Janu-worry and my finances

Welcome to January – the first three months of the year. If your birthday is in January, my sincere condolences because you’re not going to get many presents after the silly season and the financial troubles that come with it. Hence, the name of the post – Janu-worry and my finances in this long month.

My relationship with money

I have a weird relationship with money, no matter the time of the year.

I’ve never had much money, I mean we were (and still are) pretty middle class. My parents bought me what they could, but not absolutely everything – in terms of luxuries I mean.

Since I’ve started working, I’ve started paying for more and more of my own stuff in terms of what I was earning. For example, I started paying for the car’s petrol and then my health insurance, and now I pay for pretty much all my stuff except (most of) my food and board.

I’ve come to realise that money cannot buy happiness, and it’s true, it doesn’t. However, to be perfectly honest, more money would solve a lot of my problems at the moment.

I’m still working on generating another income, but until then I just have to continue to live frugally.

Finances and adulting

I must say my parents did a good job of raising me to handle my money with care. My parents always taught me that if you can’t pay for something in cash then you can’t afford it. So, I don’t have any debt. But even this has a downside as I also don’t have a credit score – like WTF? I’m being punished for knowing how to handle my money.

Also, I honestly try to be responsible with my money and try to mainly go to the shops where I get loyalty points, and therefore cashback. I do this with my general shopping and even where I fill up my car. In addition, I’ve always paid for my stuff with cash because I reckoned that it would help me curb my spending. However, when I got a new bank account a few months ago, I saw that I could earn cashback by swiping my card instead of paying with cash.

Get out the plastic

I weighed the pros and cons of swiping my card instead of cash. Yes, paying in cash can probably curb my spending, but if I’m honest I can do that with my card as well, and all my spending records will be available online for me. Also, it’s such a waste of time to draw money every week or so, and it’s dangerous to carry a lot of money on you (especially here in South Africa). However, there’s always the chance of credit card frauds, etc. I decided to risk it though because I took all the safety precautions. I was very excited to start swiping to earn points back, and because it’s convenient and all. This is where I realised that I have trust issues with myself.

The trust issues

Shortly after I started swiping, I had to buy clothes for work because I at least have to pretend to be an authority figure, something you simply cannot do in a Doctor Strange t-shirt. It cost a pretty penny, but I knew I would be fine in terms of work clothes for a while. This shopping spree gave me the chance to pay a large amount with my card for the first time. It was so quick and easy – much too quick and easy. It didn’t feel like I had paid – in a weird way it felt like free money. I walked around in the shops thinking about what I could buy for myself or my boyfriend with my new-found financial emancipation.

That was where I had to give myself a talking to. There is no such thing as free money, woman! I just went back to avoiding malls again. I can’t take myself anywhere.

I’m starting to understand how people end up in tons of debt, I won’t be one of them, and hopefully neither will you.

Good luck with this financial torture we call Janu-worry.



P.S. If you’d like to contact me, feel free to comment below, send an email to thatmichelleperson@gmail.com, or follow me on Twitter @M_ClutterBox.