Hello everyone! Last three years of my life were very tough but I experienced a major transformation that I hope others can experience too. Today I want to tell you about that transformation because for the past 5 years I was in the process of healing my relationship with money, people around me, and myself. This is to say that it was difficult to share about it until now. And I also wish that this post promotes safety on this blog for those who are also finding it difficult to share about their journeys.
As some may know I came to UK about 7 years ago. My family used to be financially well off until my father lost his job and we had to move here. At the age 15, for the first time in my life, I got to know what working class really feels like. I was not prepared for that mentally. Money stress made me gain weight, caused first signs of depression, and eventually loose my first job and all of my savings on impulse buying takeaways.
So, how I stopped impulse buying is a very long story. In short, at the age of 19 I started learning how to take care of myself to get out of depression. Taking better care of myself created a cheaper way of living because I wasn’t wasting money on takeaways or hobbies that I used to be peer pressured into. I was essentially working on my self-worth and learning to love and respect myself. And in the process, I realised that I need very little to live a fulfilling life. I learned to be grateful for what I already had.
At that point, I still had my family’s old financial goal in mind – which was to get our Latvian house back. The motivation to get that goal was reignited once again!
With that goal in mind I decided to refresh my knowledge of personal finance basics (borrowing, saving, and budgeting):
- I borrowed money to get education in a university.
- Got a new job after 2 years of unemployment and started saving some of my earnings (but not all) to start building a foundation for getting my financial goal achieved.
- And learned budgeting (which was very difficult but because I first learned to plan properly it was manageable).
Yet I was still impulse buying stuff I didn’t need. So I decided to redirect my urge to impulse buy into gratitude of what I currently own. It was, of course, a bit of a slap in the face when I found out the amount of junk I stored in my cupboards. Getting rid of all of that didn’t bring me joy (Maria Kondo style) was also a challenge with the pandemic outside.
Recently, at age of 22, I realised that the reason I wanted to get back my family house was because I feared my past and my future. I was afraid to make same mistakes that I did with impulse buying or that my parents did with their jobs and how we lost our house. And I was afraid of making similar mistakes in the future, retiring in poverty or with huge debts.
Working on myself for long enough made it clear to me that I want to just be present and enjoy the moment of right here and now. I used to think: ‘How can I be prepared for anything that comes in the future if I am not preparing for it now?’, but the thing is, by being present you’re able to respond appropriately to anything that might occur instead of reacting.
The thing about impulse buying is that we can’t avoid it completely or restrain ourselves in hopes it will stop happening. So, by living in the moment and having the space to respond accordingly to my urge to spend money I can now appropriately choose where I want my money to go.
Next week expect a post about my tips for stopping impulse buying; subscribe so you don’t miss it!