Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Odds and Ends

Things have been quiet here on the blogging front because, truthfully, I'm bored with money. We earn it, we save it, we plan for what to do with it in the future. We certainly don't seem to be spending it. Our goals seem far away and almost within reach at the same time -- far away because the one big thing we require for reaching them is time, and within reach because we've achieved the self-discipline and income to save up for them in an aggressive manner. There's not much more to do at this point but wait.

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In the last few weeks I have re-read every post I've made on this blog, cleaning them up a bit in terms of spelling and removing a few lines that I feel impose upon my privacy too much and/or would cause some issues if  someone in my family stumbled across it, and in potential preparation for the move to Wordpress I haven't done much more than consider. During this exercise, I was really surprised to notice how difficult it was for a long time for me to bring my lunch to work. I repeatedly set tiny goals, like "bring lunch to work twice a week" or "don't buy a lunch that costs more than $5". And that was at a point when I was earning about half of what I'm earning now -- I really couldn't afford to be eating out!

I had all sorts of excuses for why it was too difficult to bring lunch to work on a regular basis. None of them hold water now. I bring lunch to work about 19/20 days per month, and the anomaly is 95% of the time a day when lunch is being provided for me by my company or someone taking me out. Not only do I remember almost automatically to make lunch the night before, but if I somehow forget, I always have something quick and easy I can take with me at the last minute, like ramen or cheese and crackers and fruit. I don't feel like my grocery buying habits have changed, so it must be my willingness to see lunch in a different way.

Mostly I found it interesting that I always felt so broke, and thought I could justify buying lunch on such a small income, whereas now, when I make more, I couldn't possibly justify that kind of expense for myself. Not to mention that heating something up in a microwave instead of waiting in line somewhere gives me that much more time to read during my lunch break!

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Recently while talking to my mother, it somehow came up that Peanut and I live off of my income alone. He's working, yes, and he actually earns more than me, but we've just been banking every check of his that comes in to go towards taxes and then student loans/retirement savings. My mom, being the Dave Ramsey nut that she is, was just SO impressed with us. She just kept exclaiming, "OH! Well, that's just great. Just GREAT. Good for you guys!" I'm not sure if she's happy that we're focused on goals she agrees with, or if she thinks I make way more money than I do.

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I don't think I'm going to get a bonus this year. I've received one every year for the last three years (and I was one of only two people in my department to receive one last year) but they've always been given by mid-February, so I guess it's not in the cards for this year. Well, that's a bit disappointing, but I know that a bonus is exactly that, and shouldn't be counted upon for any reason. I'm still as thankful to receive one as I was the first time (although maybe with fewer tears) so not getting it is disappointing...but only disappointing. Not remotely devastating.

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Perhaps I'll be inspired to do some real posting soon. I hope you're all doing well!

5 comments:

  1. I've been feeling the same way. I think the better term is uninspired - I don't feel like it's going anywhere.

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  2. I keep meaning to go through all my posts and clean them up a little, but...it's such a big job I keep putting it off!

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  3. I think Daisy hit the nail on the head about being uninspired.
    Your mom is right it is GREAT that you are living off one income and saving and investing for the future with the other. That is awesome.

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  4. Isn't it funny how our views on frugality and deprivation change? When I first started blogging, our grocery budget was $500 for two adults and two cats. Now, it's $350 for two adults, a toddler, two cats, and a dog. I always felt like I had trouble meeting our grocery budget, yet now I pine for even a $400 budget! Same with our fun money. We used to spend something ridiculous like $250 or $300 a month on entertainment: eating out, going to movies, buying stuff, whatever. For the last couple years our monthly fun money budget has been $100, and this month we decided to cut it from our budget entirely and use all snowflaking money (within reason) for fun instead. It's so weird to me when I think about how deprived I felt when we had a much larger income and a much larger budget. Now we have a much smaller income, a much smaller budget, and happier, more fulfilled lives overall. Just goes to show how our attitudes change.

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  5. I was thinking about your comments about bringing lunch to work. It's like when I don't have money and suddenly I see clothes in every store that I just have to own. Then when I do have money to spend on new clothes, everything I look at is ugly or doesn't fit right.

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Thanks for commenting!