I felt the panic as the calculator kept totaling. How is it possible to spend money without feeling like you are spending it? Yet, there was the total. Slowly creeping up, nearing the amount I had available. Thankfully, it’s more than enough to cover what I need. Still I feel incredibly vulnerable and insecure. My life feels without order. My weight is creeping back up to new highs. My pants are tight. The muffin top is manageable but not ideal. My bank account feels equally squeezed. I wonder how others make it. How families living just above the federal poverty level do it.
The connection between weight and money management draws a parallel. Many journals and articles point out, poverty and obesity go together. Cheap food is often processed, unhealthy and lacks nutrition. Grocery stores in certain areas do not exist beyond a gas station or convenience store. I do not believe that healthy means impossibly expensive. You can easily Google recipes that will prove it. The big difference is often taking the time to purchase and make the food. It’s using that food. Today I set out to challenge myself both in the kitchen and in the wallet. Starting tomorrow, I am going to go seven days without spending money. I will preface this by saying I have prepaid my bills. Some will still go through my account during these seven days. I can still use my bus pass. It’s paid through my paycheck automatically and it’s good for unlimited use during the month. Beyond these two things, I won’t be spending any money. I recognize that it is going to be difficult. In some ways, I expect it to be similar to dealing with other withdrawals, but once the first pains are over. The benefits are worth it.
During this time I am going to be exploring how food ties into this. Food is a large spending related expense for me. I go out to eat, I go out for drinks, I buy lunch, I buy groceries. Now, I’m not going to be doing anything like that for seven days straight. It’s making me plan my meals and food intake.
Tomorrows lunch is a rice/lentil mix with tempeh, red onion, carrot, pineapple, mixed with tahini, garlic, ginger, and cilantro. The first 48 will prove the challenge. Will I make it? Or will I cave back into my easy to maintain bad habits?