I’m talkin’ ’bout money money

I’ve been thinking a little bit about the cold hard cash that turns the brains of this world. I’m not going to launch into some tree hugging, leftist idealism about the nature of happiness but I must state that we all need a little bit of money. Everyone needs money. Barter can’t work for a planet that functions as massively as our little blob of blue and green. It’s just not possible. Let’s also face the reality that we are all at some level, intoxicated by the idea of having a limitless purse. What would you do if you won the lottery? If you had fifty million lying around, what would you buy? Well, if you had $200,000 sitting looking at you, what would you get into your possession? Two hundred grand is a nice sum. You could buy a house, not a big one or a mansion in the suburbs, but a house nonetheless. For around two hundred grand you could buy this picturesque 3 bedroom semi detached house in the lovely town of Mallow in Co. Cork. You would have to live in Cork, but that’s another matter completely.

For your $200k you could spend a few weeks mulling over the latest edition of luxury cars monthly. You could visit showrooms with the confident swagger of someone who could buy an Aston Martin or Ferrari. You would have to feed the beast and protect it and polish it every few days, but no one could tell you when to drive it or when to just sit staring at it for days. Personally I would have to go for an Aston Martin DB One. I have seen prices for these quoted in and around $200,000. Through the rose tinted glasses I am wearing now, the salesman would be so hard up for the moolah, that he’d be willing to strike any deal he could. I would spend a few weeks toying with his dignity before he’d finally succumb and hand over the keys for a miserly $169k, leaving me with over $30k to mess around with. By messing around I mean blowing it on an outrageous holiday to Vegas. I think about this day, I really do, and it excites me.

So what the bloody hell am I on about here? I am strolling through the listless laneway of regret. I am guzzling down the last remnants of the memories that have faded with the oblivion that they came with. I am thinking about the times I have spent and whether they compare to the Aston Martin that I don’t have right now. So here’s the deal. I have been doing some planning and saving since I have been sober. I have worked out that because of my lack of drinking and heavy drunken social interaction, that I am saving $250 per week. It’s a simple piece of maths and it has allowed me to go on holidays for three weeks to Ireland, two weeks in Thailand, ten days in New Zealand, twice to Melbourne and twice to the Gold Coast over the last twelve months. I have saved over $1k a month and it has allowed me the freedom to roam the world.

I have done a very, very simple calculation and have simply multiplied that $250 by the number of years I drank (15), by the number of weeks in a year (52). The resulting total is $195,000. This is the safe estimate for what I have spent on boozing and messing around over the years. It’s a big number when you sit staring at it. It’s a massive number – hard currency, not a credit limit. This has lightened my spirits in a way as I am looking forward to owning my first Aston Martin when I am 48, right in the tumultuous whirl of a mid to late life crisis. Vroom vroom.
Now in reality I don’t regret a thing. Life is a journey and all that. But it has given me food for thought. When you drink you spend all your money. There is a constant battle to stay ahead and unless you are earning a huge amount over the average industrial wage, then it will remain like this as you go onward in life. Change is something which you can accept, reject or throw yourself into with feicless abandon. If you make a decision now, you can bet your bottom dollar that it will have an effect at some stage further down the line. If you ever needed motivation to give up the jar then surely this could be it. Forget the hangovers, the ugly one night stands and slaps in the face. Think of the bulging wallet and let nature take its course.

Mallow is calling.

13 thoughts on “I’m talkin’ ’bout money money”

  1. Love it! I remember in my late teens my flatmates and I worked out that we spent over $1000 a week on alcohol and cigarettes. After day dreaming about what else we could do with the money we decided to chip in a buy a little jet boat for $4500.

    Did we stop drinking and smoking? Well, not for another 5-10years, but we were able to enjoy our drinking and smoking while wake boarding and fishing.

  2. I gave up the drink a little over a year ago and whenever I start feeling a little guilty about going out to too many nice dinners or spending too much on this, that, and the other… I think to myself well at least I’m getting enjoyment out of it. I used to wake up after a night/morning of drinking in a fight with the boyfriend, the entire day wasted hungover in bed, a massive headache, and quite a few hazy memories that I didn’t want to remember … and on top of that I spent at least $120 for all of it. I make sure to treat myself now and again to nice things like massages and trips and nights out because I would have spent it on the drink and I surely didn’t stop drinking to get no enjoyment out of life. Keep it up! Good to hear someone else enjoying life without drink.

  3. Serena,
    Funny old story…I wonder where the boat is now! Drinking and smoking are enjoyable, but doing them on a boat, which you OWN, is surely a great and wonderous thing!

    I’ll drop that $5 over to you later

    Indeed and it is a lot of cash…simple maths make for simple realisations…like your childrens promise. 1 hour of wages per annum is nothing in small terms, but massive in the big picture.

    Nice to hear you have taken such a great attitude to your new found sobriety. I like to think of it exactly as you are – ending drinking means opening up a whole world of new possibilities, whether that’s better food, travelling or weird and wonderful hobbies. Enjoy spending your “new” money on whatever you like!

  4. Awesome article! I would love a ride in your future Aston Martin, thanks for the offer.

    As a non-smoker, I was shocked the other day in a 7-11, standing behind someone buying cigarettes I overheard the transaction. That little pack was $16!! I couldn’t believe it…

  5. Tess….the Aston’s all your’s for an hour or two in fifteen years! It’s mad how much ciggies are too, but at least the price is semi prohibitive nowadays…although in Shanghai Duty free they’re only $15 FOR 200!

  6. Love it. Add a wife who hit it as hard as me & I’ll be loaded before I know it.

    Seven days AF and feelin great.

    Loved your little book BTW. A few great tips in there my friend.

    When did you come to Melb? My home town. I was over in Dublin about 3 years ago now. Loved it! Especially Guiness Factory.

  7. Hey Brett,

    Glad you enjoyed the read…you’ll be amazed how much cash you’ll have sloshing around especially if you can get the missus to go on the dry for a while too!

    Only been to Melbourne a couple of times, but will be down again in March for a wedding…might see you round..

    I used to work for Guinness too, the factory was my office!! Good times indeed, although there wasn’t much sobriety back then!!

  8. John,
    Too right buddy, I used to live in Oz. I could count the sober days on one hand. Great craic but an awful booz fuelled existence. Im living in bangkok now and im trying to give up the tack but every few weeks i lose the plot. Money has no value then.
    I just started watching and reading your stories, its great to hear someone talk about exactly what happens in your life.
    One drink, 10 drinks, 3 days, no money, rows and a serious headache.
    Its a load of b””’X,
    Fair play to ya, ya seem like a genuine bloke.


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