I love financial reality checks.
Ok, I don’t love so much the panic that comes when you have a reality check (because I may or may not have had an 11pm frantic call to my father where I finally broke down and cried…). But I love the feeling of control when you start doing things to prevent yourself from again experiencing the tough situation in which you currently find yourself.
This whole needing a new furnace thing has been a shock to the system. It’s the first time I’ve ever had a big (non-elective) purchase rear it’s ugly little emergency head. Especially because the $4K that will likely go to the furnace had been mentally alloted for a new beautiful Felt B-12 (and race wheels).
Ok, so I’m on a mission to figure out how to get myself the nice new tri bike and still stay warm (i.e. get a new furnace….).
When I realized that I was faced with this delimma; I realized I had finally really become an adult and a homeowner. And with those new roles come yucky decisions. New Bike? New Furnace? Redoing the bathroom? New kitchen countertops? Ick.
My underlying personality is uber responsible. But, my old job kind of undid that. I didn’t need to be on top of my finances. Because, honestly, there was almost nothing I could do (short of going and buying a Hummer) that would have financially screwed me. And I really got used to that. You get used to wearing all lululemon to workout. You get used to shopping solely at Whole Foods and eating just organic produce. You get used to eating out for lunch and dinner every day without worrying that you are throwing away money at a disgusting rate.
I’ve been in my new job for 8 mos. now. And HELLO. I’ve had my wakeup call. I can’t live like that any more. There is part of me that is bitter about that. However, that part is far outweighed by the part of me that loves my new job and my work life balance. In fact, I know I wouldn’t go back to a job with the corporate law salary ever. I’ve already turned down a few options to do so. Because happiness > money.
However, that does mean I need to get on top of my new financial reality. Which will be my weekend (that and prepping for 102854012 bagillion trials next week). I am going to get on top of keep track of my bills, and what I spend money on, and make plans to pay for the big ticket items that I want (felt b12, felt b12, felt b12, felt b12….). And make a budget that I can AND WILL stick to.
So with this impending financial reality of spending some major money on the house (and need to start being more proactively financially responsible), I ventured into the kitchen hoping to use whatever was there for dinner (and hopefully making a cheap dinner).
I ended up with Oranghetti Squash (which is much like spaghetti squash, just smaller, oranger, and a little tarter):
I didn’t have an spaghetti sauce…so…I made my own! :) I took a can of Stewed Tomatoes and pureed them. Stuck them in a sauce pan with Ancho Chili Powder, Sea Salt, a can of Black Beans, and Baby Spinach. Then topped the squash with my home-made Tomato Sauce and some Goat Cheese crumbles.
On the side, I made roasted Butternut Squash in a Buckwheat Honey Ancho Chili glaze.
With all the servings I made, it cost about $10. But. I got at least 3 meals out of it all…so about $3.33/meal. NOT BAD. Healthy, fresh, cheap (cheaper than most fast food….) at less than $4 a meal. Ok, if you figure in my glass of wine from a $3 bottle of Trader Joe’s Merlot, its about $4 total. not bad, not bad at all.
SO, that brings us to the new big announcement of the post: my new CHEAP EATS section. I’m now going to be keeping track of how much I spend on groceries each week. And how much each meal costs. And things that are alreaady in the pantry have been assigned a price value of zero. GAME. ON.
Lastly, Brennan would like to share his holiday cheer with you all.
While he appreciates the carrots left out for him and his other fellow reindeers, he wants me to let you know that this year, he would prefer you to just leave bacon.