My Sort-Of Spending Freeze

So I got my security deposit back from my landlord.

Part of it, anyway.

The landlord deducted $180 from my deposit for “additional cleaning,” which I could argue was above and beyond what was required in my move-out checklist — I mean, look at that photo, I spent about 10 hours scrubbing the place out — but I am not wasting my time arguing over whether the toilet really needed “detailing” and whether the walls needed “rewashing.”

But that changes my November math a little bit. Specifically: I had planned to spend my $437 security deposit on furniture for my new apartment, and I had also planned to put an extra $500 in my savings account this month to make up for what I took out for first/last/deposit.

I ended up spending $784.85 on apartment stuff, and only getting $257.50 back on my deposit, which means, roughly, that the $500 I wanted to put into my savings account got spent on my apartment instead.

This is all fine. I’ll still be able to do the whole “10 percent in savings, 20 percent in taxes, 20 percent in debt” sub-savings account transfers that I’ve got set up, and I’ll be able to cover my basic expenses with a little to spare. (No, there isn’t just $500 between me and spending/saving every penny I earn. I also spent $437.67 on Nerdcon: Stories weekend, which means there’s really about $1,000 every month between me and spending/saving every penny I earn.)

I thought at first that I would go on a full-out spending freeze. No more discretionary purchases until November.

But that’s harder to do than it looks, when there are other people in your life besides yourself. (And yes, even though I live alone, there are other people in my life besides me.) So although I did think “maybe I can make it to the end of the month without spending any more money wheeeeee!” it was immediately followed by “well, I have plans with friends, and I’m not going to unmake them.”

But I can put myself on a spending freeze beyond those plans, so here’s a list of things I will not be buying through the end of the month:

I will not see The Martian$15

I will not see Room: $15

I will not decorate my apartment for Halloween: $40

I will not make myself a Pearl from Steven Universe costume for Halloween: $50

I will not buy an aloe plant for my bathroom, to take the place of that essential oil diffuser that I was able to return to Bed Bath & Beyond$15

I will not buy ingredients for novelty food experiments, like the Nutella Pumpkin S’mores Tart recipe I want to try: $15

I will not buy throw pillows for my new sofa (yet); I’ll use the throw pillows from my bed when friends come over: $30

And there you go. I just saved $180 and balanced out the cost of someone re-scrubbing my toilet.

I know that’s all fake, of course, that the $180 I “saved” only existed in my mind, but it feels like I’m doing something, and when it comes to money, feeling like we’re doing something is sometimes the only thing we can do.

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