May spending update | Pretty ‘spendy’ with a dash of frugal

I was super late for and had a pretty large suitcase that meant that walking in the 20 minutes it would take to wait for the bus was not an option. I thus decided to take an Uber. This will be the third Uber entry in my June spending tracker (since my months run from payslip to payslip). May was rather spendy – relative to my aspirational spending plan although it’s a lot better than it was a year ago. Therein lies the problem. I’m still being kind to myself because compared to the hot mess that I was a year ago, my spending looks good.

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The frugal habits of my happy friends

fullsizerender-11I have a diverse set of friends. Earlier in my career as a consultant software engineer, I mostly hung out with fellow “professionals”. My friends were doctors, lawyers, engineers, architects, bankers or consultants too. These friends visited the latest restaurants, travelled on British Airways, took first class trains, and stayed at the Marriott or Hilton. I joined in and adopted this lifestyle even though I had no business living that way. We went to paid exhibitions at galleries and museums, cooked Ottolenghi recipes with exotic and expensive ingredients, bought designer clothes, worked out at expensive gyms and didn’t think much about spending £12.50 on a cocktail on a night out.

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I’m not doing as badly as I think

I set a few goals at the start of the year and felt like I’ve not been on track for most of them.  I’m a lot chubbier than is healthy or optimum, since I like to take part in a lot of sport where heft is cumbersome. I’m not eating as well as I’d like. I neither bring my own lunches in everyday nor make choices that include a high percentage of fruits, vegetables and proteins like I think I should. I’m not reading very much. I’m not spending enough time on the things that I think that I should – creating a professional brand and presence on the interwebs, learning new skills or improving the ones I want to and networking are my top goals in this aspect of my life.  Continue reading

Luxuriously thrifty work

img_4512.jpgI like a good time. I like lush surroundings. Jet-setting. I like the flexibility of being able to change my train or plane tickets. Personal space. Comfort. Cool sheets. Temperature-controlled environments. I like fresh food. In-season produce. Fair-trade and organic food. I like durable clothes. Expensive shoes. The latest gadgets. Wonderful experiences. Unforgettable memories. Instagram-worthy photos. I love all of this but the thing is, I can’t afford it all. Continue reading

A contingency fund is now a priority

FullSizeRender 3.jpgI came out of my hotel room and walked with swag to the hotel reception to checkout. I was proud of the fact that I’d come in massively within budget and had more than enough cash to settle the additional charges for my hotel room. The receptionist hands over my bill and all I can see is a bill for £1067(!) when I’d been expecting to pay for the one £23 breakfast buffet meal that I’d charged to my room. My eyes popped but I tried really quickly to cover the alarm bells. We usually get hotel bookings made centrally so that no one has to settle such huge bills on their personal cards but it appeared that someone had forgotten to do so.  Continue reading

Love. Death. Time

Time

I watched Collateral Beauty earlier and Will Smith (how is that man still gorgeous at 50?) plays a character who loses his young daughter. His major postulation is that there are only three abstractions to life. Three things that unite all of mankind. The desire to love. The fear of death. The wish for more time. Continue reading

Focusing on the journey instead of the destination

IMG_0403I named this blog “Diary of a reformed spendthrift” after I had the epiphany that I had been living a life of financial irresponsibility. It’s past tense and alludes to the fact that I’m a finished product, that knowledge of my previous state of mind would automatically propel me to the destination that I seek – one of luxurious thrift. My previous posts on failing my ‘£1 a day on food’ challenge and my extremely spendy February share my frustration at my seeming inability to spend in line with my aspirational budget.  Continue reading