Before I jump into this post, the update on the PhD is that I will be seeing him tomorrow. And then there will be a real update.
Back to the resolution.
I am learning a lot about myself. A. Lot. About how I spend money. About how much I don’t pay attention to how much things cost. About how I am not really good with delayed gratification. I’m also learning that if I challenge myself to do something, it’s way better than just “trying to do better” which tends to be my M.O. when it comes to money.
Here’s the thing. I make pretty good money. I should not have to live paycheck to paycheck. And yet I have been (and will continue to do so) because I am trying to recover from years of not delaying any gratification. So, it has been really fun (yeah, I know, weird) to actually feel like I have some control. Like I can do this. Like there might be a light at the end of this tunnel that includes short term savings. (I’m not completely financially inept. I do have long term savings.)
I know, you thought this was just about eating out. But it’s not, apparently. I’m as surprised as anyone. I have started reading price tags and make choices based on cost. Tonight, in fact, I was at the Whole Foods (before you start judging, just know that in NYC, Whole Foods is not really more expensive than almost any other grocery store…at least not the things I purchase) and I really wanted strawberries, but they were really expensive and I only had a certain amount of money to spend to stay under budget and so I had to make some choices. And thus, I went for the cheaper apples. I know that might sound lame, but it was a big deal for me.
I guess what I’m learning is that I can’t have everything I want all the time.
That said, I did get takeout one night because I didn’t have food or time to go to the grocery store. But I was very careful about what I ordered. I got a roasted chicken for $10 that served as three meals. I actually feel fine about that choice. What I don’t feel fine about was my Saturday night pop into the grocery store where I made some impulse grocery purchases; ready to eat items that cost way more than they were worth.
So, this week I stayed under budget, but only by a couple of dollars which included a $20 train ticket to the beach and a $13 movie. Yes…I know…the movies need to go at some point. Baby steps. I also need to start buying gum at Costco (if only I had a Costco card). I have a gum habit that’s seriously as expensive as a smoking habit. It’s like a pack a day. Serious issue.
Next week. No movie. No beach. One meal out because I got invited to a dinner with people I don’t normally hang out with and I can’t completely end my social life. But I am giving myself a budget for that meal out and it’s an authentic Thai place in Queens, so it’s not expensive. (Yes, justifying.)