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Today’s my Quit Anniversary!

Your Quit Date is: Friday, May 10, 2002 at 12:30:00 PM
Time Smoke-Free: 1795 days, 18 hours, 27 minutes and 10 seconds
Cigarettes NOT smoked: 44894
Lifetime Saved: 11 months, 12 days, 22 hours
Money Saved: $17,960.00

I have added nearly a year to my life and saved close to $18,000! That always blows my mind. Can you imagine how poor and sickly I’d be if I hadn’t quit? It’s pretty crazy.

Had a pretty good weekend. Saturday was a split of work and hanging out, some shopping. Who frigging knew Easter Saturday was one of the biggest retail days of the year?! That is retarded. Like seriously. The Bunny is hardly Santa Claus.

I exercised tremendous shopping restraint in the chocolate aisle at Zeller’s and later in the grocery store. I left the house with ten bucks (in quarters, lol) in my wallet. That took me through the Chatham Farmer’s Market (raffle tickets, breakfast, coffee) and down the street to Dickson’s where I got the weekend Moncton paper with the Frye Fest special pull-out. I knew I had $29 in my bank account, so I withdrew the $20, which got me lunch at the Bull & Lyre. Nachos! Yummy! Debited my $8.16 bottle of Easter wine on the way home (up by 40 cents!) Still have a five in my wallet, and three loonies and a bunch of quarters that I dumped into the laundry bucket. I needed shampoo and steel wool. Longed for some other things. But it’s pointless to buy some perishable food items when I’m going to be out a lot today, all day tomorrow, and then completely gone from Thursday to Sunday. They’d just spoil. And I could’ve had chocolate treats OR wine, and I went with the wine. I got to Mom’s and low and behold she had both shampoo and steel wool, in abundance, or in the case of the shampoo, put away from forever ago and likely never to be used by her. Let’s hope it’s still okay. So, overall I done good!

Anyway, there’s a point to this little ramble about the weekend’s expenditures . . . did you pick up on it?

You can kind of divide my financial existence into two eras: pre and post Bon Jovi. In January 2006, I went to Toronto and took in a concert. That was the last of the “price be damned!” spending. I knew that going into the trip. The idea was to have a good time, do everything I wanted, buy anything I wanted, eat wherever I wanted, have a drink everywhere I always wanted, and not worry or even think about the cost. One last blow-out before I settled down into the Year of the Dollar and financial responsibility.

Pre-Bon Jovi in 2005 I went everywhere and did everything and if I didn’t have the cash I just put it on a credit card. In 2005, I made numerous trips to Moncton and Fredericton and Miramichi and Sussex and all over. I attended the WFNB AGM, Frye Fest, the Maritime Writer’s Workshop, the CPA AGM, every writing workshop that happened, wine and whiskey festivals, wellness expos, giant yard sales, trade shows, rock concerts . . . I stayed in many hotels, ate much room service, drank a lot of wine (A LOT!), dined in restaurants all over the province, purchased new clothes and shoes on a regular basis to attend events, bought a lot of books and dvds, fan club memberships . . . in short, I spent way more than I earned, and I never worried about having enough money or not being able to buy something.

Post-Bon Jovi in February 2006 I started learning about financial responsibility. I stopped using my debit card for purchases because I found I would lose track and overspend. I stopped using my credit card, except in situations where a credit card was required, and I started to pay the minimum + my current purchases + $50 every month, in an effort to bring the balance down. I opened a high interest savings account. I started to pay attention to how much things cost and how much money I was spending. This was a good start, I definitely made some progress toward developing better habits. A huge shift in attitude happened.

Fast forward to this February’s rent/move financial devastation, the last push into full-blown financial responsibility. Ready or not, I was forced into tightening the purse strings even tighter (the tightest!) and finding creative ways to just exist, to just pay the bills, with very little luxury or pleasure or even groceries. Anything extra came at a cost to something necessary and I was forced to really think about what’s important and what I can do without and what makes me happy and what makes me absolutely miserable to live without. Tough times indeed for the girl who in 2005 went everywhere, did everything, and bought whatever the hell she wanted whenever she wanted it. Major adjustment.

So, enter Easter weekend, an excursion with friends, working, shopping, eating. I didn’t even realize it in the moment, it didn’t occur to me until later when I was telling Mom where we went and what we did . . . I knew exactly how much money I had to spend at any given moment. I knew I wasn’t going to use my credit card for any purchase, that I didn’t need anything THAT much. I knew how much cash I had at my disposal in the bank, and in my wallet. I knew how much things cost and what would be left if I bought something. I knew what purchases would bring me the most pleasure and what I could do without. I knew unconsciously, subconsciously, consciously . . . I just knew. And I still know. And tomorrow I will also know. This is huge for me! It mightn’t seem like much to others, but I feel like I’ve evolved to the next level or something. It’s the automatic-ness of it all. I’m doing math in my head! Without struggle, without even realizing that I’m doing it. And I no longer feel like I’m depriving myself. That was a big thing for me. The feeling of going without, of not having enough.

But here’s the thing, I still have access to money on my credit card. I’m not anywhere near my limit. If I really, truly, honestly, life or death, NEED something, I can get it. It’s just, that’s how I view credit card spending now, only for emergency, only for necessity. If I don’t have any food in the house and no cash, I’m going to go get some. If the rent is due and I can’t pay it, I’m going to pay it. If the hydro’s about to be cut off, I’ll pay it. But I’m okay, I’ve got all these things covered. I’m not going without, I do have enough. And February & March were hard months, and April is an insane financial strain, but I’m going to get through. I got the lesson.

Mood: happy
Drinking: coffee, with cream
Listening To: someone’s tv inaudible drone
Hair: changing . . . TODAY!

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2 replies »

  1. Oh thank God you got the lesson! I mean, it seems to have been such a struggle for you. As you know I learned my lesson too…it’s so freeing isnt it?…and so obvious, like the answer was there all along and suddenly we just reached up and plucked it out of the sky.

    Like

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