By Priya

January 10, 2022


Show notes

🎙 This week, I’m sharing some of the money lessons I learned during the life changing experience of living in Europe in 2018 and 2019. I’m not exaggerating when I say that I came back to Australia after that experience as a changed woman with huge plans. COVID had other plans, of course, but the lessons I learned still follow me around every day. 🤔

This episode discusses topics like:

  • Why travelling is better when you have more money to spend;
  • Why I prioritise spending money on experiences rather than material things; and
  • Why learning to set and enforce boundaries is more important now more than ever.

Links from this episode:

  • Ready to finally take control of your money and build the life of your dreams? Join Camp FIRE! Camp FIRE is the premier membership community helping you get your money under control and reach your goals for a happy and fulfilling life. With tons of masterclasses, bonus content, spreadsheets, accountability and fun, get ready to say YES to a life you love. Become a Camper now for just $4.99 a month (or get 2 months of membership for free when you pay yearly).


  • Producer: Gonzalo Araya
  • Editor: Gonzalo Araya


  • Hey, friends! And welcome back to Girl on FIRE, the financial independence podcast for independent women. 
  • My name is Priya, I’m a chartered accountant, an analyst and the creator of Paper Money Co. 
  • I’m also a fierce financial feminist and the host of this podcast. I believe that a woman who is in control of her money is in control of her life. 
  • On this week’s episode of Girl on FIRE, I wanted to do something a little light hearted and fun. 
  • Today, I wanted to share with you some of the things I learned about money while I was living in Europe over 2018 and 2019. 
  • So, my long time listeners know that I was sent over to Germany with my work a few years ago. And I spent 15 glorious months working and living in Germany and travelling around Europe as much as I could. 
  • And that has been one of the most incredible experiences of my life so far. Living in Europe was the #1 thing on my bucket list since I was a teenager and I wanted to run away to Paris. 
  • It was my do-it-or-die-trying life goal. No matter how long it took and how hard I had to work, I was going to do it. 
  • And I did. It wasn’t easy — I worked my butt off for that opportunity for over 10 years. The day I got on the plane to fly away to Germany, I was 26. 
  • And I remember thinking, well I’ve achieved my biggest life goal at 26, so what’s next?
  • So, that entire experience was really life changing for me. I learned a lot about myself. 
  • One of my favourite quotes, by David Mitchell I believe is, “travel far enough, and you meet yourself”.
  • And that’s exactly what I experienced. But I also learned a lot about money while I was over there. It’s the language that everyone speaks. 
  • Doesn’t matter if you don’t speak German, if you speak money, we can still understand each other a bit. 
  • So, today, I wanted to share those money lessons with you.
  • But before we get started, I wanted to let you know that I’ve put together a super helpful financial success checklist for you.
  • It’s a step by step checklist that’ll guide you in taking control of your finances and creating your own financial success. 
  • It’s totally free and it’s just for my Girl on FIRE listeners. You can get your copy at
  • You just need to enter in your email address and I’ll send it straight to your inbox.
  • If you want to spend money and enjoy life while still saving money and preparing for retirement, then this checklist gives you a plan to follow to get there. 
  • It’s the closest thing to having all my secrets in one place and I can’t wait to share it with you. That URL once again is
  • As always, Girl on FIRE is about learning so grab your favourite notebook or journal and get ready to take some notes or draw some diagrams, write down your questions for me, you do you. 
  • If you listen to this show while doing other stuff or you can’t find a pen then you can always find the transcript on my website at
  • For my Campers, you’ll find the deluxe edition of the transcript in the Camp FIRE members area.
  • It’s an interactive document which includes my own notes, steps to help you take action on this episode and a space to journal your notes and thoughts.
  • Camp FIRE is the premier membership community helping you take control of your money and take control of your life with a ton of masterclasses, bonus content, spreadsheets, accountability and fun for just $4.99 a month. 
  • And because I love helping you save money, you can also get two full months of Camp FIRE access for free if you pay yearly. Head on over to to join.
  • Okay, let’s dive in!

1. Travelling is better when you have more money

  • Lesson #1 is probably going to be a bit controversial for some people. But I found that travelling is better, at least for me, when I have more money. 
  • The first time I travelled around Europe was for my honeymoon in 2017. I had been saving for that trip for a long time. 
  • But I was making less money back then compared to 2018 and 2019 when I lived in Europe. 
  • I was still on a budget but earning more meant that I had more disposable income. 
  • And I found that travelling was a lot more carefree. We were able to be a lot more spontaneous. And that allowed us to really enjoy travelling a lot more. We were able to let the adventure sweep us off our feet. 
  • I could spontaneously decide that I wanted to go to a cabaret show or take a city tour. 
  • We ate where and when we wanted to and I wasn’t constantly stressing about the budget.
  • But something to note here — this doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to earn more. It means you need to save more. 
  • Or, that you need to compromise on the things that don’t matter as much so that you have more to spend on the things that do.

2. Experiences are better than material things

  • Lesson #2 — experiences are better than material things. I’m a shopper by nature. 
  • I like to shop, I like to collect things. I have more planners and journals than I’ll probably need for the rest of my life. 
  • I have a growing collection of rose gold jewellery and Kate Spade handbags. 
  • I have a home stockroom of candles and body products. I like to shop. That’s not really surprising to anyone. 
  • But something I learned while I was overseas is that I’d rather spend my money on experiences than material things. 
  • Experiences just have a way of making you feel a certain way, and they create memories in a way that material things don’t.
  • They really enrich your life. And it makes me feel alive. I really feel like I’m spending my time on Earth wisely.
  • Experiences also have the opportunity to change you. Climbing through the Colosseum in Rome changed me. 
  • It was a profound experience to sit amongst these ancient ruins and think about my life. 
  • It was a profound thing to stand inside Notre Dame, a cathedral that people built with their hands almost 1,000 years ago. 
  • To think about the passion and conviction that inspired people to build a structure like that. And all the people who visited it throughout history. 
  • It felt like a thousand years of prayers somehow seeped into the stone. And now, all those years later, I’m standing in the same spot. It was extraordinary. 
  • Now, don’t get me wrong, I love my stationery. But it doesn’t change me like that. It doesn’t make me feel alive.
  • And when I’m an adorable 80 year old and I’m looking back on my life I’m going to smile when I think about the macaron making class we took in Paris. 
  • Or watching a West End musical or a cabaret show in Paris. It already makes me smile to think of those things. I feel like I lived well. 
  • Life goes by so quickly. And it’s moments like that that slow it down and give us a chance to savour it. 
  • Material things are nice to have and enjoy in the moment, but that feeling doesn’t carry through the rest of your life in the same way.
  • And I’m sure you can relate to this. If you have any sort of bucket list in your head or on paper or anywhere. How many of those things are experiences, and how many of them are things?

3. It’s okay to splurge at times

  • On to lesson #3 — it’s okay to splurge at times. This is something I see a lot of people get tripped up on and feel guilty about. 
  • Just because you’re budgeting and trying to save money or pay off debt, it doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy yourself and splurge once in a while.
  • I know that a lot of old Dave Ramsey followers who convert to the Girl on FIRE way feel surprised by that. 
  • I get a lot of emails from listeners saying how relieved they were to hear me say that it was okay to spend money. 
  • I’ve said it before on this show but money is just a tool. You’re not taking it with you and it serves no purpose to stockpile excessive amounts of it. 
  • Your money is just a tool to help you live your life in a way that aligns with your goals and your values, no matter what that looks like for you. 
  • But you don’t need my permission. I’m not going to sit here and tell you what to do, you know me, that’s not who I am. 
  • As long as you’re making responsible choices about your money and your needs are taken care of, then who cares what you spend your money on.
  • I used to get a lot of judgement from people on social for saying that it’s okay to spend money. 
  • Spending money doesn’t make you a bad person, I don’t know why some people think it’s some kind of character flaw to want things and make them happen for yourself.
  • I’m a big believer in spending money when it’s worth it. And to me, travelling is one of those things. 
  • I’d rather die with a head full of incredible, happy memories than a fat bank account.

4. There’s more to life than just earning money to pay the bills

  • And the last lesson I want to share with you is probably the one that hit me the hardest. 
  • I’ve mentioned this before on the show, but at the time that I left for Germany, I was trapped in a really toxic job. 
  • I was overworked and grossly under appreciated. My boss was a bully, and constantly took credit for my work. 
  • I had been passed over for a promotion I had more than earned multiple times because I was someone else’s stepping stone.
  • I hated my job, I would have daily panic attacks while driving to work in the morning. I often had to pull over just to be able to breathe. 
  • And I felt trapped in that job because I was the only source of income for my family and rent and food aren’t free. 
  • I was trapped in this vicious hamster wheel of working to pay the bills and then spending money on material things to make myself feel better. 
  • But everyone knows that retail therapy makes you feel better for about 10 minutes but it doesn’t fix you. It doesn’t fix the problem. 
  • And my work life was so bad, that I’d bring all that stress and anxiety home and it affected my health, both physical and mental.
  • And it affected my marriage too. I was miserable. But I couldn’t get off that hamster wheel. 
  • But when I started my position in Germany something changed. I was able to get enough distance from my old job and the bully.
  • And I realised, really realised, that I don’t want my life to be a hamster wheel. It’s just not worth it. 
  • All of us were born for more than to just pay the bills and die. There’s more to life than that. 
  • And really accepting that truth is what allowed me to get really fierce about setting boundaries. 
  • Because I learned the hard way in that toxic job that if you don’t set boundaries for other people and enforce them, then they’re just going to take advantage of you. 

Next weeks’ episode

  • And that’s all I have for you Girls on FIRE today! 
  • My challenge for you this week is a fun one — I want you to create your bucket list if you haven’t already got one. 
  • What do you want to do and achieve and experience in your life? Write it down! 
  • And if you do already have a bucket list, then I want you to pick one of those goals and start budgeting for it. Start turning your dreams into reality.
  • For my Campers, the deluxe version of the transcript including action items and additional notes is up and waiting for you in the members’ area. 
  • On next weeks’ episode, we’re talking about emotional spending. What is it? Why is it keeping you broke? And how can you get it under control?
  • It’s going to be a really interesting episode, so you’re definitely not going to want to miss it. 

Rate, review, share and subscribe

  • Don’t forget to rate and review this podcast at It really helps me figure out whether you’re enjoying this content and learning from it. 
  • Your feedback helps me improve my content so that the episodes get better and better. 
  • It’s also the best way you can support this show and it’s totally free. Leaving reviews helps others find us, as well. 
  • As always, if you enjoyed this episode or found it interesting, then spread the love and share it with your friends. 
  • And remember — when you’re in  control of your money, you’re in control of your life.
  • Bye for now — I’ll see you next week!

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The advice shared on Girl on FIRE is general in nature and does not constitute financial advice. The information shared does not consider your individual circumstances. Girl on FIRE exists purely for educational purposes and should not be relied upon to make an investment or financial decision.

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