Splurges and Savings
Good Tuesday Morning to you all! It started off as a rainy day here but it looks like the weather is clearing up, which is nice. Yesterday, I took my new bike out for another ride, and rode all the way up to Natick, MA and back. It was around 14 miles and I was out for an hour and a half, and then I spent the rest of the afternoon and evening lounging by the pool, catching up on summer reading and taking a nice, long walk with Folly. I didn’t feel worn out after my bike ride, but by the evening I felt really drained and fell asleep at 10:30pm – which is crazy early for me! I slept like a rock too – so I guess biking really did tire me out!
Last night, I also got to thinking about finances and my budget for the next 2 years. As you know, I’m in grad school doing a Master’s in Nutrition and studying for the RD exam at the end of it. I don’t have a full-time job and am living on savings, so I do have to think about what I spend my money on. I’m probably the worst financial planner in the world 😦 and I’ve realized that after working in the corporate world for 6+ years and not having to worry too much about money, it’s quite a difficult adjustment to go from having a steady income stream to no income, and living on savings. That being said, I don’t regret my decision to go back to school AT ALL, and am loving the new field I’m in 🙂
Perhaps one of the most difficult things about balancing my budget is finding resources to (a) do the things I want to do and live my life, (b) not running out of money before the end of 2 years, and (c) trying to have some savings for when I do graduate, in the event that I can’t find a job straight away. I’ve set aside some money for (b) and hopefully (c), so it’s more of (a) that I struggle with. I’ve realized that I don’t really bat an eyelid when it comes to spending money on ‘fitness’ related items, such as equipment, gym memberships, clothes and shoes … and a new road bike 😉
Investments in fitness are more than worth it to me since I enjoy them thoroughly, they’re important to me and I don’t feel that it’s wasted money…I use every piece of equipment/gym membership etc that I’ve spent money on. Nor do I balk at spending money on going down to NYC to visit my friends and family…I always love seeing them and have a great time with them, and they’ve always been (and continue to be) a great support, source of encouragement and a family to me…through everything.
Surprisingly, what I do cringe at shelling at money for is (a) eating out, (b) ordering take-out (I NEVER order take out), (c) paying for parking, (d) fancy shoes and clothes, (e) pedicures and facials. These are the things that I’ve seriously cut back on the last couple of years, and I reserve going out to eat for special occasions and for when I go down to NYC.
More recently, I’ve also cut back on my Starbucks habit and am being much better about making my coffee at home. It was frightening thinking about how much money I was spending there every week/month.
What are some ways in which you cut back on your spending sprees? Do you have a budget, and what are some of the things that you consider essential to your happiness – and would not compromise on?