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17 days

March 10th, 2017 at 09:26 pm

I haven't purchased any food or drink anywhere other than at the grocery store in the last 17 days! No restaurants, no coffee shops, no convenience stores. It was only half intentional but once I realized it had been two weeks, I was pretty pumped! I'm also on day 5 of no spending.

I finally succumbed to the cold virus going around the office, but I'm getting over it faster than any other cold in my life. I'm not sure why; perhaps my supplement regime is helping.

I've been floating in and out of feeling really frustrated by the cost of cars and homes and where my life is now vs where I think it should be. I looked into cheaper sedans instead of small SUVs, but a 5-inch road clearance in the winter seems personally unsafe. These city roads don't get plowed well, and visiting my parents involves driving 500 miles into desolate country. I toyed with the idea of attending a $40 homebuying class this weekend, but you have to buy a home within a year of attending to qualify for downpayment assistance programs. I don't see that realistically happening, as much as I desperately want it to.

I realize I shouldn't compare my life to other people my age - but it's so hard not to when FB friends I graduated from college with are company vice presidents living in mansions with huge pools and driving luxury vehicles. I wish someone had shook me 20 years ago and said, "Do not major in frivolous things, you need an actual PLAN!"

The problem then, as it is now, is that the things I actually enjoy doing do not pay life-sustaining salaries. That was marginally ok when I had a partner - not so much anymore.

It's March. I'm always melancholy in March! Is it spring yet?

9 Responses to “17 days”

  1. alice4now Says:

    First off, way to go on 17 days with no convenient food or drink purchases! I don't remember when I have gone more than a day...

    It can get frustrating if you compare yourself to others, been there. I tell myself (and my kids!) that there are lots of different paths we can take on this life journey, and each step leads to another opportunity. One life is not "better" than another, they just took different steps. Try to focus on what you want for yourself and use that desire to motivate rather than to let it make you feel bad about yourself. Spring is around the corner!

  2. CB in the City Says:

    Never compare yourself to others! You and your journey are unique! You've probably done all kinds of learning that your consumerist friends have not -- and I certainly wouldn't be surprised if their lifestyle isn't a house of cards propped by on heavy debt. You are lucky in that you know what you like to do, and you are doing it. Many people hate their jobs and their lives but are trapped by their possessions (which they haven't paid for yet).

  3. CB in the City Says:

    I meant propped "up" by heavy debt. For some reason, I can't edit.

  4. My English Castle Says:

    Agree with the wisdom of CB.

  5. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    CB speaks wise words.

    Good job on the spending!

  6. VS_ozgirl Says:

    It definitely sounds like you need to go with the small SUV option compared to the sedan. As for how your life is progressing, maybe you didn't plan 20 years ago to set up your life in what society considers "a great life where you have a lovely house and car etc etc" but there's no reason why you can't make some sort of plan for the next 20 years. Just make sure it's something that makes you feel good not what will look good by society's standards.

  7. PatientSaver Says:

    There will always be people who do better in life than we do...better to focus solely on your self. The past is behind us, the future awaits. Try to boost your spirits and your gratitude by making a list of 10 things to be grateful for, or 10 things you have done well.

  8. rob62521 Says:

    Sorry about the cold! Hope you are on the mend!

    Comparing yourself to someone else only makes you feel like a failure. So, you made some errors. Look at what you are doing now. I'd say you have quite an accomplishment of not eating out for 17 days! You are watching your money now. Far better than to lose everything and then start over.

    As for those folks who are living high. OK, maybe they are doing well. But then again, maybe they are just showing they are doing well. I worked with someone who made far more money than I did. When he got a better paying job, he moved into a bigger house. He was always buying things. Lots of fancy things. Trading cars every few years. Going on big vacations. And he made big money. He retired with a very generous pension. I will admit I was jealous...after all, bigger house, fancier cars, nicer vacations, lots of spending. It was all for show. He owes big money on his house because he keeps borrowing on the equity to pay for things, like vacations. He has never paid off a car and the one he just bought is a seven year loan because he had to roll over the balance...and he wasn't sure if he could afford it. And, he took a huge vacation a couple of years ago -- bigger than ever before -- and now they can't do much because his credit is maxed out. He never learned to live within his means. He gets very snarky if he learns we do anything. He cut off my conversation when I was talking about our trip to Savannah in January. Our home isn't as big or as fancy as his, but it is paid for. Both vehicles are paid for. And we live within our means. So, don't get down because these other folks appear to have more. Maybe, maybe not!

  9. Dido Says:

    Congrats on staying out of restaurants and coffee shops, and glad you are recovering from your cold quickly.

    Remember the advice from "The Millionaire Next Door" series: it's what is on your net worth statement, not your income statement, that matters, and too often those with big incomes and large lifestyles are "under-accumulators of wealth" and worse off in the long run tan those with modest lifestyles and a frugal budget.

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