7 Money Lessons From An Ex Emotional Shopper
After listening to last weeks episode of The Fringe Of It with Julia from Easy As Vat, it really made me think about my relationship with money and just how much it’s changed over the years. I’ve spoken before about how bad I used to be with managing money so today I thought I’d share some of my best money lessons I’ve learnt over the years.
MONEY WILL NOT BUY YOU HAPPINESS, BUT IT MAKES THINGS EASIER
I used to shop and buy a ridiculous of amount of useless crap that I didn’t need to fill a void in my life, I was so unhappy with so many things in my life that the only time I felt good was when I was shopping and had that new purchase buzz. And not so surprisingly constantly shopping and buying things didn’t make me happy at all, quite the opposite infact as all it did was cause unnecessary stress. Money doesn’t buy us happiness however it’s completely ignorant to think that it doesn’t make things any easier in life because it certainly does. And not being so petrified about paying the bills is an incredible feeling that not everyone has. The one thing money does buy you is more freedom in your life, which is pretty invaluable and not something that is spoken about enough.
savings make me feel safe
I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to consistently save over the years and because of my job they’re something that I never want to be without. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve had to pull money out of my savings because a brand has either ghosted me or not paid on time, which are two things that are far too common in my line of work. Without my savings, I would not have been able to pay my bills or put food on the table. However, savings are a luxury and I know one day they might not always be something I’m able to have so whilst I can I make the most of it. Sometimes I can’t put any money away for the month and that’s ok but having a small safety net to save me has been a huge weight off my mind and something I recommend to everyone if they’re in the position to be able to save as it is a huge privilege.
other people’s finances are not your business
Especially with creative jobs and in my industry there is a lot of questions floating around about how much people earn. get that we all have queries I truly don’t believe we have any right to get involved in other peoples finances. Whether that’s how much they earn or how they much spend, it’s not ours so we have no right to pass judgement. And it’s an easy thought pattern to slip into, something that I’ve done far too many times so my general rule is that unless it’s an appropriate situation then I don’t discuss finances. Whilst I feel strongly about it not being such a taboo subject some people do not like the conversation surrounding money and that’s ok, there are plenty of other things we can talk about.
FEELING GUILTY ABOUT SPENDING MONEY
This was something that I touched on somewhat recently and something that makes me feel so uncomfortable to admit. Spending money on myself on an item that’s not something I desperately need makes me feel guilty. Because I don’t have a guaranteed paycheck then I’m in constantly worried that if I don’t prepare for the worst case scenario all the time then everything will go drastically wrong. Feeling that way about money that I’ve earned isn’t nice and I hate that I have such guilt around buying things so it’s a constant work in progress. As of right now, I feel like I need other people to approve of my purchases which at the age of 28 isn't something I need to be doing.
credit cards are not for everyone
My dad finally decided that at the age of 25 I was old enough to be responsible with a credit card and he always taught me not to put things on it that I knew I wouldn’t be able to pay for when my statement came. I knew that if I got a credit card when I was 18 I would have got myself into serious debt and ruined my credit score, which is not something I wanted to do but because I had such an emotional relationship with money it would have been so easy. My credit cards are always paid off in full now and I use them to show lenders that I’m sensible and slowly it’s built up my credit score which was non-existant before. Using credit cards appropriately is brilliant, especially in an emergency but buying a new jumper dress is not an emergency.
write down everything you buy
Another money lesson from my dad is to write down every single thing that you spend, and I mean everything. Those £5’s soon add up and before you know you’ve spent £50 and that’s when things become a problem. Especially with contactless and credit cards, it’s not until you look at your statements that you’re shocked. I write everything that comes in and out of my account and it quite literally keeps me accountable for what I’m spending. There was once a time I was so terrified to check my bank account that I didn't do so for 3 months and I never want to get myself in that position ever again, it was terrifying. Regularly checking your bank account is so important, especially if your card is ever frauded you need to know what is going in and out.
you don’t need to keep up with anyone else’s shopping habits
I say this as a blogger and someone who has had a dangerous relationship with money. As of right now personally, I find the online world problematic with people not disclosing ads, press samples, and huge press discounts because it’s very easy to tell someone that an item is amazing when you’ve not paid for it but you’re alluding that you have. And I’m not anti ‘influencer’ obviously, I’m part of this world but I’m so against people not disclosing because not only is it illegal but it’s unfair to the audience. A lot of people want to buy something because someone they admire has it or has made it out to be something you cannot possibly be without. We should never feel the pressure to keep with someone else's spending habits, especially when they're not actually spending anything but not being honest about it. Sharing things that you love is incredible but doing it responsibly and with care is so important.