“No excuses, play like a champion” – Wedding Crashers anyone? I have no excuse for my lack of writing, life just happened. So let’s just move on to some updates…
For those who care, I finished out my sugar detox on a strong note and then promptly dove back into eating like crap. No one is surprised. It is so incredibly hard to develop consistently healthy eating habits. Again, life happens and before you know it you’ve ordered another pizza for dinner because it’s 6pm on a Thursday night and everyone is starving and exhausted. I am not exaggerating when I say that we have eaten pizza at least once per week for the last 3 months. And it makes me so incredibly sad. I have a million reasons (ahem, excuses) for why all of those pizza orders were necessary, but none of them are really valid. When I dig really deep and get really uncomfortably honest with myself it’s because this life is overwhelming and it’s easier to order a pizza for delivery. Planning, purchasing, prepping, cooking & serving a meal is just not a priority in my weakest moments. It falls to a negative level of importance, which is really crazy when you actually think about it. The food that I’m putting in my body to keep all the systems functioning should be really important to me, but in that moment it just isn’t.
I’m determined to be better moving forward though, not just for the health of it but because we are spending so. much. money on crappy food. Which is another topic I want to cover…the ever present anxiety about our finances. It seems like the bills just keep coming and we just keep spending everything we have. We are not the kind of people who buy a lot of new clothes or techie gadgets and we certainly don’t go out to fancy restaurants or bars. But somehow every month when we should have just a little bit saved, we have nothing. So I am in the process of doing a FULL inventory of our spending habits to see what little things we can stop doing that will help us start saving. I think I have some good ideas; like my semi-regular trips through the Starbucks drive-through – it feels like I only go once a week but the $$$ tells a different story, or my husband’s random mid-week $30 Whole Foods snack-food haul – he says it only happens “once in a while” but that actually meant two times last month and three the month before – that was $150 over two months! When I actually calculate the amount spent and the frequency, it’s pretty insane and a little embarrassing. I have literally spent $300 on Starbucks since the beginning of the year – 6 months time. That is money that could have gone into our savings account and instead was spent on crappy coffee (sorry Sbux lovers, but it’s the truth) and most likely a sugary treat that I didn’t need. That $300 breaks down to $50 per month and around $12.50 per week.
So beginning today – a random Thursday midway through June – I am going cold turkey on Starbucks. Instead, every time I have a craving for a latte or an iced coffee or a really terrible brownie, I’m going to transfer $6.25 to our savings account. Same thing with the pizza, we have been spending $30 per week on pizza for about 20 weeks (the last 6 months minus the 21 days that I was detoxing), that is FREAKING SIX HUNDRED DOLLARS!!!! If we were to continue this through the end of the year we would have spent over a thousand dollars on takeout pizza this year. OH MY GOD. It is completely horrifying. Which is why we have to stop, today.
I know everyone and their brother has a great budgeting secret/trick/tool/amazing app/whatever, which is great. But in the past – the one time we successfully saved a shit-ton of money over a relatively short period of time – I just made a budget in good old-fashioned Microsoft Excel for every single monthly expense, we stuck to the budget religiously and never, ever, went out to eat. I know this really isn’t a sustainable way to live because we are the kind of people who go on binges when we feel like we’re restricting ourselves, but I think we can manage to go a month at a time with a really strict plan and then allow a little planned splurge. It helps that we have a toddler with a 6:30pm bedtime and live in a bit of a “anything other than chains or coney’s” restaurant desert.
So cheers to budgeting and saving and becoming less of a consumer!