Emma Green, telling us why and how she’s packing in the day job for a life on the open road…
In eight working days I leave my job, my flat and my life behind and head off into the sunset with nothing but a tipi and a bag – that’s one bag – of clothes. I own 146 pairs of shoes. Only five pairs are accompanying me on my journey.
Why? Why not? I’m looking over the hill and I’m seeing 30 waving back at me. I have 18 months till I have to shake hands with that bad boy and enough money in my bank account to do something really sensible. But where would the fun be in that?
Along with my best mate, Kerrie, I’m upping sticks. I’m not even entirely sure where I am going but I’m going there.
How have I managed to get enough money together to be able to afford to swan off into the wilderness?
Easy. I haven’t bought anything since December. When I say “anything” I’m lying, I’ve brought a fuck load of stuff. BUT what I haven’t bought is junk I don’t need.
It’s been an amazing lesson in seeing what I buy that’s strictly need and what’s strictly want. Turns out most expenditure is want not need. I realised YES I like stuff, in fact I love stuff but I DON’T NEED IT.
Once I’d hit upon that revelation, hey presto, I seemed to get a tidy little bank account. And the more money I had in my account, the more of a game I played. I’d see something I wanted, but didn’t need. I’d have a little conversation with myself. ‘I LOVE THIS. I DO NOT NEED THIS. DO NOT BUY. WALK AWAY.’
On the rare occasion I allowed myself a treat, it was so novel I was beside myself with joy. Over something as simple as socks, for example. But they were really good socks, they cost me £13. These socks are the pinacle of expenditure for me now. And they’re still in the bloody bag, because they were £13 and they are white and I can’t quite allow myself to wear them.
Another tip for saving is that I’ve given myself pocket money. After the obvious costs of staying alive, I’ve allowed myself an additional £50 a month to spend on anything. I don’t drink or smoke so I don’t blow £50 easily but it’s just the right amount to buy myself something nice – whether it’s a new top or trainers or a concert ticket or a day out. Whatever I feel I deserve. Spending a little bit helps me not spend a lot.
So with all this money I haven’t spent on tat, I could be sensible and continue to save towards buying a house or summink. But no, I’m going on the world’s biggest holiday instead. I’ve got 18 months before I’ll be a grown up. 30 is my door to adulthood and my womb will start getting wrinkly if it doesn’t get a lodger by then so I’m just off for a jolly and I’ll worry about being a real grown up when I am one.
Try spending some time controlling your expenditure with the ‘do I need it want it love it?’ mantra and your bank account will reap the benefits. Then you too will be all: ‘Let’s go round the world! WE HAVE THE MONEY, IT’S IN MY BANK ACCOUNT COS I DIDNT BUY SOCKS.’