Sunday, April 21, 2013

Money Matters: Put It On The Bill.

Eliza looking whimsical.
While I write about some of the things that money can’t buy, I’m going to trust the TeamTeenAuthors to write about the really useful practical stuff about money. You know, the things you’ll actually need in the day-to-day running of your young adult lives like:
  • ·         How to Budget,
  • ·         How to Live Within Your Means,
  • ·         How to Save Up for Things.

When I was a teenager I went to a Boarding School that looked just like this…

We had a pretty cool phrase we’d use whenever we wanted something: ‘put it on the bill’.

“Sir, I’d like twenty pounds to go into town.”
“Of course you can have twenty pounds. I’ll put it on the bill.”
“Miss, I need new trainers. My old ones just aren’t cool enough anymore.”
“Not cool enough? Oh dear. Let me see what I can do about putting that on the bill.”

Yep. I know what you’re thinking. We were a little spoiled. It was the kind of place where students played lacrosse. Lacrosse is a real sport and students actually played it for fun. By the age of eighteen though, I found myself here:

West Africa, in the most dangerous place I had ever known. Can you imagine? I thought my ‘putting it on the bill days’ were well behind me. However, what I learned was that although money is really important, there were so many things it couldn’t buy.

Money can’t buy good health. It can pay for good healthcare but that’s not the same thing. When I was in West Africa I lived above a clinic, and watched the line between life and death crossed day after day. From my window I started to come up with a list of things that money just couldn’t bring:
    •  Integrity
    • Trust
    • Humility
    • Peace
    • Happy Memories
    • Wisdom
    • Class
    • Selflessness
    • An Open Mind
    • A Happy Home

    This list would go on to define everything about the way I choose to live my life. I chose to work in a state college and not a private one, I chose to be start out as an independent author, I chose to do a lot of things very differently because money was no longer my motivating factor. This freed me. And the funny thing is, lots of fantastic opportunities have come looking for me ever since.

    As you go into your teen and new adult lives, thrilling away at the entrepreneurship that will surely come, you should remember there are more important things than money. It's a fact you can take all the way to the bank.

    Elizabeth Amisu is a writer, reviewer of film and fiction, and lecturer in Film and English. She is the author of The Sacerdos Mysteries. Her novels, Sacerdos, Arcane Rising and Waterblood, are available on Amazon Kindle. Sign up for a free short at

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