Many years ago, when I was making a lot more money than I am now, I tend to not have to worry about my spending. Every month (or sometimes weekly) money would come in from jobs that I do – day job, part-time jobs, freelance jobs, etc. These cash would come in and go out rather quickly but it would never dry up.
Those were the days. Lifestyle would differ, I could spend on whatever I want without having to worry if I will have enough at the end of the month or next month or next year.
I guess now that I’ve grown deeper into adulthood and bills are now a responsibility and I have to think about growing my assets such as better car, a home, life insurance, retirement fund, etc. As much as I’d like to be those enlightened few who believes money and material are just things created by man to spoil and kill man, you have to admit that it’s not something you can easily forget or worry less about. You have to eat. You’ve got bills to pay. You’ve got tax to declare and pay. Rainy days fund such as road tax, insurance, medical bills, etc.
So, since realising that I need to save money, I’ve done just that. Every month when money comes in, I save. I keep a good and clean record of all my income and spending. And then, at the end of 6 months or a year, I review my spending and learn from it. Were there stuff I shouldn’t have spent on? How much I have saved or could’ve saved? How much have I burnt (idiot)!!!
Now, I have been doing this account tracking for a long time now. Including ever single cent charged to my credit card (which is now burst way over its credit limit). Yeah, shopaholics like me shouldn’t be given a higher credit limit! Especially with so many shoes out there… 😛 It gets painful everytime I look a my income and expenses, looking at how I have not managed my finances well at all.
I made a few drastic changes to my lifestyle about a year plus ago to accomodate my now lesser bracket income. It was painful but had to be done. However, looking at my spending pattern, I realised that I have not reduced my lifestyle spending at all.
So, another stage of more drastic measures comes into place. I am going nowhere near any shops for months now. In an attempt to save money and try to clear some debts. I have not bought any new wardrobe or shoes for a long long time now. I have to say I’m missing it very very much. *sigh*
So, it’s sad to say that once I have had the luxury of some things in life, it’s really hard to go back to your old ways when you’re back in college days and a few hundred bucks could last you the whole month. Having said that, I am wondering now if I should just stop keeping track of my expenses on black and white to avoid any future pain or just really try to ask myself if I should be spending that RM10 for the cafe latte?