I am kinda excited about a couple of things regarding the challenges I assigned to myself:
The main thing is that even though I fall thru the cracks time to time, I keep trying to implement these changes.
Consider my (often painful) efforts to take the bus rather than the cab. Two weeks ago, I did it four day/week but last week none.. This morning I tried it again and I am motivated (for now). Taking the cab is convenience and satisfaction for me, taking the bus is inconvenience but good for my budget (and the environment).
Another thing I do is to keep reading about budgeting, saving, investing and most importantly, preparing a detailed budget and keeping track of it. For years now I kept recording all my expenses everyday. However, I hardly itemized them or gave them a cap amount. This time, for example I have a weekly discretionary allowance of $200 for daily expenses, breakfast, and grocery shopping (this may look like a big amount, but where I am fresh produce is very expensive and this amount also includes expenses related to cleaning products and self-pampering expenses such as the books and stationary items).
With the maximum amount of weekly allowance and keeping track of all expenses using an Excel document, I am very aware of how much funds I have left. So far I have spent 3/4th of my allowance till Friday, so I am not interested in making other expenses yet; I will see whether I can keep doing so for this week and the weeks to come.
One more breakthrough I have had lately, thanks to the detailed budget, was to realize that in terms of having a modest life-style and investing in my retirement plans I was doing above good. My biggest problem was to keep up with the expensive house repairs and to have some funds in my chequeing account. And to do the latter, I really needed to be frugal with my variable expenses, such as my weekly allowance, possibly for a couple of years. This is a long time, but I will see what I can do. I know I can do this and with each increase in the available funds, I am more motivated to move forward. Of course, there is a chance of an unexpected and required expense that may throw my saved funds and motivation out of the window, but until then, let me keep this wonderful feeling.
And just yesterday, I realized I should be considering even saving $200 as a major accomplishment. I have a tendency to calculate yearly expenses or savings, which I do not consider it as a major savings if it is not bigger than $3,000-$4,000. I was reading a book yesterday which said “have respect for your money“. That was the sentence that helped make me change my opinion on the “significant amount”.
Wishing to keep discovering about myself, my spending and saving habits, and my abilities to respect my hard-earned money.