's a real aspect of my life that I spend a lot of time thinking about and absolutely need to be better at. The last time I made a goal, committed and wrote it down (see here), I achieved it. So, here goes. 

As a twenty-nine year old woman, my Facebook feed reads something like this: bought house, had baby, got married; bought house, had baby, got married *repeat to fade.* I begrudge nothing of my friends, and wish them all the best in life, but I will be the first to raise my hand and say that it is significantly harder to put a smile on your face when none of those things are happening for you. A friend of mine from my post-grad days is coming over to visit from Australia in September and although I can't wait to see her, I'm also dreading it. She's travelled (her pit-stop in London is part of a European mini-tour), got married, bought a house and where am I? Still living with my nan and shackled with debt. Of course, it's not all bad. I've lived in my own flat, have retrained and found a career I love, spent priceless time with my nan and been a live-in resource for her and been in a wonderful relationship for almost six years. I've been lucky enough to pay a fraction in living costs that others have, so when I've wanted to buy yet another winter coat, I've always had the funds to do so. But therein lies problem number one with my money (mis)management: if I have it, I spend it, or think of a way to do so very swiftly. Having the availabile funds, doesn't necessarily mean you can afford it.

I'm not saying that it's all about one-upmanship when you meet up with friends, but you want to have something to say when they pose the dreaded phrase: "so, what have you been up to?" I am a firm believer that marriage, a house and babies are not the only markers of success - not by a long shot. But to me, there is one facet that connects them all: money. Be it the the girl from college that set up her own business, the one from secondary school that quit her job to go travelling around the world, or the one that just completed on a house sale.

Money may not make you happy, but mismanaging it can sure make you miserable. Because now, when friends are planning lavish 30th birthday celebrations, I'm here trying to save, pay off debt, still live the life I want and fretting at night about how I'll keep all those balls a-juggling. But time's running out; the excuses are wearing thin and priorities need to change in accordance with new goals and dreams.

So here's to moving in a positive direction, learning and sharing some tips along the way. We're so quick to hashtag all the things we bought - visual, throw-away, transient pleasures. Here's to more. Making a weakness a strength, learning from past mistakes, sacrifice. Here's to security, hitting big goals, spending with confidence instead of that queasy, 'I really shouldn't' feeling. Here's to the future and my big Facebook moment (because then I know I've really made it, natch ;o)).

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