When you start earning your own money, what happens? Do you spend like you never spent before? Do you go and buy everything you can think of? Do you buy these things immediately after you’ve though of them? As for me, when I started earning and spending my own money, I realized a few things that I never really thought about before.
I am an only child, but I was never a spoiled brat. My parents always tell me how difficult it is to earn money. They told me stories of how my grand parents strived hard to earn money to send my Mom and her older siblings to school. They told me how my father how to work hard to earn his own ‘baon’ for the next school day. They made me realize early on how fortunate I was that I didn’t have to experience any of these, but still has to be responsible with the money they give me.
They didn’t allow me to have money until I was good enough in basic math. They told me I needed math skill to handle money well. And so, I learned math. I was even the best in my class when I was in kindergarten (hahaha! Some achievement). But my parents still didn’t allow me to hold actual money. I just know then that I have 10 pesos every day that I can spend in our canteen. I just need to tell my Mom if I want to buy anything when she fetches me from school. Or, I can save that 10 pesos to buy something more expensive later.
Whenever we go to malls and I want to buy something, I need to answer the followin questions: Do you need it? Will you die without it? And if the answer is “no” we won’t buy it. Well, unless of course I have money to spend. My parents always tell me that our money is budgeted and that there are more important things that we need to spend on, like food, clothing, and bills we need to pay so that we continuously enjoy water and electric services.
I honestly thought spending will be a lot easier if I’m earning what I spend. I thought, I will have more freedom on what I spend on. I dreamt about buying myself and my parents clothes, taking them out on lunch dates and dinners, going out of town, my treat.
But with great power comes great responsibilities. So like any normal adult who’s trying to be responsible and mature, I pay bills, save some for my future and budget the rest. I was wrong. It was way easier when I just sit and wait for my parents to give me my allowance. It was way easier when I only think of my own needs and wants. It’s easy not to save and never worry about the future because I can always ask for more if I needed it.
Now that I’m earning my own money, I spend more time contemplating whether or not I really need an item before I buy it. I go out less so I spend less. I choose carefully what I spend my money on. Sometimes, even when I really really want something, I wait for my next month’s salary but eventually decide that Idon’t really need it and end up not buying it at all. At times I overthink whether or not my purchases are worthy.