Tag Archives: money

Would you like still or sparkling water?

30 Nov

Unknown

Since dating an older man in his 30s, I have come to realise the generational gap from 20-something to 30-something is much bigger than a few extra crows feet around the eyes. Our age difference is barely noticeable in terms of our interests, level of immaturity and enthusiasm for a cocktail, but it becomes highly palpable when dining out with friends and being asked – “Would you like sparkling or still water?”

Dining out with my friends (20-somethings) goes a little something like this –

  • Never order bottled water – tap water only
  • Always dine at BYO restaurants
  • If unable to dine at BYO restaurants, scan the wine list ignore the type of wine, its region or even colour and find  bottle with lowest number next to the $
  • Never order or an entree, only dine at places with hugely portioned main meals
  • Do not split bill, only pay for what you ordered, usually with loose change from bottom of hand bag.

Dining out with his friends (30-somethings) goes a little like this:

  • Bottled water, of course
  • A round of bubbles or cocktails to kick off the meal
  • A well thought out wine order matching the lavish 3-course meal to follow
  • Meals must be accompanied by several sides, don’t feel need to to finish them
  • Always split the bill equally, usually with credit cards coloured either silver, gold or dark grey.

Although these cashed up creatures we call the 30-somethings are only a hop, skip and quarter life crisis away from us spring chickens, they seem to be able to afford to have their cake and eat it too, washing it all down with their sparkling water… Pricks!

H x

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Becoming financially independent (being broke).

16 Oct

Becoming financially independent can be compared to walking down the street with no bra on. At first you feel confident, free and having  fun with your girls hanging out. But once you finish striding down your first block, the discomfort sets in. You begin to miss that support you took for granted for so long and suddenly you’re yearning for a sports bra strong enough to support an Olympic hurdler. You miss it because every crack in the pavement and every step you take sags your breast and your once supple and perky bank account.

You see, the financial independence journey isn’t a cruise down Fifth Avenue, it is an uncoordinated stumble down Reality Street which is lined with ciggie butts and rubbish. To make matters worse the blisters on your feet are getting bigger by the second because you now have to buy your shoes from Pay Less Shoes. Your money is no longer funding you and your girls having fun, all of a sudden you’re paying car insurance, rent and interest on your credit card that your prick of a bank keeps convincing you to increase your limit on… Welcome to hell!

Ok, it isn’t that bad. It does feel liberating to not be indebted to someone, not having to sheepishly ask (grovel) for another $50 and the freedom to go where you want and when you want (after spending months staying at home and saving your arse off). Thankfully, my dad was generous enough to support me through school and uni where I had sporadic jobs to fund clothes and partying, you know, the important things. Back then I thought that was a sign of independence, if I wanted the Sass & Bide jeans, I needed to buy them myself, boy how wrong I was.

Once I got my first ‘real’ job earning a whopping AU$30,000 a year I was thrown into the financial deep end and left to drown with my credit card acting as my life raft. I thought I was killing it with my career woman attitude and steady income, even though  I was earning less than a part time employee at McDonalds. At first the novelty of dad forwarding me the bills for my phone was cute, $79 a month was do-able and I felt a sense of achievement and pride the first time I paid it. Then the big scary bills started to roll in and the novelty wore quicker than my soles of my cheap shoes. Health insurance, car registration, rent, physios, groceries, dental check ups and with petrol prices rising as fast as my desire to go out and party…. I was fucked! Not the good sort of fucked…. The sort of fucked that has you considering a career in stripping.

I still struggle with money as I am not at a point where I can have it all like the TV shows (even the ‘reality’ ones) depict. I am at a point where I can have my cake and eat it, but only a few slices because the rest is on lay-by. The Camilla kaftan I want to buy will replace a social life for two weeks, and I need to sell half my closet on eBay if  to go on that trip to Bali….  Goodbye Camilla Kaftan, and so the cycle continues. But there is no doubt that the first year of being financially independent was the hardest and I learnt many, many lessons – here are a few:

  • Passion Pop isn’t thaaaat bad
  • Budgets are boring but necessary
  • If you get a credit card you sign your soul to the devil
  • Two-for-one Tuesdays are a god sent
  • You will never turn down a home cooked meal again
  • Starting salaries should increase at the same rate as inflation
  • The feeling you get when you find $3.60 in the crux of the couch cushions, I imagine, is similar to when you win the lotto
  • You lose weight while walking because you can’t afford can’t afford petrol, cabs or sometimes even the bus, but then gain it because all you can afford is fast food
  • Your dad is the best sports bar you will ever have.

H x