Wow, this blog has been so sadly neglected and to be honest, I look at it now and think it needs some love. Not just some posts but also a bit of a rethink on how I want to present my life. If I even do. Thoughts to come.
Anyway, there is a reason for resurrecting this site right now and it’s to do with money.
It’s really bloody hard to talk about money. In NZ at least, most people have no idea what their friends earn, let alone their colleagues – if you’re a person who hates talking about this, you may want to skip the next paragraph cuz I’m ripping the bandaid right off.
I earn under $50K. My student loan is around $45K which I pay the minimum off automatically. I don’t have any savings other than my Kiwisaver which is sitting at around $6200. I have about $8K in other debt (honestly, credit card at 18? What was I thinking?). This isn’t a huge amount but it’s enough to make me pause and wonder when I’m going to grow up and sort it out. I’m 28 now, when is the right time? I feel like I need to step up and take some responsibility. And not get to
five three days after pay day and think “fuck, I have nothing left for another week”. Add to this that there’s things I want to do over the next few years and it feels like it is time. The things are:
- Save up to go to Sri Lanka for Christmas with family in 2015.
- Pay off my debt.
- Save up the deposit for a house all of my own where I can put in a nice kitchen.
Dreams are free eh?
So, part of “Sort Your Shit Out Kelly Dare” is Brokeass September.
Brokeass September is me making a commitment to not buy anything during the month of September. There are rules. There are commitments. There are desperate thoughts of “shit, what do I need to buy before September”.
I made this commitment on Twitter and Facebook this morning and one of the interesting things that has come out of it is the amount of “exceptions” people are already asking me to make. This isn’t intended as criticism but I find it fascinating that the thought of socialising with your friends in a situation that doesn’t cost the earth is so bizarre to us. How many people end up spending far more money than they would like going out to dinner, drinking at a bar, having brunch each week? I tracked my spending last fortnight (my pay cycle) and I spent a whopping $321 on socialising with friends. Seeing that figure actually physically made me feel ill. That’s $321 I spent to hang out with the people I love. And I know the people I love don’t want me to get into debt to see them. Well, I hope they don’t.
So, Brokeass September. It’s going to be a time. I’ve outlined my plans below for those following along at home – if you’re interested in taking part, do it! I’m fascinated to hear how other people do. You can flick me a line on twitter (@_kellydare) or email me. For twitter, use the hashtag #basept so I can track it.
My Brokeass September Rules
No buying anything other than food that you cook at home.
- This means no brunches, no dinners out, no stopping in to buy something just because it is convenient.
- No buying new clothes because seriously, I have enough.
- No buying makeup or skincare or anything.
- Luckily, I have a coffee supply at work or this whole thing would be vicious.
Grocery Shopping once a week, limited to $50
- I think when you buy food on a daily basis, you end up spending more money than you need to so I’m going to only shop once a week and limit that to $50 a week. Mostly, I’m just cooking for myself and I know of families who live on that a week. So for one person, this should be easy.
Exceptions and Special Occasions
I was going to write a whole thing on this but I’ve just realised it would be easiest to say that I’m giving myself a budget of $125 for the whole month. This covers off two birthday drinks ($15 a pop), a very important house-warming ($20) with the rest on a two very dear friends wedding.
- Exceptions are drugs and medical treatment which hopefully will be minimum.
- My gym membership. I spend $50.00 on my gym membership each month. I won’t be giving this up.
Things I’ll Buy Before September
To keep myself honest, there’s a few things I’m definitely buying before September.
- Personal care products: conditioner, toothpaste – all the stuff I refuse to live without. This isn’t Survivor.
- Fishnet tights for Rocky Horror Picture Show.
- Shoes for the Wedding Of The Year.
- Top up my phone with $50. This should be enough to get me through a month (most of this will go on a data pack).
I’m pretty nervous about this. It’s going to be the first time I have ever attempted to control my spending. Also, excited though because I feel like I should definitely do this and if not now, when?