Financially simplerAugust 18, 2016
It was not until yesterday that I realised what it truly means to live simply, financially. I left my stable and good paying job fo...
It was not until yesterday that I realised what it truly means to live simply, financially.
I left my stable and good paying job for a lifestyle that many couldn't fathom. Not even my parents. I decided to be a full time blogger. You may think that a blogger earns big bucks from reading a lot of articles. Truth is, unless you are a big shot, you won't earn enough to last you a month.
A superior at my previous job questioned me before I left. She said I am probably earning $5k a month as a blogger to which I exclaimed, "I wouldn't stay in this job for this long if my hobby pays me that much."
So for the last four months, I survived on whatever I managed to save before leaving the service.
When I first started teaching, I began with a diploma graduate's pay. I remember it was quite easy to shop and still have enough to save. I guess I didn't know what to do or buy with my pay for the first few years. As the years go by, my salary increases. And so does my bonuses.
As my pay increases, I suddenly had more things to pay for. And more things to buy. I kept thinking I needed more money and that I don't have enough money to save a particular month. It could probably be because I was saving for an event more than for myself but I was stuck almost every month.
How can I be earning so much but still be short on cash?
I was worried about my financial situation when I decided to leave the service. I decided to cut down on a lot things. I gave up shopping. I gave up eating out. I gave up taking the cab, sort of. Most of the time, I will be at home, typing on the keyboard and churning out contents. If not, I will be out for occasional events.
Then I realised, I am actually surviving. The money that I have saved was enough for me to pay my telco bills, money for my parents and the house as well as my monthly insurance.
I found out that by cutting out the miscellaneous, I can actually survive with less.
I used to treat myself to shopping every month. Although I miss shopping a little, it doesn't really have an impact on me anymore. I would actually weigh my needs and wants. The other day I really wanted to shop at Zara but my needs overruled my wants. Maybe my priorities have shifted. Instead of spending money on clothes, shoes, bags and makeup, I choose to spend it on plane tickets.
So whenever I feel like shopping and spend more than a hundred, I would think of a place that I can go with that money. Since I don't go out very often these days, I wouldn't need lots of new clothes anyway.
At the same time, I have been looking for a job, Don't get me wrong. My savings can still last me another four months but I am bored of mopping around at home.
I went for an interview last week and found out that the salary is significantly lower than my last drawn pay. The interviewer asked if that was fine with me and she was very skeptical of my answer. The given salary was way more than I expected. I have been living on $0 for the last four months so anything more than that is perfectly alright.
I realised I didn't even need that much every month to pay for my necessities. A bulk of my salary was used to pay for my endless wants. A new makeup product, a new jacket, the hottest new shoe or the IT bag.
Living with $0 makes me realise that living simply, financially, is not that hard. Well, if you have no commitments, like me. I finally understood the malay saying, "Besar periuk, besar keraknya" which means the more you earn, the bigger your expenditure.
If there is one thing I regretted from not spending on my first few years of teaching pay, it is to spend on experiences. I spent on way too much material things. Most of them are already gone, in the trash. Memories and experiences last longer. I wish I understood that earlier.
I hope that if I start working again, I will remember how I lived with $0 and continue to do the same. If anything, I have my American dream to push me to spend wisely.