The news seems determined to make me panic about ye olde finances day in and day out. However, as a government employee, I’m pretty confident layoffs are not a risk I’m facing. I’m almost 30 years away from retirement eligibility, so stock market losses in my retirement account are not big cause for concern. And as a humble bureaucrat, I don’t have untold wealth in the market anyway. I take the bus, so gas prices going up and down don’t really affect me. And, I’ve stalled out on house shopping, so as long as my landlord holds onto my townhouse, I’m not worried about housing.
So, here I am, driven to the edge of fiscal panic by the news but with nothing to do about it. So what I’ve started doing is worrying about cutting back on the things I think of as luxuries. The periodic taxi rides around town when I miss my bus or am too lazy to wait in the cold for the next one. The vast quantities of takeout that crosses my doorstep. The bulk piles of books I tend to order when a weekend looks like it may be a little slow. “On Demand” tv movies at $3.99 a pop. And yes, even my beloved bourbons. The little luxuries really add up, or rather subtract up from my bank account.
The problem? How to cut back without feeling deprived. I know I should be all adult and feel a sense of accomplishment at saving money rather than spending it. But really, I like to think of all the little things as my rewards for working long hours and paying all my own bills on time (mostly). So, here I am, dangling in a middle ground- still making unneccessary expenditures, but trying to make less of them.
I’m not much of a scrimper, but I’m trying. But I am weak, dear internet. I am so, so weak. And Etsy keeps taunting me with fabulousness….