Regardless of what situation you’re in I hope this post can be of good use to you. Although we all know the importance of budgeting some of us still don’t take it into consideration.I thought I would share some of my “experiences” with my spending and budgeting whilst I’ve been abroad.
I was off to a new country and my parents, aunties & uncles had already given me that money handshake before I went (IF YOU KNOW YOU KNOW). So at this point I felt like I was the Queen’s daughter with all this cash on me. Of course I knew majority of it would be going to my rent and my maintenance but I was still a rich girl in my head. For my first month I told myself “Temi don’t worry, don’t expect to save anything, you’re in a new country there are loads of expenses to be paid and things to buy.” This was literally the excuse I was using throughout July and into August, and the fact that there were delays with me opening up a bank account meant that I had all my cash on me which led to me spending even more.
After paying all my expenses I still had a substantial amount left over, so what did I do? SPEEEENNND like a MUMU!! Listen I wasted 95% of my money on restaurants, takeout’s and drinks and the other 5% on random things. I was lonely and was missing home – so the next best option that made me feel comforted was food. Lol when I say I was taking myself out to all of these fancy shmancy restaurants to keep myself occupied. I really couldn’t care less on how much I was spending because it was the only thing that was making me happy at that point. There was not one weekend where I didn’t take myself out to eat – if I went sightseeing I’d tell myself “yeah girl you need a snack!” lol. (DISCLAIMER: I don’t have an eating disorder loool, but I love food).
One mistake I made was not planning for contingencies or “just in case” scenarios which dealt with me severely at the end of my first two months. I remember after my first pay I was literally left with zilch as soo much had been taken off my wages (Transport, deposits, additional rent costs etc.). I was left with €150 for the month! Sorry, but what was that chicken change going to do for me? I was depressed just looking at my bank account. Then I was really forced to BUDGET!! No more dates with myself and I didn’t even bother leaving my room because then “I’ll deserve a snack lol”.
You would think from that situation I would learn my lesson. WRONG. Why was I still out on the strip every weekend, partying and spending like I was related to Richard Branson? It was not until my birthday (which was 4 days before pay day) that it hit me. Lol I saw €5 in my account I was soo stressed all I could do was laugh. I felt like the prodigals son at this point. How was I leaving my teen years with €5 please, even my little brother had more money than me and he’s unemployed. This was me on my birthday:
We thank God my sister came to rescue me from this financial problem lol. Think about it, if I had set out a budget and didn’t spend all my money on invisible restaurant dates lol I would’ve had some emergency cash to fall back on. I literally had no excuse for the foul spending I was doing, because my company provides me with A LOT of financial incentives. Budgeting is so important especially when you are away from home and have to be independent.
- Be responsible with money. Budget how much you’d need for the month (inc. bills, utilities, necessities, groceries etc), you can put a bit aside for leisure (restaurants, clubs, activities).
- SAVEEEE the rest/Have contingency monies. (You don’t even need a reason to save because either way it will benefit you!).
- Save also before you go abroad! ERASMUS payments were DELAYED last year because so much people applied. Don’t make the same mistake I did and solely rely on them, because I didn’t save money before I went, when the payment didn’t come on time, I was screwed and I had to go to the Bank of Mum.