A billion people died on the news tonight/But not so many cried at the terrible sight/ Well mama said/
It's just make believe/You can't believe everything you see/ So baby close your eyes to the lullabies/On the news tonight

Monday, January 08, 2007

trimming down financially, the MrBrown way.

So here I am, about to make a drastic decision based on my career, financial status and heart and guts, wondering why I am forced to make it in the first place and what can be fixed about it.

Is it my career? True, I have worked for 5 years and have been forced to change industries frequently. However, I am in a good place now, will I actually work my ass off?

Is it my heart and guts? Argh, this is complicated.

So it came to my financial status. It is NOT a deal clincher, but it IS a significant factor. Damn, how do I get myself into such ruts again and again? To the words of a dear friend: "how come you're still broke?"

Tsk tsk tsk.

So with mrbrown's weight loss plan in mind, I'm starting my own financial weight loss weight (or weight gain plan, if you get my drift).

I'm going to cut down on my financial laksas, char kway teows and teh pengs, and increasing my financial exercise. The problem is, as with weight loss, the "trimmer" you are already, the harder it is to lose weight. If you're 200kgs, you can drop to 80kgs in the same time frame as a 80kg person can drop to 60kg, so to speak. I'm a cheapskate by nature, so where does it all come from? So here's the plan:

1) Appetite Suppressants

Take a friend wherever you go. In my case, take another fellow cheapskate when you go shopping.

2) Cutting down on the good stuff.

I had to find out where the weight was coming from! So I actually "calorie-watched": I have a expenses spreadsheet to see where each dollar came from. Now, how I know every dollar counts? I once went grocery shopping and ended up paying $100: most of the items were about a buck or two each, a few ranged from 5 to 7 bucks and none were more than $10. But the spreadsheet only confirmed what I already know: I spend most on taxi rides and good food (about 20 per pax). I am a cheapskate mostly in shopping, but I can splurge on CDs and books, and household stuff (Cordless Drill! Gimme gimme gimme gimme gimme). Taxi rides are sometimes compulsary, given my condition, but there are times where I can avoid it... like not going out at all. Good food is hard to avoid because when friends gather, we tend to go to restaurants. Something must be done!

The other stuff that I spend on on a consistent basis are stuff like magazines and bills. I can't save on my electricity because the flat that I stay in has old wiring, and that takes up more electricity. I refuse to cut on my tithes (well, duh, it's money-spinning! and a great investment) and my phone bill's mostly for work and my company pays for it. What I can cut is cable (my brother recontracted, damn, but I'll get the most basic plan) and magazines. I'm going cold turkey for the latter, but I might cave in and buy an 8days or two.

3) Exercise more

This is tricky. I can't invest at the moment, but I'm going to plan about it. Also, working my ass off so I can get more money, that's the only thing I can do now.

Let's see how this works, ya? I've give you a report. The thing about publishing this is that I'll get increasingly nagged, and I won't be able to buy this present I've wanted to get a friend because he'll read this!

Damn. ;)