To save money or to enjoy ?

To talk about money is kind of a taboo in France : we don’t talk about salaries, we don’t talk about savings. Everybody does his own business by his side, without talking about it to anyone. But let’s be honest : everybody who comes to Kuwait comes for money. Nobody comes to Kuwait for the beauty of the landscape or for the history of the country. We come to Kuwait for money.

A financial goal

I applied in Kuwait and at the same time, I applied for a job in Bangkok, Rio de Janeiro, Phnom Phen and Denpasar. Salaries were not as interesting as the one in Kuwait but those cities are cities I would love to live in. I would have gone there for free ! But in June 2015, my contract in Kuwait is signed. And I explain to my friends and family that it will be the perfect occasion to save money.

Three years after, I am finally ready. I would like to buy a flat in France and rent it. I went to the bank to ask for a small loan. The banker is nice, she listens to my story and she says no. No, nobody will give me the loan I want. Because I only have a one year contract, because I live abroad, because I already have a loan in Kuwait and all of it. Banks in France don’t want to take risks. And, definitely, for them, I am too risky.

I come back home and explain this to my brother. When I mention it to my brother, he asks me why I don’t sell my Challenger. I am really shocked about this, it’s a no way, I am not even thinking about buying my car. He is not the only one. Everybody advices me to sell the car and eventually buy another one, cheaper. And nobody seems to understand why my car is one of my priorities.

I wish it was my picture but i don’t have dollars – Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

Small guide about life in Kuwait.

I already wrote an article about my life in Kuwait. But today, I will talk about facts.

The flat

We are the 11 of September, it’s 9AM and outside, it’s already 37 degrees and it will reach 44 degrees during the day. I wanted to run, but I woke up too late, it was too hot outside. And when I am talking about too late, I am talking about 7AM. My life depends on the weather outside, because it’s really hot. Sometimes I feel like my skin is getting burned.

When I lived in Paris, I met a lot of students living in really small studios. And they were all saying the same thing : they didn’t need a big flat because they were always outside. So their flat was just a place for sleeping. In Kuwait, it’s really impossible.

I spend most of my time at home. In the cold of the A/C. I could save money from my rent because it’s a bit expensive. But my flat is full of light, I have two bedrooms and two balconies, the building is quite new and my neighbors are really nice. I only live with a cat so I don’t really need a flat that big. But I love this flat and I don’t mind if it’s a bit more expensive because I spend a lot of time in my flat.

The car

I can spend four hours in my car every day. Here in Kuwait, your car will tell a lot about your social class. I started driving in Kuwait with a Mitsubishi Lancer, now I am driving a Dodge Challenger. And, believe me, my driving experience is not the same at all. It’s a way more better in my muscles car.

I could have kept renting my car, but I decided to enjoy my life and buy a car I will never have the chance to buy somewhere else. If I think about it honestly, to buy a car is like throwing money. Every month is a bit hard because I have to pay attention to the 20, the insurance is really expensive and, relatively, the gas also. However, every time I push the button and hear the vroom of the car, I think it was the best thing I could buy.

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To go out

From March to October, it’s hard to go out for free. It’s too hot to walk in a park. So, the only free thing I do during this period is to run before the sunrise. The rest of the time, I will pay. We seat in a coffee, drink a Coke and it will end up in a restaurant for dinner.

And step by step it becomes a budget ! At the end of the month, it starts to be a small sum.

If I really want to move and walk, I will to a mall. And for someone who loves to buy, it’s heaven. There is everything you want. It’s hard to resist. H&M is next to Hermès, Sephora is not that far, there are shoes everywhere and it’s hard to keep my credit card in my wallet.

Travels

For me, leaving Kuwait often is essential. It’s hot, the country is small and there is nothing to visit. If I want to see something else, I can rent a chalet on the seaside or pay to spend the day at the Radison. But I rather take a plane and go see how is life around.

Since I am in Kuwait, I went to Lebanon, Iran, Bahrein, Cyprus, Thailand and, obviously, Paris.

I could have saved this money. But if I want to stay in a good mental health, I have to leave this country often, I have to see what is happening outside. At some point, I need to see greenery, to walk in cities and to breath fresh air.

Photo by Jeremy Dorrough on Unsplash

To enjoy every day

So, I decided to enjoy every day. It means that I see what the country can give me and I take it. To drive a race car will give me a better experience in Kuwait ? Fine, I will buy one. If I want to enjoy my life, I have to live in a bigger flat ? No problem, I will pay for it.

I can’t go out for free ? It’s ok, I will pay to eat or drink outside. I can have a life made for saving money : wake up, go to work, work more, sleep and repeat. Or, I can save less money and enjoy more my daily life.

I know that financial goals are never enough. We always want more and more. When I arrived in Kuwait, I wanted to make my future safe by saving money. And at some point, I realized… What’s the point on thinking about the future if I wasn’t enjoying my present ?

Quelque chose à ajouter ? :)