About a year ago, I decided to change everything. From the start I have felt that changing my career to pursue an education in nutrition was the right thing. It was scary, of course, but in my gut I knew this was right for me. The course wasn't cheap, but I was able to pursue it wholeheartedly without asking for anyone else's help. I had saved enough money to make my own choices.
As you know, there was no way my family was going to help me out, because I was going against everything they had planned for me. I had moved out of home, I wasn't applying for "real" jobs, and I was definitely not applying for law school. That was okay because I had my own back. I believed in myself enough to give myself a chance to do what I cared for, and I had the funds to take care of myself.
These funds came from my part time job. After I finished high school I got a part time job and I worked there too much. I kept the same job all throughout university. All I did in those days were school, and work. I don't think I understood the word work life balance then. I guess I had to learn by trial and error the importance of rest, and play time.
Initially, I was saving in order to travel. The plan was to reward myself with travel before I started my third and last year at uni. Also, I knew, if I went to law school there would be no time for anything else but law school - so I saved for what seemed to be my only fun experience in the next 10 years. I purchased a personal finance software, YNAB to keep track of all the money that was coming in and out. It had plenty of bar graphs and pie charts satisfy me and check my progress. By the end of my second year I had saved enough money. During that summer break I travelled for two months, where I spent a month in Mongolia, and a month in Europe.
Travelling all over Europe was eye-opening. Not only was I exploring other cultures, but at the same time I gained real insight on who I was and what I really wanted (bit of an "Eat, Pray, Love" moment for me!). Visiting different cities, museums and galleries, and knowing that I have made this possible for myself with my own money gave me a feeling I have never had experienced before - a combination of intense independence, irrepressible freedom, and unbridled glee. I couldn't stop smiling. I wondered, if I could make this happen, what else can I do? Just like that the muscle for personal responsibility was activated.
Having my own money gave me the freedom to pursue my dreams, and freedom in my opinion is priceless. I have noticed that in certain circles of minimalism, money is seen as a bad thing. Personally, I don't think money has any sort of arbitrary value attached to it. Money takes the value we impart to it, whether that is good or bad.
I understand that money is a tool that's used to demonstrate value, and it's not a perfect tool. However, just because its imperfect doesn't mean we can't use it to our advantage. Having money and savings can mean freedom and independence. My savings allowed me to change my life for the better.
Do you save? How can your savings change your life? Let me know your thoughts in the comments section!
With love & simplicity,
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P.S. This year has been the most transformative year of my life. I changed for the better. I am healthier, happier, and thanks to minimalism and nutrition school. Now I can share what I have learnt with people who need it. I thought it was only special people who got the chance to do work that they love, but now I understand that anyone who puts their mind to it can do it. If you are feeling stuck and tired, just hit me up here, and I'll see what I can do for you.