Oh Frugal February, it is only the 5th and you have kicked my ass already. I am realizing so very much about how little I am mindful of my spending. I own my home and have a mortgage that costs less than any rent I could find in D.C. In addition, I have been building my 401k over the years and, of course, I have Sadie. But I want more. I want, forgive my language, an f u fund. You know, a fund that will allow me to work when, where and how I want, beholden to no one. And it all starts with breakfast.
So, I cut all superfluous spending on February 1st and, as a result, I immediately felt the need to spend money. I have wanted to take the hot lanes home on Monday and Tuesday night, purchase a fancy coffee at work as well as one book on Kindle, one song on iTunes and some brown sugar to make pralines. Did I mention it is only the 5th day of February?
I stopped and adding it up in my head (erring on the side of cheap), all of the above would have cost me oh, $2 for each night for the hot lanes, $3.50 for the coffee, $12.99 for the book and $1.99 for the brown sugar. That would have been an easy $22.48 gone. Damn, how the little things can add up.
In my quest to be more frugal am I technically denying myself stuff? Yes. Is my life suffering as a consequence? Um, that would be no. Actually, I would say my existence has been elevated. Stopping my mindless spending, even for five days, has me becoming more mindful in general. More mindful of little things I normally would not pay attention to.
Truthfully I love sleeping and I will put off getting up until the absolute last-minute. On a hectic work morning I would often just pick up a coffee and muffin at the office. Since there is no dining out this month, I am much more mindful of every single piece of food in my cupboards. I am more mindful in how I will prepare what I have. Just this morning I had a breakfast of eggs and freshly brewed coffee and I savored it. All because I am mindful to wake up early enough to make my breakfast and mindful enough to enjoy it at my leisure. Bliss.
Is all this reflection and mindfulness a good thing? Is it a good thing that my energies are being focused on the little details of my life? Am I going overboard? Am I sounding a little New Age-y? Let’s just say the book I wanted to purchase earlier in the week was Thich Nhat Hahn’s The Miracle of Mindfulness. Yeah. How is that for a mindful kick in the ass.