March 4, 2024

The real cost of money worries? More than a penny for your thoughts.

Author: Shayne Sommer
Category: Financial Freedom

 

Angie was nestled amongst the cushions of Nick’s luxurious sofa, wrapped in his plush bathrobe, a temporary substitute for his embrace as he took to the kitchen to brew a perfect mug of coffee.

She loved that recently, Friday afternoon drinks with the girls had, by sunset, become a romantic dinner for two with Nick … and after that the evening was spent at his apartment, overlooking city views with champagne, a scarcity of garments, and all that a blossoming relationship could offer.

Nick settled in beside her, handing her that perfect brew, he too sipping a morning coffee and winding his free arm around her side. As Angie took her first sip of coffee, she lounged back into him. Time both stood still and flew by simultaneously.

This kind of bliss is what she’s only read about in romance novels.

As their mugs emptied, he placed a sweet kiss on the back of her neck and left her for a moment. She heard the water hit the glass of the shower screen and habitually picked up her phone. Without a thought, she clicked on her banking app, a habit she’d developed recently.

As she viewed the screen, her neck stiffened, and tingly pricks began stabbing all over her body. A quick check into her transaction history showed that not only had that round at the bar with the girls been costly, but a quarterly payment she’d forgotten was due had exited her account.

It was going to be a tight fortnight from here to payday.

Angie flicked to the social media pages, last night, Lucy and the crew had hit the town, photos of them sipping cocktails on a lavish terrace, images posted from all the ritzy clubs across town. To top it all off, someone had snapped Lucy being ushered into the most exclusive night spot with the arm of some dashingly handsome suitor across her shoulder, as he tossed the keys of his luxury sports car to the valet.

Angie let out a long, heartfelt sigh; Nick’s cushions just didn’t feel as comfortable now, and upon closer inspection, it’s possible the mug she’s drinking out of has gone through the dishwasher one too many times, it’s looking a bit worn.

“Lucy out living large beyond her budget again, hey?” Angie was so preoccupied with the girls’ night out; that she’d not noticed he had returned.

Deep down she feared that if Nick hadn’t of taken her away for dinner, there was no way she’d have been able to afford to keep up with the girls’ extravagant night. “I’ve been thinking,” she started, looking up at Nick, “I might defer study for a bit, get a promotional job like Lucy and get some money behind me,

I just can’t save on my cafe salary.”

“Babe,” his voice reassuring but cautionary, “no one ‘saves’ on their café salary’; but we do learn how to budget, and save, and when we get the job that we’ve studied for, we’re mindful of our hard-earned cash.”

Nick shared with Lucy that while he was studying, it drove him nuts that his mates who had full-time employment seemed to have money to burn, but over time it was short-lived. “It really messed with my thinking,” he shared, “missing out on concerts and some trips away, but now I’m in a much better position, it was worth that angst at the time.”

Angie gave him a wry smile, “Promise you’ll keep me from keeping up with the girls and spending all my savings in one night?”

“Only until you’re the one gallivanting across town without abandon,” he replied, “and taking me with you of course!!” he added as he scooped her into his arms amongst the couch cushions. Angie welcomed back that feeling of timeless bliss and kept the pangs of FOMO at bay.

Studies in psychology show that when people’s thoughts are consumed by money troubles, their overall decision-making is impaired. They have less ‘bandwidth’ to focus on other things and are generally more sensitive to examples of things they don’t have.

 

Reference:

Mullainathan, S & Shafir, E. (2013) Scarcity: Why having too little means so much.  London: Allen Lane 12. Hammond, C

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Each day I wake up excited to inspire everyday people to open up and take control of their money, regardless of their history, goals, or savings amount. About Vanessa >>

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