I have a couple of thoughts relevant to my nothing new year on this frigid Sunday in Toronto. It's -21 degrees C but feels like -34 degrees with the windchill! I picked the wrong day to be thrifty and not order an Uber. I waited outside dying for 26 minutes until my 'frequent service' bus finally came. By that time my feet and hands were screaming in pain, and I was about one minute away from joining them. But all is well now. I'm cozy at home - until tomorrow.
First thing: I'm being very good this week about trying to use up the food that I have, rather than buying a bunch more. I still bought milk and bread so as not to cause a riot at home, haha. :) But I intentionally used up things from the freezer and cupboard that have I suspect had given up hope of ever catching my eye again.
Two evenings I made myself dinner from frozen leftovers that I had forgotten about, which were perfectly yummy and involved just a quick heating up. Tonight I resurrected frozen vegan sausages (the good kind, not with soy), edamame, and a chicken and pasta dish - making our freezer feel so nice and spacious! I also used up vegetables in the fridge before they went bad (this feels like a nerdy victory), along with canned chilli beans and corn, and a package of brown basmati rice and ended up making three separate dishes. So I had supper, and prepped many lunches and dinners for the next 2 or 3 days. I want to try and use up what we've already got for a few days, both to avoid food waste (there were recent articles about this in NOW magazine), and to save money. It is fitting in with my paring down and purging what I don't want or need. If we don't use the things stockpiled, then we should let them go, including food. And if we have a bunch of food, we should be using it up, rather than spending money on more.
The second thing: Last night I was shown some math, and found out that if I could put an extra $600 on my mortgage each month, I could pay it off 9 years faster. Or should I say NINE YEARS FASTER. That is so shocking, and a little upsetting that I did not look at this clearly sooner. I feel pretty determined to figure out a way to make this happen, and it will be no mean feat, because currently one of my two typical monthly paycheques is slightly less than the bills/savings/allowance that are meant to come out of it. Ahem. But imagine how nice it would be to not be paying my mortgage for those last 9 years if I pulled it off? That would mean that I could spend my money on something other than my mortgage in my retirement. It's exciting to think about and a little boring. I was actually looking at the math to see how I might manage to buy something that would be an investment. It looks like it would be very hard to get funded at this point, and that the safest and most guaranteed return on investment would be to pay off my own mortgage. See? Boring. But 9 years faster!
This makes my current not shopping/frugality focus perfectly timed as I need all the help I can get scrounging up the extra $600.
Anyway, it's been 20 days of not buying anything new. I have spent the time focusing on decluttering, friend outreach, buckling down to learn new protocols at work, and cooking more for my meals. It's all feeling pretty good so far. This coming week besides being colder than Whitehorse, apparently, I've got lots of social plans to warm the cockles of my heart. Book club, a concert for a favourite band from way back, Guster, (who apparently were just on Seth Meyers, so I'll have to go check it out), my wife's weekly comedy show resuming, and some fun hangs with pals. No January blahs allowed. I will have to figure out when and how to resume my Marie Kondo discarding of stuff, as I want to finish what I've started. Perhaps the weekend will be good timing for this.
Anyway, good night and I hope you have a cozy, warm sleep.
Chili Cornbread Skillet
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