Friday, April 26, 2013

Austerity measures. A soliloquy.

From 1st January 2013, I have been adopting austerity measures in a bid to save more money. The need to save more money is important to my husband's and my life goals, retirement plans, and my children's future. It's been four months and I am feeling the strain.

I was very determined in the beginning. I ate cheap, skipped lunch if I had a heavy breakfast, and never paid for someone to make coffee for me. I also stopped shopping for myself after Chinese new year. I do buy toiletries and necessities, but only when in dire need.

Recently, I realised my average lunch cost was getting higher and higher. I simply could not bring myself to eat some crappy food court meal at $4 anymore. $4 by many's standards is high for a lousy meal. But nowadays I was paying $6-12. I also spent a lot on my kids' birthday gifts. It felt like I was let loose. Consoling myself that it was a valid reason to shop, I bought anything on a whim. You can't blame me, I was shopping-repressed.

Just today, I had a disagreement with the husband on travelling by budget airlines for a holiday. A friend advised against budget airlines for an 8-hour flight. I totally understand the pain, especially with two 2-year olds in tow. But the hubs balks at the few thousand dollar bill just for flights. I understand that pain too. It seems so much for a one week's worth of gratification. But I'm angry still. Whatever it is, I'm disappointed and angry.

You see, I've been working very hard these last four months. Working my ass off in whatever time I had. I've had numerous jobs and they pay me alright. I earn a good keep, not great but good. I am tired working two jobs (the other being a full time mom!) in 16 hour shifts (or 24 hour if you consider a mom's job), and here I am, not able to reap any reward for my hard work. I don't have time for pedicures, I don't go for facials or spa treatments. I don't shop. I hardly have time for lunch chats or tea sessions with friends. I don't go on holidays. And I always feel pressured to eat the cheapest food available.

Am I normal to feel the need for instant gratification? I know If I wait, better things will come. But this wait makes my patience grow thin. It's also sad to see how everyone else around me seemingly having a much more fun time than I am. I feel entitled and I know that is quite wrong too.

As I wrestle with these feelings, the dawn of a new day beckons. And it's back to the grind again...


Beauty Box said...

Hey, you sound really frustrated. Maybe your austerity measures are a little too strict? From what you say, being frugal is for the future and to accumulate savings...perhaps try to take it more easy. I wouldn't say just go back to spending whenever you feel like it, but small pleasures like a cup of coffee occasionally could bring you some joy. In the bigger scheme of things, $5 a few times a month is okay. But for travelling and big ticket items, I do agree that being more considered is worth it. But understand if it compromises on comfort level... maybe take fewer holidays but when you do, spend to get the comfort level you want.

Ally said...

Thank you for this! Didn't see it till now... I got a 20% pay raise before I even started my new job! Hurrah! This will allow me to save more, and then spend on my holiday, or on shopping, when I feel stressed and need to relax. The challenge in convincing hubby to spend on an air ticket is still there though... Although he is currently trying to secure more air miles so we can travel in comfort when we go on holiday. Yay!!!