I am currently in the midst of saving money, fortunately I get paid every week and on every pay day I put a lump sum of my wages into my savings account. From a financial perspective I am in a desirable position, I have recently graduated, I have a full time job and I am living at my family home, meaning I can put a substantial amount of my income into my savings as I have few financial burdens. Looking back to where I was a year ago, from a budgeting stance, things were very different. I was at university in London, I had my own accommodation, I was earning no money and if someone brought up the idea of me saving I probably would have burst out laughing at the ridiculous nature of their question. However, times have changed, I am officially adulting. And since I’ve started working it’s dawned on me, I’ve been spending less money on weekdays as I have considerably less time to socialise. See at university, the weekend didn’t really exist, it meant very little to your average humanities student. With the flexible nature of those experiencing the humanities university lifestyle one had a lot of free time on weekdays, and for me, the more free time I had the more money I ended up spending.
Putting in to perspective I now socialise less, have deeper pockets to dig into and few financial burdens, one could confidently assume that saving money wouldn’t be too much of an uphill battle. However, if you have read my previous blog, you would know that I initially struggled to keep my budget in order as I had gotten off track under the realisation I was earning significantly more money than I had ever seen before. With this feeling of being ‘rich’ my first few months of working life had seen my money go astray due to my curiosity to occasionally enjoy the finer things, something I had never really done before as a student. Now nearly six months into my working career I would not excuse my spendings with such futile reasoning. I am proud to say, over the last couple months I have become considerably better at saving money yet I am not the budgeting maestro I would like to be. My budget, has a new enemy, my laziness. Laziness can be a serial budgeting killer and for me its need to be thwarted. But fortunately this killer doesn’t require the Likes of Sherlock Holmes to come and stop it. This is an issue that can be easily solved.
Before I speak on the solution, I should explain why my laziness has become such a problematic issue for my savings. Excuse me for speaking of my personality attributes in the third person. See what my laziness does is justify my poor spending decisions. For example, if I’ve had a particularly tiring day, instead of cooking food from home, I would get a takeout. If I am at a friend’s house later than usual, instead of getting public transport back to mine I would get an uber. While these aren’t wildly expensive budget ruining decisions, I know, in the long run, I would much prefer to have spent that money on something more meaningful. This money is only being spent because my laziness justifies my decisions and I can be incredibly good at convincing myself to commit to a lazy decision. I don’t have a problem with the occasional take out and the odd uber, but when the alternative requires just a little more work but come outs considerably more cost effective, this is when I start to annoy myself,
So what’s the answer, I realised I needed to do something to make sure my lazy decisions couldn’t be made so quickly and so easily. It made me think, why was I so lazy to begin with, why would I justify these silly expenses, and it dawned on me, while I have a goal of saving money, I have no real reason as to why i’m saving money, I have no end goal. I believe that to diminish my eagerness to lazily spend my income I need to give myself a real financial objective that I could look forward to achieving, one that makes sure I don’t purchase anything unnecessary. Now my next step is to find the right reason as to why I want to save money because my current reason being ‘I would like to get rich enough to know money doesn’t buy you happiness’ isn’t cutting it.