Wow, what a week.
I've been sorely neglecting my blog, not because I didn't have anything to write, but because I just haven't had 2 minutes to do it. I worked late friday, then worked all weekend on a construction site (continuing currently, I just have the evening off).
Despite running my butt off at work, I've actually had a decent amount of reflection time. Largely the habits I fall back into under certain circumstances. It's amazing how much habit plays into my money handling. I already know that when I'm stressed I spend money. It's a fairly well proven link, especially when I'm dealing with personal issues.
Relationship or work stress = Cassie needs new clothes/makeup/food/Starbucks to make herself feel better.
Does it fix anything? Not really, unless I got things that were missing from my wardrobe/cupboard. It's a temporary salve to give me a momentary perk up when I'm feeling really low. I can control when the perks come, even if I don't feel that I can control the external stressors in my life. The important part here, in my mind, isn't actually stopping the flow of perks. It's knowing when to take the reigns on the stressors that feel out of my reach, and knocking them around before the perks become a daily necessity to make up for the fact that life sucks.
To clarify, my life doesn't suck. In fact I've been reflecting a lot lately on how good I actually have it.
I'm pretty sure that most of us know that if you give yourself perks too often, they eventually lose their perkiness. Then they just become part of daily life. Then you need something different, possibly bigger, to give yourself that high again. That's a dangerous cycle. Even if you don't run out of money, the perks will eventually lose their effectiveness and no matter what you buy you won't be able to get that feeling anymore.
Don't ask me how I know that. Let's just say I've had to beat around my stressors before.
But that's big picture obvious spending. Lately I've been paying attention to my less obvious spending habits. Situational spending. I almost never eat out for lunch or dinner while I'm at work. While I've been on site? Almost half of my meals have been purchased. Why? It's quick, I don't have to think about it, and I don't have to spend any time preparing for it. That right there is probably the reason why I gained a full dress size on my first post-university construction job.
I had KFC for lunch today. I hate KFC. Why did I do it? It was there. I know full well that I know better, but for some reason I've associated being on site with eating out. If I make any more money than usual on site it will be minimal, so it's not like it's something I can easily get away with. It's a BAD habit.
So what do I do about it?
Well, I'll have to find something I can bring to work that satisfies me in a similar fashion to fast food. Lets face it, when you're freezing cold sitting in a truck eating lunch, a salad or jam sandwich isn't going to have the same appeal as a hot, salty, greasy meal. It just isn't. We don't have a microwave on site, let alone a lunchroom, so whatever you pack is probably going to be cold when you get to it. A thermos of soup would be a great meal, but I've always found it to be cumbersome eating soup in a truck. That thermos would be great for some chai tea to warm me up though, in fact I'll be getting it out tonight for exactly that. As for the meal itself *shrug* I need to figure out what I can eat cold that will fix that salt tooth. Chances are I'd just drink the tea. It's a bad habit, yes, but I'm just being honest here.
I've been thinking about my morning tea routine at the University as well. It's not nearly as expensive, but it is something I just do at the University. I don't normally buy drinks in the morning when I'm going to work. At school I do. It's a weird little idiosyncrasy of mine.
What's kind of funny is that both the tea at the university and eating out on construction sites used to be perks for me. Now I automatically assume them to go hand in hand. It's a habit. It's something I have to be more aware of.
Man I'm tired. I'm going to sleep now. At least when I'm not tired I'm more likely to make better financial decisions. Yep, definitely going to sleep Now.