Fine Thing No Dey Finish For Market
It’s taken me some time to admit to myself that I’m not as good with money as my inner self-critical eye feels I should be.
I mean, money is one of those things where you really can’t be self-critical enough. It’s not like dieting where yeah you could be thinner, but there comes a point where nne, you’re too thin.
You can always be better with money.
I used to pride myself on being someone who had good financial goals and was actually working towards them and making progress. I saved up a lot of money working in Nigeria, bought my ticket, moved to DC, roughed it out for ten months, then got a great paying job, and started hitting all my saving and investment milestones. I was doing so great, then I started slipping.
I guess all those months of denying myself Starbucks, and having to ride the bus instead of catching an Uber, and not being able to buy nice things because I was broke got to me in the end, and one nice purchase turned into three, all the little luxuries I told myself I had earned and deserved started to add up, and before I knew it, I was wondering where all my spare cash had gone before the end of the month.
I’ve had Mint since 2008, and for a long time it was amazing for helping me stick to my budget and keep my spending under control, but as I got sucked deeper and deeper into the carefree, reckless spending, I started ignoring, then actively hiding my Mint “over budget” alerts so they didn’t make me feel bad. I was basically sticking my head in a hole in the sand, and hoping to not end up broke.
Recently though, I’ve snapped out of my torpor, and realized I need to drastically address my financial habits, and stop frittering money away. It’s so sobering to track the trends in my transaction and see how much money I’ve lost to unnecessary conveniences like overpriced coffee.
I mean, just take a look at how much I spent on Uber last year:
I don’t drive, so sometimes Uber is more of a necessity than a convenience, but DC has pretty good public transportation, and I honestly could have gotten around on all these trips for a whole lot less than $1,840.54.
And if anyone had asked, I’d probably say I don’t go to Sephora that much, but the numbers don’t lie, and clearly I’ve been within Sephora’s perfumed walls far more often than I successfully deceived myself I had.
At least with my Sephora purchases, it can be argued that I do need all the creams, and washes, and potions I’ve amassed to improve my acne-prone skin, but I simply can’t justify some of the stuff I’ve spent so much money on, and I’m low-key horrified I let myself get this carried away.
Then there’s food.
If ever there was an answer to why I can’t lose weight, it’s right here in technicolor. Nobody needs to be drinking $805 in Starbucks. Least of all me. This is a handful of stock in Facebook for crying out loud, and instead I spent it on calories, stuffing my face. Looking at this in Mint, I was pretty disappointed in myself, but I’ve resolved to do so much better this year.
Total amount of needlessly wasted money?
Eight thousand. ???
Eight? Fucking? Thousand? Dollars?
It makes me sick.
Amadioha, Ani, Anyanwu, and Idemmili are probably shaking their heads at me in shame. I have failed in my fundamental duty as an Igbo girl.
I really do feel like crying just thinking about it.
This is money that I could have saved, or invested or put into my retirement account. Just dumped all of it and let it compound, plus I’m 100% sure I’d have been so much happier, so that’s what I’m going to do this year.
I don’t know how all this spending crept up on me, but it just did.
I spent a lot of money on expensive furniture, and while my flat is absolutely gorgeous, and I love it to death, like a friend of mine once said, “Fine thing no dey finish for market.”
There’s always going to be gorgeous furniture to decorate my space with, there’s always going to be deals on clothes, shoes, makeup, and whatnot. What there’s not going to be is more time to recoup lost gains towards hitting my financial goals.
Come 2016, I’ve found myself far adrift from all the important milestones I set for myself, and faced with the daunting task of wading back to financial buoyancy, but my inner Okoro is about to come out full force to get me back on track.
I’ve decided to sell everything I don’t absolutely need, and build up my emergency cash fund.
Here’s to a financially responsible New Year!