On Monday, after being forced to pay two months of rent at once I came to the rather glum conclusion that I am pretty broke. After numerous visitors over the last few weeks, good weather (read: expensive sangria on a terrace) and general hosting expectations, its time to face the music, or rather, face the bank account.
Another thing that was brought to my attention with seeing old friends, is that my annual salary is about half that of my peers, the ones with the good, adult jobs.
To sit down and accept this fact, that I just simply don’t make that much money, was in a way completely freeing. I don’t have the expendable income that I long for, but that’s okay, and whining about it is probably not going to change a thing.
For all the days I’ve complained and bitched there has always been a relieving pleasure in the fact that I got myself in this position. That however much I grumble, I know that I am the only one to blame here.
The blame is minor, I don’t hate my life, but it’s nice to remind myself from time to time that no one forced me into this.
No one forced me to move to Edinburgh which was the uplift and confidence boost I needed desperately at that time in my life. No one forced me to move to Madrid and teach English, it was something I always wanted to do (or at least, I thought so).
And though I dislike my job and am unsure if Madrid is the city for me long term, I was lucky enough to make the decision and have the money to come here in the first place.
Sure, I couldn’t have done any of this if it hadn’t been for many people along the way that gave me the push or the motivational pep talk and advice I needed to believe in myself but it’s nice to know that none of my regrets include an ‘I only did it because they told me to’ or ‘I thought it was a good idea because that’s what everyone else was doing’, no bout of bad luck to attribute, just my silly old self.
I choose to work the least number of hours as possible so that I can focus on what it is I want to do. I don’t mean socialising, drinking and watching television (which I do a lot of, yes) but what I want to do with myself for the rest of my life. Choosing the right path. Or more so, unearthing the path itself so I can set off on the journey.
I’ve accepted my turbulent relationship with shopping will have to end temporarily, that eating in a restaurant and more than two or three drinks in a swanky bar will be a rarity, and overpriced unnecessary €4 coffees in Starbucks are a no-go.
And now, after looking at the numbers, I’ve realised that there is another area of cost that could be cut down upon. Something that I would never have thought of because it is my number one love, my all-time pleasure and my favourite thing to do.
Buying and cooking food.
Nearing the age of 24, I am absolutely not insinuating that I am heading down the route of student meals and pot noodles, you will never catch me with beans on toast as my Thursday night culinary choice.
But it is easy to eat healthily and deliciously on a budget. With all the 10-minute cookbooks and low fat, low salt, low sugar, gluten and dairy free recipes, there’s not always a range or a focus on the cheaper option.
Most cookbooks center on a time limit (which is fine) or else one of the many diet fads in the modern day; keto, paleo, alkaline or a vegan diet but let’s be real – can I even afford a cookbook, let alone the complex and extravagant recipes inside? (why would you need one when there are so many free recipes on the internet anyway? – Oh yeah, because they look nice and make you feel worldly and domestic to modestly perch them on your bookshelf).
So, I have decided that I am going to find, create and improvise low budget, healthy(ish), nutritional quick and easy recipes for anyone who might read this that wants to save a little cash each month, or is interested in finding some new, easy recipes or is just plain broke like me.
I’ll post something new weekly or biweekly, let’s see where the inspiration and restricted money takes me, shall we? Find my future recipes here.