I’ve been running from debt for twenty odd years. Each paycheck consumed by yet another shopaholic spree, car payment or debt repayment, the lifestyle I feel I deserve. You can only run from things for so long before they catch up to you. Your welcome is worn out, the debt repayment journey taking longer than expected and sacrifice no longer has the same shiny ring to it.
Debt has consumed too much of my life. The repayment process has consumed three years. Looking back, I could have been out of debt by 2014. Frustration is there but perseverance has become my new friend. I shalt not shoulda, woulda, coulda myself and neither should you!
Embracing Frugality Fully
This has been a slow process. I’m a Taurus after all and enjoy all the beautiful things in life. Delicious foods, beautiful works of art, fancy fashion, fast cars, exotic locations, culture, wine and well, I could go on for hours. You get the point.
I will admit the journey to frugality has been a rewarding experience. It’s removed decision fatigue from my days and as I let it proliferate throughout my life, I feel less anxiety with my day to day. It allows me to focus on the more important things.
In January, I started out by attempting an uber frugal month. I totally kicked butt. As the year wore on, my focus did waver but stayed relatively true to my goals of frugalness. I kept my why at the forefront. Turning 40 with no debt!
Tests of Frugalness
No Spend Year – currently on month nine.
I’ve decided I’m going to test my limits on frugalness, without being cheap of course. If there’s anything that makes me crazy is cheapness when you have ample means to not be cheap. I believe it’s about making your dollars work for you (look YNAB! I’ve drunk the Kool-Aid). Quite often that means buying quality products. Cheap items wear out twice as fast.
The next phase of Frugality Testing
Cash only – sadly, I found out on Saturday that I do need to keep a credit card on hand to get my car out of parking garage jail. Some don’t accept debit or cash in Toronto. I’ll find a way to do cash only, we’ll see.
Frugal meals all day, all the time. It’s like MTV for frugal freaks! What does this mean?
The Frugal Meal breakdown:
Eggs or steel cut oats for brekkie. Some dried fruit or orange juice.
Apple, tuna, and almonds or protein shake for lunch.
Chicken or fish with quinoa/rice and kale for dinner.
Snacks: healthy homemade granola bars, almonds, dried fruit, dried chickpeas.
Drinks: Water and Tea. NO COFFEE.
Cheat day is Fridays. If you didn’t notice, my diet will now be fairly high protein so on cheat day, I can eat as many carbs as I want. Popcorn!! Coffee on cheat day only!
Which brings me to Eating Meals Out…
Restaurant outings will be dramatically reduced as September has gotten away from me a bit. All that is permitted is 1 girls night and 1 lunch outing. That’s it.
As I have the Canadian Personal Finance Conference in October, those will be my meals out for that month.
No Starbucks for minimum 30 days. September has been excessive and I’ve pretty much used the budget for October and November all in one month. I’ve removed my credit card info from the app, so no more auto reload.
So this is my plan, because man, I’m tired of debt. About 21 years tired of paycheck to paycheck. I’m continuing to question everything and reign myself back in when I see that I’m getting out of financial hand again.
Small sacrifices now, big rewards later. Hello Frugality, goodbye Debt.