Fretting over financing

Fretting on finance cartoon

I am in a battle with myself at the moment. A conflict between the usual rational, headstrong self and the excessive, spend thrift that rarely rears its head. I am torn between letting my consumerist side out for a brief run around or sticking to the norm and continuing on the path of letting my wealth grow.

You’d think this amount of prolonged deliberation and constant overthinking is due to some significant purchase like a new car or putting down a deposit for a house. No. I just want the new iPhone.

Don’t get me wrong, this is no £2.50 coffee purchase or (my new found thrifty favourite) a 59p cold coffee from Lidl, and comes with a considerable price tag, but given my interest in personal finance and being a keen saver/ investor, it’s not outside the realms of something I can’t easily afford (not to brag but it’s a financial position I’ve worked hard and researched heavily to put myself in to and something this blog will come to be based quite heavily on). So where does the anxiety about such a purchase come from?

I recently listened to a podcast episode on Money Box: The Money Clinic, Poppy and Cliff. This couple – Poppy and Cliff – have started their own cereal café business (an awesome idea and something I wish them all the best on), but they differ quite heavily with how they perceive money and how they deal with their finances.

Cliff was very keen to, as he called it, to ‘invest in the business’ and buy more and interesting cereals from around the world. This would, however, come at considerable up front cost. Now I have never owned my own business and have never really looked into it, but I would imagine that’s exactly how growing your business in its early stages is done with the obvious risks attached to those decisions.

Poppy, on the other hand, had a completely conflicting mind-set. She explained how she had grown up being very money conscious, to the point where If she received any monetary gifts, she would never consider it hermoney and loathe spending anything on herself, even to the point where she made the effort to keep the blazer she had been bought in year 7 all the way until the end of her secondary school days (anyone who has ever worn one of those flimsy things knows how much of an achievement that is). Any mention of spending money either on herself or on the business seemed to be begrudgingly accepted through gritted teeth. One particular thing that struck me was the laptop gift given to her by Cliff one Christmas. They explained how her old one had all but gone kaput, so he purchased her a notebook to replace the old one. Even though this seemed like a rational purchase, Poppy was unable to accept the money spent on her and the eventually took the laptop back.

This all ended with a – albeit unconvincing from Poppy’s end – compromise to meet in the middle.

This really stuck with me, and made me realise how easily I could immediately become a Cliff or Poppy, particularly the latter. I constantly need to remind myself to just spend my money and not think about it after its gone…fuck it you only live once

…right?

 

What I am constantly toying with in my head is my next financial goal. I am currently incredibly close to my next big net worth market, and with this purchase I would not quite reach it this month. But this number is arbitrary. It has had very little thought put into it as to why this number is significant for me. I have a nice cash cushion and a steadily increasing amount working for me in the market, so why not just splurge on this one big purchase? It’s not like it’s an everyday (even yearly) occurrence.

This is a conflict I manage to alleviate somewhat my setting aside a set amount a month into a completely separate account. With this amount I can splurge on anything and not even once consult my rational side:

A flat white every morning before work….fuck it it’s budgeted for.

That hipster pale ale down the local that costs a quid more than all the other beers…leave me alone Daily Mail millennial haters, I like the taste.

That £25 spent on new two new books in Waterstones rather than £2 charity shop books…books are important to me, I like to display them, they’re always thoroughly well used and loved and I like the whole Waterstones shopping experience…and hell I do buy charity shop books from time to time.

 

The one thing I cannot bring myself to do, and will forever struggle with, is a long-term, monthly payment commitment. It’s why I’ll forever probably drive second hand cars I can pay for in cash no matter how wealthy I get or how high my wage may be. Or why I always make sure I can afford to pay my car insurance in full for the year. I couldn’t even commit to a 12 month gym membership so pretended to be a student (same price) allowing me to cancel with one months notice if things ever got a bit tight.

All that said, I’m still pondering this iPhone purchase with my more frugal side. Sure, I use my phone everyday, for everything and for long periods of time. But more current one works fine and is yet to slow down or have the typical iPhone battery issues. It does, however, have one whacking great crack through the top third of the screen which I have already forked out £150 to fix.

What attracts me more than anything is this 0%, flexible, 24 month finance deal. Something I would never usually consider, but if it gives me a new phone (one I’m not needing, but one that would certainly be a welcome upgrade) while not touching one penny of my net worth amount, surely this is something I can manage right? Failing everything I can just pay off the remaining balance after 12 months and be done with it. But this goes completely against my usual aversion to monthly commitments – there will always be that next best product, the next thing being pushed in your face for you to buy and I deplore that, but on occasion I just can’t help it.

Oh god, what a first world, middle class problem this all is…

Who knows? Maybe I’m overthinking this…no I’m definitely overthinking this…

7 thoughts on “Fretting over financing

    1. I have decided to go for saving a high deposit to put down on the 0% finance so I only end up paying £15-£20 a month for the 12 months and then sometime in the final 12 months I’ll pay the rest off in full 🙂

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  1. First time here on the blog, good read and very relatable. a quick comment on the phone, I use a Xiaomi and love it for the price tag, However, I cracked the screen and bought a new screen off eBay for £20, a multitool for electronics for a few quid and some screen glue for £3. Changed and fixed in 30 mins at my table with the help of a youtube video.

    I enjoy fiddling with stuff and now I have the tools to do it again I can help friends out in the future and change it for them for the price of a screen. It might be worth spending a few quid on these resources and selling your old one on or giving it to someone who is in need of a new phone. Otherwise whats your old broken phone going to do, mine always sit in the drawer for years to come!

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    1. Hi Alex! Thank you for taking the time to read my blog! I’ve not heard of the Xiaomi, that’s a new one on me. I took a brief look into the Pixel phone because of how much cheaper it was but decided against it and went for the 0% finance on the iPhone 11. £25.99 a month because of the £129 deposit I put down so not too bad really spread like that.

      I would really like to be a lot more hands-on and DIY savvy, but last time I tried to do that was when I took apart my PS3 to clean it properly. Suffice to say it no longer works 😂 I have thought of donating all my old phones to those sites that promise to plant a tree for each phone you recycle though.

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