I always lived at home (a part from that stint in Leeds of course) and my parents were, and are, amazing. My brother and I never wanted for anything. Since moving here, I quickly learnt that money is sometimes like soap- slips out of your hands as soon as you grasp onto it. Yes, I may have made some errors in judgement (cue the violins as I am referring to a blip on the radar known as ‘travelling to see a boy when he wouldn’t bother to do the same’. Look for a future blog post titled something along the lines of ‘Christie meets Boy, Boy turns out to be a dick because they were only casual’) but I now feel the responsibility of feeding myself and paying rent. When you’re desperate to remain out of the red, you go to some lengths to keep spending at bay. I may or may not have taken my own green tea bags to Pret and asked for hot water only so I can sit here and write… Please keep judgements to yourself. I’m a desperate, independently funded girl.
So first lesson for this daily lesson (lesson 1.0): Frozen is good. Frozen fruit and vegetables are a God-send (or Beyonce send… whatever floats ya boat) because you can use them as you please, they can sit in your freezer for a long period of time (while you explore the countryside or Europe of course… or while you’re TRAVELLING TO SEE AN IDIOT BOY… not that I’m bitter about it or anything) and they still have the same nutritional goodness.
Second lesson about money from me (lesson 1.1): Save on lunches. So I love eating, without a doubt. But it adds up. When I’m at school, I usually just have leftovers and an apple (all easy things to carry with me to work to be honest) but on holidays and weekends, I love going somewhere for brunch or a casual dinner and drinks for a catch up. You can get bags of apples from the local supermarkets here (Morrisons, Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Aldi- they all do it) so less than 2 quid. Apples last in the fridge so hit them up for daily snacks. Nuts, bananas, carrots, salad mix… all good stuff for lunches. If you like crisps or a small amount of fruit, meal deals at Tesco and Morrisons are great for getting your fix on the cheap. Also, Marks and Spencers have AMAZING salads and you can get two for 3 quid (they currently are having a summer range… so good. Salads excite me, don’t judge).
Third lesson (lesson 1.2): Railcards are a must. As I live out of London itself (20 mins on the above ground train), getting into London is expensive… if you don’t have a rail card. The 16-24 rail card is amazing, as you save at least 5 quid ONE WAY into the city. It costs 24 quid for the year (once off payment when you apply for it. Forms are at all train stations and make sure you have a passport pic) so do the math.. you make back that fee in a few trips to London alone. The best part is you can use the rail card on any train to anywhere in the UK. Get on it. Literally. Get on the train and go somewhere… with your new rail card.
So overall, daily lesson is: Money sucks. But there are ways to cut back to you can afford to see the parts of the world you want to see. It may suck, but it’s worth it. Trust me.