Did you guys know I’m a Libra? My birthday is October 14th (this should give you plenty of time to shop for a gift this year-hee hee). I say this because I sometimes feel like my life is always full of dualities. Of competing goals. Of the ol’ Angel/Devil sittin’ on yer shoulder thingy. Typical Libra! I thought I’d highlight a few. Can anyone relate?
Round 1 (ding ding)
Simplify and Enjoy More Downtime vs Hustle (apparently I’m enjoying the vs thing).
My job often feels like a sprint, so when I’m there, I’m really there! Needless to say between that, participating in daily exercise, and errands, I covet the extra downtime that is left over, doing whatever the hell I feel like! Netflix? Sure! Reading? Yes! Blogging? Maybe! 🙂
But after hearing a recent podcast episode on Afford Anything talking to a guest who basically said we have more time than we think, it got me wondering if there isn’t more I could be doing to make some mullah on the side. It would require me to spend more time on my blog and related activities, but I could potentially make upwards of at least an extra 1k a month. Whoa! That’s huge! Imagine getting to Financial Independence that much quicker?
But is the sacrifice worth it? hmmmm??
Round 2 (ding ding)
Credit Card Churning
Half of me is super stoked to get in the game (again) of credit card churning to maximize potential credit card rewards, especially for future travel. I’m targeting this trip for next June(ish), so having that flight paid for could save me approximately $700! Plus I’m responsible enough to pay off my balance every month and all that other adulting stuff that comes with credit card churning.
Buuuuuuut, being organized about using cards, knowing which ones are up for the annual fee, yadda yadda, is not my idea of fun. Plus I always have trouble coming up with big ticket items that can get me to my spending target to get the bonus (usually around 2-3k in 2-3 months, depending on the card). My expenses are pretty low and the ones that aren’t (like rent), I can’t pay with a credit card. To get around this I might have to resort to tricks like buying gift cards and whatnot to hit my target, or perhaps spend money I didn’t plan on spending just to hit the target.
Verdict: For now going with no new credit cards.
Round 3 (ding ding)
Present Tonya vs Future Tonya (or, Not Frugal vs Frugal)
Future Tonya is sitting peacefully on a rocking chair on her expansive front porch that is overlooking a lake (or ocean or river). Ryan (Gosling or Reynolds) is holding her hand, and they talk about the fact that they were so lucky in life and have so much money in retirement (this is after they have traveled the world several times over) that they just don’t even know what to do with the 42 million dollars that are left. “Good thing we saved and were frugal and didn’t spend money on a lot of silly wants.”
Present Tonya is thinking, “I really want to buy this cute dress because it will look good on a first date with Ryan (Gosling or Reynolds), or whoever might realistically show up in my life. 🙂
The point is, while I do want this kick-ass retirement and financial peace of mind, there are things I want today that don’t necessarily fit into those “big ticket categories” (like travel, retirement, and having a huge emergency fund), but stuff like hair color, pedicures, skin care products, or other “silly little wants” that make day-to-day life just a little more peppy and pleasant.
Part of me thinks, “well if someone really loves me, why should they care about my overgrown unibrow! Screw the tweezers and brow waxing appointments! Frugal it is!” The other part of me is like, “AWE HELL NO!”
Another thing, which kind of relates to time (see round 1), is that I could spend a little more money to have a lot more time.
For instance, I entertained the thought of using a grocery delivery service, until I realized that although the cost of delivery isn’t too bad, I noticed the prices of the groceries are a lot higher. I also could hire someone to clean my apartment. Or the motherload of time savers on the weekend: THE LAUNDRY. Or I could spend money hiring people to do Pinterest for my blog, hiring a VA to keep track of my open credit cards…but is it REALLY worth the money? Any of it…?
Verdict: No f’ing clue! Help! The last few months I’ve been anything but frugal!
Round 4 (ding ding)
Disciplined like a Navy Seal vs Moderation
I’m totally obsessed with Navy Seal training and the people who become Navy Seals. Many of them (who are retired) are now appearing on podcasts, writing books, and speaking. The hard work, discipline, brotherhood, and other crazy traits that go along with being a Seal are incredible.
I sometimes wonder if that mentality of being super disciplined with day-to-day life is the key to happiness, or pure hell.
Let’s take eating. I just can’t eat/drink like I used to without gaining weight. So my eating/drinking is going to require adjustting as I figure out the magic formula to my health. I wonder, “does this mean I should go hard-core paleo or some other kind of “lifestyle diet?” Do I quit drinking alcohol altogether?
I mean, isn’t moderation the wimpy way out? As my mom likes to say, “shit or get off the pot.” Oh mom. 🙂
But moderation just seems way more pleasant! A way to “dip my toe in the water” and ease into new habits and lifestyle changes. And what if I want to go out one night with friends and eat cake, or when I travel, are all bets off? But in the meantime, the scale barely budges. Grrr!
And oh hey, I meditate sometimes, but this sometimes enough to make real solid, noticeable changes?
I would surely never survive Navy Seals hell week!
Verdict: So far moderation is in the lead, but who knows what the future holds…
Do you have any of the same dualities? What are ones unique to you?