Payday #4: a #firstworldproblems wake-up call

Funny things happen when you really start to pay attention to something: you begin to notice patterns, question things, learn more and (hopefully) start to make changes for the better.

This post marks 7-weeks of being brutally honest with myself on my spending and saving habits as a way to finally kill the $40,000 debt-load I’ve been carrying since 2004 using a 4-step approach. At last check-in, I committed to spending $470 over 2-weeks, which was a bigger budget from previous weeks because of 2 mini-trips, but still $430 less than I would normally spend.

Where my money went: July 26- August 9

  • 💆$116.16: Gal’s spa day. Technically this was $200, but insurance covered the massage.
  • 🏕️ $52.64: Camping trip.
  • 🛍️ $120.09: Groceries.
  • 👚 $11.39: Clothing. Two shirts from a thrift store (in keeping with my ‘no retail’ rule).
  • 🍴 $27.68 Restaurants. Two lunches out (yes, I still haven’t kicked this habit).
  • 🍷 $89.96: Booze. Yep, lots of bevvies consumed by all on my two weekends away. 😜  I do see the pattern here… either time to lighten up on the bubbly, or start making my own wine to cut the costs.
  • ⛽ $70 Gas.

For a total of $487.86, which is $17.86 over budget.

Payday #4_

So, for the fist time since starting this blog, my spending actually came in close to budget. There were a few “sacrifices” made along the way to make this happen, including:

  1. I ran out of my preferred BB cream. It’s $50 for 50ml. Instead of replacing it, I made my own by mixing two products that I had previously purchased, but didn’t like (a darkly tinted sunscreen and a too-light-for-summer foundation). It’ll do the trick until a BB cream purchase makes its way into my budget again.
  2. I also avoided purchasing from a direct-sales party that my friend was having. I have been sucked in by direct-sales several times in the past where I went from “just looking” to spending hundreds because “it was a good deal”.

Now, after writing these two (ridiculous) points, it makes me realize just how damn good I have it and how much I have been absolutely wasting (quite a bit of) money for YEARS on stuff that I don’t need while whining that I don’t have enough cash. There are families who live on less than what I spend on ‘stuff’. Who NEEDS a $50 BB cream? And who needs to spend $100+ on (insert name of skin cream/ makeup/ cleaning supply/ food container) because  it was a “good deal”?  Long story short, I am guilty of  rationalizing the most unfortunate purchases, and honestly would likely have continued these habits if I wasn’t writing this blog.

So, without further ado, here is where my money is going for the next two weeks:

  • $75 Emergency Fund
  • $526 cc payment which includes a $45 interest fee.

That’s it. The rest of my paycheck is going to fixed expenses, and more summer activities (no purchase of BB cream included).

New totals:

  • Emergency Fund: $300 (it took a $400 dip last week due to unexpected repair bill at the rental).
  • Debt: 34,000  which is a total of $2150 down since my first blog post in June, and over $5400 paid off (and kept off) since January. I call it progress!

Plan for the Next 2-weeks

I’m still at a higher budget because of summer vacation. I’ve budgeted $750 where almost all of this time is away from home. I realize this is 10x more than what I am putting toward my emergency fund… guilt is creeping in as I type… but not enough to make me change my plans. 🤷

I also finished my first chair for the side-hustle.chair I’m happy with how it turned out. If all goes well I’ll be able to finally report some income next post!

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