I was a terrible spendthrift as a young man, probably for around a year or so, aged 20.
Before that I had been careful by necessity, as I was always skint, so had to save up for anything I wanted. I recall trudging to the post office to deposit pennies in a savings account, month after month, until whichever magic figure was reached, and I could finally withdraw my hoard and buy what I’d been longing for.
At college I remained short of money, until I discovered credit cards, which conincided with a particularly stressful period of my life. So I splurged!
My enthusiams for used motorcyles and cars, for which I overpaid, and which rarely stayed roadworthy or unstolen for more than a few months after I’d bought them, didn’t help.
Spending on credit was easy, though not actually much fun. But once I’d got the habit, it was hard to break, as habits tend to be. It was at university, too, that I got hooked on cigarettes, which I still yearn for nearly forty years later.
After college I got a job, moved to London (where driving was inadvisable), and so stopped spending money stupidly. Perhaps it was just that I was too busy to shop, but in about eighteen months I’d cleared my debts and, better still, avoided picking up any more wasteful habits.
But then I met a girl, and later agreed to quit my career to travel with her to India. I was told it was unwise (by everyone…), but did it anyway. Who can plan for the long term at twenty-two years of age? Not me, at least.
India didn’t work out, of course, so it wasn’t long before I was back in London, alone and unemployed, so counting every penny of the meagre state unemployment benefit. Miserable as this was, at least by this point I’d learnt not to spend beyond my means.
A year after quitting my safe government job, I found myself abroad once more, this time starting work teaching English, in Turkey. For three years we enjoyed life, ate and drank heartily, had lots of friends with whom we went out every night, and got to the end of the month with little or nothing left in our pockets. But there was always another wage packet, so no worries!
Then I made another woman mistake, and married. This time, the female in question wanted to escape TO the United Kingdom, rather than from it. So we did, and three more years of counting the pennies followed.
By the age of twenty-nine, I was single again, back in London, and working several jobs. Being relentlessly busy, I spent little beyond my rent and travelcard costs, so at a certain point, to my surprise and delight, I noticed that the balance in my bank account had been growing, month in, month out. It was a nice feeling, surely a better one than I used to get from shopping.
After more than a decade of making my own financial decisions, I had FINALLY REDISCOVERED THE SATISFACTION OF SAVING. And not a moment too soon, as I was soon not single once more, and this time with a baby on the way!
That baby (and two others) are now young adults, and making their own decisions, hopefully much more sensible ones than mine were. Once I’d rediscoverd the savings habit, my future wife and I scraped by (first as freelancers, then running our own business) without too much difficulty.
We even bought, and eventually paid for, our own home, where I’m sitting as I type this – with the central heating set frugally low, as our spare cash is currently going to help the kids through college.
“Get in the habit of spending less than you earn”, I tell our children, “avoid credit, and put aside a part of all the money that comes in each month, so you won’t notice not having it. That way it’ll mount up, and give you some independence in life. Once you get used to it, you won’t regret it!”
The saving habit = the learning habit.
Think about it. Once you make saving/learning part of your normal behaviour, you stop missing what you were previously frittering your time away on, the learning becomes routime so easy to do, and the benefits mount up over time.
Oh wow, you’re so rich/you’re so good at languages!
I’m neither, but what you see is the cumulative result of twenty-five years of making good decisions and mostly avoiding dumb ones.
How can YOU create good learning habits?
See sections 3.) thru 7.) of this article, where I go into some detail.
P.S. ‘Pick Your Own Half-Price eBook of the Week’ week!
Don’t forget, this week at EasyReaders.org it’s ‘Pick Your Own Half-Price eBook of the Week’ week!
The ebook catalog page shows everything they have, organised by language, ebook type, and level.
This coupon code
if carefully pasted into the ‘coupon code’ box in the EasyReaders.org cart page, will reduce the CART TOTAL (not the item price) by £5.
Because that’s half the cost of an ‘easy reader’ ebook, which normally sells for £9.99, though the coupon code will work on any ebook you select, not just the ‘easy readers’.
Whatever you have in your cart, if you apply coupon code 50%_equivalent_easy_reader_discount the total will be £5 less. Do please check that before proceeding with your payment.
Select your ebook or ebooks here: https://easyreaders.org/catalogue/
(click on any title that interests you, then click the ‘add to cart’ button on the product information page to…)
Copy/paste coupon code 50%_equivalent_easy_reader_discount into the box on the cart page, press the dark blue ‘Apply coupon’ button, then SCROLL DOWN to check the cart total has been discounted by £5.
The coupon will expire on Sunday night, December 3rd 2023.
It’s one-use-per-person, so one £5 discount each.
How do I access my ebook?
When your order is ‘completed’ (normally immediately after your payment), a download link will be automatically emailed to you. It’s valid for 7 days and 3 download attempts so please save a copy of the .pdf ebook in a safe place. Other versions of the ebook, where available, cannot be downloaded but will be emailed to people who request them. There’s a space to do that on the order form – where it says Additional information, Order notes (optional). If you forget, or if you have problems downloading the .pdf, don’t worry! Email us at the address on the website and we’ll help. Also, why not check out our FAQ?
Did you read/listen to Tuesday’s FREE bulletin of ‘easy’ Italian news, yesterday?
I confess, I didn’t. But I plan to today, so as not to fall behind.