Cash-in-cash challenge helps 22-year-old wasting money

This college graduate thought she had saved loads of money for years. Then she realized that maybe she had done the exact opposite.

I’m not your typical 22-year-old Gen Z (or dare I say it, Zoomer). I save more than I spend. Or me ?

Taking part in news.com.au’s Cashed Up Challenge – which is written by financial advisor Ben Nash to help get your finances in order – made me reconsider how good I am at saving.

Ben’s calculator got me thinking: where is my money going?

First of all, what’s the difference between spending and wasting? Ben summed it up well. One is “whatever you are currently spending your money on” while the other is “the things you are spending your money on”. want to to spend your money ”.

Every time I get something it’s because back then I really to do want it. A great milkshake? Let me take out my wallet. A new dress? Sure why not? It’s only when you’ve got a stomach ache or that brown dress is in your closet, untouched for months, that you realize you’ve just wasted your money.

It reminds me of a business class in high school. In addition to learning that it is a nightmare to work in a group for a mission, these courses also taught the needs and wants when purchasing a product. Do you need it or do you want it? In reality, do you really want it?

I was in the positive zone for Ben’s calculator (phew!).

It’s probably worth noting that I still live with my parents and am currently saving for a property, or to move, or both.

But now, looking back, that doesn’t mean I’m not wasting money.

From the time I paid $ 84 each month to never show up to my gym, or wasted $ 100 buying an ABN that shouldn’t cost anything, not to mention the days when I shelled out $ 10 per week on a news subscription service which turned out I was able to get it for free because I was working in the company.

Or when I was just out of high school and the only drink I could swallow was a super sweet cocktail that cost over $ 15.

And let’s not forget when I can’t be bothered to take a train home in the dark and / or in the rain, then I take the Uber fare.

I was mostly in the spirit of being a cash-strapped college student, working part-time hours suitable for study, so maybe I was more careful with my money.

Several times I remember trying to decide where to eat or drink with friends and everyone said they were ‘almost broke’ so we went for the cheapest bar with the best sangria deals ( even though the tables were perpetually sticky).

So earlier this year when I went from being a college student to entering the workforce full time, I admit I was maybe a little more loose. with my money.

Two weeks after I started my first full-time journalism job earlier this year, my first paycheck went to my bank account.

I’m not gonna lie, I had a little dopamine surge seeing my balance increase.

I decided to redecorate my room, bought more expensive birthday gifts for people, and even went on a little trip to go skydiving.

I also wonder if I have to spend thousands to get my driver’s license and buy a motorcycle.

But I wouldn’t even say I’m a serial money waster.

I don’t have a PayPal account and I haven’t downloaded a food delivery app to my phone (or even Afterpay) because I know that once I get them my money will be sucked into a black hole .

In fact, I don’t even drink coffee (yet).

I decided to ask a few friends of mine about their waste.

One has deliveries arriving at her doorstep every day from her online purchases (probably not helped by the fact that she’s been stuck for months).

A matte uni buys multiple copies of the same novels because they prefer the cover over the reprinted version.

Another friend admitted that she bought “cookbooks galore” even though she doesn’t cook and never attempted to prepare any of the recipes.

Waste or spend?

Ben’s calculator gave me some hope – you have to factor in a little waste of money in your budget.

It showed me that I really shouldn’t fight when I waste, or should I say spend, my money.

As a financial reporter, I have spoken to quite a few young first-time homebuyers, a few years older than me.

Some said they gave up on traveling (although I guess that choice was made for all of us in the past 18 months) to save for a security deposit.

Another didn’t go to a bar for four whole years – let me repeat this: four whole years without a drink – to save money.

But if you ask me, it’s not worth it.

At the end of the day, I’ll still want to spend $ 15 enjoying a seriously overpriced cocktail, without the guilt.

Get cashed

Cashed Up is a free six week course to help Australians take control of their finances. Those who sign up for the Budget Bootcamp are given weekly, step-by-step challenges to improve their financial health.

By the end of the six weeks, participants will have budgeted, created a savings plan, learned to invest and paid their retirement pensions.

I will be keeping a journal as I progress through the course, so be sure to come back for the second week. And I hope I end up with more money in the bank after making some informed financial decisions.

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About Ernest Decker

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