I need to pay rent in a few days and I haven’t got the money in my current account. I have done some side-hustling recently and am owed enough money to cover the difference. I also loaned someone £350. However, that’s not the only spending I’ve done. I’ve really done some serious damage via my food and socialising categories.
Yesterday, I opened and read an article by Mindfully Spent about the power of habit. She talks about how, as a naturally erratic person, it’s taken her a while to build good habits and the impact those habits have had on her financial status. ‘A while’ was about 6 weeks. She successfully stopped paying for parking, cut back on buying coffee and started planning and prepping meals in advance. It apparently took her around 6 weeks to achieve these goals. She said, and I quote:
How did I know that I’d made a real change? My whole mindset about paid parking shifted. Now, the cost savings and the extra exercise I get when I use free parking feels like a reward. There have been one or two days when I thought I might have to pay, and I dreaded the idea. Once a mindless convenience, the expense of parking now feels like a horrible waste.
Watching P!nk a few weeks ago was super thrilling!
I was torn between reviewing August and reviewing how frugal my recent Berlin trip was. The August review won because I really need to get a handle on my spending for the rest of the year. This month was super important for two reasons. Firstly, it’s been a year since I started tracking my spending and trying to control my money. Secondly, I was able to make a decision (since I now have savings) to go home to see my ill dad albeit for only 3 days. How did August go?
I’m at home today, the third and final day of an emergency trip home to visit my dad who’s not had the best of health this 2017. I’ve been grateful that I could come and visit at short notice and that all my siblings showed up this weekend to visit me. It’s the first time since November 2014 that we’ve all been in the same place and I feel nothing but love and gratitude for this opportunity. There’s a small downside, however! My flights here will take up 12 hours by the time I get back to London and I’d have only spent about 24 quality hours with my dad before I leave. It’s only because I’m currently beholden to work and could not, in good conscience, abandon my colleagues for longer than this whilst we were in the middle of the most important phase of our delivery cycle. So, this morning I woke up and just had to make another attempt at a FIRE PLAN.
Hopefully there will be many more days like this one even as I plan for FIRE
In October, I evaluated how being more intentional could help me become luxuriously thrifty. I don’t know whether minimalism, intentionality and thrift are always intertwined. It’s certainly been the case that since I started reading personal finance blogs, I’ve also started reading and/or following bloggers that include articles on minimalism and intentional living. At the heart of it, the FIRE movement mandates intentionality since it promotes spending in line with your values and that requires some deliberate decisions.
View at Farthing down on my London to Brighton cycle yesterday
Work has been busy or my time management has been very poor over the last couple of weeks. I think it’s more the latter. This is the first morning that I’ve woken up feeling rested and the first time I’ve had a bit of time to relax and do important stuff this week. I won’t lie, I’m very excited about some of July’s numbers so let’s get into those.
I know I only just reviewed June but while I was at it, I remembered that reviewing June meant that I was halfway through 2017. At the start of the year, I wrote down several goals (2017: The year of the saver) that can be summarised within 4 categories
- Financial – including things like maxing out my baby emergency fund, supporting family and being able to invest properly in the stock markets by the end of the year
- Health – Change lifestyle gradually and permanently so that I never have to make another weight-related New Year’s resolution. Sleep more.
- Professional – make money using 9-5 skills, learn new skill, become go-to person at work for something.
- De-clutter – Intentional ownership. Sell, donate, or throw away stuff that doesn’t provide joy
I was super late for and had a pretty large suitcase that meant that walking in the 20 minutes it would take to wait for the bus was not an option. I thus decided to take an Uber. This will be the third Uber entry in my June spending tracker (since my months run from payslip to payslip). May was rather spendy – relative to my aspirational spending plan although it’s a lot better than it was a year ago. Therein lies the problem. I’m still being kind to myself because compared to the hot mess that I was a year ago, my spending looks good.
I have a diverse set of friends. Earlier in my career as a consultant software engineer, I mostly hung out with fellow “professionals”. My friends were doctors, lawyers, engineers, architects, bankers or consultants too. These friends visited the latest restaurants, travelled on British Airways, took first class trains, and stayed at the Marriott or Hilton. I joined in and adopted this lifestyle even though I had no business living that way. We went to paid exhibitions at galleries and museums, cooked Ottolenghi recipes with exotic and expensive ingredients, bought designer clothes, worked out at expensive gyms and didn’t think much about spending £12.50 on a cocktail on a night out.
I set a few goals at the start of the year and felt like I’ve not been on track for most of them. I’m a lot chubbier than is healthy or optimum, since I like to take part in a lot of sport where heft is cumbersome. I’m not eating as well as I’d like. I neither bring my own lunches in everyday nor make choices that include a high percentage of fruits, vegetables and proteins like I think I should. I’m not reading very much. I’m not spending enough time on the things that I think that I should – creating a professional brand and presence on the interwebs, learning new skills or improving the ones I want to and networking are my top goals in this aspect of my life. Continue reading