- By Christina Karras
- Posted Sept 9, 2018
- Image Credit - Timothy Eberly
Today I looked at my calendar and realized something. I realized that, all of a sudden, we are heading into the final months of the year. My reaction? Total confusion, disbelief and denial. Apparently, time does fly when you're having fun. Or perhaps, when you are so busy the days all roll into one. But with spring here and summer around the corner, I thought I'd take a minute to stop and reflect. To reflect on some of the financial related realizations I learned in one of two ways:
1 - The hard way
2 - The second hand way - a mix of personal experiences and lessons learnt from friends, in 2018 thus far.
1. Only Buy Things You Really Need
I'll sheepishly admit to how much money I spend per month on new clothes. I'm a sucker for sales and promotional codes. Online shopping is a constant temptation. Any excuse or encouragement and I'll buy it. But, with an interest in becoming a more conscientious and ethical consumer, I've learnt to ask myself - do I really need it? Comparing the item - clothing or otherwise - to similar things I already have. Actually thinking about it and how long it's going to last me. All these things have helped frame the necessity of my purchases.
2. Sell Off Your Old Stuff
There's heaps of ways to do it - 'Buy, Swap, Sell' Facebook groups, Facebook marketplace, eBay, Depop. Or if e-commerce isn't your thing, consider doing it the old-fashioned and environmentally friendly way - set yourself up a stall at a local market.
3. Learning How To Say No
This is something I often struggle with. Whether it be to an upcoming birthday party, or even just to get coffee, I feel guilty for turning down plans. But, there is power in saying no - and not money in it too. If you feel like having a night in for once, or just don't have the funds to go out and actually enjoy yourself, just say no. Save yourself the hassle, and the expensive Uber fares.
4. Plan Ahead
Like most students, I feel like I am constantly struggling to find a lifestyle of balance. It's a triangle between study, social life and work (not to mention sleep). It feels like a “choose two” scenario. Especially as the weather starts to warm up and your friends start getting hyped up for local events. But the key to managing it all is planning. Write down all the events coming up and ensure you can put aside the money for that huge long weekend you've got planned.
5. Own Your Decisions - And Give Yourself A Break!
Ultimately, the end of the year is always the busiest time, but it's also the most fun. I have seen unemployed friends make a dwindling savings fund last far longer than it should have. But where there is a will there is a way! Don't be that person who lives beyond their means, and then constantly complains about being broke.
So you buy too many over-priced drinks on the weekend. No biggie. Blowouts happen so don't beat yourself up. Just lost your new sunnies, or worse, your phone at a day party? Irritating for sure. End of the world? Not even close. Sometimes shit just happens. Own it.
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About the Author: Christina Karras is a 20-year-old journalism student at RMIT. She also runs a online magazine a-zine.net. When she's not busy working or at uni, Christina loves making art, online shopping and binge watching reality TV.