This post idea came to me whilst I was sat in my hotel room in Vegas on my own eating a $12 burrito, wondering how the heck I could survive the next couple of months without having a complete financial breakdown.
The truth is, blogging makes me pretty alright money that can support my lifestyle, until my lifestyle throws a couple of jaunts across the Atlantic at it, alongside a boyfriend’s birthday. Then it sort of crumbles and screams at me and tries to suggest I send back that ASOS jacket.
Not happening, no damn sireee.
Naturally, I did the only obvious thing to do – I stayed away from checking my bank balance (because I like being able to breathe and y’know, not hyperventilating), watched One Tree Hill obsessively to take the edge off and stayed confined to my bedroom until my taxi home the next day so that I wouldn’t be tempted by any of the sexy Sephora buys or the $30 flutes of daiquri that were sold on the sidewalk that just looked so happy and naughty.
And that wasn’t my first OH MY FUCKING GOD THE WORLD IS ENDING money sulk either – more like my 748364th this year alone. I’m a pro at being that person who throws all their money in the air and rolls around in it come pay day and then afterwards looks at what they have left (after the IKEA trip, the holiday deposit, the Prosecco with dinner, the ASOS haul and the new make-up) and tries their hardest not to cry under a duvet whilst hoping that someone actually STOLE the money out of my account. Maybe I’ve been hacked? Maybe my card’s been cloned? That’s definitely it, I wouldn’t have paid out £18.23 to PayPal, maybe someone from Etsy has stolen money from me.
Oh wait, that was my Domino’s order.
Uh huh, I see.
So here’s what I’ve learnt over my years of financial freedom.
1. CHECK YOUR DAMN BALANCE
Being in denial is all fun and games until your phone bill gets declined and then yeah, it’s pretty teary.
No matter how much you feel like your toast might vom back out your nose with fear for just how low your available balance is, it’ll always make your mind feel more in control when you actually have the figures in front of you. That way you can start to develop a game plan – and, just like for me in Vegas, there’s always the possibility that you’ll log into your online banking and realise that actually, yeah, you’re not rolling in it, but you’ve got enough to work with. It’s not as bad as you’d feared.
Still worried? Actually heading to the bank and talking things through with someone might offer a world of options you never knew you even had.
(Disclaimer: We once got a £100 bank fine cancelled from our joint uni account just by rocking up at the bank and telling them we didn’t have the money. Yep.)
2. GET EXTRA INCOME
No-one realistically wants to get a second job working in a bar just to pay off their debts, so if you don’t want to do something quite *so* drastic, then think about selling off your excess belongings.
I make about £50 a month just selling clothes I don’t want on eBay, and alright, it’s not exactly making me rich, but it’s helping pay for my monthly coffee addiction, and Netflix, and then some. Some = afternoon chocolate from Tesco Express, obvs.
Sealed beauty products do particularly well on eBay, as do branded clothes from places like Topshop, River Island and Zara. For everything else there’s always the joy of waking up extra early at the weekend and making some sweet, sweet cash at a car boot. Plus, plan it well and it’s also an easy way to top up your tan. Win, win.
It might make you feel like a child again, but it’s always worth asking if any of your family are willing to pay you to do anything like car cleaning and grass mowing. Every little helps and all that.
3. REMEMBER YOU’VE DONE THIS BEFORE
Chances are, if you’re lying awake at midnight on a school night unable to sleep because FFS MONEY, this isn’t your first time.
You made it through last time. It might have been last year, it might have been last week, but you’re still here. You haven’t been hauled off to jail for being a bit flakey with money and y’know what? You’ll get paid again. You’ll have a nice, sassy little influx of money in your account again and everything will be right again in the world. Maybe next time you’ll be a bit more sensible, maybe next time you won’t.
Worrying over things that haven’t happened yet is the single worst way to spend your life. Remember that soon you’ll have forgotten all about these money anxieties and will have moved on because guess what? Life moves stupidly bloody quickly and things change in an instant. You could waste hours despairing, or you could be productive and haps.
4. MAKE A PLAN
If, like me, you find yourself in a bit of a tizzy more than is healthy and it’s basically become a helpful little personality trait, then it’s time to make a plan.
Get a spreadsheet out, work out your monthly income and your monthly outgoings and work out how much you have left. Could you pay off a set amount of your credit card every month? Maybe put £50 in savings?
YOU SPEND HOW MUCH ON BOTTLED WATER EVERY MONTH? Work out where your spending flaws are and then you’ll be able to work out ways to battle them and cancel them out so that you have more money leftover for more important things, like heating.
5. AND ALSO REMEMBER THIS…
Instant noodles are kinda nice. And cheap.
And pasta and pesto is an underrated dish.
YOU GOT THIS, GIRL.
6. YOU’RE NOT ALONE
You know how in films everyone in their twenties basically has enough money to like run off to New York when they go through a break up and you’re like errrrrrm? WHAT?
Your friends probably* (*I don’t know your friends, they might live in mansions and holiday in St Barts) don’t have that sorta money either. They’re probably not bouncing between pay cheques without a care in the world, snapping up a snazzy Whilstles bag here and a new Fiat 500 there. They probably more than dip into their overdrafts every month too.
I know I find this. I’ll be all stressed out like I HAVE NO MONEY AND OMG I’M IN MY OVERDRAFT AGAIN and then they’ll look at me and be like YOU come out of your overdraft?
You’re not the only one who gets carried away with disposable income they don’t actually have… And, spoken like a true grown up – you won’t be the last either.
7. CHILL THE EFF OUT
There’s that saying that one of my best friends taught me that helps in every situation ‘everything changes in a day’.
The things stressing you out and bringing you down right now won’t matter in a day, a week, a month.
Give yourself a night off from being you and thinking about your life – have a bath, watch something that gets you so gripped you forget to get up and eat bisuits. Try to unwind and distract yourself to that point where it no longer feels as though your stomach is plotting how to offload everything in it.
Money is such a basic part of life, it doesn’t deserve to drain your energy. Nuh uh.