Finding motivation in the oddest way

It’s the third week of November and a quick glance at my spend tracking spreadsheet shows that I’ve decimated the budgets for the last 3/4 weeks. For the first time since August I’m a little bit clueless about how much I should have in my given accounts even though I know my balances and how much I’ve spent give/take a couple of contactless payments I made last week. I’ve spent frivolously (£15.50 Cookhouse Joe’s lunch I’m looking at you), generously (£416 towards my parent’s Airbnb stay since they’ve been visiting me in London) and to save money on a future purchase (£16.80 on 2 tubs of Bodyshop’s hemp body butter because this is the only thing that prevents my super dry winter skin and I got 40% off on the day).


It’s safe to say that I’ve experienced a fair bit of buyer’s remorse….

  • The Wok to Walk jasmine rice with pork, duck and extra spicy hot asia sauce that used to be my favourite lunch in Fitzrovia was extremely disappointing since it tasted nothing like I remembered
  • The posh breakfast I treated myself post Trump was tiny, ordinary at best and totally not worth the discounted £11.03 price tag. It really was a case of style over substance and nothing like the Larder that I’d mistaken it for from years ago. I’ll admit I did enjoy the half hour of music and solitude that I got though.
  • The 2 scotch eggs I got from Sourced didn’t fill me with the happiness I’d normally get. I think I was totally conscious of the cost relative to my goals and the fact that eating them is pure gluttony these days. I might also have had them a bit too many times of late to take the “special” out of the experience

…but I’ve also felt that it’s nice being frugal by choice

I’ve felt rather privileged and wonderful because in spite of the fact that I should and could be spending the money paying down debt or growing my savings, it’s progress in itself that I have any money to spend at all. 6 months ago I didn’t even have money to pay rent and had to borrow from friends to avoid completely destroying 2 close friendships. I also managed to do the following awesome things because I had the money available:

  • Reduce the stress and anxiety that a fraudulent travel agent inflicted on my parents by contributing £416 towards their Airbnb fees (as they couldn’t arrive when they’d planned to and we had to extend the apartment)
  • Buy 4-5 months supply of contact lenses that I need for football and weddings and I haven’t bought for months because I literally couldn’t afford it
  • Buy and cook some food for my parents to save on their having to make food on the days of their arrival
  • Support the person of interest through a tough period as they wait for the next instalment of student loans
  • Have an awesome duvet day with the person of interest following the depressing news that Trump won. We watched Orphan Black and ate cheap pizza and ice cream in bed.

However, I want to have money and live my best life

I can’t wait to review my spending for November. I have reverted to my old spendthrift ways for sure yet there is an opportunity to quantify the savings that I’ll be making by choosing to do the right thing. In October I spent 46% of my money on debt and savings, nearly making my target of 50% – even with a larger than desired budget for birthdays and what not. I’m sure November will be something like 5-10%, which is terrible for my FI. If I want to achieve my goals of living my best life whilst decoupling pay from work, then I cannot continue to spend like this.

  • I want to be able to be generous: Earthquakes and tsunamis, unexpected financial situations and Trump caused a ruckus the last week. I want to be in a position to offer support to those I love when the need arises.
  • I want to nurture relationships and build friendships: I’ve spent a couple of days with my parents since they’ve been here because I’ve had to work 2 jobs and can’t take time off from my main job because I’m saving the rest of my days off for side hustles. If I had reached FI, I would have been free to spend more quality time with them.
  • I want to travel more and on my own terms: I have my first leisure trip, since the disaster that was my low point in May, coming up in 2 days. I’m excited about discovering new places and seeing family but I’m also conscious that my schedule is determined by how many days I can take off work. I’ve also not got enough money to go to Austin or New York like I’d originally planned.

So I’m even more motivated by my splurging

  1. I need to write out my goals and ideal budget
  2. I need to create a vision board
  3. I know how disappointing it was to throw money at the different disappointing experiences and purchases I had this month and how awesome it was to spend on things that mattered instead
  4. I’ll have a few days to reset and realign and start exercising my frugal muscles
  5. I’ll streamline my side hustles better. I earnt £45 per hour on my most lucrative job (main or otherwise) ever last week and I’m damn well going to do the best work ever for the company so that they can hire me for more work. A 45 minute phone call probably generated more money than I earn in a full shift at the theatre.

I’ll get better at this frugal stuff because my future self will thank me for it. I’m determined to succeed. Life should be so much more than it is for a lot of us. Life should be so much more than it is for me.

What about you? How have you motivated yourself through the difficult times? Have you ever felt like you were a failure at being frugal or achieving your goals?

2 thoughts on “Finding motivation in the oddest way

  1. Thank you for sharing your triumphs, difficulties and renewed goals. I live in a “blue” state and last week was very difficult for many of us. With Trump’s win, it has actually motivated me to live by my principles even more. I have turned off the TV, cut my FB use, began wearing a white rose to signify honor, justice, love, toerance & compassion (and to remind myself to keep priciples above personalities), and will be drastically reducing my consumer spending as my personal protest to this president elect. I will keep reading post likes these when I need extra frugal support!


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