Because it’s important to celebrate times we’re great with money
When you think about your history with money, your mind tends to go towards regrets. The dress you spent half your pay on but hardly wore. The boyfriend you spent way too much on tissues crying over. You’re probably remembering your own mistakes with money and the sting of what that money could have been spent on instead.
But talking about money needs to be a balanced conversation and one that you look forward to rather than shy away from. We’re all so quick to label ourselves bad with money but rarely talk about what we did right with money and if we want more people to talk about money, it’s time we changed that. It’s time that we focused on the positive experiences and wins that make you feel proud with how you handle your money. Whether it was getting a bargain on a loved item of clothing or making the effort to understand retirement accounts and switch to a better performing fund, these are the moments that make you punch the air in celebration at how brilliant you are with money.
It’s important to celebrate the times we’re great with money because the more positive we feel about money as a topic of conversation, the more likely we are to talk about it regularly with those we love.
To lead by example, here are 4 things I did right with money:
1. I got my motorcycle license
This is unconventional and whenever people see me in my motorcycle gear, I go up in their estimation as approximately 30% cooler (which is then neatly balanced out by my admittedly nerdy love of personal finance). I got my motorcycle license when I got a new job in a location that was inaccessible by public transport and to commute there via a push bike would take more hours of cycling than I was capable of exerting. I saw the cost of cars on the market and baulked at the price. Reliable second-hand options weren’t much better and I didn’t want to have to spend over $10 a day for the privilege of parking near work.
And that’s when I looked at motorcycles. My mum was a motorcycle rider before me, which made it a more relatable commuting option. I bought a cheap scooter for $3,000 initially before upgrading my bike and relish the fact I pay precisely $0 each day for parking. What’s more is that you’ll save on registration and insurance each year compared with the cost of driving a car. While I do invest in protective motorcycle gear to ensure I’m safe on the roads, I choose to brave the winter weather, knowing that my choice to ride a bike has saved me thousands of dollars so far.
2. I tried out different careers and companies
Millennials are often thought of as unreliable thanks to our propensity for job hopping compared to previous generations. I’ve tried out many different careers and companies and each has been an opportunity to learn more about what I need from an employer so that I know what to run from or towards in the future. What’s more, switching careers has kept my skills fresh so that I can actually be adaptable and responsive in my behaviours rather than just seeing these as buzzwords in a job description. If you have to constantly hit the ground running rather than simply sitting comfortably, you develop a resilience to handle any situation you’re in. The idea of a traditional career path is increasing a thing of the past for many of us – what matters more is cultivating a growth mindset so that you can adapt when the future of work changes your job description.
3. I knew my value
This one time, a junior male employee took it upon himself to involve his ‘expertise’ in my salary negotiation and pushed for me to take a pay cut to join the organisation. I didn’t take that offer. Instead, I held out and got a pay rise. That is knowing your value. You should never let someone pressure and bully you into thinking that you are worth less than you are. Once upon a time, I’d be happy just to be there. Now, I’m experienced enough to know my value and will laugh in the face of any mediocre man or woman who derives their self-worth from pushing down others that they view as a threat. Avoid toxic people and know that you are good enough without their validation.
4. I revisited my budget regularly
A budget is a living document. As your life changes, your needs change and to be meaningful, your budget must catch up and reflect your spending behaviours. For example, if you decide to have a child, this would mean a whole load of new expenses that would need to be built into your budget. I recently got a new job and had to drive across the city each week to get there, which meant building transport costs into my budget. If I didn’t adjust the budget to suit my changing needs, I’d continually go over my set budget and eventually ignore the budget altogether.
Monitoring your budget is much easier if you manage your budget through an app, with multiple options available. From the laser focused YNAB (You Need a Budget) which gives every dollar a job to Mint with its visual approach, which displays your spending via a more visually-pleasing graph. My philosophy at Money Bites is all about finding the product and approach for your needs so I’d encourage you to explore options and finding what works best for you.
At Money Bites, we’re trying to change the narrative and promote conversations about money that you actually want to be part of.
Creating that positivity around money involves patting yourself on the back and celebrating what you do well so it’s a conversation you want to have. Now it’s your turn: what things have you done right with money? Get in touch and let us know!