Unnatural frugality

It’s two thirds of the way through March and I’ve failed [yet again] another challenge of mine. I went 18 days before I capitulated and spent £15.75 on a Sunday roast after a hard game of football. This roast dinner came right after a work trip to Milan where I was able to indulge (courtesy of my company) on some rather splendid meals with my colleagues. I had no will when hunger struck to wait till I could go home and cook something. These aren’t excuses, just facts.

What did I have in my 2017 budget

I created an FI budget that’s predicated on the following monthly spends:

  • Rent & bills: £1061
  • Transport (within city): £140
  • Groceries/dining-in: £87
  • Personal care: £43
  • Dating: £108
  • Socialising: £108
  • Sport: £34
  • Giving: £100
  • Travel: £199
  • Support: £484
  • Miscellaneous: £22

TOTAL: £2 278

However, I’m also supposed to be paying off £1067 of debt and save £417 a month. With earnings around £3 100, if I followed my budget I wouldn’t have any savings!

I’ve tried to find my inner saver…

I’ve challenged myself to be thrifty. The uber frugal month challenge in January as well as the #givinguplazy challenge at the start of this month were supposed to inspire me to find the £417 of savings a month through cutting down food, transport and socialising costs – the biggest (non-essential) sink holes that I have.

..but it appears that I can’t find enough momentum to push back against my nature

I’m beginning to think that I should just accept I’m never going to be thrifty.

  • I got a new bike but have only cycled twice so far (because I’m terrible at navigating and haven’t sorted out an iPhone mount)
  • I keep buying rounds / am unable to resist eating or drinking with my mates
  • I can’t seem to sustain making all my meals at home
  • I can’t seem to ask people to pay me back – for tickets etc – if they don’t remember to

I just suck at being frugal!

Maybe I should say goodbye to FIRE. Adjust my budget to the reality of paying off my £19k debt over a more realistic 3/4 years. Adjust my retirement date to 65 with some Sabbatical / gap years interspersed between now and then.

Maybe I should just accept that a leopard doesn’t change its spots.

3 thoughts on “Unnatural frugality

  1. I so understand these… sometimes I can save quite a bit and sometimes, nah – not gonna happen. It is just that sometimes some cut expenses work out well, like discounts requested (from credit card or cable fees etc.), following the sales, or just being conscious about where the money goes. Being frugal should not be about constricting ourselves but cherishing our capabilities and savings. All the best with your future plans – whatever you decide I am sure it will be the right decision for you


    • Thank you. Maybe I’ve fallen into the comparison trap. Maybe I’ve tried for too much too quickly. I have after all just sent a large amount to support a dear person. An amount that I would never have been able to rustle up in the past. So I’m not all bad, I just have to set a budget that’s more realistic for my level of frugality.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Focusing on the journey instead of the destination | Diary of a reformed spendthrift

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