Money tracking - April
Last month has been very interesting in terms of spending. My No Spending challenge in March was about understanding what is important to me and where I want to channel my money. I’ve learned that fresh food, a healthy amount of coffee, spending time with friends, and allowing myself one little treat are my priorities, and things I’m happy to spend money on.
So April has been more about doing just that: filling up my fridge with fruits and vegetables, trying out new cafes, catching up with people, buying that book I've been wanting forever, and pretty much just cutting myself some slack.
In terms of how much money I’ve spent, I could definitely have done better (as in: I haven’t saved up that much), but looking back at my expense tracker I’m not regretting any of it. In fact, I’ve learned to appreciate more the things I do that require spending money on them. After a month of cutting back on absolutely everything I could, the first time I went out for breakfast in April felt like such a treat. And I loved that feeling.
So something I definitely want to work on is learning how to value the fact that I can afford the things I can afford, and how not to take them for granted. So dinner out should be for special occasions, not because I can’t be bothered to cook that night. Coffee should be a chance to meet up with a friend, whereas if it’s just me spending an afternoon in the library I can always bring my own.
As for my goals for May: well. After saying all that, I should also mention that last month I booked one of my flights to come back from Europe in October, and it’s via San Francisco. I’m going to spend a few days there before coming back to New Zealand. Needless to say, I am beyond excited about it. So my goal for May is to do another No Spend Challenge, this time aiming at not going crazy over how much money I spend or how many No Spending Days I manage, but also trying to save up as much as possible so that once I am in San Francisco (and in Europe in general) I can afford to cut myself some slack and not feel too guilty when I raid the thrift stores in Haight-Ashbury. I also don’t want to miss out on seeing friends, so I’ll try to spend time with them by doing inexpensive/free things, but if the occasional dinner comes up I probably won’t decline.
I’m excited to see how this goes, also considering I got a new contract at work and I’ll probably be earning a bit less than usual, so that’s cool.
I know I haven’t mentioned any numbers, but I think from now on I will use this segment to talk about my relationship with money rather than just listing how much I’ve spent on what - I believe it makes more sense and it’s hopefully more useful for people whoever reads this as well.