Making Smart Money Choices
Sometimes I really hate being an adult. I wish I were 11 years old, happy and free of real world stresses like money. If ever I needed anything, all I had to do was ask my parents, and they would usually (if it were within reason) get it for me. Life isn’t like that anymore. I’m a full-time employed adult who pays for everything myself. While that is a great ability, it comes with some major down sides. I have to be careful with where my money goes.
I have to limit how much eating out I do. I try my best not to spend more than twenty euro on food during the week. There’s no need for me to go to Subway or get pub food when I do have food in my pantry that needs to be eaten. Speaking of pubs, I don’t frequent them. The last time I went out and actually bought more than one pint was over St. Patrick’s weekend. If I go out and hit the town, I won’t do it again for a while. The best way I have found to combat impulsive eating out and pints is to not carry my card with me. I’ll take out 20 or 40 euro cash and use that until it’s gone. Once it’s gone, it’s gone and I don’t allow myself to take out anymore until a later time.
It’s so hard though because I LOVE fried chicken and I don’t always want to cook for myself. I LOVE chocolate ice cream but don’t keep it in the house (for health reasons because I’m positive I could live off it…). I LOVE going out with my friends and getting silly. But I have to be smart about where my money goes. I heard it time and time again in my house growing up, “We have to make sacrifices!” Never understood that phrase until recently. But sacrifices I make.
More than just my life here in Dublin, my travels are sacrificed. I’ve made the decision (as of this morning) not to go to Nottingham next weekend. Not that I’m running low on money, because I’m not, but because I could just save that much more if I don’t go.
Let’s do a how much would I spend/save money count. I’m going to put the prices in Pounds and then exchange the rate over to Euros at the end.
Total average entrance fees for activities : 15
Hostel (Cheapest price available) : 25
Total average food/drink : 30
ALL trains and buses to/from/around Nottingham : 60
Miscellaneous oops money : 20
Grand Total : 150 GBP
With the current exchange rate, 150 GBP comes to 182 EUR. (Or for those of you back in the States 252 USD.)
Holy crap right!? I know that what I figured up here is probably a very worst case scenario, but still, 182 euros. I know that I could lessen down my food and drink intake with street food and refilling a bottle water. But at the same time, what if I got there and found out about a really cool local secret that I had to go do. The entrance fee money would go up. And stuff does go wrong all the time, so my miscellaneous oops money might be more than just twenty. 182 euros. That’s a ton of money for a 48 hour trip. With all of that in mind, I am choosing to be out the 33 euro for the plane flight, and not push the trip over 200 euro.
I’m absolutely heart broken that I’ve made this decision. Disney’s Robin Hood (the 1973 classic animation) is one of my most treasured films of all time. I’ve read countless tales of Robin Hood, seen all the movies, studied the mythological man in college! My focus at university was English history for Pete’s sake!!! All I’ve ever wanted to do was go to Nottingham and sing, “Too late to be known as John the First, soon to be known as John the WOooooorrst!” and quote the films, and run my hand along the castle, and tromp through Sherwood Forest…..
But, I am responsible adult who understands the value money. That 182 euro can be redirected to something like my rent or bills or save it up for a longer trip later. There is a Robin Hood festival in Nottingham in August. Maybe I’ll reevaluate my money situation and try to get back over there then.
All I know is that I must be growing up, because I’m making smart money choices.