Starting work on a new season and talks about big future dreams had me taking a good look at my finances recently. I don't have very many expenses and thus still put money away in the bank each month, but I could see places where I was really throwing the money away. And while it's nice to be able to afford nice things, it isn't even really nice things that I'm spending it on. A shift in priorities is what I needed.
I've been reading Denise's blog Ispasio recently, and I suppose it has got me in the personal budget mindspace. Denise shares her journey as a young adult navigating financial independence, while sharing useful tips on how to effectively create a budget plan you can live by. I haven't gone so far as to make myself a strict plan yet, but I have decided to challenge myself to go a month without spending money on my biggest frivolous "expense": going out for meals.
I know, it should be basic, and shame on me for not cooking myself 3 meals a day, and all that. Since moving out here a year ago, I have been cooking for one person (weekends excluded), and I kind of hate it. I am used to cooking for two people, and sharing the task and managing leftovers and all that. Now it's just me and it drives me crazy and too often I neglect to pack a lunch and I end up eating at the cafeteria at work. Weekends are tough because Ephraim and I like to go out, and especially venture for anything you could call "ethnic cuisine", because we don't have anything like that where I live now. But hey, for this month, I pledge to try to learn how to make those things myself.
I'm also sticking my grocery receipts to my fridge for the month, so I can clearly see how much it costs to feed me for a month, and how much money I was throwing away on mere convenience. I hope to learn some new recipes, look more critically at the ways I spend my money, and maintain a healthier diet than the crappy vegetarian offerings of the restaurants of Niagara-on-the-Lake can offer. And after November, keep on to what I've learned while still letting myself occasionally enjoy those things better cooked by the pros.