While nature gives us TV programs that show us about the survival of the fittest, in your life sometimes, it’s survival of the poorest. Daily living, after you leave home, can be filled with excitement, drama, romance, travel. It can also be unfilled with money enough to eat, pay the rent, or have drinks with friends. You sometimes have to stretch your money to survive until payday, and we know, it is not easy.
Escaping the Nest
When you left home, it was in a blaze of glory and a promise to yourself that you would not be back to get mum to do the washing and get a free meal. You would not ask your dad for a loan until things got better. You would not be sleeping in your childhood and teen bed in the house ever again. You wanted your independence, and now you have it. Dumb promise, right?
If you moved a long way from home, using the parents is not a viable option anyway. But here you are, it’s a week before you get paid, and you have enough money left to allow $2 a day expenditure at most. Lucky you have a bicycle!
You are a walking budget gone entirely wrong. You have not been able to save any money and life has become a battle between choosing whether to pay the rent or go without food for three days. You can’t ring the love of your life because he or she will probably want to ‘hang out’ somewhere for a drink or a meet up for coffee. How much is a coffee these days? Well, for you, it’s about 3 days’ worth of living expenses at the moment.
How did you get into this situation? Well, the night out with friends cost over $100 after drinks, snacks and a taxi. Dinner with the partner, even at Pizza Hut, while not romantic was a darn good meal, but cost $22. Three rainy days and you didn’t use the bike to get to work. Another $17. Lunch each day because it’s too much of a hassle to prepare your own. $50 a week? Really?!
You have enough money to buy a loaf of bread at the local supermarket. While you’re there buy a jar of jam or peanut butter, just something you can spread on the bread. Don’t worry about butter or margarine. Who can taste that anyway on a slice of bread? This will be your lunch for the next 5 days. Keep the bread in the fridge or freezer. It will taste very fresh all week.
Public transport, particularly the underground, cost you a fortune. You haven’t used the bike lately, here’s a good chance to get a bit of exercise as well as get you to work. Save on water and shower at work after your manic ride through the city streets. Don’t forget a change of clothes.
The coffee at Starbucks cost you how much?! As bad as it is, stick to the coffee supplied at work. It’s free, that’s why it’s not quite right. But coffee is coffee, and you will be surprised at the kick a bad coffee can give you.
No more eggs? The cereal has all gone. What’s for breakfast? Mix some flour and milk, or if the milk has gone off, try water. Pancakes it is. You can spread some of the jam you bought for lunches on the pancakes.
It is usually a night out with friends and workmates, but with very few dollars left in the pocket, and payday still three days away, you will not be able to afford more than two beers for yourself, not speaking about buying a round of drinks when it’s your turn. Invite everybody around to your place, and it’s BYOB. Hopefully, there will be a few drinks left behind so you can watch TV and have a drink.
Do not go shopping for food if you’re hungry, and do not go window shopping either. Spend the day at home cleaning your apartment or house. The windows haven’t been done for over a year. Weed the garden. Wash your bike, it’s had a hard week taking you to work every day.
Your pay will be in your bank account tomorrow morning. You’ve lasted the week. After Friday night, there were a few drinks left in your fridge. Perhaps a celebration is in order… later.
Therefore, today is an excellent time to sit down and work out a budget so that you don’t end up going through this sort of hell once a month.