My new title is the Trails and Open Space Facility Supervisor. Duties include managing over 2,000 acres of passive recreation/ natural resources as well as 30+ miles of trails. I am SO excited – I got into the parks and rec field to work in natural resource managment, and after putting in almost three years under athletics, I have finally made my way to where I want to be. Also, I get a 15% raise, so that’s pretty awesome. I’m already planning how I’m going to invest and save the extra cash… at least what’s left.
Honesty moment: I have gone a little wild with purchasing after recieving my promotion.This promotion kinda came out of nowehere. I was only in my previous position for nine months, and I had expected to be in that position for at least two years. I’m going to be bringing in significantly more money this year than I had originally bargained for. While I do plan to stash a good chunk of it, the cash blast out of nowhere has given me room to spend spend spend on things for ME. Here’s what I’ve bought:
- First, I bought an online month-long yoga program from Yoga with Adriene called Reboot. I love going to public classes, but the truth is it’s just really hard to fit in my schedule right now. Adriene has posted tons of free videos on her youtube, and I have done just about all of them, many multiple times. She has become a mainstay in this house, even Andrew (who does not practice) knows her well. I adore her – her laidback style, her philosophy, and her flows. It seemed like after accessing all this content for free for almost a year, I should support her – so I bought one of her downloadable programs. I had a $10 off coupon, so my total spent: $37
- Then, I announced our home was finally going all natural. I have posted before about how we make many of our own home items, from toothpaste to laundry detergent. I have been slowly waiting to run out of all the conventional products we use – hand soap, all purpose cleaner, dish soap, lotion – so that I could replace them with natural, homemade products. We are finally getting close to clearing all these chemicals out of our home, so I decided I better pony up and collect all my recipes and ingredients. I chose recipes that all use similar ingredients – mainly castile soap, essential oils, baking/ washing soda. I found the website Thrive Market which offers many of these ingredients at deeply discounted prices. It’s a membership website, and they were offereing a free one month trial, 25% off your first purchase, and free shipping. Alas, I decided I better stock up on items for the next couple years to save money. On this first purchase, so I bought A LOT – over $100 worth. I will be cancelling my free membership when it ends. Total spent: $75. For those of you interested, here are the recipes I will be using:
- My back pain is getting out of control. I have issues even performing the simplest tasks, like bending over. My mother recommended I see a chiropractor. I found someone I really like – an advocate for meditation and yoga, as well as a balanced diet. She demonstrated how a lot of the pain starts with my feet, and recommended I purchase insoles. I picked up the fancy ones she told me about, at $45. I showed up to my next appointment, and she told me I need strong shoes to make the insoles effective. Problem is, I don’t really wear shoes – hello, The BAREFOOT Budget! I work in my Chaco’s, which obviously can’t accommodate insoles. Ugh. Looks like I’m going to have to buy some new shoes to go along with my new insoles.
- I need to get out of the house more. I love the numerous homesteading projects we have going on at home – growing mushrooms, gardening, brewing beer, blending tea, baking, making our own home products, writing … but all these tie me down to the house, big time. So, I joined our employee bowling league! I love to bowl, and don’t do it nearly enough. Ten weeks for $100, and I don’t have to rent shoes because I have my own.
- I saved the best for last. After months of frustration with our shitty Cuisinart blender, last night things got real. I worked late, until 7, so I was starving when I got home. I planned to make my favorite salad, and attempted to make the dressing in our blender. It’s so shitty it took me over an hour. It shouldn’t take over 2 minutes. Honestly, I cried. This isn’t the only issue. I love green smoothies, but I am deterred from making them because it takes 45 minutes to an hour of insanely frustrating screwing around with the blender. The point of the blender is to make quick nutritious meals on the go. I make 2-3 smoothies a week, so if you think about that, an hour and a half to three hours a week is spent screwing around with the blender. Ridiculous. So, I made an executive decision. Time for a new blender, a real, serious business blender. I did a lot of research and ended up going with a reconditioned Vitamix. It’s high quality enough to meet my needs, but its not an over-the-top best blender money can buy. I talk about how important it is to weigh your purchases here. Ready for the total? $320. Sounds ridiculous, but considering the amount of time I will save not screwing around with a blender, using my new real hourly wage @ $17/ hour, the thing pays for itself 6 -14 weeks – by the end of the calendar year. I can get down with that.
There you have it. I’ve blown through $577 in the last two weeks on non-essential purchases. I don’t want to think about it, but there’s more coming down the pipeline. This weekend we are going on a four day vacation. Three days will be backpacking on an island, but one day will be celebrating in the great town of Savannah. I want to enjoy this time we have and not worry about how much money we are blowing. That doesn’t mean we won’t be conscientious, but I don’t want to cringe at the idea of eating a nice dinner at a restaurant (we have eaten out a total of twice together this year where we foot the bill). Other puchases in the “want” category include a nice utility knife for work/ play, a foam roller to help with my back pain, and a piece of art custom framed (Michael’s is running a rock bottom deal this week).
Ugh, listen to me! I feel like such a filthy consumer. One little cash surge and I start buying, buying, buying. Some of the purchases, like everything related to health/ fitness, are necessary. I decided the blender was well worth the amount if time it’s going to save me and its long term viability. Justifications still don’t help me feel better though. A lot of money is leaving the home this month, and that’s never something an aspiring homesteader wants to process. Especially since last month, I had to throw so much money at my car.
The reality is that even though I will personally enjoy these purchases, many for years to come, the act of buying makes me feel a little sick. Rather, spending so much money makes me feel so unlike myself. I feel uneasy and defeated, with no one but myself to blame.
I’m currently taking a class on leadership, and yesterday we discussed this article about how strong leaders have to learn to ignore certain things. Our instructor asked us to pick which bullet point we most identified with. Mine was: ignore guilt from isolated failure. Wow, do I ever beat myself up sometimes. I’m trying to reframe all my purchasing with this in mind. On the whole, we are focused on our frugal lifestyle. In the grand scheme, this isolated spending spree isn’t going to affect our goals for 2015 and the coming years. So why keep mulling over it, driving myself mad with anxiety? I need to ignore those uncomfortable gut reactions, and simply push forward, knowing that I am exactly where I need to be.