Money Diaries: Jul 21
July is typically an overspending month with many birthday celebrations, couple with giving this year. Total spending of the month is RM5809, over the budget by RM1809. No harm done on the financials but if there’s one thing that I could conclude from this frivolous month, is spending the extra doesn’t actually bring my more excitement or joy to life.
Despite my budget failsafe trick in stocking up the pantry with RM0.01 ready curry sauce packet and free cookies, food is a big reason why I go over budget. There were a number of problems, the biggest of them being I find joy in food, and am addicted to any sort of “promotion”.
I spend RM1400 on takeaways (😮, WTH), on orders for all lazy nights in, and busy lunch meetings with my recent fav menu of anything with soft shell crab, anything with truffles butter, and tea time sets. The classics and season edition (it’s summer truffles season now).
Another RM680 is used on groceries, of which I am great at finding deals for but terribly fail to eat them all. It doesn’t help that fruits deliveries are sold the kgs. For a single person, I could only keep the surplus in the fridge, until cleaning day where old food goes to the bin.
I sometimes feel that the amount I spend on food would have gotten me a warning letter if eating well was a crime and sometimes that makes me feel guilty. Talked to an activist friend who has a taste for good furniture and realized that I stay in a shoebox, a basic rental unit furnished with a torn sofa. Food is my passion/weakness, not a guilty trap.
Here’s one takeaway after spending so much. Forget about the Wagyu, try the Meltique beef (In Chinese, it’s translated as snowflake beef, but it’s actually made using a technique to infuse the meat with beef tallow). At a fraction of the price, equally juicy and in my view, easier to handle on the grill. I pay RM25.5 for a 180-200gm size steak. Is it still a real raw mean? I don’t know, but trust me, you will never look at steak prices the same again.
That being said, it’s high time for some food economics lessons. I printed this quote and stick it to the fridge. Find a way to eat it, so simple and yet so profound. This is going to be my baby step 1 in reducing food waste and neutralizing my food dependency towards takeout (or wait, should I be supporting them in hard times like this?)
RM1505 to giving. A mix of groceries for white flags and donations.
To be honest, giving in this season stresses me. I need to retire without any generational wealth, I had made countless self-denying choices in the past, And now the right thing to do is to give, despite whatever plans I may have, and actually, that stresses me (shouldn’t it be joy?).
Doing the right thing actually takes a lot of courage (especially when it goes against your life dreams), which I have very little. I do not want to be society tone-deaf. But what I have given, is gave out of abundance but it was built on a scarcity mindset. How selfish and poor am I.
Bought a virus-killing air purifier, some anti-viral herbs, and standby emergency oxygen. RM 380.
A wooden skipping rope to work out at home. I think it works pretty similar to having a trampoline at home (which I was so tempted by DearDuit’s recommendation). RM12 Note: You need less self-will to work out on a trampoline.
I got ten new indoor plants in July! Technically, I only paid a total of RM27 for a hanging Dischidia Variegate (it’s really beautiful), a Monstera, and Burle Marx. The rest were free plants given by friends. The smallest jade plant is only a thumb size and I love them. There’s also a Pennywort (Pegaga) that floats on the water.
I bought a ring light (yay for making youtube videos?) and it got stuck in the logistics for 3 weeks now. Maybe it’s a telling sign.
Not much happening for the shop this month. The fast-selling items are all sold out. The things that don’t sell are gathering dust on the shelves.
July financial & goals
- (Yay!) Transfer savings into StashAway
- (Yay!) Apply for i-Citra – i-love the money
- Read more books before Scribd subscription payment.
- (Nah) Fasting for 1 day each week.
August financial & goals
- Embrace the RM4,000 budget again. It’s enough for me to be happy.
- Take the second dose of vaccine
- Huge milestone list for work this month. Finally, might be my turn for the long-due work promotion?