Money Matters: Where I Faltered in My Spending in November

Takeout and Dining out

There were three serious takeouts/ dinings, one work lunch, one bakery run, and several supermarket food court runs. It’s not criminal, but it adds up, especially the takeout and dinings. Had I avoided these, it would have saved me around 10% of my total income. Christ.

Coffee To Go

I brew coffee at home regularly, and I also use the free coffee from the vending machine that my office provides with a dash of cinnamon and coffee cream I bring from home. Sometimes, however, I want to live large and get a coffee to go at my favourite coffee place around here. It used to cost me 25 in local currency (less than 2 bucks), but the guy recently raised prices, so now it costs 35 with tip (a little over 2 bucks). I don’t have the exact number, but cutting these coffee runs would have saved me anywhere between 3 to 5 percent of my income. The Latte Factor, eh?

Treats, Snacks, Vending Machine

This is always one of my biggest missteps, both in finances and calories. I was doing fine when I was working from home, but in the office I find it particularly hard to deny myself that midday sugar run. Once more I don’t have an exact number, but I think it’s somewhere around 3%.

Online Subscriptions

Those have gotten out of hand when I got my salary increase. I haven’t felt any of them then, but I feel them all now. Cancelling what I don’t need will be on my todo list for next month.


All I can do here is sigh. In general I am not against spending money on books, but considering my financial situation AND THE AMOUNT OF UNREAD BOOKS SCREAMING AT ME FROM MY 170 SHELVES AS WE SPEAK, I should cut out book spending altogether.


I didn’t buy any makeup, and I didn’t buy any excessive beauty. What I bought was 2 bottles of dry shampoo and 1 bottle of regular shampoo. Dry shampoo is an extravagance, really. Washing your hair is technically ‘free’, as long as the water is running. And the regular shampoo I will certainly eventually use, but I didn’t need to get another bottle for around half a year or so.

Fancy and convenience foods

There were a couple of supermarket runs for simple things like bread and milk, but what I ended up getting were frozen pizzas, two boxes of salad (what? It’s more expensive than beef once you figure out cost per kg), low cal chocolate syrup, rich people plant milk, out of season veg and fruit, etc., etc.


If anything, this gives me a list of things to plan for to lower my expenses. I’d say these frivolities have accounted to about 40 massive percents of what I bring home, which is, of course, ridiculous. Let’s see how I fare in December, where all I want to do is buy Christmas baubles and ‘Cozy Winter’ scented candles, with a dash of pillows, hot chocolate, and fairy lights on the side.


Money Matters

I really want to talk about finances here, but I don’t want to drop numbers around. I am going to name some, because what’s the point of talking money without any digits, but I’m just not going to be precise.

Due to the covid crisis, my take home pay has been reduced quite drastically. Which means that right now I’ve got loans that take up around 70% of the entire money that reaches my pocket one way or another. One of them is the car. It’s 40-50%, depending  on my bonus. The other 30% are various personal loans from micro credit companies. Most of them have an insane interest rate, and I’ve already paid tens of thousands over what I’d owed to them.

I also have several personal loans that don’t accrue any interest, but still hang over my head every day.

Then, I also have late payments on several of my utility bills. This happened when I was stuck in another country due to the pandemic, and my card got blocked, and I had no access to my finances, and no logistics to pay my bills back at home.

Shit happens.

Now that you know this delightful story, here’s the first three things I want to do.

Pay off one of the three personal loans that have massive interest. That will free up around 8% of my take home pay and give me some room to breathe, God willing.

Save 1-2 thousand in local currency, to have some peace of mind. This sum would not cover any huge emergency (may Lord be merciful and keep us safe and sound), but it would cover things like a flat tyre, a vet or a doctor visit for minor ailments, a cavity, a week-late salary transfer, a broken lock, etc.

Not all of them at once, though.

Sheesh, can you tell my anxiety is “helping” me write this post?

Catch up with my utility bills. Luckily they don’t have any late fees or other penalties – that is, until the company gets pissed and freezes the money on your account via court, but let’s just hope that doesn’t happen, as I am paying, just currently not on time.

Ok, so. They don’t have any late fees, so what I do these days is I pay twice the monthly amount each time I get the bill. That way I stay current with the payments that came after the debt, but am also erasing the debt month by month. It’s a slow process, but it’s working right now. Whenever I can, I throw in a little more to speed it up.

Where am I with these goals currently?

If my memory doesn’t fail me, I have 4 months left on that loan. It could be one more, or it could be one less, but it’s not outside this range. If I will be able to place loan payments instead of loan extension payments, then this first loan (let’s call it S), will be done and over with in March.

The fund might need more time than that. I try to stash away some money monthly. So far I’ve been doing it for around 3 months, and I don’t think I’m even at 500. Hopefully I will be able to reach the lowest benchmark of my savings goal somewhere around March as well.

If you wonder why I’m so unspecific with this sum, it’s because I truly don’t know how much I stashed away, and I don’t want to know. It’s weird, but if I know how much I have saved, I’m nearly always bound to spend it, sometimes not on my own volition. Sometimes someone would ask me for the money, and I would be happy to share, partly because I’m an idiot, and partly because of the sermon on the mount all those centuries ago. If I just know that the money is there, it’s fine somehow.

To clarify, I know how much I have, or own, or don’t have, or owe in all the other categories. I also know when my bills are due, and how much I need to save up for my sinking funds, and the interest rate, and the list of my debts in order of interest rate, and the list of my debts in order of the total sum. I’m also aware when I don’t have any savings,  When I do, though, I prefer not to know how much, and only add it up every couple of months.

At the rate I’m going, utility bills are going to take me around a year to catch up on them. This is too slow for my liking (a lot of these things are too slow for my liking), but it is what it is right now.