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.