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!
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.