I have finally bought a double bed!
You may recall (or maybe not, I’m not judging) that one of my finance goals was to buy a new bed. I have been sleeping on a single bed since forever and both bed and mattress I was using were in fact those I used as a child following my move from a cot (note: my parents didn’t believe in children’s beds. I went from cot to a single bed with a sideboard to keep me from rolling out, then just the single bed.) I loved that bed, which my dad built himself, but its small, and the mattress was probably once firm but now offers little support. I am stoked to finally own a double bed, although unfortunately I won’t be getting a new mattress alongside it as my finances don’t stretch that far yet.
I am doing much better financially then I was, but I am not yet entirely reformed. I am doing my best to reign my spending in and up my savings but progress is slow. I still find myself too influenced by social media, this culture of consumerism, and in boredom or stress I do like a good shopping binge. It’s …not great. I have also come to realise though that one of the key issues, and where I am truly leaking money, is on food and I am not sure how to go about challenging my unhealthy, somewhat disordered relationship with food.
One thing that has helped to control my spending is that, as part of preparing my room for my new bed, I have been doing a lot of rearranging of stuff and decluttering and it has made me realise just how much stuff I have amassed. How on earth did I manage to live in a dorm room, when I’ve managed to pack a two bedroom flat to the brim? Where did all these things come from? Why do I have so many t-shirts? So much makeup, when I hardly wear it? So much expired skincare? So many useless papers? I feel slightly embarrassed by how I’ve expanded my stuff to fill out all my space, how I’ve let myself spend my salary on all this stuff, which just expires or sits there or gets squeezed into a drawer and forgotten about. Look, I’m not minimalist, I like a bit of clutter, but I think I’ve crossed over from organized ‘aesthetic’ chaos to just…chaos. Decluttering and organising my room has been stressful and slightly overwhelming. I find it difficult to let go of things. It pains me that a lot of it can’t be recycled and will end up in landfill which also makes me not want to get rid of it. I attach memories to useless things and pine for them, can’t bear to let go of them. Again, embarrassing. But on the flipside, when I now find myself browsing online in a fit of boredom, I do find myself thinking – do I even have space for this? I have been asking myself “do I want or need this?” which helps, but this additional question is also very useful and adds an extra layer of scrutiny. Even if I can convince myself I’ll use something, once I realise I will have to store it and add it to the pile of stuff I am currently organising I find myself put off the purchase. I don’t want to deal with anymore stuff I realise. I think about that item being thrown out, ending up in landfill probably, if I can’t make use of it after all, and that guilt also stops me.
(If only I could think about food the same way.)
But anyway, as I change my thinking and try to control my spending, I find myself with more “extra” money each month which I can squirrel away. As such, I have been putting money into my savings each month and I’ve nearly hit my first savings goal even. I’m still relying on my credit card far too much, but I’m proud that I bought my new bed with my debit card not on credit, as I am trying to keep big purchases like this to debit, to ensure I feel the weight of them and I properly evaluate if I can afford the thing right now. (None of this I’ll stick it on the credit card and pay it later, which basically gives permission to think about it later!)
Currently, I am missing not travelling a little. I so want to go somewhere. I am trying to focus instead on day trips I can make around my local area and the fact that I am going up to Scotland in September-ish- but I do feel like I’ve lost part of my identity. Who is that girl who lived abroad in Malaysia, who traveled to Japan and South Korea alone, who dreamed of solo European trips (and started out on that with a trip to Hamburg)? I used to go places and do things, all by myself, and I have become a bit of a homebody. Still, I am keeping it in mind that travel is a privilege, that I now have more leave (from work) for mental health days and long weekends, that I still have so many places in the UK I haven’t been. It’s not the same as traveling abroad, but if I keep saving then I know I will be able to afford a big trip somewhere, eventually, but without it affecting my savings. (My trip to South Africa last year was difficult for me financially, and I felt it for the rest of the year. I don’t want that when I start travelling again.)
I am focussing on my goals, focussing on the long term, and slowly but surely making small but visible changes. And having already bought my new bed on debit with no issues, I can feel content that I am finally seeing the results I want due to this. I am still very determined that this is the year I sort my finances out.