#AtoZChallenge : Cheap Thrills

cheap thrills money

I look at my bank balance and worry lines begin to form on my forehead. It is just the 15th of the month and there is barely any money left. Bank balance reads Rs. 1000. I search or rather hunt in the pockets of all my old jeans, open all bags and purses with the hope of finding some money. But what do I find in the end? A 100 Rupee note, a couple of 20s and a 10 and that is it! I’m broke! 15 more days to survive with Rs. 1000. I don’t know what to do.

 

Earlier this would have been a huge amount for me. Yes, that was when I was in college and I used to live at home. There was no rent to be paid, no groceries to be bought and yeah I had a prepaid bus pass which I could use to travel to college. My only expenses were for some stationery and the occasional eating in canteen when I was really hungry and I had no food with me. But now it was difficult to think about – I had a whole 15 days to live on. Earlier I could just ask mom for more money if I needed it. Yes, I’d have to justify why I needed that money but then she would give me the money. But how could I ask her now? I have a job now and I’m supposed to be independent. I’m supposed to take care of myself and be able to deal with my finances myself. So asking mom was ruled out! But how did I get myself into such a situation?

 

Earning your own money no matter how little it is, is a source of joy and it brings about a sense of pride. The same was true for me as well. While growing up, there were so many things that I had to give up just because there wasn’t enough money. Now when I had my own money, I thought I could a few things that I always wanted. But my wishlist kept growing. And did I tell you about the wonderful sales that keep happening and the deals feel like such a steal!

 

From those books that I always wanted to read to that LBD that I always wanted to wear, then the beautiful earrings and other accessories that went well with my clothes, that fancy meal that I always wanted to have, I went on a buying spree. And oh yeah, cabs were such more comfortable than struggling on the footboard of the always full bus! In my tiny matchbox of a room, there was barely any place for all the new things, but I wanted them or so I thought.

 

Now with barely any left, when I think about it, it doesn’t feel worth it. There are so many books all stacked up, gathering dust but no time to read. The LBD is lying in my cupboard the price tag still intact as I have never worn it. The zillion accessories also are just taking up space in my little cupboard. And yeah, I didn’t really like that fancy meal and I don’t really like eating out. But this realization has dawned pretty late.

 

Now is not the time to lament on the things gone wrong, but now it is time to set things right! I make up my mind not to buy anything unless it is an absolute necessity. Okay, I can’t buy anything because no shopkeeper will give me anything for free. Since it is the middle of the month, the rent has been paid and the bills have been sorted. So there, the major expenses are gone. Instead of taking an auto to travel to work, I decide to walk. All those calories accumulated by gorging on all the junk food have to be burnt someway. That will make me tired and I’ll go to sleep quickly instead of browsing the e-commerce websites and adding stuff to my wishlist! And yeah, no eating out unless there is no food available in my PG. If I don’t really like the food in my PG, I’ll cook something. That will be less expensive. And yeah I’ll make a note of all my expenses- that way I know where my money is going. Now that seems like a good plan – will I be able to execute it? Hopefully I will.

 

May this should be my plan not just for the rest of the month but may be for the rest of my life. Otherwise, how will I ever save enough to travel the world?

 

For now, I’ll enjoy the cheap thrills! Because baby I don’t need dollar bills to have fun tonight- may be the Rupee notes will do šŸ˜›
Have you ever been broke? How did you manage?

 

I’m participating in the #AtoZChallenge all through April. I’m writing about The life and times of a twenty something.
AtoZChallenge C

29 responses to “#AtoZChallenge : Cheap Thrills”

  1. ahhh!! How else can a single’s life be described better than this. An entertaining read as it has happened with many of us

  2. swathishenoy says:

    You know, this realisation and the view that follows lasts only till the end of the month. Come next month and the salary is debited, we will go for a treat because we have been good and need a reward and before we know, we are back to square one again, left with no or little money for the rest of the month šŸ˜‰ #StoryOfATwentySomething

    Crushes

  3. Tina says:

    Reminds me of my early days at work. there was a time when I was job hunting for 6/7 months. I had savings but had to mentally account for every penny spend cause I didn’t have a job. But I had amazing set friends who were emoloyed.Turned out to be the best time of my life.

  4. Ramya says:

    This is a phenomenon I expereinced when I was all single and working, earning for myself only! The first joys of earning those few rupees, however less it is and buying those things that bring the most joy! Ah blissful

  5. Anmol Rawat says:

    I guess I’m broke right now with EMIs :p The idea is to wait for the next salary šŸ˜€
    BTW I love that song and Sia is an amazing artist!

  6. Am about to finish my 20’s life and I swear word by word that this whole expense thing is true for anyone who lives on their own specially in a city like Bangalore. I hate those times when the salary gets credited by the 30-31st and more than half your bank balance is empty but still the next month has not started…. Has that happened with you? Savings is a good thing but somehow I always fail at it.. There are times when my account has gone to 100 bucks and still a week to go i guess that’s when I use my credit card.. Which is also a vicious cycle

    Guess we ll all learn with time and the companies that we switch and make some good salary

  7. Haha, entertaining tale, especially to someone like me who’s permanently broke šŸ˜›

  8. This is a beautiful phase of life too dear which you will remember when settled in family. I still miss those days This is indeed a worth piece to read ā¤

  9. vinodinii says:

    I was always broke in college days, but it never mattered back then coz I lived with my parents. I would have a tenner in my pocket and that would be enough. But now even 1000 bucks sounds like nothing. Times have changed!

  10. Shilpa Garg says:

    Oh yes, have gone through this phase. Only after the experience of being broke by the middle of the month, we realize that we must stop buying things that we dont need and of course planning money wisely.

  11. So broke my meals sometimes were the packaged saltine crackers and tea bags from the lunch room at the hospital where I worked. I never forgot those days and still keep enough food in reserve to feed a small army for a week.

    http://gail-baugniet.blogspot.com

  12. I’m broke right now. God! Have experienced it a zillion times. That book, that earring, that shoes…. everything looks so tempting. Thank God! Except for books I am able to tackle my temptations till date to an extend.

  13. You have 1000 bucks left in your account by the 15th of the month? You are my hero!

    I am pretty careful with money. As soon as the salary comes in, first the money goes in for savings. Next, the expenses. I’m usually broke by the 10th of the month, but as long as I have savings I’m not very bothered. I do withdraw a certain amount of money to run the month and normally my expenses are frugal. Weekends we do splurge, but that is accounted as part of the monthly expenses anyway.

    I try to keep as limited money as possible in my account. Because sometimes sales get the better out of you and I do not want to be temped. In cases of emergency, there always is the credit card! šŸ˜€

  14. Anki Bhoye says:

    It was a lovely read Reema, especially for a girl like me who is not earning as yet, this definitely taught me how important it is to plan spending money. Just like you, even I am giving my little wished a little break, I will fulfill them once I start earning, and reading this I want to start earning soon, no matter how little it is.

  15. pythoroshan says:

    I know Exactky what you mean. When money came in, would spend lavishly for the first few days. By the end, it would be saving coins! And I’m speaking of the time when I’m 29!

  16. Budgeting is so bloody hard! I go up and down but have been pretty good the last few months. I had to seriously tighten my belt at 25 when I bought my apartment…having a mortgage was a whole different financial pressure. It’s interesting though, the things we can forego when we have to save

    Sanch @ Sanch Writes

  17. Shirley Corder says:

    Have I ever been broke? Have I ever not been? Oh yes, for a few days every month until all the accounts were paid and the salary used up. Still, you’re right. It makes us far more frugal. If only we learned this in our first year’s working, the world would have a lot more rich people today!

  18. Neha says:

    Guess I am broke now, with no proper salary being dropped in the account at the first of every month, but I am enjoying this phase too

  19. inquisitivegeet says:

    Reminded me of my college days!!

    Cheers
    BoisterousBee

  20. Such an entertaining tale Reema, reminds me of the days I used to save up on every single penny I earned. Launching SIM Organics
    *Menaka Bharathi*
    *SimpleIndianMom*

  21. Kaddu says:

    My mom drilled budgeting deep into my psyche from a very young age. So never really been broke, but yeah, I do relate to this. I still have unused designer dress material (very expensive ones!) stored in my cupboard somewhere, that I bought on an impulsive shopping spree in the early years of my office days!
    Happy AtoZing!
    Chicky @ http://www.mysteriouskaddu.com

  22. Books are going to be my vice once I grow up!

    But I’m already trying to reign in my meagre expenses by setting daily budget limits. I do hope I can preserve this habit as I grow up into my 20s!

  23. Parul Thakur says:

    ha ha! I have been broke all the time in my 20s. In 30s, I saved so that VT could go broke šŸ˜‰
    Joke apart – that’s the fun of life. Isn’t it? Also, some savings are a must. If they don’t come to you naturally – there is something called forced investment šŸ™‚

  24. deepagandhi says:

    We all go through this phase and make adjustments. All I can say is I am enjoying 20 something stories šŸ™‚

  25. Natasha says:

    I re-lived my early work days through your post. Good one Reema.

    Blog: natashamusing
    Theme: Travel Epiphanies
    Captivating Jungle Run

  26. Modern Gypsy says:

    Oh, I know this feeling so darn well! I used to be a regular spendthrift – salary in, salary out, zero bank balance. Only when I got a little older {and wiser} did I realize how much money I had wasted on frivolous, unnecessary “things”. But then, those were fun times too, eh? šŸ˜‰

  27. Ha ha! This story seems like the ones I have heard from many girls (including my wife :P) ! Yup, the early 20s are hard on the pocket but things do get better šŸ™‚
    Well written !

    P..S. Sharing with many many girls right now
    P.P.S. Are boys hesitant in sharing these stories or you can’t go broke on borrowed money in the first place ?

  28. Ha! Reminded me of those first few months of my career! I learnt to save later on šŸ˜›

  29. kadambari says:

    Cheap…. Thrills!!!
    story we all can relate with

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