Winter has been cold… in fact, it’s been the coldest winter I can remember of. I also have been forced into a new job that pays well but that I don’t like at all. It was a take it or leave it (and go collect an unemployment check) type of offer.
Add both of these ingredients together (and many more that recently happened in my personal life) and you get an unhappy Allan…
And an unhappy Allan can then “think” that he deserves a treat for all the “tough” things he has to endure… That’s how many of us start a spending spree. We are in fact looking for happiness… but we’re unfortunately looking at the wrong place.
I made the sin to start to use my credit card again. I went too often to the restaurant. I took my car too often to go to my job and had to pay for a 20$ parking spot to let it there for the day. I bought new movies and TV series. I almost never brought my lunch to work. I bought some nice decorations for the house, new clothes and so on… and now I will most probably buy a plane ticket for a nice place to take a sun bath and go relax a little which will not make things any better in terms of over-spending. But my girlfriend and I “need” it… or at least she convinced me that we do (I wasn’t very hard to convince… I just want to fly away from my reality right now).
I now have a credit card bill that is too big for my biweekly paycheck. So, this means that two things are happening. First, there’s nothing left for saving. Second, I have spent more than I make and this is really bad because once I’ll be retired such behaviors could force me back into the rat race. As such, I have to learn to control the spending devil inside of me.
It’s crazy how three months of bad behaviors can affect your future. I haven’t bought stocks in february and march yet. And I don’t think I will be in the position of buying some before april or may, when I’ll get my bonus and tax return (easy savings).
It’s stupid, I know. But it’s very human to rationalize things out. If I don’t save now, the future me will have to retire later and suffer of that. But currently, my actual me is feeling kind of depressed and an easy thing I could do to feel better was to spend money to “buy” happiness… But we can’t buy happiness and I know it. It’s just that we have been tricked by society into thinking that it’s in fact possible while it’s not.
In fact, I have saved some money. I might have something like 500$ in my brokerage account and I’m getting monthly dividends on top of that. I’ve also lowered my mortgage balance and car loan by several thousands and several hundreds during that time frame plus, I’ve worked on improving my online income which is already bigger than my february one and we’re just at mid-march.
So, things are not as bad as they could have been. And, my credit card bill is not that high either. I currently have a balance of 800$ and I will add a plane ticket of 950$ on top of it but I will also make a payments of 700$ by the end of next week. Actually, I realized on time that I was falling back into bad territories and I can now act and put that credit card away!
I need to be more disciplined. But it’s not always easy.
Did you ever had such episode of spending frenzy? How did you deal with it?
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