|Blowing all my money on cocktails on Friday. Illustration by Megan Hess.|
I am so so sick of living paycheque to paycheque, yet I still manage to blow the budget every single month. I'm becoming more conscious about my financial health, realising that I don't have anywhere near 3 - 6 months cash as an 'emergency fund' to cover my living expenses in the event where I'm out of a job.
Despite my frugal efforts across two cheap and very satisfying weekends, I've done a 180 and blown the budget this weekend - almost all on alcohol or alcohol-related activities.
- Work sample sale: $34
- Lunch: $15
- After work drinks: ~$60?
- Dinner: $71 at Chiswick Restaurant for $44 dinner, $13 glass of wine and $14 glass of prosecco
- Drinks: ~$50 drinks at Mrs Sippy and ~$20 drinks at Golden Sheaf
- Taxis: $30 to and from dinner
- Brunch: $50 for Mr. Piggybanks and myself
- Fish and Chips lunch: $20 for Mr. Piggybanks and myself
Total weekend expenses: $350
I work in the buying office for a large retailer and we have a seasonal (every 6 months) sample sale for any products that aren't returned to the vendor. This includes products from all departments; from kitchenware to shoes and accessories. Everything is sold well below cost prices, e.g. brand new leather jackets sell for $30, designer knife sets that retail for $900 sell for $5. It's a crazy flash sale however - I was in the office at 5:55am to line up for the sale - the first person in line arrived at 4:20am.
I withdrew $400 cash thinking I was going on a spending spree and left spending only $34 on goods, all of which I'm very happy with and were things I needed or had been wanting for a long time, bought at a huge discount. On that note: all samples which were not sold, were donated to the Salvation Army. If you want cheap designer goods, head to charity shops!
My sample sale loot:
- Black weekend duffle bag with brown leather finishings: $10 (well made - super happy with this)
- 2x womens cufflinks: $4 (good for my next corporate job)
- Plush beach towel: $7 (my only beach towel!)
- Silk embroidered top: $5 (unfortunately poor quality and dye ran in the wash)
- Coffee plunger: $8 (Christmas gift for sister)
The big budget blowout started Friday night at after work drinks for a farewell of a staff member. Unfortunately work doesn't provide drinks for any occasion (this includes even Christmas parties) so often farewell drinks are at the local bar nearby. Having so much cash on me from the sample sale, I didn't take track of any purchases or ask for receipts as a reminder of where my money has gone (as I habitually do with my card purchases). Rookie move!
Woke up Saturday morning feeling like death and suffering from the worst hangover. Slept until 2:00pm. Saturday night was a farewell dinner and drinks at Chiswick in Woollahra. The food was amazing and delicious (total for food was $44 for numerous plates shared between 6 people) followed with wine and prosecco. Drinks followed at Mrs. Sippy and then to the Golden Sheaf. All in all, it was a great night, but as expected, expensive.
Woke up on Sunday with no hangover. I had brunch with Mr. Piggybanks and a friend at our favourite cafe, followed by an afternoon of sunbathing by the pool with friends and fish and chips for a late lunch.
The big realisation
Most of my entertainment expenses are from alcohol or alcohol-related entertainment activities. Would it be worth cutting out alcohol for a month to see whether my finances (and added bonus of health) improves?