Let’s talk money! Today’s heart-to-heart is dedicated to all you big spenders out there, and everyone else! We’ll be the first to admit it, we think about money at lot. Planning a vacation, going out for lunches, craving those new Miu Miu pumps, christmas coming up, wanting a raise at work, paying rent, grocery shopping, taking yoga classes, … all those things involve money in one way or another. But what we’re really wondering, are you being smart with your money?
We’re pretty “old fashioned” when it comes to spending money – sure, we enjoy shopping and the nicer things in life, and we treat ourselves occasionally! But it would worry us to death if we were spending more than we actually had. We have limits set up for ourselves about how much we can (or want to) spend every month, and we have goals of what we want to see on our pay-checks one day. BUT of course we’ve also had our fair share of experience and have learned to handle our money in a way that we’re comfortable with. Also, over the years we’ve noticed that everyone has a very individual approach when it comes to savings. Some are happy if there is a euro or two left on the account by the end of the month, others work their butts of and save every penny. Here are 3 categories we’ve come up with:
– The Big Spenders: You have a job and/or parents that have chosen to support your financial situation, meaning a regular income of some sort. (And hey, we’re not judging!) Even though you have a regular income that would allow a pretty decent life, you always have the urge to go above and beyond, so by the end of the month most of your money is gone. However, in the back of your mind you know there’s more where it came from in the first place, and by the 1st of the month your account will exchange those red digits for black ones again (at least until the next “end of the month”) – so what’s there to worry about?. What we’re trying to say: you spend all the money you can – and maybe even a little more …
– The Rational One: There is a list of monthly expenses that you know by heart. 450€ for rent, 200€ for food, 80€ for the gym, 40€ for your phone … Those “obligatory” bills are always paid right when your paycheck arrives, so you know how much you have left for other things. Some of which you set aside for your savings account, and some that you use to enjoy life. You love going out for a drink or some sushi with the girls, you enjoy an occasional shopping trip to the city and a vacation or two throughout the year. BUT you’re always working with a budget/limit you’ve set up for yourself. And if one month is a little more expensive you cut back the next. All in all you trying to make those digits on the bank account rise from month to month, and you’re keeping the bigger picture in mind (house, car, kids, … you name it!).
– The Frugal Player: Every. Penny. Is. Saved! You don’t like spending money, and are rather hoarding it. (Which, in our opinion is not necessarily a bad thing.) But maybe every now and then you worry about it too much. You’re so keen on saving money, that you turn down every suggestion your friends make to hang out, you haven’t been on vacation for years and you don’t like socializing because it usually involves grabbing coffee or cocktails. Saving money is good, but try not to miss out on all of the fun. If you really cannot enjoy a cocktail that costs 10€ because you’d rather save the cash, try to take initiative with your friends and suggest things that don’t require money, but will still allow you all to have a good time. But, keep in mind that sometimes you really do deserve to treat yourself! Especially if you’re working a job, making your own money and are not in debt. Because after all, why do we get up for work every morning if we’re not getting any fun out of it?
Now, we know that there are MANY more options and patterns when it comes to people’s spending habits. These are three categories we’ve come across most commonly. Money is an off-limits topic for some people, but if you dare, tell us how you see yourself. And to make things a little easier, we thought we’d start …
I grew up in a household where money had to be earned. I got a pretty limited allowance all throughout high school and started working right after graduating to pay for anything “extra” that I wanted (ie. travels, handbags, going out to clubs, …). I feel that when you know how hard you work for your money, you’re a little more realistic when it comes to spending it. Of course I own bags that cost more than a month’s rent, but I think if you have the money, you can decide on how you want to spend it! I am the last person to judge people for the way they spend their money. Some may have a weakness for traveling, others collect art, while someone else buys the 20th pair of Nikes. But hey, it’s whatever floats your boat. I try to treat myself occasionally, to keep me working hard. I like to see that I’ve actually earned things and to have those things to remind me of why I work so hard. But at the same time it is important for me to be able to put some money aside. You’ll never know what life will throw your way and when you may need it.
Unlike Vicky’s spending and saving behaviour, it’s really hard for me to keep control of my money and savings. Fashion never ment that much to me and when I was at University, I had no problems at all to manage with the little money that I earned at my part time job and the pocket money from my parents (which really wasn’t a lot). But as soon as I started working full time and suddenly earned a little more, I started spending – big time! But not on things that are really worth the splurge, no – it was mainly H&M, Zara or restaurants that gladly took my money in. When I realised last year that I wasn’t even able to put some money aside because I was shopping too much (it had gotten to a point where my family and boyfriend started to worry I might be a shopaholic), and when I started to feel depressed by the mass of things I owned, I promised myself I would change. Ever since, I’m trying to sell my stuff, to put some money aside and to spend it only for the things that are REALLY worth it and to invest in more classical pieces. But I still hold the opinion that we all should work in order to live, not live in order to work. So I feel that it is definitely OK to allow yourself to splurge on things that make you happy once in a while to at least be able to see what you’ve been working for.
Are you a firm believer in spending everything you earn, because guess, what – you’ve earned it! Or are you currently on a tight budget because you’re looking to realize that dream of owning property within the next 5 years? What are your no-gos when it comes to money? Where do you find yourself splurging? We’d love to hear your thoughts on spending money, so heart to heart – let’s talk!