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Spending freeze update

My spending freeze is going pretty well, considering the weather has been amazing here (until this week) and all I want to do is lie in my hammock and drink wine. HOWEVER. As a strong, disciplined woman (sometimes), that’s not an option.

After doing an amazing job at saying no to everything since Easter, I have broken the freeze three times in the last ten days:

  1. Purchased rope to hang my hammock, because it’s summer and I want to sit/lie in that thing. (Although apparently we’re going to get snow tonight. Why?!)
  2. Bought burritos for myself and a friend who’s helped me out.
  3. Purchased a Cliff bar, which I then ate for lunch the next day .. so maybe not really breaking the rules. I was GOING to buy a fire pit but it didn’t pan out.

So I’ve been doing very well. Next step: determine some kind of (small) leisure/spending budget for summer. I want to be all hardcore but I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t make it.

Next challenge: debating whether to break the freeze (again!) for a bottle of wine this weekend. Wish me luck.


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Facing consequences: spending freeze

When I gritted my teeth and took a good look at my bank accounts three weeks ago, I knew it wasn’t going to be pretty.

Since December 2015 I’ve been to Cuba, Mexico, and Quebec City, and since my breakup in June I’ve been eating and drinking out more than I ever have before. But it was worse than I expected.

It hurts my pride to admit – I’m used to being good with money, to silently worrying about people who spend out all the time, to having enough cash in my bank account to generally be able to do whatever comes up. But all the eating and drinking out have finally caught up to me, and it’s time to stop.

The good (things I’ve spend my money on):

  • Trip to Ontario to visit my family (August 2015)
  • Trip to Cuba with my brother (December 2015)
  • Trip to Mexico with my roommate (January 2016)
  • Trip to Barrie to play in a national dodgeball tournament (we placed 3rd!)
  • Set of lights (for filmmaking and photography)
  • AMYC course
  • ZTL course
  • Investment ($200 every paycheque goes to a combination of a TFSA and RRSP)

The bad:

  • Those trips cost a lot! (Average of $1000/trip)
  • Lots of eating out
  • Lots of drinking out (wine is king)
  • Gym membership I hardly used
  • Domain name for a website I haven’t set up yet (what a waste!)

Where I’m at is not okay with me. Obviously time for some Serious Measures to be taken, so I’ve started a spending freeze.

Spending freeze rules are very simple: don’t spend any money. Exceptions include food (but absolutely zero eating out) and gas (as soon as it’s warm I’ll start biking to work), and I bought social tickets because I’d already committed to going, but this is serious business. It’s already been going for about two weeks (I started after Easter), and surprisingly it hasn’t really hurt my social life too much. Meeting someone for lunch means going for a walk, and hangouts take place at my house or my friend’s.

For the first time ever, I have a spreadsheet to keep track of my spending. Normally I’m good with staying within my budget, but apparently I’m not to be trusted and have therefore lost my spend-within-reason privileges.

I will report back soon.

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Time for change

For more than a year now, I’ve told people I’m going to be rich. Usually when I say that, I’m talking about money, although it really could apply to a rich life – spending time with family and friends, doing work I enjoy.

Sometimes I feel so far away from my goals that it doesn’t seem like I’ll ever achieve any of them, much less hit them all. Sometimes it feels like I’m walking backward, or I’ll have a summer like this one and look at my bank account and throw up my hands in despair at my own idiocy.

But life is made up of habits, and habits are the choices you’ve made so many times that you don’t even know you’re making them anymore. And I’m afraid, terrified really, that my choices add up to someone mediocre, who won’t ever amount to anything, and that one day I’ll wake up and realize it’s too late. It’s something that’s scared me for a while, but I keep on making the same choices: staying up too late, procrastinating, watching tv instead of working on my creative projects.

I keep on making the same choices and bumming around and being afraid and trying not to think about being afraid, all the while being a little ashamed of myself for not facing my fears and getting out there and doing something with my time. But instead of making a difference I just KEEP ON DOING THE SAME OLD THING.

So, no more. Change that’s all at once usually isn’t sustainable, so I’m not going to vow a full life change, but I want to stop procrastinating things and start keeping promises to myself.

This is happening, people. Jenna, wake up. This is happening.