Do you know that feeling you have when you’re already earning and living off of that money you earn? You feel that you have it all figured out. You get so addicted to saving and investing, every penny you earn must generate another penny. You’re now able to afford nicer things.
You heard all around you; money is not everything. There are things you can’t buy with money. Things like people, happiness, and health, those things are earned with effort, you can’t buy them off the shelf.
But then, what happens if you don’t have enough? What is enough, anyway?
You’ll never know unless you went through it.
That’s what happened to me in Bangkok last May-June. That’s when I learned my limit of craving and convenience.
An Impromptu Trip
My trip to Bangkok was a pretty sudden one. I initially wanted to go to Derawan on an open trip, but because the minimum people wasn’t reached, the trip was canceled. So I made the only sensible thing at that time.
Traveled to Bangkok (I’ve never been there before!) while visited my college friends who’s been working there.
I got the overall itinerary planned. I would go to Bangkok first, stay there for two weeks, then to Phuket for four days, and back to Bangkok for the remaining one and a half weeks. The first week in Bangkok, I would stay with my friend in her apartment. The rest I would rent an Airbnb.
All of the above went according to plan, but not as enjoyable as I wished them to be. Well, at least some are not.
A Pleasant Beginning
My trip started out on a high note.
I rarely take luxurious flights. What I mean by luxurious is not the business or first class. It’s the flight with meal and entertainment provided.
But for this one trip, I decided to splurge. It’s not that expensive, I thought, and I wouldn’t spend that much money there too, anyway.
So I bought the Thai Airways ticket, round-trip.
The flight was REALLY delightful. The meal, the entertainment system, the whole service were topnotch.
Everything went smoothly, just as planned. The stay with my friend was fun, even though she was working all the time. I enjoyed my time alone, visiting the places I wanted to visit.
One thing was missing though.
Back in Indonesia, I don’t have to overthink when I want to eat out at a restaurant. Most of my meals are still covered by my parents, as we mostly eat as a family. Then, the food I want I buy myself. But there, in Bangkok, I paid for everything by myself.
Can I afford this?
I had to think twice every time I craved some food.
Will my Baht last through the weekend?
Is it worth to buy?
How much is this in Rupiah?
I thought I would be proud of myself for being able to control my craving. Instead, that process of considering whether I can afford the food or not left me exhausted and unhappy.
I found that the thought of not having enough money to live AND have fun generated overwhelming stress. I ended up eating a lot of 7/11 meals. At least they’re satisfying and cheap.
Rethinking My Comfort Zone
Another case regarding this frustration caused by lack of money happened when I was visiting Phuket.
I was already frustrated by the amount I had to spend in the two weeks in Bangkok. I booked the cheapest plane ticket (thank God the flight was only an hour) and the cheapest Airbnb I could find (of course with a high rating) for three nights.
I wouldn’t mention the name of the Airbnb here, but I was quite disappointed with the room, as it wasn’t as good as the picture. The pictures only showed one side of the room, which matched the real place, but they didn’t have the picture of the other side of the room. This particular side was the one that gave the room an unsettling atmosphere (in my opinion).
The other amenities and facilities mentioned were good, though. The proximity to the beach was as promised.
I had a hard time trying to sleep on the first night. The second night was better, although I was still disturbed by the atmosphere. I didn’t feel comfortable or relaxed. So I decided to move to a hotel instead.
A night in this hotel = three nights in the Airbnb.
Despite having to pay a much higher price, I felt happier and more relaxed.
What is Money?
I know money shouldn’t be your ultimate goal. I know money can’t buy happiness, but I learned that it can buy comfort and things in life that give you pleasure. Money is not everything, but life sans money won’t be a comfortable one.