Je bekijkt de reis...
Reisverslag Paycheck to paycheck
27 februari 2014
Paycheck to paycheck
Today I live a life that many people have lived for a longer time or maybe even their entire (adult)life. As mentioned before in earlier posts I have had a phenomenal time travelling but I might have enjoyed the lifestyle for a little longer than was sustainable. Luckily I got a job rather quickly in Taiwan and all seemed well again. Now three weeks into the job I seem to have settled in the working routine again and now start looking forward to the weekends.
Apartment taken care of, job is going well, social life becomes more and more active and I have even started working out again. It all looks a lot like normal for the most part, but there is one aspect though that still is very far from normal, I am still broke. My job pays bi-weekly but due to a holiday my first paycheck was only for one week. However, I couldn’t even wait for that first paycheck and was forced to ask for an advance on my salary on my very first day of working. I explained that 20 euros weren’t going to be enough to survive for another week or so. The advance was approved and the next day I got some money to make sure I’d make it to the first actual payday. I was now living on borrowed money and realised this would not end any time soon.
The agent that got me the job will call me one day and ask for her commission, that’s one thing to look forward to. Thanks to so many foreigners before me who got teaching jobs in Taiwan (and everywhere else it seems) and quit those very jobs in a matter of months again, rather than after the contractual ending date, it is now impossible of signing a contract without a deposit. I am not a 100% on this but it looks like my deposit comes down to a 1000 euros, which they will be deducting from my next paychecks. So here I am “happy” at work at my well-paying job, but I still don’t have any money nor will I be expecting to get paid my full salary anytime soon.
This is why I started this blog with saying I am now living my life like many others. I have to live my life from paycheck to paycheck and not knowing exactly when everyone is going to call in their debts that I’ll have to repay. It is a new way of living and I accept the challenge (not much choice really) but it’s something I have never had to deal with before.
Generally speaking I always had money to do the things I wanted and buy the things I needed and still ended up saving to put away for something else (read travelling). I suppose it started with my childhood where parents learned me the value of money, by not just giving me everything I wanted. The Nintendo that every kid in the eighties wanted comes to mind as a perfect example. My parents were willing to start saving together with us for the Nintendo. We (me and my brother) could do some extra chores to earn some money and we could put our allowances into the Nintendo fund too. Upon reaching the required amount (it goes without saying that my share wasn’t very substantial) we went and bought the Nintendo and we had a great feeling of achievement and the happiness that came with playing on our brand new gaming console.
With my first summer jobs things got kicked into a higher gear, all of a sudden I was making real money (or so I thought back then, nowadays it brings tears to my eyes if I think about how little I made). Now I was really able to save up some money for bigger things to buy and other fun stuff to do, but me being me I pretty much ended up saving it anyway, because watching my bank account grow was fun too.
McDonalds was the first job where I started working on a weekly basis (only a few hours mind you) while I was in high school. By the way I don’t care what you’re thoughts are about McDonalds (yes the food is shit, I always brought my lunch to work) but I think everyone would benefit in working there for some time. McDonalds teaches you a valuable lesson in humility, people have an extremely low view of McDonalds workers and treat you as such as well. It was interesting working there being made fun of by people who weren’t exactly Nobel price winners themselves. While I was working there in my younger years with my future ahead of me, these people were stuck in their life and thought themselves higher up in the corporate/social ladder and therefor looked down on the McDonalds personnel.
But I’m straying from my point, the point was I now had a monthly income that came through honest work for the first time in my life. I was of course still living at home at this point in my life so the income was pretty much a disposable income, but I seemed to save most of it. This was also the first time that I started saving for my first travel adventures sans parents but with friends instead.
As a natural course of live the jobs through my life became bigger and better paying, but it doesn’t change that much until you’re finally living on your own and you have to start paying all your own bills. At this point I should inform you that most my savings were gone because travelling now was a regular fixture in my life. So with all the saving I had done I was able to go on long trips (up to a year) and further away destinations. I even managed to come home with a good chunk of change after my very first backpacking trip through Australasia, something I have regretted a lot since because I could have turned that cold hard cash into once in a lifetime experiences out there.
Saving, it would seem came easy to me, some people how know me personally might call me stingy (or stingy as hell), but hey as long as it pays for me traversing the globe, you can call me what you want. And for the people that don’t know me that well, it’s not like I am weaselling my way out of buying a round of drinks or anything like that. I just don’t like spending a lot of money on things that aren’t very important to me. I will eat at the cheapest places, not buy big name brands or keep up with latest fashion and am willing to sleep in some questionable hostels to save an extra euro (which I will then spend tenfold on partying). I live a somewhat sober life when I’m not travelling but that’s fine with me. For me these days life sort of gets paused as soon as I stop travelling and start working again, then it’s time to dig in and do what I have to in order to hit that un-pause button again and hit the road.
Taipei has many great foods on offer and besides that a wide array of foreign cuisine restaurants that would make anyone hungry, yet I find myself eating in convenience stores to save those extra euro again. I have a limit on what I’m willing to spend for lunch (much to the annoyance of my colleague Josh, I fear), I drink only water and for now have even give up coffee as my daily drug. I’d love to join a gym and buy a new phone, wardrobe but all that will have to wait until my debts are paid and I start earning what is rightfully mine. The challenge of living from what I make now (and still wanting to save) is on.
4 days until payday, but it’s not like I’m counting them down or anything . . . .
28 februari 2014 09:50 | Door: Michel
Heb het hele verhaal gelezen, zo kom ik ook nog eens wat over je te weten. Ben benieuwd wanneer je genoeg hebt gespaard en weer aan het reizen bent :)
Of heb je lange termijn plannen in Taiwan?
Hey Michel, goed om van je te horen. Ja, nu ik niet meer reis moet ik deze webblog maar vullen met andere ervaringen. Ga trouwens binnenkort stieken eventjes een weekend naar Hong Kong, anders verleer je het zo snel. Ik blijf hier sowieso een half jaar, maar denk dat ik hier wel een jaartje blijf. Na al dat buitensporige reizen moet ik even de waarheid onder ogen zien. Dus voorlopig ga ik hier even geld sparen. Ben jaloers op op je maat, Bangkok zal altijd een home away from home voor mij zien. Als je nog wat insider tips wil hebben moet je me maar even een berichtje sturen via facebook.
1 maart 2014 10:21 | Door: robin
Pffff na meer dan 20 jaar en meer dan 10000km hier vandaan komt eindelijk het hoge woord eruit...
Nes wordt nog steeds netjes gehouden incl doos en alle toebehoren...
Als je hem in de lease wil gooien voor bekenden...om wat geld te genereren hoor ik het wel...leverde destijds bij de videotheek 15gld pd op...met de huidige inflatie is dat zeker 10eu pd...als je geld nodig hebt moet je creatief worden...