Avoiding Lifestyle Creep

1. How much did I spend today? – $31.20 – As I shared yesterday, I am currently traveling for Organization C and my travel (and meals) can be expensed. However, you can only expense travel if you can get someone to pick you up. Unfortunately (or fortunately for my snow-thirsty, northeastern, southern residing soul), the small city in which we are currently staying is experiencing significant snow flurries, and finding a Lyft or Uber has been incredibly difficult. One of my colleagues, who permanently resides in-town, has been exceptionally generous and has been chauffeuring me to and from our local office. After work today, we went out for drinks, and as a thank you for her generosity, I picked up the drink tab.

February Variable (food, gas, misc.) Budget Initial Balance: $463.77
February Variable (food, gas, misc.) Budget Remaining Balance: $420.61

2. What financial information have I learned to help me when I’m debt-free? – Avoiding lifestyle creep. While this seems relatively obvious, my spending in both December and January convinced me that this is something to which I need to be even more attentive. I think one of the problems with aggressive debt repayment plans (and I think Bee astutely makes reference to this in her comment on my REVISED: 2020 Financial Goals post) is that you are forgoing pleasure and making sacrifices for a really long time. I think this prolonged delayed gratification can result in you making rash choices because you “deserve it.” I think as I get closer to becoming debt-free, and still need to be conscious about my spending, as I shift to saving and investing for my earlyish retirement, that I need to find a better balance between what I need to reach my financial goals and actually living.

3. How have I lived abundantly? – I ditched my $10.00/month Planet Fitness membership for a Burn Boot Camp membership ($128.70/monthly). Burn Boot Camp is unlimited fitness classes and I absolutely love it. After getting my Planet Fitness membership, I didn’t go for almost a year. I really am not a fan of gyms but I love classes. Burn Boot Camp has the cheapest unlimited fitness class membership in my city and I’ve actually been going. I am already getting stronger, have better endurance, and I feel better about myself. I think in the past I wouldn’t have ever considered spending this much because I’d see it as money I could put towards my debt. I’ve decided this money is better being put towards me.

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