January Adventure Day, and the Magic of the $5 Bill

If you’re anything like me, saving money is tough.  I pay all of my bills on time (if not early), but saving additional money?  Hard.  I’ve tried so many things to keep track of or inhibit spending, but they always fall through.  Recently, I was scanning Pinterest, in hopes of finding some miracle pin about how to save money, when it finally hit me: I don’t want to invest in myself.

I should clarify; I do want to invest in myself.  My depression, on the other hand, wants me to give up and die, and therefore does not want me to invest in myself.  My unhealthy brain wants me to believe that life and money are meaningless and that giving into these things is fruitless.

But looking at all of these “Invest in yourself first” articles and quotes hit me like a ton of bricks.  I’ve literally never believed that I’m an investment.  And that just made me sad.  Like unbelievably, wholeheartedly sad.

So I changed my search from “quick ways to make money” to “easy ways to save money,” and came upon this.  Basically, you save any $5 bill you get in a jar, and at the end of the year, you have x dollars.

I decided to amend this to something a little more manageable.  I set a $5o goal for the month of January, and chose to call this my “self-investment money“.  At first it was going to be for a day trip to a neighboring town, but when weather got in the way of that plan, I picked something I’ve been wanting to do within that price range, and scheduled it for the end of the month, giving myself ample time to save.

Now, that part is important.  You see, there’s a big difference in spending on an experience versus spending on belongings.  Experiences remind you that you’re alive; that you are making memories to get you through the unbearable times.  Experiences make your life a little more permanent, and make it harder to self-isolate.  Experiences give you something to look forward to.

I’ll be documenting my adventures on here, as a physical remembrance of why I’m committing to myself this year.  This month, I saved $60 and found it to be quite easy, even with the depressive thoughts.  I signed up for a beginner’s oil painting class, since I’ve been wanting to learn how to use the paints that I got for Christmas.  I am pretty good with acrylic landscapes and wanted to get into oil landscapes.  I ended up having a little extra money set aside for this, which felt good.  Like, freshly-baked-cookies good.  Or first-cup-of-coffee-in-the-morning good.  Or Backstreet’s-back-alright good.

Anyway, here’s the result of my January adventure day.  I’m already saving for next month.  I’m worth it, and you’re worth it.

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