Sunday, August 20, 2006

The Cheeses in Heaven are all Mixed Together

Last weekend I was online looking at my savings account statement and I realized that I was sick of how I spend money. I decided to get it under control so I transferred $500 of my last $550 onto my credit card. $50 sounded plenty to last a week, but just in case it wasn't, I promised myself not to draw any of that money back out of my credit card. I enforced this promise by chopping my card into two pieces.

I usually spend money on food and drink. I love to go out for lunches and especially for coffee. Strangely, these days going out for coffee costs at least as much as a meal, so you can imagine how fast money flies out my window. I figured it would be good to deny myself the urge to head to the coffee shop just so I can read a magazine, but just in case I couldn't fight it I still had the fifty bucks to see me through the week.

By Monday afternoon I had been doing well on my spending. Shaun had wanted to go for lunch, but I showed extreme will power and said I couldn't. I ended up having lunch anyway though because Shaun decided to give me my birthday lunch early. Later that day on the drive home from work the low fuel light came on. Sometimes I have inexplicable bouts of laziness, and at this particular point in time I was too lazy to go through all of the work of a left turn into the gas station. I decided to postpone filling up until the next morning because then I'd be able to make a nice easy right turn instead. Tuesday when I woke up I decided to check how much money I had left before I went to the gas station, and was I ever glad I did.

Each cheque I
put $50 into an RRSP. It comes out automatically, and the money should have come out on Friday August 11th at the stroke of midnight. I guess because of the weekend it didn't come out until Monday night. As a result my bank account was now in the negative. At first I was a little scared, but then I just realized this would be the perfect way to save money, because now I wouldn't even have the fifty bucks to spend!

I scrounged up $2.50 that was laying around under my bathroom mat, and in various purses and I went to the gas station. The attendant came out to meet my car and I sheepishly handed him a fistfull of coins and said "Don't laugh, but can I get $2.50 worth of gas?" He laughed anyway and said, "It's ok. I've seen worse."

I spent the rest of the week living as cheaply as possible, and by this I especially mean eating as cheaply as possible. I don't even have a stockpile of food at home to draw upon because I like to grocery shop every day. My philosophy is that instead of looking through my cupboards to decide what I'd like to make for supper, why not just walk through an entire grocery store? Once I figure out what to eat I only buy what is required for that meal. As a result I have a great variety of foods to choose from day to day, but should I run out of money I honestly don't have anything at home to eat.

Whatever food I did have didn't really suit itself to combinations that would make up meals. Most of it was not worth eating at all. This week my meals consisted of:
  • hamburger patties with no buns, and even worse no ketchup
  • beef liver
  • a can of sardines (all by itself, not in a sandwich)
  • frozen chopped spinach that has been in my freezer for three years,
  • celery that despite being in the 'crisper' was as soft and chewy as a handful of twizzlers,
  • a lot of raw potatoes (not because I was too cheap to cook them, I just like them raw)
  • and today I had spagetti, with a sauce made by melting Kraft Singles with some margarine and grated parmesan.

  • While they seemed to do the job of keeping me alive and feeling fed, my meals this week didn't do much in terms of satisfying my tastebuds. I get paid tomorrow, so next week's suppers promise to taste a lot better... but they will also cost more. This past week being broke was strangely kind of fun even though I didn't do anything for entertainment. I didn't buy any magazines, I didn't rent any movies, I didn't go out. In fact I hardly did anything at all, but since I also barely spent any money I feel like I really accomplished something.

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