In all of the chaos of returning to my old job, I slipped back into my pre-pandemic ways. Going out for food more often. Buying pre-processed and packaged food, not spending the time daily to look at my finances. It is so easy to just swipe another piece of plastic. For the first time since I paid off my credit cards over 4 months ago, I had to choose between pulling from savings, or carry a balance because of my spending spree. I pulled from my savings because I just can’t stand the idea of losing so much to interest.
Spending is almost an addiction for me. This is just like when I quit caffeine and electronic cigarettes (before it was called vaping). The cravings are so present. But with caffeine and nicotine, I’d have to go through the process of buying the equipment to have a smoke or figure out what flavor of Mountain Dew doesn’t taste like death to me. The difficulty of making the choice deters me from even getting past the craving stage to action. But with spending, I am so quick to say, “you know, I need a new, whatever” and just swipe the card.
I have even slipped up on not fully following my grocery list. A couple of bags of candy, or snacks have started to slip into my basket every trip. And the worst part is that I didn’t realize that I was doing it until I finally had the time to see how much money I’ve spent in the last month. So as a reminder I have put “ONLY THINGS ON THE LIST” as the title of my list so I see it every time I look at my phone to see what else I need. I have done the same with a business card in my wallet in front of my cards, but it says, “DO YOU REALLY NEED THIS JUNK?”
Hopefully this will be enough to remind me to stay on track. I only have 11 years before I hit 40. If I want to have the option to retire at 40, I have to stay on track and focus on the goal. Not to mention that Oreos won’t help me on my path to financial independence or being healthy.