Hello money, since when did I need you so much?

I’ve just had one of those vivid flashbacks from when I was a kid.

I remember when my mom was telling me that she was earning $750 a week. And I thought to myself “WOW. We’re rich! We should be able to afford ANYTHING!”. Ahhh the innocence of youth.

To the me back then $750 a week was a fortune! I even planned out budgets in my math book (computers and excel weren’t ubiquotus back in the stone age) of how I would spend $750 a week. Rent would be $100 dollars (cause all I needed was a bed, and if I couldnt find a place for that price, I’d move in with friends and give them the $100) Food would consist of chip sandwiches (potato crisps to you Northern Hemispherians) which could be bought at $1.50 (0.30 for the breadroll and $1.20 for the chips) a day. Thats $4.50, lets round in up to $5. That would be $35 for food. I wouldn’t spend money on electricity cause I would always be out with friends. So thats a grand total $135 a week. Which would leave me with $615 a week. As a kid this amount boggled my mind. And I would dream about all the toys I could get for this amount of money. That pirate lego set. The SNES. The remote control car. The new bike. And I could buy all that in the first week! And I’d have another $750 to play with the NEXT week! Phwoar!

And now?

My full paycheck lasts about 10 hours in my bank account. From the time it gets deposited at around midnight on Wednesdays, to when I do my weekly bill payments on Thursday morning.

How did I get to this?

Well sure you can point out, increase of prices due to inflation over the years, my naivete at thinking man can live on bread and potato chips alone, and that I could find a place to live for $100 a week, and that I didn’t need electricity. Okay all those are valid, but if you discount all my debt repayments. My monthly expenses (rent, bills, groceries, health insurance, mobile phone and savings)  come to about half my monthly income, 53% to be exact. The other 47%? Well I’ve calculated previously that 40% goes into paying debt, which leaves my 7% for all the fun stuff. And trust me that aint much.

I just want to be that kid again, who knew the important things. Food, shelter, friends. To not worry about money. Okay admittedly he had the palette of a starving rat, and was ridiculously innocent about the ways of the world.

But in reality, with a little bit of adjustment on the budget, that kid was onto something.


4 responses to “Hello money, since when did I need you so much?

  1. I always knew my family was poor growing up and that can do some weird things to a kid’s mind. I mean, we had to move at least every 8 or 9 months cuz the ‘rents couldn’t pay the rent. I remember thinking that I was never eating bologna when I was a grown up. Funny thing is, I still don’t eat it, but my 12 yr old has a fondness for bologna. Hmm…

    • My family wasn’t poor, but we weren’t rich either. But the ‘rents had this thing about keeping up with the Joneses mentality, and we spent too many a long years renting in the snobby suburbs of Sydney, when they probably could have afforded a house in a less expensive area. Oh well. They did okay with me… I think… other than my total lack of interest in getting married and having kids. Which is weird cause my parents are STILL sickeningly lovey-dovey to this day. And its not because I don’t like kids, I love the little rug rats, it just freaks me out that I’ll have the power to make this kid super awesome, or make it into the worlds first true super villain.

  2. When I was a kid, my parents received a letter from Publishers Clearing House. They’re this U.S. sweepstakes company known for surprising you at your front door with a huge million dollar check, completed with balloons and marching band. When I saw that letter in the mail, I knew it meant we were going to get that fateful doorbell ring and we’d be set FOR LIFE! ‘Cause you know, they just wanted to warn you ahead of time so you could wear your best clothes; they weren’t try to scam you or anything….

    It’s funny how the more money you make, the greater your lifestyle becomes. $750 a week would have seemed like a fortune to younger me, too! But I was making $750/week a year ago and it wasn’t enough for my polka-dot-dress-buying, expensive-car-mods, eating-out-everyday lifestyle.

    • LOL… they’re starting to branch out over here into Aus as well, I’ve gotten those letters too! Awwww I can just see little Laney dressed in her Sunday best (and in pigtails of course) waiting patiently at the door for the sweepstakes man to come.

      Polka dot dresses, expensive car mods and eating-out-everyday lifestyle… I’m picturing you now as a cross between Michelle Rodriguez from Fast and the Furious and Katie Perry… so basically you will kick the crap out of me, and then sing about it.

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