Sunday, August 21, 2011


Man Overboard!! 

Where do I begin? Lately I feel like I’m springing off of a diving board and while I’m midair realizing that my head is going right into the shallow end, and the pool isn’t filled with water, but rather a huge pile of $hit. On the other hand, I feel like I am the first one sprinting out of the heat and right on track to having the new record for getting all of my debt paid off on time. Part of me keeps hoping that Gail is going to pop up and surprise me to either tell me that I am doing really well and give me a cheque for $5,000 or that she is going to tell me to get my $hit together and stop spending like an idiot. I think it’s going to be the latter in this case. Either way, I would get to meet Gail Vaz-Oxlade!

Now Gail would be on my case because starting out the week, I took out my $140 that I was going to use for spending money on life (food mainly), and I ended up spending $110 in a matter of 2 days! This is why carrying cash is so important, because you see right away that you’ve spent all the money you have and get a harsh wake-up call that you don’t have as much control of your cash as you think you do. The mistakes I made were beyond obvious to me, but yet I still went out and effed it all up! The first thing I did when I got my cheque was go out to a goodbye lunch for a colleague who I worked with for maybe 3 weeks. I’d see her around the office, but I didn’t really know her and quite frankly I don’t think she would have given 2 $hits if I were there or not, but yet I still went – and ORGANIZED the freaking lunch. It kind of goes with the territory for my new job, but still, it seems so pointless to spend money on a lunch out with someone who I don’t really know. That lunch cost me $29; that doesn’t seem like much at all doesn’t it? But look at my budget after one lunch, now I only have $101 to get me through the week for food and any other random expense that comes up.

We all make mstakes
My new job is going well, but it’s making me recognize challenges that I forgot that I faced in a busy office environment – spending! When you have little time for yourself to take breaks, you go for what is convenient; whether it’s the $1.40 that I spend on a coffee every afternoon or the $8.00 I spend on lunch pretty much every day or even the $5.00 I spend on breakfast every morning, it all adds up! If I were able to stick to my guns and only spend money like that at lunch time, then I would still be on budget, but when I get home, I order a pizza, or something like that instead of just going to the grocery store and making myself something to eat from scratch I end up going overboard. I increased my spending limit for the week and yet every week for the past month, I have been going well over the limit for spending. It’s not just the weekly stuff that I am spending too much on either, my phone bill has been over $100 for the last couple months and as much as I love my iPhone, I really feel like Rogers has me bent over the counter each and every month with this extravagant expense.

The key for me and anyone else on a budget is that when you overboard, you need to identify why you are making the mistakes that you are making and figure out you’re going to get back on the boat and sailing toward your goal again. When I am off track, I can’t help but notice where I am making mistakes in my life. The number one thing that has got me concerned lately is my health. When I am stressed out, I eat garbage foods that don’t benefit me in the least and my waistline reflects that. I don’t know about you, but I can’t afford to go out and buy new clothes with my budget, and there’s nothing more stupid to me than having to buy new clothes because you’ve been eating nothing but unhealthy foods. For me, my expanding waistline is a sign that something is not going well right now. Some of you are thinking, “Oh shut up John, you’re the last person who should be thinking about your weight” but it’s not about my weight, it’s about the fact that I am not doing enough lately to manage my stress and take care of my health.

Stress also influences my spending – if I want something to make me feel better, I go for something that makes me feel better about myself, but it’s always only temporary. Take yesterday for example, I was dropped off at a bus station next to a mall for me to get home after a day with friends, but I ended up going to buy a pot at Winners, and then walking out with the pot and two yoga towels instead of just getting on the bus and going home. I don’t need any of this stuff, but it’s been on the “want” list for a while. I felt good about the purchases because they were really cheap (the pot was only $7 and the towels were $20 each and they normally cost $40-50) but then later I felt like a$$ because that’s $50 toward my debt that I could have paid off.

Danielle For the Win!!
A key problem to my financial failure in the past couple weeks has been my demanding schedule. I’m putting in 12 hours of French classes every week on top of a 40 hour work week and then add in my 4 hour yoga volunteering and my time is stretched pretty thin. It’s not necessarily that I am finding this to be impossible to do, but I have found that I have not been in the mood to come home and cook something when I put in 11 hour days. I would rather just sit back and turn my brain off while watching Big Brother – seriously, I am in love with that show, it’s a guilty pleasure for sure – go Dani! My schedule has gotten to the point where it is taking away time from doing yoga. I used to do yoga 4 times a week and now I am lucky if I can get in more than 2 times. Yoga has been instrumental in helping me stay focused on my goals because it gives me the time where I can take a pause from my busy day, relax, and reflect on all the good work that I have been doing for the past 10½ months. I really am not taking advantage of the free yoga deal I have and I really think that that has been a major influence in why I am losing my focus.

August has added further complications to my spending because I am receiving three paychecks. Yes, it is wonderful that I have all this income coming in, but it has enabled me to keep in the back of my mind that little voice telling me “don’t worry John, you have 1.5 times more money than usual, so go ahead and indulge in some extra spending this month.” That attitude does not get my debt paid off any faster. It’s funny that when you have more, you want to spend more! It’s no wonder that you hear about all these lottery winners who end up broke after a year. That would be the ultimate fail for me. If I won the lottery I would like to think that I wouldn’t be broke for the rest of my life!

Alright now, I am being pretty harsh on myself though considering the excellent progress I have made on my debt repayment. I have now hit the 30% mark ($11,390.56 – OMG) and my goal of paying off 33% in 12 months is definitely going to happen if I can keep this pace up – and that is so exciting! Now I am going to buckle down and focus, focus, focus. This can continue to be possible as long as I remember that I am the one who got me into this mess, and no one else. Thanks for still following my blog, even if it has been pretty lackluster lately. I’m getting so close to getting my MasterCard paid off and when I do, there will be quite the party!!  

1 comment:

  1. Hang on John!

    You've been doing so well, and perhaps indulging now and then isn't so bad!

    Besides, I'll be home soon and we can work together on this! I can't wait to have weekly take-home cooking pot-luck dinner/cookoffs!!!


    Keep up the good work :P