Year of Saving: A Recap
On January 1, I announced that 2015 would be my Year of Saving. A lot of things came to a head and I decided that it was time to cut down on unnecessary spending, amp up my savings power and get a better handle overall on my finances. Sounds like a high bar to aim for, right?
Well, I created three rules to help me help myself. More information about them can be found in my Year of Saving announcement, but they can be summed up as follows:
- No buying anything unless it’s taking the place of something else (“one in, one out”).
- Buying lunch at work a maximum of once per week.
- Purchasing alcohol a maximum of once per week.
March at a Glance
I spent a lot.
Let’s just leave it at that.
(That “one in, one out” rule? Yeah… me doing a clearing out of my “stuff” in January has now been negated. Oops. But breaking even is better than nothing?)
An Unplanned Source of Income
Part of the reason why I spent so much more than I had expected in March (mainly on stuff, less on experiences unlike in February) is that I logged some overtime at work. But instead of sticking that extra money into savings like I know I should have, I, well… spent it.
Not my proudest moment, but I mean, if one is going to indulge in retail therapy after a hard day’s work then that hard day’s work must go towards paying for said retail therapy, no? On the bright side, I’m pretty sure my impulse spending has been satisfied and April will be getting back on track with this savings thing.
But I didn’t totally fail at saving in March! I did set aside a nice chunk of cash to open up a new savings account. I’ve now bucketed out my savings in specific accounts for emergency, travel, and retirement. That is most definitely progress on the savings front.
The Food I’ve Spent My Money On
Asian Pear was in town for the last four days of the month visiting me! We had a great time that I’ll write about in more detail, but suffice to say a lot of my dining out budget was spent the days she was in town. We ate at:
- Mi Cuba Cafe: One of my favorite restaurants in DC. Excellent experience as always. We actually went here twice as AP loved the food so much! Hands down, the best thing on the menu is lechón asado (Cuban style roasted pork).
- We, the Pizza: The pizza was really good (I had a slice each of buffalo chicken and spinach and artichoke) but the server didn’t ring up the handmade soda I ordered, so I went without. Bummer, as I haven’t had a Shirley Temple in ages.
- Thip Khao: One of the best dining experiences I’ve had all year. The food was AMAZING and exactly like the food I remember eating when I backpacked through southeast Asia in college. HIGHLY RECOMMEND. Get the laab.
- Golden Brown Delicious: Awful, just awful. The hostess was horrible and apparently GBD prioritizes takeout orders over dine-in orders (?!?!) so we waited 45 minutes for our food. The wait would’ve been longer had we not complained. Plus after 45 minutes, I expect great food. My “poutine” (as AP pointed out, it was not true poutine as it had no cheese curds) was decent, but not great. Get a donut to go if going to GBD… or better yet, don’t go at all.
- Farmers Fishers Bakers: Another one of my favorite restaurants in DC. It never disappoints! I had the mad pig jambalaya and it was GOOD.
- Graffiato: Oohh, my goodness. Such good food! I’d go back in a heartbeat. My favorites were the brussels sprouts and squid ink pasta.
I expect April to be a fairly quiet month in terms of finances. (Then again, I said that about March and went a little shopping crazy. Oops.) If I log any overtime this month, I’m going to stick that extra cash right into my savings rather than spend it. I also want to keep adding to my individual savings accounts, which I’m on track to do.
Last month I said I wanted to look into holistic health, fitness, and medicine (acupuncture, facials, massages, yoga, running) but… I haven’t made any headway with that. It’s become a priority for April, though, as my doctor recommended to take up meditation to help manage my stress levels. I can meditate at home for free, but I’m a believer in the big picture when it comes to health so I want to start taking steps in that direction. And to challenge myself on things I’m not good at, but more on that in another post…