This is a guest post from Sheryl in Ontario, who is 40 years old with a grown daughter, and is trying to rebuild her retirement dream just 20 years too late for early retirement.
May has been flying by. I’ve been back at my part time gig for a about six weeks now, and this year I’m enjoying it a lot more than I did last year.
When I started last year, I was already exhausted from the stress of having too much month left after the money was gone. This year my head and my spirit are in a better place, and although I have purchased a few more convenience foods in the past few weeks, I am still able to keep most of the extra cash I’m earning.
This month, it has certainly come in handy. Although my social circle is quite small, it seems everything is happening at once. All in the month of May, there has been a baby shower (gift expense), a bridal shower (not for the same person), my boyfriends birthday, Mothers Day, and my parents 60th wedding anniversary. I have economized where I could, the birthday was going out for dinner where the birthday meal is free, Mothers Day is more labor than cash (my daughter and I are doing the flower planting etc for my mother’s garden), the anniversary party was at my sisters home, so there were additional food costs. The showers (and the wedding present to come) are more of the socially expected offerings.
Yes, I knew they were coming when I did my “April spend nothing” month. That is what made me realize that although it is fun(?) to make challenges for myself to clear out my pantry or not spend, there are just some things I can’t get out of spending on, and does it matter when I make that expenditure?
Don’t get me wrong, the pantry reduction, and the lean April were valuable lessons for me (that’s for another post), but I have come to accept that delaying inevitable purchases doesn’t serve any real purpose. If anything, I think it could increase stress by leaving too many things to the last minute. I’m still very much in favor using up what I have before replacing it, and trying to accomplish things in the most frugal way I can find (or tolerate), but I’m also starting to feel that maybe I should accept that some money just has to be spent, and the most control I have over it is where and for what.