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Mighty pleased with myself

December 22nd, 2006 at 01:15 pm

Looking back at this week I am very pleased with myself. I did good!!

Starting sunday:
I finally started to write my dreaded article and I have now two-thirds done. And I think it is turning out ok, for a first draft. So I will get it finished on time before my deadline.

I prepared a lecture I had to give today in my own time and gave it on my day of. Adding another day to my personal debt pay off. Bringing my new total to 11 out of 48 days (and four hours spare).

I did my end of the year finances today. I gave 10% of my inheritance I received this year to 5 different good causes. And signed up for a tax friendly investment fund that finances mikrocredit (so instead of the already wealthy the poor will benefit from my surplus).

I went to the gym 5 out of 6 days! This is truly spectacular for me! And I am not going to stop here, I will follow up with my boot camp untill my supervacation.

Less than perfect since sunday:
I only had one no spend day. Allthough I can say in my defence that there was very little frivolous spending. But still money has left my wallet fast this week.
I am eating way too much. Especially candy and other empty calories. Really have to work on this one

So I am smiling tonight and really feel good about myself for a change.

Never too late for new beginnings

December 17th, 2006 at 11:17 am

I guess I have been slacking. Not really with my frugalness, that comes pretty natural now. But with everything else. My household chores, my work responsibilities, my work-out regime. And my house, my results and my waistline are all showing my lack of discipline. So onto new beginnings. I have made a schedule for myself starting tomorrow. And with this schedule I will not only be able to catch up with work and household responsibilities but I will also be on a fitness bootcamp. So no vegging in front of the tv the next weeks, tv time is scheduled in, no more mindlessly watching I don't know what for hours. I have better things to do with my time.
In five weeks I will be on a six week vacation break, so I have a very definite and pleasant goal to reach.
I will do this!!! You are all witnesses to my goal.

Today was a total no spend day. Yesterday I did my groceries and bought a small christmas tree, and I spent 25 on a night out. We went to a concert in Tongeren (Belgium). The singer had a lovely voice but I found the concert a bit boring because she lacked emotion. Everything was crystal clear but you really couldn't tell whether she was happy or sad in a song, they all sounded the same.

Unbelievable that 2006 is almost over. The year didn't start very well, my father died january 17. But 2006 has also been a year with many things to be gratefull for. One of those things being that I am so happy and gratefull that settling my fathers estate, handling all the money issues involved, did in no way come between me and my brothers and sisters. I have seen so many families brake up over the stupidest of things when it comes to money and inheritance. We divided the money and everyone got to take the momentos that were most dear to him or her. No fights or angry faces anywhere. I know that my parents would have been proud to see their children so harmoniously taking care of that very sad business.

I get to see all of my brothers, sister and nieces and nephews over christmas. The house will be full, and that is a good feeling too. And than in january I get to visit my other sister in New Zealand. A vacation that I can completely pay for in cash, frugality rocks!

Guilty pleasures

November 15th, 2006 at 05:01 am

You sure are a nice bunch of people. And it is comforting to know that there are other people out there who can relate to my discipline problems.

Since I am at my uni-job right now, and I'm blogging, you can all guess that I am not working on my research. But I just finished an interview this morning and I am working up the courage to start typing it out. Not a very nice task to do (and I have 4 more to go).

Miclason thank you for your suggestion. I think that could work for me. To end my day making a list with all the small things I accomplished. I can see how that would work as a motivator to make sure that I have something to add to that list. Making my list of 'frugal Yeah's' works the same way.

Lau, you're right. If and when I get the wind behind me I am a very efficient and fast worker. I guess that's why nobody knows about all of my non-working-time, because I always catch up in no time and work faster than most of my collegaues. But I usuallly still feel guilty about not doing more, or doing things better.
Ok. enough of this, back to my frugal lifestyle goals.

Tuesday I only spent 30 to send a package to my sister in New Zealand. And I paid for my sewing lessons in November (but that is a bill and I don't count it in my no spend days).On that note, I finally! finished all the prep work for my skirt and actually started sewing (the nicest part of the whole project), so it is starting to look like a skirt.

Today I did bring my lunch and snacks to work (as I do everyday) but decided to have lunch with my collegeaus and ended up buying some extra soup and yoghurt. I have to work on bringing the extras too and than staying out of the cafeteria (and stil have a social lunch with my collegeaus). Room for improvement here.
My credit card got a good workout today, because I did a lot of online booking for a trip next month for me and a collegeau. But all of that will be reimbursed, so I do not consider it spending. Usually it ends up to be a kind of saving actually. The reimbursement comes often so late, that I have already absorbed the spending in my checking account. When it finally comes in it feels as extra money, and I often transfer it to my savings account. So I guess I don't mind paying up front for work expenses (if they are not to big).
Tonight a simple homemade soup is on the menu and then of to salsa lesson. So no more spending planned for the rest of the day.

Other than that: all is quiet on the frugal front.

Untill next time: CU

Here I go again. The sequel (warning Long)

November 13th, 2006 at 02:30 pm

Wow, what a warm welcome! Thanks everyone for making me feel at home here. So I guess it is time for an update and some more information about the issues I am struggling with.
But first an update about my frugal voyage.

Saturday - Monday
Frugal Yeah!
(always start with the positive)
- got a free winter car check on saturday
- did my grocery shopping for the week and only spent 10 (I am seriously working my way through my stockpile)
- other than groceries, three no spend days
- had lunch and dinner at a friends house on sunday and got leftovers to take home with me

Frugal OH NO!
- the car's winter check reveiled some serious problems so after already three expensive problems in the past few months, so some more bills will come.

And now about my other debt. As I said in my bio I work at two jobs. One is with a regional government as a policy maker (the job I do not like), the other is as a researcher at a university (the job I love, but struggle with). My main job is at the regional government, I have worked there for five years and it is a job that controlls me and my time. I work form deadline to deadline, and for everything there is some kind of procedure, rule or regulation. Not much creativity asked for. And after five years I know I have this trick down. No anxiety issues just frustrations.

For two days out of my workweek I am assigned to the university to do research. I have a PhD allready so I am supposed to know what I am doing as a researcher. I love this job, and it was a great opportunity for me to be asked to join their team (temporarily for four years). But here is the kicker. I don't function at all at this job. I do not seem to know how to kick my butt into gear and start researching. So I have set this deadline for myself (and with my boss) that I will have a serious draft for an article ready in january before I leave on holiday. And I have not written a word yet. Do not even have a clear picture in my mind how the article will look like. Since I started working there a year ago I have made so many 'research avoiding movements' (ram) that I am getting to be really annoyed with myself. The thing is I know that it is part of my work style. I am like a chicken, I have to sit and brood before I can write, but this brooding thing has gone to far. I have calculated how many days since september last year I have effectively not worked and I calculated 48 days! all together. I consider that a serious debt to my boss. Don't ask me what I have done with my time I couldn't say, played games, surfed the net (how do you think I found you guys), stared out of the window etc.
Since I calculated my lost days I have started to work them off using my friday off day and weekends. I have since then worked an extra 8 days, but that is still 40 days left and last week was a really low point because I started adding to my debt again.

The stupid thing is, nobody knows, everybody is pleased with the work I am doing and is not suspious about the work I am not doing (guess I am a good actor). In the past these kind of situations have always worked out in the end, because I do function best when under stress. But I do not feel good under this stress I create myself, and I feel guilty as hell (probably my catholic upbringing, can't shake that).

So that's my big secret: I am a big fake! And probably simply lazy and undisciplined.
But because I hate to feel this way, I am always looking for ways to discipline myself, hence this blog.

So what do y'all think. Still want me here?