#AtoZChallenge : Cheap Thrills
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 😛
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.