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Money Money Money
If money makes the world go round, then my world is spinning very slowly.
Six months ago I moved to Edinburgh from my small hometown in the Highlands – with a skip in my step and a bulging wallet of savings in my pocket, or rather bank account.
Like so many other arts graduates, I was doing an unpaid internship, convinced it would lead to rewarding experiences, valuable contacts and exciting job opportunities - I guess two out of three isn’t bad.
Three months had passed since the internship ended and I was still unemployed, with nothing but time on my hands and countless job rejections, and all the while my bank balance was shrinking at an alarming rate.
Still, I remained positive: “Surely I’ll get something by the end of this month” I told myself, simultaneously trying to see the bright side (I don’t have to get up to an alarm, I can sit outside during a rare spell of sunshine, visit galleries, work on my novel and spend the day cooking!).
Sadly I couldn’t find someone willing to pay me to do these things.
At a time when unemployment levels in the UK are reaching record highs (although it was announced this week the figure is falling), money worries are at the top of the list of troubles for most people.
It doesn’t help to be surrounded by news of the latest bankers’ bonus scandal or to hear that EL James – author of the cringingly awful Fifty Shades books – earns over £800,000 a week.
I have never really been one to worry about money particularly - even when I had £5 left near the end of my first year of university (I lived on water biscuits and peanut butter), or when I had £100 to my name but still bought a £50 pair of pajama bottoms (They were cosy!).
And after quitting my job as a trainee reporter in my hometown, I spent all my savings travelling the world – desperately needing some adventure in my life.
I suppose then I had the safety net of knowing I would earn more money, but more than ever I am realising that money really has no inherent value and sometimes you just think: life is too short. And as Oscar Wilde said, “Anyone who lives within their means suffers from a lack of imagination.”
Certainly all of this is easier in theory than in practice, especially if you’re a 25-year-old without real responsibilities and not a working single mother.
Thankfully I now have a job, as a gallery attendant, but have had to rely on my small plastic friend to pay for rent for the last two months (a wise procurement when I still had a full-time job initially meant for travelling-the-world emergencies).
In two weeks a friend is getting married - I am spending money on hiring a kilt on top of paying for a gift and travelling costs.
I know I can’t really afford it but I still refuse, perhaps naively, to worry too much about money.
Sometimes it gets in the way of enjoying a special occasion, spending time with friends, or just life. It really is short – one day before you know it, your world will stop spinning altogether.