Radical Spending Changes

Funny how when we are making good money we often do not appreciate it. Such was my case. I was making a DECENT hourly wage with NO BENEFITS and the company owner thought that he was paying me very good. Nobody got benefits. A 401K but nothing paid by the company. I felt I was doing good with my pay considering what I HAD been making. A big wake-up call was seeing what ENTRY LEVEL pay was for some jobs these days. Some not all. 

In December had money in checking and had been smart enough to ask for my vacation pay for the year back the week I was laid off. Surprisingly the Owner gave it to me. Maybe he saw it as I did: Possible severance pay. Some guys got retirement parties and I got laid off. I have to laugh about it. Then again I DO see how horribly the company is doing. I get it and I told my boss and the owner that. No hissy fits here!

I paid my house insurance and a big medicare payment with the vacation pay. Missed a week of unemployment due to my own confusion. Bought what is probably going to be my last toy and due to a downward spiral I enjoyed a lot of beers. 

January I pulled out of that downward spiral. Told myself no more beer or junk food. 16 days living up to that. No candy no snacks no desserts. No morning donuts etc. When I go shopping I look at my list and have a foot ready to kick my ass for going off list. Standard food items to keep me ALIVE. I feel like I am splurging when I buy a cooked chicken (as I did last week). Deli meats were once a regular thing for me. A pound of this and that. Oh maybe some of that good looking and tasting potato salad. How about some chips? Sure!

Not anymore. 

I got some extra cash in my pocket doing something and also depositing some returnable bottles. I felt I was rich! My dad used-to say such money was “burning a hole in your pocket”. Yeah some hot money! It is a game with me now. Look at the thousands of items and plan meals. “DO I REALLY NEED THIS TO SURVIVE?” Yes or no. Tea bags? Ok maybe. Coffee for sure. Yogurt ok. Box of very good pancake mix? Borderline splurge. Add healthy grains to it. When I go through the grocery store I feel like I am walking with a little kid inside me. HE wants to reach out and grab things! No dammit NO! When I get home I do a review and look at the prices. No I do not use coupons because I try to eat healthy. I recently saw my oldest brother shopping and I looked at what he was buying and I said, “WHITE BREAD?” Not healthy. Hypocritically I got a can of spam. No shit. I had eaten the stuff as a kid. I knew the pink color was artificial. When I first moved out of my parents house I had eaten the stuff. I was curious. Bought a can and never again if I can avoid it. Stuff makes my poop smell weird! All we eat affects THAT smell. 

I have to laugh about how I shop now. I USED-TO just toss stuff in the cart. Those wheeled things. NOW I use a little basket. I used-to buy specialty healthy foods off of Amazon. Now will try to avoid that. I often go over my simple purchases and wonder if I erred. Not yet. Buy it when I NEED it. I am trying to have more self-discipline. Lose weight. Live clean. Something in my subconscious told me back in December to buy things I need such as a pair of shoes for home use and despite a holes in the shoes no replacement work shoes. There is a daily look around the house and questioning of “DID I need THAT? Do I need THIS?” It’s all stripped down. 

I got a big car insurance bill. Paid it out of checking. Realized I erred when I said no withholding on my unemployment. Dreading taxes more than ever this year. Got my first $300 extra and maybe more next week. I believe I will have enough to get through February without hitting my savings. Ridiculously I may get called back to work in late February/early March. If the company owner wants to cut costs by cutting my pay I will tell him to fuck off and die. 

I walked on the treadmill 2 times at 30 minutes each today. Bike for 10 then 20. Less on bike because of healing knee. I am hoping to go for 3 treadmill walks a day. This apple watch is funny in that it tells me to stand up every so often. 

Next week I will turn in more bottles and am eager to see what few FOOD items I can buy. Oh that wax paper and plastic bags were needed that I bought 😉 

I have to see the humor in all this and feel grateful for WHERE I am because it could have been worse. Much worse in life. 


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January 16, 2021

Question? have you ever considered to do the Unit price thing? Like hubby never gets toilet paper that is more then .15 cents a roll and cereal has to be like .5

The thing about unit pricing is you get what you want at a decent price and sometimes you get more for the price, like your pancake mix and the grains?

January 16, 2021

@jaythesmartone I have no idea what you are talking about. Either I am missing something here or things do not work that way here in the USA.

January 16, 2021

@jaythesmartone Stuff comes in packages. I buy it that way. It works.My math sucks. I buy what I need.

January 16, 2021


Oh well my math sucks too but I am getting better at it and some stores have the unit price on the lables where the price is.

January 17, 2021

Yes. It is good to be somewhat frugal. Otherwise you are careening down the ol ‘How F-cked Up Can I Get’ aisle.

January 19, 2021

@sleepydormouse I know that aisle well having lingered there many times. I often look AT that “how fucked-up can I get” thing. In the past with substance abuse I lived there and wondered when the darkest part would be my end. Oh the melodrama of me! 😉 Thanks SD.


January 20, 2021

@skobru No prob! 🙂