Amy is 17 years old and decided to get involved with Student Life as she felt it would be a great opportunity to practice writing and to get herself out there.
Being seventeen is stressful; it’s like being trapped in a game of ‘stuck in the mud’. The mud represents money; something that limits your capabilities, forces you to work part-time, and prevents you from being fully independent. The person that crawls under your legs to set you free also represents money; something that allows you to do what you’d like, to go wherever you want to go and to wear whatever you want to wear. I am constantly stuck in the mud. Being stuck in the mud isn’t necessarily a bad thing though. Being stuck gives you time to think about what you really want and allows you to make the best decisions with however much (or little) money you have. I voluntarily plant my feet in the mud and choose to stay there. By slowing down and taking a step back I have realised that it is unachievable to expect myself to be able to afford everything that I want so instead I stay in the mud and stop spending. Instead, I save.
Boxes. I put all my money in boxes: one box for summer holiday money, one box for festival ticket money, one box for driving lesson money and one box for spending money. Simple. Having a small amount of money on my debit card for emergencies and having the rest in cash really helps as it prevents me from being too reckless with my spending. I constantly find myself sifting through ASOS and Depop, finding pieces I love and that I NEED to have in my life but, because there’s barely any money on my card I unfortunately cannot buy them.
Having a part-time job and being in sixth form full time is stressful enough so we really shouldn’t be worrying too much about our monetary habits. The thing that helped me the most was working a full day on the weekend instead of during the evenings and forcing myself to get all my work done at school in lessons and free periods as that increases the amount of down time I have throughout the week.
Ultimately, as long as you’re content staying stuck in the mud for a while and you go easy on yourself by being realistic with your expectations you will be more than fine.