We had an expensive summer vacation last year that was fully paid from the vacation sinking fund. Despite knowing there’s no incremental cost impact my brain still made me feel guilty for spending so much on vacation and I went into hyper cost saving mode. I wasn’t winning the mental fight so I decided to go with the flow until I was OK with it.

The first week back home I activated home cooked meals only and I have to say I enjoyed doing this and have continued as I tried out different meals as well as saved a ton. I also found the perfect bread recipe and stopped ordering bread since I can now make mine.

The second action was placing myself on a €50 budget per week for my random buys. This budget excluded bills and groceries. Doing this was a major fail as it put me under so much pressure and I had an intense urge to shop for things I clearly don’t need.

i bursted the budget for about five weeks until I self admitted this is a wrong target to have. Instead of setting an arbitrary goal that doesn’t work for me, I focused on mechanisms instead. I now have my spending under control and I expect to keep spending in line with or lower than budgeted for the rest of the year.

I did the uber frugal month challenge in January which was a good reset and a way to pick up very good habits that have stuck with me. I have also decided 2024 is the year when I buy nothing and so far I haven’t bought anything as there’s nothing I’m missing. My focus instead is selling off things I no longer need and reduce the clutter in my home. Whenever I get the urge to buy something I don’t need, I take a walk around and do a touch and feel of what I have to remind me I don’t need more. I also protect my energy by unfollowing anyone who gets too salesy on my social media account. I am still spending on myself but this is for personal development and acquiring new knowledge only.

i will not be retrying a €50 per week budget anytime soon as this just turned me into a raging shopaholic. Instead of being so restrictive, I will stick to my mechanisms and continue to weigh what I spend on vs. what’s important to me.

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