Hi there, congratulations, you have decided to get in control of your finances by asking the internet for help. I know exactly how you feel, because I was in your shoes not so long ago. However, through some life changes and tough lessons I have acquired some knowledge that I think would benefit others in their quest for financial stability. Before we begin our discussion, I must inform you readers that I am not an expert or a professional when it comes to money management. I am simply somebody who has experienced his fair share of poor financial decisions and as a result worked (and still working) very hard to get in control financially. I just want to share my experience and the tips/tricks and knowledge that I have acquired on my journey to financial freedom. So, if you are still reading this, that means you are interested in my story and the value that it may bring to your attitude to money. So without further delay, let’s jump right in and learn a little bit of the reason why I started this blog.
We constantly hear how us “millennials” don’t know the value of money, we buy too many fancy Starbucks coffees, go on exotic holidays on a yearly basis, exhaust our savings to get that “must-have” designer object, have avacado and toast for breakfast and splash money around like we are all millionaires and that money grows on trees. You have heard all that at some point in the last few years, right? There seems to be a lot of negativity towards our generation regarding our ability to manage and control our finances. According to our elders, we are living in this fantasy world where value of money is artificial and we don’t know the first thing when it comes to managing our money. Ridiculous right? Well, not exactly, in a bizarre way I somewhat agree with a lot of their comments and let me tell you why.
As far as money management goes I am a newbie to the whole system. I was never good with money from as far back a I can remember. When I was just entering my teenage years, it was the first time that I was given an opportunity by my parents to learn money management. On a weekly basis my brother and I were given €10 for our “pocket money” as a result of doing some basic chores around the house. €10 to a kid with no bills, rent, clothes or anything to worry about was a lot of money to be getting on weekly basis. Little did I know, but, this was the first test for me to try and learn the value of money. Needless to say, I failed that test. I had that €10 spent within matter of couple of days on very foolish things like sweets/snacks, unnecessary toys, arcade games etc. I was always living from (as it was back then) “pay-check to pay-check”. Whereas my brother was a lot more patient with his allowance, he put his pocket money aside for weeks at the time and let it build up. He was more patient, more collected than I was. When he wanted the newest PlayStation game, new pair of jeans, must have concert ticket etc. he was able to afford it. He was always somehow able to make his weekly allowance go further while all I had to show for my years of pocket money was couple of shitty toys and a tooth decay. I knew I had to change my ways, however, I didn’t know how. I was too young and impatient to be learning about such (what I thought) a complex subject as money management. So, I did what every teenager does, ignore the problem and hope it fixed itself. Very foolish of me.
When I went to college things didn’t improve, in fact they got a lot, lot worse, but more on that at a later date. As a typical student I was constantly short for money. Living on Pot Noodles and rice was tough. It felt like my lifestyle was all work and no play. I got frustrated with myself and the way I was managing my money. I found myself being jealous of my friends (similarly to the time when I was jealous of my brother in my teenage years) when it came to have better use of my money. Again, I was spending money foolishly by getting take-aways, beer, nightclubs, buying things I didn’t need (new phone, new laptop) etc. I was impatient and liked the finer things in life and did not realise at the time that I did not know the value of money. I coasted through college on a shoe string of a budget and you wouldn’t believe how reckless I was with my very limited budget. I fell into some deep waters and in a way thankful that I did, because it made me think seriously about money for a little while at least.
Now before I continue, you may be asking yourself “Why am I reading a sob story of a 24 engineer that is crying about having too much sweets as a child and drinking too much beer as a young adult”. Well that will be a good question to ask yourself. But, before you close this page and watch something funny on YouTube, just consider this: There is no one size fits all solution to money management, there is no just one instance that make people consider taking control of their finances. It is accumulation of many small things throughout many years that add up to so much more than a simple statement such as “stop spending money, work harder”. These small things allow incremental change to your everyday life and attitude and after time it adds up to so much more. This is what I have realised in the recent months that the key to unlocking the secret of money management is by taking a small step every day, every week, every month and so on. This is why I started this blog and plan to walk through my experience and the “steps” that I have taken in the coming weeks in a hope that it helps others to reach financial freedom. Hope you stick with me for the journey and I hope I learn from you readers as well you learning from me. I promise I will make it fun and worthwhile.
Now, where was I, oh yes, after 4 years struggling in college financially (some issues of my own making) I graduated and landed my first job as an engineering graduate. I was proud, I was excited, I felt like a new man, ready to take on the world. On my first pay check I had more money in my bank account than ever before. What did I do? Something sensible right? Nup. I went straight to my local electronics store and bought myself a brand-new TV, Xbox, and several games. I felt like the king. I could buy whatever I wanted and not a care in the world. Well, so I thought. Several days later bills came through from all angles and I was left with little to no money to survive on and had to borrow some money from my roommate. Here we go again, I was again being foolish with money. I was again being impatient. I was again envy of my peers for their self-control and money management. However, I didn’t catch on I kept living pay-check to pay-check for months. I was a millennial, I wanted my Starbucks coffee and avocado toast. However, I was also a very slow learner. Always have been. Then one day it hit me. I was in my early twenties and not a penny saved and not a penny in the bank account to show for after months of working hard. I had to change my ways. I was an adult, I had responsibilities and priorities and my behaviour and attitude had to change. I dove straight into it. I read countless articles, watched many videos and studied my actions that impact me financially and started changing my ways. Within weeks I was able to get out of the rot. Ever since then I have been building on my already acquired knowledge to learn more, to understand more, to be more financially at ease.
As a result, I decided to start this blog and talk you through my mistakes, my reckless decisions and the adjustments that I have made to my life to help me be more financially secure. My hope for this blog is that it helps others not to make the same mistakes and as a result change the attitude that many people have towards money management. It doesn’t have to be as daunting as you think. With just few adjustments to your everyday life and a slight change in attitude everyone no matter the income can be financially secure and enjoy their life. Trust me. Let’s go on this journey together and help each other to work towards financial stability and comfort.
I would encourage anybody to leave a comment below and share your ideas/thoughts on what you have read, general point of view or any insight into something that could help other readers to be comfortable with managing money. As I said at the start of the blog, I am not an expert or a professional financial guru. I am just an average guy who has been working hard towards financial control. All opinions welcome. Thank you for reading and I welcome any initial thoughts.
Chat to you guys on the next one.