When I was 19 I moved out of home for the first time (I did boomerang a couple of times). I was working full time but as an undergraduate accountant at a Big Four firm I was just scraping by. Most of my friends and I lived pretty much the same way:
When you got paid, make sure there was enough for rent and bills then spend the rest on food, going out and having fun. By the last few days before the next payday it got pretty tight. When you prioritise beer over food, there’s not much you can do but to live on 2 minute noodles for a couple of days.
My theory on getting by with no money is that you either learn to:
- Live on a tight budget or;
- Spend everything you earn
Now when you’re not making much money, the distinction is pretty irrelevant. But as your income starts to grow, what happens? You either:
- Maintain the discipline of living on a budget (the Saver) or;
- Spend everything you earn (the Spender)
It’s easy to trick ourselves into thinking we don’t have a lavish lifestyle. In our head we say “I know what it’s like not to have money”. But if you never consciously think about how much you spend or feel like there is always enough money to buy what you want – you’re a spender not a saver.
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