750 Words - Day 8

Monday morning and it's the beginning of the second week of the 750 words per day challenge.  I'm looking forward to tackling this week and getting back to the weekend!  Pay day is tomorrow so that's always something to look forward to.  I need to stop living paycheck to paycheck.  With credit card debt and student loans, it's difficult to have money left over at the end.  I'm hoping to have $1500 put away in my savings account by the end of the year.  Right now it's sitting at around $400 but i need car repairs so i'll have to tap into it.

It's funny because i started saving money as a fall-back fund but then i get an expense like car repairs and i feel bad about spending the money.  Isn't that what that money is for?  I guess it just sucks having to use that money you worked to save on something like front tie rods in my 2002 Ford Focus.  Better than not having a car i suppose.  Although i have kicked around the idea of doing a 21 day challenge where i don't use my car under any circumstance.  I'll at least have to wait until it warms up as i'd be riding my bike to work.  I think it's only a 2.2 mile trip one-way but it's uphill mostly the whole way and while it takes about 15 minutes on a bike, it'd probably take over an hour on foot.  Since i have to come home at lunch to let the dog out, being a pedestrian isn't really practical.  

From strictly a money point-of-view though, my car is a big drain on my finances.  I no longer have a car payment, but insurance, gasoline, and maintenance/repairs still equates to a significant amount each year.  Without looking at Mint, i'd guess that my vehicle accounts for about 25% of all of my spending.  Throw in education (student loans), food, and housing and you've got a pretty good picture as to where most of my money goes.  

When i put it like that it's a little depressing.  That's what i work for?  That's why i sit in a cubicle for 40+ hours a week?  Ugh.  Part of me wishes i could've lived during the Oregon Trail days when all that was required was securing food, clothing, and housing.  That was your job.  Then again, being 27, my life would probably be more than half way over.  Today, it's probably (hopefully) about only a third.  Of course, we never know, but that's just looking at averages.  

The more you buy the more money you need.  Seems like a damn good reason to explore minimalism.  If you've been following my blog from the beginning, you'll know that my very first challenge was decluttering and trying to rid myself of some of the excess in my life.  I want each item that i own to have a specific purpose and i don't want to spend my hard-earned money on frivolous shit.  I'm not there yet, but i'm working on it.  Small steps. Over and over again.

I'm looking forward to the days getting longer and it not being dark when i get out of bed.  I find that it's much harder to rise early when it's still pitch black outside.  That also means it's getting warmer so that's a nice little added benefit.  I enjoy every season based on what each one brings, but summer is my favorite.  In Asheville, it never gets insanely hot or humid.  It's great.  If it is hot, i can just drive up further into the mountains and an experience temperatures that are generally about 10 degrees cooler.   If it is cold, I can drive out of the mountains and practically gain 10 degrees right away.  It's not difficult to be happy around here.

I am expecting most of my fat loss to happen during the summer when i'm simply more inclined to be outside burning calories.  The heat obviously helps, too.  I have a high school reunion and a friend's wedding to attend at the end of this summer, so that gives me something to use as a deadline.  I'm not really worried about looking good for those events, it just gives me and end date in mind.  I'm a procrastinator so the hard deadlines help me to stay focused and get the job done.  In college, i was the guy who had 4 weeks to do a paper but wouldn't start it until there were 3 days left.