I Trusted My Self with My Money and Wasted 5,000 Dollars

Never Again Will I Spend Money Without a Structure

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

I still remember the feeling of getting my first paycheck.

I was working as a part-time Barista whilst attending University full time. The fact that I could sacrifice some of my time for money is something that I wasn’t used to.

After a month of working, $500 landed in my bank account and I literally felt like I could buy whatever I wanted in the world.

So many possibilities, I could buy that pair of headphones I really wanted or save all of it for a few months and buy myself something really nice. I was in University, I had no bills to pay, so the $500 was all mine to spend.

Now, imagine the exact same mindset but with a full-time paying job and bills to pay instead. I still felt like I could buy anything I wanted. If there was anything I wanted, I would buy it outright or save for a few months and then buy it.

I was by no means broke. In fact, I kept looking for ways to spend more money. Telling myself that I should be spending the hard-earned money. Why else would I be putting in all this effort if I couldn’t spend it?

Then came the winter of one year where my girlfriend and I decided to take a last-minute trip to New Zealand (This was all pre-COVID of course). I knew the flights and accommodation were expensive but hey, what’s life if I didn’t get to spend the money I earned.

Throughout the trip, we did a lot of expensive and fun things. All the while the balance in my account slowly dwindled to zero.

I started worrying but pushed it aside. After all, it is a holiday, I am not meant to worry, I am meant to go all out and enjoy it.

After the trip, as you can guess, I didn’t have much left in my bank account. I had a meager $200 to live off for the next month or so until I got paid again. I was desperate and confused.

How could I have spent that much? How could I have let my balance drop so low?

For the rest of that month, I had to — shamefully — borrow money from my girlfriend just to get by that month.

Okay, let’s never do that again, I told myself. From now on, I am going to be more intentional about what I spend.

I really should, dare I say it …….. create a budget.

or a spending plan. Whatever you name it, it was clear that I needed some financial structure in my life. It was clearly getting out of control.

So create a budget is what I did next. Which is a whole other story on it’s own.

Final Thoughts

Fast forward a few months and I like to think that I am doing much better now. Both financially and mentally. Casually spending all that money with no structure made me worry about the balance in my bank. Every time I bought something, I would be happy for one second and then go right back to stressing out about how low my balance was.

A budget although a mostly unwelcomed word has introduced a much-needed structure in my finances. I still don’t enjoy budgeting but I do see the need for it in my life. For me, having a budget means that I can spend guilt-free on the things that I want and that I know I am doing the right thing with my money.

This article is just to share my personal experience with how I came to implementing a budget in my life. In hopes that it might help some of you out there.

Thanks for reading.

P.S. If you are interested in the budget I use, I wrote about it here :

Disclaimer: This is by no means intended as financial advice, this is just me sharing my personal experience.




Engineer. Programmer. Computational Designer. Currently in Sydney.

Love podcasts or audiobooks? Learn on the go with our new app.

Recommended from Medium

How to start safe trading, Even don’t know anything about trading.

Housing Advice in the GTHA: Share, Save, Borrow

Reasonable Financial Goals to Set for Your 20s

Are there any companies that cosign for auto loans for a fee?

Personal Financial Apps

Where can I get a bad credit auto loan with a score of 550?

Busting The Myth That Many Women Have About Investing

What credit score is needed to get a walmart or target credit card?

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store


Engineer. Programmer. Computational Designer. Currently in Sydney.

More from Medium

6 Tips for People in Their 20s Who Struggle With Money and Would Like to Become Better at Saving

Top 3 Passive Income ideas for Medical Students


The 4% Rule is Flawed (FIRE)