The awkward conversation of money

chris - trujillo


Time is ticking on my WordPress account and I have to make a decision. Do I renew the subscription for another year? I know the answer, and it probably is ‘yes’.

Good. End of blog post. The end.


(attempts small talk)

Wonderful. Would you like a glass of Inca Kola? 

How are things your end? 

Okay. Well, it’s just that the price exchange is not favourable for Peru. We aren’t talking about a matter of $5 when buying a piece of technology. And when it comes to buying an upgrade to WordPress, you have to pay $120 Australian. That’s close to 300 Soles.

Is 300 Soles worth it? Well, yes, but I have to manage my money.

I never learned to manage my money well. And I’m not talking about while living in Peru. I’m talking about life in general.

My bank created an account for me when I was 10. It taught me with cartoon characters called ‘Dollarmites’ that it was important to save my money rather than to spend it at once. Then, that way, I could buy better things. The things I dreamed of when I was 10 were video games, and bikes, and all things Pokemon.

As an adult, up until last year, I could buy these things every week. I just couldn’t buy the more expensive things. But I didn’t really want them.

In a mining town my pay was good but not like that as a miner. I watched everyone around me take on loans to get houses and nice cars. They took on loans to get these things, but don’t seem to be affected by them. I guess I have a fear of loans. I feel if I cannot afford it, I cannot afford it.

Some of my grand purchases this year: socks!

When I bought a year’s subscription to my blog last year, I saw it as an investment. I dreamed I would have a greater readership, of course.  I had a month to go until my first job (six weeks until my first pay check) with a lot of time on my hands.

At that stage I would retreat to the mall and hide in the Starbucks. I needed that experience to keep some sanity, to process my surroundings in a safe spot. Even though the flat white didn’t taste like a flat white, it was called a flat white.

Two months later when the remainder of my money wore thin, I received my first pay. And it was fantastic. I blogged about the Converse shoes I bought, and the nice shirt, and the expensive pair of black skinny jeans. The shoes wore out quickly for Converse, and still need repairs, and I rarely wear the shirt, and I live in the black jeans. I spent almost my entire pay at the mall that day when it was supposed to last a month. Within two weeks I realised I needed to buy a new phone, which cost the amount of my entire first pay check.

But since then I have been more careful with my pay. South America hasn’t been cocaine and orgies, booze and one night stands, or travelling every day to a world wonder. It’s been life. Buying food and paying rent, considering paying for a bus ticket or a taxi ride instead.

I’ve learned that everything here in Peru has different prices. There’s always a cheaper option if you’re willing to look for it. There’s always a compromise. I could go to the American style supermarket for my fruit, or go to the local markets or stores for my fruit. And trust me when I say these are REAL MARKETS, not like any market I’ve seen in Australia where the best ones seem to offer the same arts and crafty things.

Markets. So many markets.

The trouble is that I don’t think blogging, and a reader’s accessibility to it, should be compromised. This have become my journal entry of my experience here, more than anything, and I think I need to do my best to uphold the integrity of it. After all, what am I doing here if I’m not going to write about it?


WordPress keeps sending me emails, reminding me that I only have one month, one week, three days,  one day until my subscription and domain ‘Awkward Conversations With Burnzy’ runs out.

For some reason I keep procrastinating the renewal.

Then, I change my mind. Not a lot of people are reading this blog anyway, and certainly not strangers. They will find my blog regardless of whether or not I spend money on it. Really, in the end, my blog has become nothing more than a scrapbook. It’s a journal entry for me.

I don’t need to buy a subscription. I can write on here anyway.


I wake up on Monday morning and see an alert on my phone. WordPress has thanked me for renewing the subscription. “What?” I think, and check to see whether or not I have read the words right. It’s true. Somehow, my Australian account with a minus deficit has found the funds to pay WordPress.

For a while I think WordPress is fucking with me  is showing the Christmas spirit. Maybe it has a ‘help a promising blogger’ (ha ha ha) Christmas sponsorship (*No offence WP. I’m a big fan. Love your work). 

I think there’s a mistake.

It’s been a Christmas miracle.

And it was a Christmas miracle in a way. Because on or around the same time that WordPress was about to cut me off after my card details bounced on their last attempt to renew, the company I haven’t worked for in 14 months gave me an unexpected payment.

I don’t know if you believe in anyone. The universe. God. American freedom. The Queen of England. David Bowie. Family. Communism. Your head-of-state. Vishnu. But I do believe in something, and I can’t but feel that something is sending me a message.

“Don’t give up. Keep writing. Keep sharing your writing. Someone will read it.”

5 thoughts on “The awkward conversation of money

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