If one thing’s certain, it’s I’m thrilled my college days are behind me. I’m happy to finally have a stable career, savings in the bank and a financially stable future ahead of me.
But while I love having the funds to be able to go on vacations, dine at the hottest new restaurants and wear designer clothes, I also miss the good old days when I actually had less in the bank.
Why, you ask? While it’s great to be able to afford nice things, some of my fondest memories actually took place during school… when I was quite broke.
Call me crazy, but here are the five reasons why my broke days were my favorite:
1. I had more freedom.
I completely agree with the saying, “Money doesn’t buy happiness.”
When I had less than $100 to my name, I was happier than I’d been in a long time. I actually put thought and effort into planning my weekends, and I got out and experienced so many new and different things.
My friends and I always tracked down the cheapest (and funnest) restaurants. We knew where to find the best weekly drink specials, and we always took advantage of the free and cheap events taking place in the city.
I could do so many fun things without stressing about money.
2. I was a better shopper.
Now when I go shopping, I know I have money in the bank and my credit card to back me up if I need it. This leads to far too many costly purchases that I end up forgetting about within the month.
I miss the days of putting thought and consideration into every purchase I made and saving up to buy something special. I may have had fewer items hanging in my closet, but they were all carefully selected and worn with pride.
3. I experienced more.
Sure, money can take you on a fancy vacation, but you don’t need lots of money to still experience different parts of the world.
I used to spend my weekends exploring the different neighborhoods and cultures within my city, and I had so much fun doing it. It almost felt like I was exploring another part of the world.
Some of the worldliest experiences can be available close to home if you take the time to look.
4. I cared less about what other people thought.
Now, I feel like I’m constantly thinking about what my next cool Instagram post will be, or if other people like what I’m wearing. This ends up negatively affecting my actions.
From what I order at dinner to how I get dressed in the morning, I care far too much about what other people think.
Life was better when I wasn’t concerned with how people were viewing my actions, choices and decisions. Back when I couldn’t afford to spend lots of money, I had more freedom to spend my money on what made me happy.
In turn, I could truly be myself.
When you’re true to yourself and not wrapped up in the opinions of others, your happiness increases.
5. I lived in the moment.
Whenever I do anything now, I always over plan everything to ensure I’m prepared for anything. Honestly, this really takes away the fun and excitement of it all.
I miss going to a music festival with no idea how I’m getting home. I just used to know I would figure things out along the way, even if that meant crashing on someone’s couch.
I used to be a lot more spontaneous, and I definitely lived more in the moment. Now, I feel like I’m constantly stressing about every minor detail.
Before the days of financial responsibility, I was such a carefree and happy person. I guess that’s one thing money can’t buy.
I believe the true secret to happiness is to spend whatever money you do have on experiences, as opposed to material things.
From now on, I’m going to try to live more in the moment, worry less about what people think and take advantage of all the culturally stimulating things taking place in my own city. I vow to stop wasting money on trivial items like $600 jeans or $50 lipstick.
I feel like my former broke self will be really happy about this.