I am in the midwest this week for work (shocking I know!) But what is shocking is HOW BLOODY COLD it is! Have you heard of the Polar Vortex yet? If you haven’t, I honestly envy you. You must not live/work in a place where it is currently more than zero degrees Fahrenheit. Kill me. Seriously. It’s too effing cold.
Some of my friends in Wisconsin can’t even let their pups out to potty because it’s too cold. Schools have been cancelled. Bars are closed. Let that sink in for just a minute. I am not, nor will I ever be, considered to be “hearty stock”. But those folks in Wisconsin certainly are! It really must be cold.
I grew up in San Diego. Have you ever been there? It’s a balmy 75 pretty much year round. Moving to Oregon has been a shock to my system. But almost 9 years in and I’m finally getting used to it. This business though, hells now. I travel frequently for work and I often find myself in the midwest for long periods of time. So of course it only seems fitting that I find myself here the coldest week this part of the country has seen in decades. Fun fact: 8 minutes outside can result in frostbite…….let that sink in. That’s crazy pants!! I am not built for this!
Any who, why do I bring this up? Because other than going to work I have been doing exactly nothing else during this cold situation. I hole up in my hotel room and watch tv. But you know what else I’m tempted to do? Order in food. Order in any and all the things. Because I’m cold, hungry and bored. And I know myself. It’s a slippery slope once I order groceries to hopping over to Amazon too see what’s on sale today.
So I don’t risk temptation. I sit in the hotel lobby with my friends and we talk about our dogs. We talk about what Netflix shows we are all currently binging at home. Who do we want to want the Super Bowl? It would be so easy for me to twiddle away the night on my laptop but boy would it cost me. I would so easily scoop up 2 pairs of socks, a bottle of wine, and maybe some tiramisu. But really, do I need those things? Maybe, probably not. And the $30 it would cost me, would certainly be best served in other ways.
But what’s the point of me telling you this? My point, dear readers, is to say that any kind of unpredictable situation can cause us to spend money unnecessarily. Running late? Spend money. Get snowed in? Spend money. Forgot your coffee/raincoat/workbook/galoshes at home? You see where I’m going with this? Preparation is key. Was I prepared for this weather? Eh. Kinda. I have warm winter clothing. But really, we don’t live in the North Pole, so none of us are actually prepared for how bitterly cold it is. How we deal with it, that’s another story.
Do you set resolutions for yourself in the new year? I read something that said resolutions has the tone of needing to change something that is wrong about yourself. Like you resolve to be more active, because your current lifestyle is somehow wrong. Maybe I’m just reading too much into it, but I don’t really like that.
I personally like setting goals for myself. Goals are always engaging and changing, and they allow us to make slow progress while still celebrating accomplishments.
Each year I make a daily planner for myself, and I finally finished it yesterday. I included all the important birthdays of friends and family, highlighted important doctor’s visits etc. And on the first page of each month, I wrote “GOALS” so as to encourage myself to keep working towards those goals. Now, I have some big goals that I have at the very beginning. These are goals that I intend to work towards all year (pay off my credit cards, be more gentle with myself, etc). I also give myself some wiggle room. If I don’t tackle a specific goal this month, I realize I can always slide it to next month. nothing is set in stone.
NO EATING OUT!! (there is some wiggle room here, for example going out with family to celebrate Mom’s birthday)
Get back into the swing of meal prepping/planning my meals for the week (I tend to go off script if I don’t have it written down. So though I may not have a specific meal for a specific day, I definitely have 4 meals plus leftovers planned for a given week.)
Finish cleaning out D’s house (I started helping a friend go through their house Marie Kondo style. We will finish this month I hope!)
Find a home for everything in our home (similar to the previous goal, I really want to make our home less cluttered. It’s not bad to begin with but I’m a crazy person what can I say?)
Get Holden’s lumpy bumps checked (this is a holiday gift from my parents as I can’t afford this right now. He has some masses that need to be biopsied asap)
So those are my January goals. Are they perfect? No. Many of them are a moving target. Organizing my house for example will always be on the list as it is a never ending project.
And how does this relate to frugality you might ask? Well, I find that if I am keeping myself accountable I am much more likely to stick to my goals. Two of my goals this month relate specifically to saving money. I spend WAY more money eating out than I need to, and it’s usually just a matter of convenience. If I had snacks on hand or meals to eat at home I wouldn’t be spending that money. I intend to get back on the horse this month and get back into my normal routine. I like cooking at home! So this won’t actually be too hard I hope. And because it’s the middle of winter I’m hoping most of my friends will also just want to stay home !
So that’s all I have for now, an update on my January Goals. Another one of my big goals for the year is to be better about blogging and keep up with it more regularly. I think I say that every few months, but I keep getting derailed. I will not be stopped! So check back soon for my January budgeting plan if you are so inclined. Happy New Year everyone!