Last year I went on a coffee date with a guy who spends $46 a week… including food and petrol. I can’t stress this enough his weekly spending INCLUDING FOOD AND PETROL was less than the price of a kilo of scallops.
As he detailed his weekly budget, I thought about the night before and how I had gone out for dinner, seen a play and attended a life drawing class (just on a whim and for a laugh) and spent around $100. In one night I had spent what he would in a fortnight… and, it made no “cents” to me. How could this guy be a homeowner, have savings, spend only $46 a week AND be 5 years younger than me?
At the end of the date, I paid for both our coffees and he thanked me by not contacting me again… evidently I wasn’t a good investment. However, the crushing of my ego aside it made me wonder how some people are so good with money while people like me are so downright awful.
Do you remember when demographer Bernard Salt had a go at young people saying they didn’t have savings for a house deposit because they spent all their money on smashed avocado on toast? Well, I’d love it if my $25 weekend brunch was to blame. I’m telling you my life would be so much easier if when people asked why I was still renting I could answer with my breakfast order.
So, who’s to blame? Is it my fault I still haven’t done my 2015/16 tax return and my debit card has now been missing for over 10 months? Or, is it my parent’s fault for not raising financially responsible children?
I’d like to say it’s my parent’s fault… but, then I look at my brothers and they all seem to be making it rain, responsibly. Plus, I should note that although I’m bad with money I don’t have any debts and the only loans I’ve taken out are from the Bank of Mum and Dad. So I guess I could be in a worse financial position which further makes me realise I can’t blame my parents… and no, not just because they’ll give me a bad credit rating but, do you remember when Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull told ABC Melbourne radio presenter Jon Faine that parents should “shell out” for their kids who can’t enter the housing market? Well, let’s just say I need to keep the Bank in business.
I’m the problem.
It’s not that I’m bad with numbers – in fact I helped my friends with their economics assignments at University even though I wasn’t doing Commerce – it’s just, I regularly spend more than I save. For the record, I’m not just selfishly spending all that money on myself because as my coffee date spending story tells you is that I am constantly the first to reach for my wallet.
If I think I have financial woes now, I’m not even acknowledging the gendered elephant in the room who tells me that as a woman I will earn less than a man over my lifetime and the 18% paygap will result in a 47% superannuation gap when I retire. Man, that gendered elephant really has some junk in his trunk.
So, what do I do? While I’m not in debt I am in doubt. Do I start making cuts to my credit card and my life? Or, should I just start buying a lotto ticket in the hope of striking it rich? Maybe do I try and find a wealthy man on his death bed and Anna Nicole Smith it?
I know I could never limit my spending to only $46 a week but, I feel like I’m having a financial crisis.