…but it sure does buy a lot of other things!
Yesterday woke up at 7ish am and suddenly had this urge of calculating our expenses. There’s a lot of things that we’ve bought or going to buy for baby and then we’re going to have an extended weekend getaway to London (and we know how London is money-robbing place).
So I woke up and sat on the dining table and calculated and calculated and calculated and deduced:
We have to save more.
And not just for the things we have to pay for in near future, but also think a little bit further. Travel expenses (ticket to Brunei makin mahal yo, and we MUST go back at least once a year) and childcare fare. The average cost of nursery PER CHILD PER MONTH is GBP 700. We havent decided between nursery and childminder but I thought I’ll just use that figure for now (for sure, childminder lagi mahal).
It reminded me of the kapih times as a student. And if there’s one piece of wisdom that I’m thankful to Big Bro 2 for, is:
To never get a credit card (he made it sound like they’re this EVIL piece of plastic)
And my account didnt (well, still dont) have an overdraft facility as well. So, if I dont have any money, I REALLY dont have any money. I was quite stingy in the A level days – didnt wanna pay for much, and fork out a lot. I remember my friends being annoyed with me for that, hehe. But I’ve let go a little bit (M might say a lot) but think I’m pretty good overall.
Although tempted to what a credit card can give you, I think – if you dont have the money for it, then why have it. Why pretend to have it when you really dont? What irks me as a student was when peers complain ‘nada duit, kapih ku, etc etc’ but still go to starbucks and spend money on stuff they want (and not need).
There’s only two things I don’t mind paying for: Food and electricity. Food that will actually nourish you and warmth that keeps you happier and not frozen in your house.
Now this didnt mean it was all easy going for me during the student years. To maintain my *ahem* lifestyle, I also took the odd jobs. During A levels, I worked as a theatre usher in my school and in uni, I was working for telephone line to ask for donations from graduated students for the new library and this other project I cant remember. The latter was actually quite hard. We were encouraged *uhuk pressured* to bring some $$$ in every night (I worked only twice a week, thank God!) and when you hear other people getting the $$$, you get really stressed out. And I’m not the pushy kind, if people dont wanna give, inda kan di paksa kan. But I think I did ok – my tactic was talking to them about their uni time and then asking for $$ afterwards. To be honest, if someone called me and did the same thing, the only reason I’m giving is cos I know how stressful it is to be on the other line!
And I remember 2 distinctive episodes where I was REALLY desperate for money. I asked from other people to lend me – which didnt feel nice and …well, desperate. But I had to and didnt wanna ask from my parents (cos then theyll get REALLY worried). I also was tempted to work in this factory – you know theres this job centre where u can apply to work hourly in a factory packaging cookies or sandwiches. But my friends cakap I wont like it (theyve worked there before) and deterred me from it. Did they think I was too princess precious? I probably am! But I was SOOOOO desperate then.
Anyway, I remember asking $$ from Big Bro 3 and his condition was that I filled in an excel spreadsheet (colour coded lagi tu) of my expenses – my target expenses and my true expenses every month. I was supposed to fill this in for 6 months tapi my laptop crashed tia after a month or two, OOPS.
Ok rambling on….
for the students out there:
Take it from me:
Do NOT get a credit card. The debts will mount and you don’t wanna start the habit that early on, if at all. You aim to graduate without much (or ANY) debts.
If you want more, you earn more. Dont be afraid to think of ways to make $$. Ebay stuff, sell to friends, whatever it is, as long as halal and doesnt affect your studies, insyaAllah you can make ends meet.
I know parents can get really worried when hearing their children not having enough money. And I’m SURE if (when!) my child is all grown up and is out in the big bad world, I’d want to shower them with easiness of this world. But it’s good to get your kids to think and work for themselves. Not JUST when they start working.
Perhaps the reason why there’s a lot of debts in Brunei is cos people think/know that there’s other people who will back them up and help them. That there will be THAT family member that will fork out money for them. There is no fear of going homeless etc cos there’s always SOMEONE who will help you. And so we spend and spend and spend.
A reminder for me first and foremost 🙂