You can sing about it all you like, but it’s not often something you talk about, is it? What you earn, or don’t earn, is normally a taboo subject, it’s thought to be a bit crass to discuss money – but if we don’t talk about it, how do we normalise it and make it, non taboo? (That’s a saying, right?)
Women especially, we all know we earn less than our male counterparts, even when we’re doing the *exact* same job as them. By keeping our earnings a secret, we’re almost making it ok for companies to undercut us, to keep us questioning what we’re worth, and girlfriend, you’re worth it all….
We’ve all been told that money makes the world go round, but doesn’t buy you happiness. It doesn’t grow on trees, but only money makes money. The best things in life are free, but if you pay peanuts you get monkeys. So, you know, that clears that up then. It all makes perfect sense.
Social Media Pressure
Add a little sprinkling of social media jealousy, the need to have the newest – everything – and you’ve probably got a recipe for disaster. Surprisingly, the kids aren’t the only ones who get sucked into wanting what everyone else (appears) to have, oh no, us grown up grown ups are right in there as well. Who wants to be the only person on Insta rocking last seasons jeans? Not me, no siree. (Well, actually, I don’t really care about the jeans, cos I only do skinny and they’re about 8 seasons old, but you get the gist don’t you?)
We’ve all been there, how many times have you scrolled through your timeline while sitting on your (old) sofa feeling like everyone is out drinking fancy cocktails, wearing fancy clothes in fancy restaurants and you’re all “that’s it, we need to get down to *insert appropriate venue here* and take a hella load of Instagram pics to upload and make y’all green eyed” No? Don’t lie……
Apparently, if you go into any fancy London hotel and wait around for 15 mins or so, you will see at least 3 people come in, snap a picture and walk right back out again. Chances are, that shot will appear somewhere on one social channel or another, before the day is out, maybe with a little old comment to have you believe they stayed/dined/had a meeting there. See? We’re all faking it until we make it around here.
Splashing the Cash
In the interest of being truthful here, I’m going to put my hands up and say, I’m one of those people who likes to live it up like the Kardashians when pay day rolls around. Lunch AND dinner out? Yes. Sparkly new shoes because it’s almost spring? Of course. Another football club for the kid to join? Why not! Two weeks later, you’ll probably find me grumbling in the kitchen about how often I need to restock the coffee pods and whether Aldi really is the new Waitrose.
Yup, I’m all about the balance.
Well, I wasn’t. But slowly, I’m coming round to the idea.
I’m not sure if (who am I kidding, I know damn well I was) I was trying to fill a gap with ‘things’. You know that empty feeling that, you can maybe fill, with a new handbag, or shoes, or a dining table, or random cushions and pink flamingoes. The rush of buying something new only lasts for so long, and then you’ve got to buy something else and before you know it, you’re skint. I’ve got a gazillion and one items in my wardrobe (don’t tell the bloke, back me up here) but nothing to wear. My car is amazing, it works, and it’s so pretty, but do I keep eyeing up newer ones? Yup. ‘Cos it’ll make driving to the usual destinations so much better…..
Along with the bank balancing, there needs to be a little soupçon (love that word) of life balancing as well. You know, you need to realise that things don’t make you happy, but also strive for the best, enjoy the little things but see the bigger picture. It’s about enjoying and relishing what you *do* have without feeling like you’re missing out because of things you don’t have.
When you’re really content with what’s right there in front of you, when you’re actually happy, you don’t ever feel like you’re missing out on things, because you’re not. Sometimes, it takes a bit of a wake up call to make you realise that (you know, if you’re a bit of an idiot and can’t see the wood for the trees and WHAT IS IT WITH ALL THESE METAPHORS TODAY?) you’ve pretty much got what you need, the rest is just frosting.