Total Deprivation Mode: mid-year evaluation

WOOOOOAAAAH WE’RE HALFWAY THERE.

WOOOOAAAAH! 

Okay, sorry that was a bad joke probably only my boyfriend will get.

ANYWAY:

It’s halfway through the year which means it’s time for some painful self evaluation. There was a good bit of this with my last budget post too, mostly just acknowledging how much change has happened and how that’s wrecked my plan. And some of that is circumstantial, some of it is completely on me. I ended that post stating that I need to update the plan because of said change, but that I still want to tighten the belt as much as possible. I didn’t really break things down based on my original list though, so I’ll do that here.

  1. Nix Netflix: I’ve been Netflix free for about 7 months now and, although I sometimes miss it, I’m completely okay. I’ve been using the free Hoopla digital service provided by my local library and diving into the rabbit hole that is YouTube. My proclivity toward binge-watching still surfaces when I’m on YouTube, but not with the same ferocity; I’m more likely to put on some 2-3 hour debate or podcast discussion and watch/listen while I do other small tasks or chores. It can still be a time-suck, but it’s at least a little more intellectually stimulating.
  2. Simplifying my routine: simplifying my beauty routine is easier said than done, because I’ve already done a good bit of simplifying over the years. Like I stated before, I already have my “everyday look” down to mostly basics; I tried simplifying it further, but the thing is I like my current routine. It’s what makes me feel confident when I look in the mirror, and it’s certainly not breaking the bank. I also tried switching some of my toiletries to the store brand, only to find that the name brand I had been using worked much better for me; but hey, at least now I know. Lastly, regarding face masks: I bought large containers of two face masks that I know I like, and haven’t bought any extra, unnecessary skincare products.
  3. No thrift shopping: I’ve completely failed with not thrift shopping since I started my new job, mostly because I really needed more office-appropriate clothes and some things for my desk. But I think my wardrobe is about where I need it to be, and I can go back to putting thrift shopping on hold (at least until I move and need furniture and housewares…).
  4. No new clothes, books, craft supplies, etc.: I’ve been pretty good about not buying books or craft supplies, except for craft supplies to use with the kiddos I work with (but I don’t count that).
  5. No online shopping: Springtime seemed to hit me with some kind of mania-induced online-shopping frenzy… I ended up returning a lot of stuff, but I’m seeing a pattern every time the weather gets warmer…. And again, as stated above, I was in need of an updated work wardrobe. My biggest Achilles heel in this area is the online consignment shop Thredup. It’s just so convenient for an introvert like me who hates crowded shops.
  6. No purchasing alcohol: I’ve definitely dropped the ball on this one; I just really like whiskey, guys. I’ve only purchased it once since starting this plan, and it’ll last me a while, but still.
  7. Pack lunch: this has been difficult just because I’m trying to move, and convenience is king right now. I’m trying to buy more frozen meals to leave in the freezer at work, because that’s at least a little better than getting Wawa or fast food for lunch. My trips to Wawa have decreased significantly though.
  8. Limit going out: I’m kind of a homebody, but eating out is what trips me up because I really like it.
  9. Unfollow/unsubscribe: I’ve actually subscribed to more people on YouTube… but this has led me to spend less time overall on Facebook, which is probably an okay trade-off; I’m spending more time listening to people’s ideas and less time worried about what they have or how they look. Things have been beyond crazy lately, so I haven’t really taken the time to reflect on my social media use or time spent on-line. It’s definitely on my to-do list, but moving and getting a few other things settled have taken precedence. And actually, having real-life things demanding my time keeps me too busy to dwell in online spaces much, so I’m probably not doing too badly in this area.

I definitely did better in June than I did in May, but I also didn’t have car repairs or a wedding to worry about this last month.

***

Looking ahead, it’s going to be much harder to re-vamp the budget than I’d anticipated, mainly because I don’t know what my housing expenses will be just yet. For now the main changes I want to add are a little wiggle room for clothes and shoes (because I really need to replace some of my shoes, holy crap they are so busted) and a little extra space for the miscellaneous things that come up, whether that’s getting Applebee’s with friends or purchasing something for my (eventual) new dwelling place. This is still going to require me to really consider how much I actually need something versus just wanting it, but will accommodate some of the big changes that have been happening.

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