Monday, November 14, 2011

Progress Report - NIL

This is the battle inside my brain.
Here we are, half way through November and I don’t really have a lot more progress to report on. Actually, all I can report on is the lack of progress I have made this week! Not a day goes by when I don’t consider myself lucky for all that I have (love, job, health, friends, family, stability, home, freedom, etc) but for some reason the debt constantly remains on my mind and adds that tiny bit of stress in my life. I cannot wait to have officially banished this debt once and for all but at the same time I certainly did some counterproductive activities these past few weeks that leave me feeling a little hypocritical. I really wonder if all these financial gurus ever experience the same problem or if these problems are what made them into the strong financial leaders that we have today and if perhaps one day I may become one of them. I have always had a strong desire to help people work out solutions to their problems so I guess I should never say it isn’t a possibility in the future. This blog definitely makes me feel as though I am contributing something valuable to help my readers with their debt problems.  

What really makes doing this challenge such a, um, challenge, is that I am a very social person by nature so I always find it difficult to avoid spending money on fun social events. Lately I have not really been the best example for my friends and I think that they have been paying the price inadvertently. I don’t ask them for money per se but I have been consistently bailed out by friends here and there. Ok, well not really bailed out since most of the time they will offer me a drink or a snack, or whatever, but the reality is that I should just learn to say no every now and then. Really, I ate poutine 4 times this week, which is just beyond stupid and I wonder why my waistline is expanding and why I am down to $20 in my bank account before payday.

Ugly Christmas Budget
Despite all of this, it’s worth mentioning that I have been having a lot of fun lately doing all these uncharacteristically ‘expensive’ things with wonderful friends, but now I’m feeling like I hit that point where I need to just stop and try to find fun activities that don’t cost me anything and that are a little bit more healthy for me and most importantly, activities that don’t leave others spending money on me! I like to do cheap and easy things because I am cheap and easy enjoy activities that keep me on my debt repayment path. However, what is beginning to scare me lately is that the pressure to spend seems to be rising and I think I know why – Christmas. I have gotten at least 5 invitations to Christmas parties that involve me having to buy some kind of gift or tacky Christmas sweater, or contribute to a potluck, or whatever. The point is that they all involve spending. I really don’t want to have to go out and spend anything and I’m sure I’m going to get creative and find a way to save some money by making gifts or something, but there’s always that added bit of pressure to spend.

If you take today for example, I woke up with the wrong attitude and I paid the price throughout the day and here I am writing a less than funny entry in my blog. On the flipside, if I were to approach my struggles with a positive attitude and look for opportunities to learn from my mistakes instead beating myself up over stupid and insignificant things, I will resort less to spending money on eating out or overindulging on “weekend super happy funtime” spending to cope with my stress. I’m going to really push myself this week to take some time to clear my to do list and end the week with a strong feeling of accomplishment, and if I don’t manage to do that, then I will step back and look at what it was that I did wrong.

Tonight I got home from my regular 11 hour day and ordered a pizza. Not because I really wanted pizza, but I wanted something that was convenient. I still have not sat down and made a real meal plan despite 2 of my friends sending me links to some weekly meal preparation websites. I also lived with my Aunt who spends her Sundays preparing meals for the entire week so that when she comes home from work, all she needs to do is throw the food in the oven and she is ready to go for the week. Mind you, she doesn’t really have a budget for food because she has done very well with her finances and isn’t carrying debt anymore, but it’s still a brilliant idea nonetheless.

So, it’s time that I start getting on the meal plan bandwagon, but I am going to give myself the gift of one meal out per week – I more than deserve it. Once I figure out how to get this right and make it work for me, I will report back to you on how it goes and hopefully it will help you save some money too! AND if I’m really really really good, I’ll try to get you some figures on what I spent on groceries so that you know how much this weekly meal plan ends up costing me.

Now just some random side notes about general goings on in my life. First, yesterday was my amazing Dad’s birthday! Happy birthday again Daddio! Also I am now both an iPhone AND BlackBerry user. Not exactly excited about this but I must say I still love my iPhone 1000x more than the BB. On the weekend I participated in an amazing acrobatics yoga workshop and did a shoulder-stand off some random’s lap. And finally, there was a little bit of sad news last week. My beloved Fishy has gone to the golden toilet in the sky. I had that beautiful fish for 4 ½ years too little.
He sleeps with the fishes now. 

RIP my sweet Fishy.  xo


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