A round-up of thrift, June 2024

If you would like to figure out what these posts are about and why they have the most basic things mentioned, like skipping a latte, please read the first post. If you don’t want to do that, in a couple of words: spending money is not a lack of knowledge problem around here, it’s a mood disorder problem. Now that I’m sufficiently medicated, I’m almost a tightwad.

Moving on.

This is a long post, go make yourself a cuppa.

In May I was laid off from my job of 2 years. I still have not secured gainful employment, which means I don’t really go anywhere, so all my thrift revolves around shopping for the necessary consumables. There are some deviations from this category, but there aren’t many.

My job interview process started strong, but so far there hasn’t been any favourable (as in ‘job’) result. Two interviewers told me I was a perfect match, but since I have surgery coming up, they suggested I take care of that first, and then contact them again to start onboarding. The issue here is that I don’t know the date of the surgery, and to be able to get surgery I need to be employed, because I need to be insured.

So it’s a fucked up circle. I need surgery out of the way to get a job. I need a job to have insurance. I need insurance to have surgery. I need surgery out of the way to get a job, etc. etc. I almost want to start keeping silent about it, honestly. Maybe then I’d be able to get it all done. Whoever said that honesty is the best policy never tried to navigate a modern capitalist society.

Anyway, back to thrift.

1. I bought butt-scratching cheap toilet paper. I am not pleased. My imperial arsehole deserves better.

2. I resisted soft drinks with all my might, and only caved in three times.

3. I bought a big tube of ice-cream instead of small portioned ones. There’s nothing wrong with the big tube (tube, not tub, yes, the cheapest ice-cream is sold in big plastic tubes/ bags here, they are soft and long, that’s what she said, whatever), it’s just a sensory issue. I have to portion it out by cutting with a knife, and it is simultaneously sticky and freezing, and just ugh.

4. I’m still not buying laundry detergent, because I still have things to wash my laundry with. I wonder if I’ll still be mentioning this in 2026.

5. I unsubscribed from pretty much everything paid by this point, except Netflix (it’s shared with a person I am not quite ready to explain my situation to), Yandex (suddenly I started listening to a lot of audiobooks, and it gives me access to thousands for $2), Google (I have no other place for my 1TB of photos), and Adobe Lightroom (because to cancel the subscription entirely would be a ‘breach of contract’ and would cost me $180). First one to go in this list would be Lightroom. Once my yearly contract ends – October, I think – I will let it go and use other programmes to edit. I’m actually so pissed at Adobe for their recent changes to privacy policy (google, it’s all over the internet), I haven’t even opened Lightroom since. But I can’t afford the $180 cancellation fee. There are some yearly subscriptions that cost about $2-3 per year. I am not letting these go, because they are worth it for me.

6. I did not go out and buy 1-2 ‘smart casual’ outfits. They would have been second-hand and I would have looked for as inexpensive as possible, but no expenditure at all is still cheaper than the least expensive purchase. The surefire way to double your money is to fold it in half and put it back in your wallet, or whatever.

But yes, let’s extrapolate as to why I wanted ‘smart casual’ outfits in the first place, when the thought alone in the direction of anything ‘smart casual’ makes me shudder. One of the companies I interviewed for has a dress code. I made it do for the interview, but if I were to go there 5 days a week, I would need at least one change of clothes – thankfully I’m not particularly sweaty. They told me that I would start training shortly, but it fell through.

7. Since then I took stock of all the clothes that I have that currently fit me, and realised that I might get away with purchasing two polo t-shirts, and that would be enough for a ‘smart casual’ wardrobe for the work week. Take stock, people. It’s an incredible money and space saver.

8. I walked pretty much everywhere. My car broke down again (more on that below), and I don’t have a mass transit card. I think I will get a 6 months one soon, though. When you’re unemployed these seemingly painless charges of 30 euro cents here and there add up really quickly. So the only time I used public transportation was to one interview that was a little further away (it was hottt, and I didn’t want to look disheveled upon arrival) and to and from my old job to pick up my stuff.

9. I restarted my savings jar. It saved me many times before, because when you have 0.5 in your bank account, even a fiver in the savings jar feels luxurious. It doesn’t have much in it currently, but even 1 is better than 0.

10. I decided to sell my car. It might take a while, and I might do it all wrong, because I’ve never sold a car before. But I’m done. When she broke down on me on my last day at my job, I felt betrayed. Considering everything else that went down, I’m not surprised I felt that way. Dramatic, but true.

Why is selling car a frugal move, you ask? Well, petrol is more expensive than mass transit. I also keep needing to repair Ruby (car) all the time, because she’s an older model. And most of the jobs with night shifts here pay for your transportation to or from work, depending on the schedule. It’s just that my old company was one of the few that did not. So provided that I don’t ride taxis every time I need to go somewhere – and I won’t, I’m really only inclined to do that when I’m dead tired or really late or in pain, I actually dislike cabs – the ‘transportation’ line in my budget sheet will see a significant decrease.

But it will be a while, I’m sure. I’ll keep you posted. I’m also not sure what I will do with that money once I have it. To say more is to reveal too much, so I will keep silent on this matter.

11. I am looking into refinancing my existing debt. This, if achieved, will nearly halve my monthly payments. I’m not really looking into interest right now, but seeing as some of that debt is NBFIs, the interest will probably stay about the same overall. Considering how much of that debt I have, banks are actually really interested. So cross your fingers for me. Succeeding here will allow me to expand my job search as well, because I would be able to look at positions with smaller salaries.

12. I lost weight, and plan to continue in that direction. Keeping your weight in check is a frugal move, because obesity comes with tonnes of (deadly and expensive) complications. You also eat less. And your clothes cost less.

13. Unrelated to my weight loss – as in, I’m not doing it with that goal in mind, but I’m sure it contributed a bit – I’ve been eating 2 meals a day and a snack most days. Summer is here and I’m just not hungry. Pretty sure the effects of this meal cut would have been much more dramatic, but that snack? Is a huge bowl of ice-cream eaten under the AC. Lord I hate the heat. And it’s not even the dog days yet. Anyway, all that ramble is to say that this affects my food bill. I don’t spend much on food these days.

14. I only keep the AC on for a couple hours a day, when the sun hits my windows directly and drives me (and cats) up the walls – or rather, into the deepest darkest parts of the flat. Cursed be the people who gave orders to cut down the trees that protected my windows from the sun.

15. I am creative with my cooking. So creative, I’m actually considering making another post for this point exclusively. It pays to not being a picky eater and have an overall preference for bland foods, let me tell ye. But even if you don’t like bland, spices and condiments are cheap and will take you far.


a round-up of thrift, may 2024.

May has not been fun. If you’re new here, these posts are where I talk about all the ways that I used to save a cent here, a penny there. For an indepth intro please see the very first post. As always, I ask you to keep in mind that I know ten thousand and one way to save money – the reason I’m in a pickle and say things like ‘didn’t buy a new bag/ piano/ car/ life” on this list is not lack of knowledge, but a certain deficit of screws in the head. I know how to save money, I just don’t, because I’m a lunatic. Would provide receipts, but who the heck are you to ask for them.

Without further aggressive ado, I give you the narrative of May. Because there’s no real list of thrift.

As mentioned, May was not a fun month. I’ve had a good couple days around Easter, and it all went downhill from there. So let’s list the good things that happened. They are not plentiful. Apart from the anxiety-sponsored “everyone’s alive and not gravely ill, so that should be good enough” – and it is – I give you the following:

I saw a cardiologist. For free. Got prescribed meds that are pretty cheap by the standards of heart and blood pressure medication.

It may have been April, but I think it was May – I had several good conversations with my friend.

My therapist saw me for free for the entire month of May when I told her that I am unable to continue our sessions because I can’t pay. That’s a lot of savings.

I found a kitten. I took her home. She’s a new family member. It’s not a frugal move, but it’s a happy one.

I lost weight.

And now I give you parts of the shitshow. Just the big ones.

My brother is now aware of the true state of my finances. This drives me up the wall and kind of makes me want to light things on fire.

My car got towed for “unlawful parking”. Quotes, because it was not unlawful, but if you ever tried to dispute a parking ticket, or any kind of ticket, then you know the action is futile. So naturally I have a fine now, and I also had to pay for the towing and the tow parking lot. Had I paid the fine within three days, I would have paid 50% the amount, but I could either pay the fine or get my car back. I chose the latter, because the accrued fees on that parking lot are insane. Plus as we have discussed elsewhere I need a car to get to and from work.

Because of that towing fee I couldn’t meet my financial obligations on several loans. Thankfully not all of them. But it is still unpleasant.

I’m currently running around without my medication. I’ve been microdosing and having withdrawal symptoms for about two weeks now. Today before bed I will literally take the last half-dose of the one remaining night medication, which I’ve been taking very sparingly. Everything else ran out already.

Oddly, I think that helped with the last point on the list, because I’m already feeling rather low, and there’s really, like, nowhere to go from here. So I did not turn hysterical when I got fired on the very last day of May.

Yes. I am currently without gainful employment.

We will talk about this later.


a round-up of thrift, april 2024.

I was really discouraged in April. I am still discouraged in May. And today I looked at June, and I’m even more discouraged now. Is there really any need for me to be writing these posts, where it seems like anything I do simply does not work?

But I guess, forced by circumstance or actual healthy reasoning, some of my choices are changing. Even today I came to the office, and my first impulse was to go get a take-out coffee. Doesn’t matter that I have 7 euro left to my name (yes, 10 days into the month, one week after salary).

But I didn’t do it. I didn’t get that coffee.

Though obviously one coffee is not going to save me from financial ruin.

So what else did I do?

If you’re new to these posts, please read the first couple paragraphs of the month of February. If you’re of the lazy kind, then at least know this: I know how to save money. I don’t need advice. If I implemented every single money saving tip I know, I’d be one rich motherfucker by now. Unfortunately I am not exactly right in the head, so it is what it is. We’re working on it.

1. I’ve got a whole kitchen set up in the office, I’m telling you. Cooking at home continues to be difficult, and my pancreas doesn’t like to subsist on ramen and crackers (who’d have thought, huh). So I bought a bunch of instant porridges and flakes, a big tub of yoghurt, some pre-washed veg, and garlic salt, and this is my lunches most days. Breakfast is a supermarket muffin that is sometimes accompanied by a cheese sandwich. Supper is eggs or beans on toast. This has allowed me to almost completely avoid the deli counter, obliterate take-out, and minimise bakery visits.

2. I brought water from home. Sometimes people responsible for office water delivery forget to order it on time, and we run out before fresh bottles arrive. I used to buy a bottle in these cases, but this time around I brought a big-ass bottle from home. And I filled it with boiled water.

3. Speaking of water, my father bought a new electric kettle. I don’t really want to get into the whole story – and yes, there is one. But my stove-top kettle is out of business once more. I can’t deny the convenience of an electric one.

4. Last month I was thinking that I would run out of detergent pods, but I still have three left. I’m still not buying detergent, because after the pods are gone, I’ve got two samples, and after that is gone, I’ve got laundry sheets, and after laundry sheets are gone, I’ve got washing soda, and after washing soda I’ve got soap nuts. So I won’t be too surprised if next time I need to buy laundry soap comes around in 2025.

5. I rounded up all my instant noodles on one shelf, and although I don’t have an exact number, it looks like there’s at least 20 packs. As we’ve established above, I can’t have them daily, so ramen became a delicacy that I enjoy on Saturdays. It sounds ridiculous I’d wager, but I LOVE cup noodles/ instant ramen/ ramyun/ etc. It’s a thing I look forward to, and it gives me a decent dopamine boost, thus distracting me from desire to spend money. I’m thinking of pushing ramen to Sundays and bringing back cereal Saturdays. I used to eat cereal and watch Elementary on Saturdays, and it was a nice ritual.

Anyway, since there are at least 20 packs, I’m set for a couple of months without additional expense.

6. I spent 0 on fixing my car situation (and I hope I did not just jinx it). I charged the battery from my father’s car, put air in my tyres using my compressor, and was good to go. The only thing I paid for was car wash, but I went to an automatic one and spent 5 euro, instead of going the usual route of human labour and detailing and paying at least two times more.

7. I, er- OK, this sounds asinine, but I tipped less. Technically the only thing I had to tip for in April was over-the-counter coffee and a baked good – and the baked good I pick and pack myself. I also had to pay for grocery delivery once I think, because I was sick and at home – or was that in March… I don’t remember, but that I tipped well as I usually do, because these bags were heavy as fuck, and I live up some flights of stairs in a building without a lift. Coffee in a bakery, though, is a different matter. All I did was leave 1 or 2 instead of 5 or 10 as I would otherwise, because hey. Coffee costs 35. Baked things like I said I pick and pack myself. So all I did was tip proportionally instead of greatly over-tipping like I usually do.

I should extrapolate, I think, and mention that the ladies pouring my coffee are salaried workers. They have a fixed salary, and also a percentage of the entire amount they sell on that day. So they are not reliant on tips alone for their income.

But the narcissist in me will gladly return to overtipping the moment she can. She just can’t right now.

8. I used the things I had at home for my journalling. I wanted a tag system for my book journal so I could easier find certain things, and I thought of buying stickers, because I’ve seen people do the sticker system, and it looks very nice. But I went with what I have and used markers instead. I also used colour pencils for my tracker instead of buying colourful pens like I originally wanted.

9. My food waste, although present, was much lower this month. The amount I will be satisfied with is zero, though.

10. I used weaker medication for very minor headaches. As someone who lives with migraines, my first impulse is to always take a stronger pill so that a small headache has no chance of turning into a full blown migraine episode. But thankfully – well… – after years of coexisting with headaches I am quite proficient in differentiating headache types and knowing which one will turn into a migraine if not treated with stronger medication, and which one will just annoy me a bit longer but won’t render me useless for a day or two. It is not a practice I recommend. Take your meds, and don’t skimp on them. But I do what I have to do for now, and it did save me an estimated 10 to 20 euro.

11. Speaking of meds, I stopped taking supplements for insomnia – because I ran out of them and I had no money to replenish, and I hope I did not just jinx myself, but so far, so good. I still take all my main meds, though, but as it often is, main meds are cheaper than fancy supplements. When summer is in full swing I might have to go back to them, but for now I’m saving another 20-30 euro.

12. I’m drinking tea I swore I’d never drink again. And- I like it. They must have changed the leaves, because I promise it used to taste like paper. Now it tastes like a honey infusion. Anyway, so I had an unopened box at home for reasons I cannot begin to tell you, because I honestly have no idea. But I ran out of Lipton – which I, too, swore I would never drink again… – and I couldn’t find any other black tea but this box. So I was like, fuck it, I want tea, let’s try it. And I did. And I liked it. So next time I run out of tea, I’ll buy a 100 pack of this stuff.

Maybe it tastes different because the box says ‘high grown’ instead of ‘ceylon’. I am not sure how much truth is there in their marketing tricks, but it does taste different.

13. I stopped myself from ordering take-out dessert by making chocolate mug cake at home. There was nothing sweet at home, and I was very, very close to getting a cake delivered, but I fixed myself a microwave mug cake, and it was enough.

14. I bought the cheapest ice cream. Still tasty.

15. I ran out of but didn’t immediately buy a new jar of instant coffee. I’m not a big instant coffee drinker these days, but I do keep low-caffeine instant on hand for dalgonas and stuff (because those two heaping tablespoons of non-decaf will send me running for the hills). Well, I ran out, and I haven’t bought a new one. No more dalgonas for me. Whenever I want a late-night coffee, I just make one in a moka pot using my decaf Lavazza.

16. I don’t drink my morning coffee at home. Rather, I wait until I get to work and have it at the office for free. (Well, I still buy my own milk, as I am not a fan of powdered creamer.) Pretty sure this also helps keep my cortisol a little lower, as it takes me about an hour to make it to work after waking up, which means I don’t drink coffee first thing, as I’ve been doing since… age 10, I think.

17. And I suppose the biggest thing I did in April that will affect all the upcoming months is I negotiated a raise. Even with said raise I’m discouraged for June already – but how much more discouraged would I be without it? So of course I’m happy I will be getting more money each month. I just really need to continue reducing expenses as well.


a round-up of thrift, march 2024.

It is yet again time for me to amuse you, my friends. Last time I amused you in February. Ever since then it did not get much better. But we tryin’. If you want to know what this is about and why it’s hilarious for both me and the masses, read the first couple paragraphs of the February post.

As always, I encourage comments, but please don’t tell me how to save money: Chances are high I know more than you. I just don’t do any of it for reasons you can find in February post.

So. On to the unbelievable thrift I have voluntarily endured in March.

I mostly rode Economy class cabs, but I do admit not taking the trolley to work many times over. There were two-three times I stayed at work long enough to take the first trolleybus home. I ain’t gonna pretend it evened out, though.

No takeout. Not once. I did peruse the supermarket deli, though, but considerably less. Same goes for the bakery for my usual coffee and things. I went less times. I think overall I went under 10 times.

Kept a good track of spending up until… 18th or so.

On the last day of the month I broke my electric kettle – and I won’t be replacing it. I might repair it in May – if it is repairable – but for now I’ll be using gas. If you’re wondering what’s broken – I dropped it on the floor. Thank God it was cold and empty. I dropped it, and I guess it hit somewhere near the switch, because the switch is all loose and not how a switch should be.

Shopped around for my cats’ food. I am not going to switch them to a different cheaper diet, but I did look where I can get the same stuff they usually eat for less. The search will continue in April, because so far I was only able to save $0.5 per kilo.

I did not buy laundry detergent. Because I have one at home. Let me explain: I prefer the gel pods. Majority of the powdered stuff makes me itchy. Home-made concoction is not it. Also, since most of the loads I do are short and cold to save on electricity, powdered detergent and even home-made mix of baking soda etc. do not get washed out properly. I have to inspect every wash to make sure that it’s not visible, and then I have to rewash clothes, thus doing extra cycles and spending more electricity anyway – and it makes me itchy. I’m sure the efficiency of washes has something to do with the age of my machine, but we’re not going to complain about its age here. We’re happy it’s still working.

Anyway, so I prefer pods. But, I have some laundry sheets, some gel samples, and also some soap nuts in my arsenal. So once I’m out of pods – and I’m still not out, but I will be soon – I will just use what I have first.

I did not buy any new books. Audiobooks, e-books, paper books – nothing. I even talked myself out of using a gift card that I have, because it’s hard to match the amount exactly, and I can’t underspend, because the remainder will expire the moment I use the card, and I don’t want to overspend, because I will be inclined to over-overspend.

I paid a little bit more on one of the loans I currently have out. It all went towards the body of the loan, thus lessening the amount I need to pay monthly. Not all loans I have allow me to do that. Two of them only allow full amount to be paid towards the body, and anything extra just goes towards next monthly payment. Three loans allow that, but there’s a limit to how small the sum can be. And what they’re asking for, I don’t have that much extra. There are five loans however that allow small payments to be done towards the body of the loan. These are the first ones I’m trying to tackle.

I used the ground coffee I have instead of automatically replacing capsules. I do admit that once salary hit, I went and bought some (they were having a half-off sale if that is some excuse). I also tried using my reusable capsules, but the type I have doesn’t work well with either of my machines, it seems. Dolce Gusto is doing a little better, but there’s still some leakage. Nespresso is a fail two times out of three. Which in my book translates to ‘waste of good coffee’, so I use my moka or cezve. The French press I have is massive, so I don’t use it most of the time, but I’m thinking I might use it to try make a cold brew once we hit the higher temps.

I heavily relied on free medical services, bestowed unto me so generously by the joint forces of my employer and the government. Everything is very slow – very slow. Were I in a private clinic, I would have had my surgery already and were deeply into recovery by now. And I think I mentioned last time that I did have to pay for some things to speed it up – I can’t wait over 6 months. But everything else I have tried and so far succeeded to do for free. Lord does the dragging out of it all give me anxiety, but I shall count my blessings.

More on a miserly note – I decided not to buy anyone anything for IWD this year. Usually I try to give at least a small token of appreciation, be it a chapstick or a candy bar or a flower. But this year I had to stop myself.

More of the same, really – didn’t buy myself or my friends and colleagues Martisors.

Stopped myself from buying music sheets – I am reacquainting myself with piano, and lawd is it testing my will power. But I recognise that my level, if it can be called that, is so low, that what I have in the house or have found for free on the internet is more than enough for now.

By the end of the month I had 500 in cash in my wallet. It would have been an undeniable win – however my bank accounts were wiped clear by loan payments, and these payments weren’t made in full. So we’re back to being in the red with the recurring pays. My goal for April is to be a little less in the red. I know I will not be able to even it out, so I just want to lessen the gap.


a round-up of thrift, february 2024.

Verily I say unto you, I think these posts are going to suck. As I’ve mentioned again and again, I’ve not been good with money lately, and all my thrift and frugality usually comes after all my money is gone. If I have money, I’ll spend it. But that’s exactly why I don’t have any left come mid-month – and my salary comes in monthly. Then comes the amount that I make as a landlord. It’s a small amount for the property even for where I live. It’s gone quickly too.

All that to say is, more often than not my financial situation around 20th and beyond is ‘I’ve got food at home, so that’s good’.

But I don’t have money for a cab home. Which sounds fancy, but seeing as I’m a night shift worker, it’s a necessity. There’s no public transport circulating when I get off work, and it’s not safe to walk one hour in the dark. Rental scooters exist, but they’re about as safe as walking, and about as expensive as a cab.

And I’ve been an idiot (newsflash). My car was stagnant all winter because I couldn’t drive in the snow with summer tyres (the entire tyre – I’m a poet and I didn’t know it – the tyre shabang is a story for another day) – so yes, my car’s been stationery, so when I went to start it earlier this week, of course it didn’t start. I hope it’s just the battery.

Anyway, back on track – these posts are going to suck. Which is exactly why I need ’em. If you’re frugal, these roundups are going to horrify you. I feel you. I’ve been frugal, you know. But a combination of mental illness and stupidity (mostly the former, really) got me where I am today. Neck-deep in debt, still making one bad choice after the other. It’s a little better than it was three months ago, where I couldn’t keep up with the vast majority of my bills, but I don’t know for how long it’s going to stay that way. I hope I will be lucid enough to make good financial decisions. It won’t turn my life around in a month, but I hope it will help to at least keep the debt at neck level for now. Then maybe we’ll get it to shoulder level. Chest, waist, knees. And, heaven allow, I hope I get it down to my ankles, and then shake that off as well.

But it’s a long way in the making.

For now, these posts are going to suck. They will be therapeutic for me, maybe hilariously horrifying for you.

Also, please! I encourage comments, but I am not looking for advice. I KNOW how to save money, I just don’t DO it for reasons briefly disclosed above.

So this month:

I cancelled my HBO and Crunchyroll subscriptions. (Not a voluntary action, might I add. I need my entertainment to keep the ruckus away.)

I decided against resubscribing to Epidemic Sound. If I continue posting vlogs, I will eventually choose to subscribe, but I will try to do it a year in advance, because the savings are significant.

Switched cab class from comfort to economy whenever it made sense. (Y’all, I know how this sounds, bear with me.) I order my cabs through an app, and since I’m a paid subscriber of Yandex (for $2 a month the benefits are really good), I get a 10% discount on Comfort rides most of the time. Which technically pays for the app in about 2 rides. With 10% discount most of the time the difference between Economy and Comfort is negligible enough to ignore, but I have to keep in mind that in my situation no savings is small enough. So I’ve been switching to Economy and riding Comfort only when no Economy is available or I’m in a rush and need the fastest class (which is comfort most days).

Hey, at least I’m not riding Comfort+.

…. 99% of the time. …

Anyway, moving on.

I drank coffee at work instead of getting my fix at a local bakery. Coffee at work sucks most of the time, because no one bothers to clean the machine. But I’m trying.

I bought breakfast brioches and other baked goods from the supermarket.

If I was really jonesing for the bakery fix, I’d go an hour before closing time to get 30% off. (Not much is left at that time, but eh.)

I kept instant oats and couscous at work for whenever I’d be too overwhelmed to pack my lunch. This and the bakery are probably the biggest savings this month.

Three times I stopped myself from going into the cosmetic shop and buying random shit.

Washed laundry on cold setting when appropriate.

Used the fast wash when appropriate.

Took generic medication instead of branded one. I can’t use this for everything, as some branded meds really do work better than off-brand – my migraine can tell the difference, trust me – but I’ve been in this rodeo long enough to know what works and what doesn’t. That alone, too, is savings, because I don’t end up buying pills that I know won’t work the way they should.

Drank boiled water instead of filtered or bottled. Water is safe here to drink from the tap, but I live in an older building, and these pipes keep me concerned, okay. I can smell the raw water is off. So whenever I can’t afford to replace the filter in my pitcher or have big jugs delivered, I drink boiled water.

Wondered what would be cheaper – boiling water on gas stove or continuing to use my electric kettle. I got overwhelmed by data and variables, but it looks like using gas is cheaper, especially if you use gas to heat your home – and I do. So it might be time to shelf the electric kettle for a while. I’m really trying to bring that electric bill down.

Charged my phone and small electronics at work so I don’t have to charge it at home. That alone will not pay my debt off, but every bit counts.

This one is questionable, and is more on the miserly side than anything else, but hey, I couldn’t afford it. By ‘it’ I mean toilet paper. So I took a few rolls from work. I’m trying to analyse my emotions and thoughts about it, and I find that I don’t feel bad about doing it per se, but I do feel shitty when I think of all the things that led up to a point of me not being able to afford toilet paper on a good motherfucking salary. Then again, when I was initially hired, I was promised quarterly performance-based raises (and my performance is doing work of 2.5 people, ok) and year-end bonuses. As it is, I don’t even get a pizza party every last Friday of the month, two slices per person, thank you very much. So I’ll be getting my performance-based raises in toilet paper, then.

Related: I printed out a textbook at work. No regrets.

Related-related: I did not buy soap and air freshener with my own money for the office. I used to do it, but I no longer will. If we all want to be smelling shit and washing our hands with Fairy, then so be it. I’ll just have to use heavy-duty hand cream.

Chewed one gum instead of my usual two.

At home, I opted for weaker coffee. I usually use two Nespresso capsules per cup. I started using one, and just making my coffee overall smaller, so it’s not terribly watered down.

I’ve been measuring out my peanut butter. Another thing that would not help me buy a house, but maybe it will be better for my waistline.

Bought a discounted veggie burger with sell-by date the next day.

(For full transparency I have to mention that one of the patties did go bad because I had no energy to cook it. The other one was delicious, though. Best veggie burger I’ve had so far.)

Bought tuna in oil instead of brine. I don’t know why, but the oil one is cheaper.

Bought sardines and other fish instead of tuna. Tuna is a favourite of mine and cats, but meh.

Bought the cheapest apples. One did go bad, though.

Opted for the longest and therefore cheapest passport renewal option.

Still I did not make it to the end of the month with money in my pocket. I had to borrow $15 (for cab rides), but my bank wiped out my account for scheduled debt payment before I could get to the ATM to take the money off. Thankfully I had around $3 left in change so I’m using that money for trolley rides home for the remainder of the month. Which means I have to stay at work 3.5 hours after my shift ends. So that’s 12.5 hour work days, because I don’t lounge around. My ethics are shitty overall, but I’m a chronic workaholic, so if I’m at work, I work. And that leaves me exhausted. So I come home and rot. I don’t cook, I don’t clean. I don’t do laundry. It’s currently third or fourth work day in a row where I’m eating those instant oats and couscous I mentioned above, because I can’t find the strength to boil water for some rice and beans or pasta with jar sauce.

I’d like to end this on a cheerful note, but this month has been difficult. I’ve got some medical shit come up, and most of my anxiety is medical related. I had to up my dosage of all the meds that I take, and I had to spend some good money on some imaging out of pocket, because there’s no way in hell I’ll be waiting for 6 months to get it done. I’m glad I was able to find that money, but it did mean more debt. And then I spent more money for a psych consultation, because yeah.


The horrors persist, but so do I. I will try to look at the good things. Like this being the end of the month, so the salary will come in tomorrow.

I just need to ensure that I stick to the plan and don’t go on a spending binge to keep the ruckus away.