In Palembang, we often feel "wealthy" and find ourselves so much luckier than the people around us. The gap between the rich and poor in Indonesia is huge and we're definitely not part of the rich crowd. The people we mix with are "everyday" people and many don't earn enough for their monthly expenses. I don't like calling them "poor" because even they feel luckier than some other people. So anyway, over there, we don't worry about rent or mortgages, our groceries are cheap and there is really nowhere for us to spend any money. So, that's why so we end up feeling "wealthy".
The story here in Brisbane is something else. We have places to go every day and that means temptations to spend money. A snack here, a drink there, something on sale...y'know what I mean? I've put myself on a strict budget and have stuck to it so far. The problems is that I find myself constantly tallying up how much I have spent so far to see if there is any room left to be frivolous. I'm also always looking for the best price to get the most out of my money. (In Palembang, I usually just pay whatever is asked for even if its a little "over priced". Its my way of doing some charity for that vendor without obviously doing it.)
Its just a very different feeling and today, I actually felt a little disappointed because I had to hold off buying somethings until Friday (start of the financial week for me). I must add that I felt relatively poor.
Living here is definitely costly and I worry about the future when I will eventually have to move here. At least I know that for fruits and vegetables, there is the bulk buy market.
On top of all that, there is of course the worry of how safe my money is in the bank. Here I am, budgeting away so that I don't over spend but WHAT IF the Australian banks go the way of the US? Oh where, oh where, do I put the money that I am stopping myself from spending?