There was a time in my life when I had no money worries. I didnít have to think about how I would pay the power bill or insurance premiums. There was more money than I needed in my bank account. No, this time wasnít my childhood. No, I didnít have a high paying job. No, I didnít have a wealthy husband/partner.
My income was a scholarship supplemented by babysitting. I was in my late teens and had moved from home to live in a girlsí hostel in Adelaide. I was studying at university.
I shared a room with another student. The showers and toilet facilities were shared by about sixteen of us.
Breakfast and tea was provided and we were allowed to take two slices of bread to make a sandwich for lunch during the week. On the weekend, I think lunch was provided, but itís so long ago I am not sure about that.
In addition to the main kitchen there was a small kitchenette where we could make a hot drink or snack and store our peanut butter, vegemite and the like. There was a fridge where we could keep perishable items and drinks. I smile as I remember the notes you would see attached to these items.
What was the item most highly prized you might ask. (Hint, we were all from the country.) If anyone brought large bottles of rain water back after a trip home, these would be labelled with a dire warning about what would happen to anyone who dared to drink any.
The accommodation wasnít fancy and you shared a room and facilities. There were rules that had to be followed. There was a curfew. There was a roster for helping with the dishes and we did our own washing and ironing.
However, we had all we needed and our rooms and the bathroom were cleaned for us. We were able to put our time and energy into studying and socialising.
When I started work, I certainly earned more money. I rented a three bedroom house and had more privacy and freedom. I bought personal possessions and my choice of furniture, appliances and furnishings. With this came additional costs and money pressures.
Later I became a home owner. I was so pleased to be buying instead of renting. However, responsibilities and money concerns increased again.
I have found the more you own, the higher the insurance, repairs and replacement costs. With independence and a place of your own come regular utility bills and other expenses. The freedom is great but there is less stress when you have a simpler life, when you just have less.