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Rags to Riches August 5, 2009

Posted by Lauren Cooke in Life, Chatter & Politics.
Tags: , , , ,

I have been thinking a lot recently about money. This isn’t a new event – I am planning to buy a house one day down the line, and money is a pretty important part. What is new, however, is the extent to which it seems to be effecting my life. I swear, every second thought is about raising money or earning money or growing money (I wish!). Most of my time is in work essentially dedicated to the earning of money, a lot of my wages are dedicated to the saving of money. My shoe collection is dedicated to the spending of money, but that is another story.

All of us have to confront the issue of saving, scrimping, spending – in a capitalist society, this is almost unavoidable. Some of my friends are icons in good money management – with their multiple bank accounts, cash juggling and astute nature. Some are not so, and I see the struggles on a daily basis. I am somewhere in-between. I save well, have little debt (a £1000 interest free overdraft that I am keeping until my deadline – the best loan I will ever have!), and generally have money left over for those little luxuries that make all the difference. We are have our troubles and our successes.

I guess I am working towards questioning why money is so important. I can survive well on much less than I do now, and I do manage my money well following the wild reckless abandon of my uni days. Yet still it haunts me. I worry, I count, I budget (and rarely stick to it). All so I can buy the things that I think will make me happy – a beautiful house (OK, right now, any flat that isn’t a studio), lovely furniture, stunning cloths and above all shoes. Why can I not just be happy with the air in my lungs and other such free cliches?  

I wish I had the bravery to go for a month of buying nothing. With the exception of food, drink and bills, I would like to plan a month (at least) where I force myself to do things for free, to use vouchers, to go for walks and picnics and hang out in parks. But I am not brave enough, not yet. I feel, for some reason, that only a month that included shoes is a month well spent! Will anyone help me? Will any of you join me i this challenge? Maybe together it is possible…?



1. Kate - August 5, 2009

I am terrible with money – my husband and I both are – so I would love to try this.

2. Anne - August 5, 2009

I got made redundant without warning in April – you soon learn to live on nothing!! Jobseekers allowance + a small amount of savings has seen me through to new job 3 months later, bought petrol when essential – I.e. do you really need the car for shopping – I walked everywhere!! Also, I only bought about 4 tops – mainly for work, 2 essential pairs of shoes and that was about it! Takes a lot of restraint when out shopping but its taught me I don’t need much to make me happy 🙂

3. mysterycreature1 - August 6, 2009

Kate – well, if we want to set aside October we could actually make this a reality? Do our utmost not to spend anything, compare with each other, come up with novel ideas? If you are up for it I am!

Anne – that’s horrible to hear, I’m sorry. But you do sound like you dealt with it so well – and you are right, humans are so resilient when it comes to it. We like our comforts – but all to often we don’t need them at all!

4. Esz - August 6, 2009

Well I am just coming into money after finishing my apprenticeship and my wage slowly growing over the last five years. I never grew up with much at all so it’s all very exciting to be able to actually buy what I want.

I figure if you’re still saving, and have all your bills covered, then you can do whatever you want with the rest. I dont think any of us earn enough to live in excess – so why the guilt about purchases? Lately I’ve been trying to shake that guilt, as I realise it’s completely unreasonable! I give to charity and buy presents for others, my boyfriend who is only working part time gets a lot too so he doesn’t go without. So why do I feel like “I really shouldn’t have” after buying something? Must be conditioning I have placed on myself.

Though if you do feel you’re relying too much on the cash, I do understand where you are coming from. It’s important to also enjoy the free things in life, like sunny days and staying at home being creative. I guess it’s all about balance isn’t it? But I bet you’re feeling the same kind of guilt as me. There is no need to feel shithouse if you know you’re living an honest life 😀

5. ElementalGrace - August 9, 2009

Wow, thought provoking post! It’s an interesting one, and one rather close to my heart recently!!

BUT, having given up a life where I got paid a fairly large wage and was financially comfortable for a life where I work less and have more time to myself, I have become significantly aware of what I spend. I now look at clothes and think that I could probably make that (and then I’d have the pattern to re-use as well) or look at clothes I’m tired of and see if I can customise them into something else. It satisfies my wallet and to an extent, many of my creative urges.

When I walk past something and think ‘gosh, that’s nice’, now I wonder if I can make it or force myself not to buy it month after month so that I know if I do want it months later it’s probably because I love it and not because I’m looking for a quick fix purchase to cheer me up.

And in that vein, also forces me to look at my reasons for making purchases and ask the vital question of whether I really need what I’m buying or if I’m just buying it because I want it.

6. Caroline - August 10, 2009

October works for me… ish. I think I have one birthday party that month – see, it’s my social life that’s the killer. What would we do about SMB girls? xx

7. mysterycreature1 - August 10, 2009

I think we should do october. Obviuously with SMB we could either make an exception… or be really good and just have water!

p.s I think I’m going to try and take a break from my social life except for essentials. xxx

8. Budgeting is a creative pursuit… | ElementalGrace - August 10, 2009

[…] by Lauren, over at A Typical Atypical, who recently blogged about money and budgeting in her Rags to Riches post. It’s a subject near and dear to my heart, as I’m sure the world and its wife […]

9. Amy - August 21, 2009

I’ve been to reply to this post for ages, I am so online-lax at the moment! You reminded me of an excellent post I found on a blog of follow:


which is about an amazingly inspiring gal who didn’t buy herself anything for an entire year! There is a link back there to her original blog too, and it totally shames me as I literally don’t think I could go a week without Ebay/Etsy shaped treats never mind a whole 12 months, though at the moment, I would be more than willing to try!

A x

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