I never say no to doing stuff on the grounds of no money. I never have (that’s how I ended up with almost £5k credit card debt and a part time second job in a pub when I was in my mid 20s – a great life lesson in getting into, and out of, debt). I’m very afraid of missing out and feeling regret. I’m very of the mindset that life is for living, you can’t take it (it being money) with you, and other clichés which justify my commitment to spending (or occasionally overspending) all of my wages each month.
It’s not all about money. Of course most things have a cost associated with them, but there’s also the time factor. I worked out that between now and the end of November we only have 4 free weekends. Not all our weekends are full from beginning to end. But there are only 4 where we have absolutely nothing to do. And that scares me a little! The commitment of having to be somewhere or do something can be overwhelming at times, especially during a busy week when all you want to do when the weekend arrives is sit in front of the TV in pyjamas.
This weekend of chilling at home has made me remember that time doing nothing is as precious as time doing stuff.
It just so happens that lots of things fall together. There are special birthday parties and weddings. There are bands that we want to see who don’t play very often (or, in the case of Motley Crue, ever again) who we feel we can’t miss. There are places to visit and things to see and the need for a holiday to relax that we also need to squeeze into the equation. And all of these things, and the fear of missing out, have led to an overstretch of money and time this year.
It doesn’t help that we have both changed jobs – husband through choice and me through the necessity of redundancy. We have both taken salary drops, not massive, but enough to make a difference. In real terms – happiness, and commute, and job security – we are richer for it. In disposable income terms, we’re not!
I’m very much a want-it-all type of person. I think many people are these days. And I can see no better use of money and time than travelling the world. Making memories. Having experiences that you will enjoy not only at the time, but in years to come. I have never craved a big house, I prefer to invest my money in enjoyment rather than bricks and mortar (oh, and in my wardrobe too!). I’m already thinking ahead to next year, and what to do and where to go on holiday. Always wanting more.
Maybe it’s an only child thing (any excuse to not take responsibility for my own actions!)
At some point, something will have to give. Our home has taken a back seat to our travels in the last couple of years but, having lived there for 10 years, it’s in need of some TLC – which is going to need the time and money that are currently in such short supply! So if bands could stop touring, and friends could stop getting married, and people could postpone their birthdays – just for a few months next year – I’d be most grateful.