Wednesday, April 27, 2011

From Spendy Weekend to Savey Weekend

C'mon Irene!!!

Where have I been all week? Oh yeah, I was enjoying an amazingly laid-back long weekend and then got wrapped up in watching the Biggest Loser last night which made me completely skip my blog writing for the evening! Yes, it’s true, I am one of those skinny ba$tards that sits around and eats pizza and cupcakes while watching people who can’t eat those kinds of foods try to lose 50% or more of their body weight. Don’t get me wrong, those people are inspiring me to not become a lazy sack of $hit for sure, but something about that show makes me want to binge on junk food – perhaps part of me wants to be a contestant on that show. It didn’t help that the episode was super short, but thank goodness they got rid of that annoying Kaylee! And Rulon, do we really need an Olympic gold medalist to win a weight-loss competition – adios! Irene for the win!! After that I got wrapped up in TWO hours of “The Voice” which was “meh”. But c’mon, another singing show? Meanwhile my friends are travelling the world and I am contemplating the fate of reality TV losers.  Anyway, I am getting completely off topic here. The point of this blog is kind of about redemption from my spending fiasco that was last weekend.

My seductive debit card!!
I’ve got to say it, I loved my time in Halifax, but it definitely distracted me from keeping my eyes on the prize – which is getting all this stupid debt paid off.  This weekend was a great time for me to buckle down and get my budget back on track; start saving up my pennies again; and get my repayments back in line. Since I knew I was going to be away for the weekend in Halifax, I never bothered to stock up on groceries, which left me eating lunches out for the past 2 days. I know you’re thinking, big whoop. But it is a big whoop! When I eat out for lunch, I get reminded of all my bad habits, like going to the delicious Thai restaurant across the street, or getting some delicious Indian food from the cafeteria downstairs – that’s about $20 for 2 lunches out of my $60 per week that I have allocated toward food.  Worst of all, I have been using my dastardly debt card which makes me completely lose sight of how quickly my budget disappears from my wallet. I think I have that seven-month itch and my debit card is calling to me from the pocket on my right butt-cheek: “Joooooohn, why don’t you hold me like you used to? Remember all the good times we had at all those stores? Or the way you would swipe me, firm and fast, in those interac machines and I would give you all your heart’s desires?”

That stupid debit card, seducing me with its lies! Luckily, I set a trap for myself in the event that something like this would happen. I’ve been using TD bank since I was 5 years old. Some days I really question why it is that I am still with them, but I digress. TD has this great feature on my debit card that whenever I use my debit card, money is automatically taken from my chequing account and placed into my savings account. You can set this amount from 50 cents up to $5.00. Being the reformed conservative spender that I am, I set this amount to $5.00  so that for every time I am tempted to whip it out and slap it down on the counter – um, my debit card that is, I get dinged for it. In the course of ONE week, I automatically moved $100 into my savings account – that’s TWENTY debit transactions for those of you who are mathematically challenged - ridiculous. Not to mention that I put $150 every 2 weeks into my savings account already. So, if you remember, back in January, I pi$$ed away all of my savings when I went without a paycheck. I am happy to say that now my savings account is at a wonderful $1,741.08! That’s more than 10 times what my savings was back in October of last year! Holy moley guacamole!

The long weekend really helped me reflect about my poor spending habits (both past and present). I realize that I think about my debt way more that any sane person should, however, in order for this process to work, it is imperative that I keep my mind on the money (and my money on my mind) – and maintain a positive attitude about it too. So what do you do when you’re in a situation like mine and you want to keep the spending to a minimum? Let me tell you. I was faced with a number of choices this past weekend, I could have gone out to the bar on more than one occasion, but instead I would buy a case of beer and share it with friends. It’s quite a simple decision for me nowadays. Heck, I even had some left over to take to “the crack park” and drink on the bench, yeah, I’m classy like that. On Thursday night, I had a friend over for some wine, made my own delicious and impressive veggie tray (if you thought I was going to say make my own wine, you are grossly mistaken – yuck) that was not only beautiful, but so healthy too! I even had plenty of leftovers to take to my volunteer job at the yoga studio the next day!

Which leads me to my next thrifty weekend point – find a way to do something you love that doesn’t cost you a thing! All the free hot yoga I am getting is certainly helping me (h)eat my time and lets me exercise for free, but since we don’t all have the time to volunteer and get free yoga, think about doing some other free physical activity. Spring is full of ways to get out and have fun without spending a dime and now’s the time to start searching the internet for local festivals, pack a lunch, and go have a great time in your hometown.

LOL, Google image search for "sexy brownie"
Not at all what I was implying! 
It’s no secret that I am a big fan of coffee shops, and there’s nothing I love more than to grab a book and get lost in it while sipping on a delicious latte at my local caffeination station, however, now that I’m a saver and not a spender, I have learned to avoid coffee shops like the plague. I know that I will easily spend $5 on coffee and probably buy that sexy brownie flashing its fudgy frosting like a 2-bit hooker on nickel night in a heartbeat.  To reduce the temptation and save my money, I got my own little reading nook that I can escape to with a cup of coffee and spend a wonderful rainy afternoon with my book. I don’t care if I look like a nerd or seem antisocial, part of this process is to learn that you can do things that you love without always going out and spending on yet another dinner out that really loses it luster when it becomes routine. I really challenge you to have a friend over for dinner, cook for them, and see how fun it actually is! Even if it turns out to resemble dog $hit on a plate, you’ll end up with a memory between friends that will last for a long time.

Oh, just one more thing, I got my credit card paid down to $9,972.84 today! I know that balance still sounds insane, but you have no idea how much this debt repayment journey is changing my life. I can finally look my debt in the face and tell it to go straight to hell! If you ever need someone to help you get on track with your debt repayment, I would be so happy to help you. That’s it for this week ladies and gentlemen. Thanks for reading!


1 comment:

  1. OMG, under $10,000 today! At the weigh in last week I wasn't sure you'd be able to do it with all that water-weight!