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Do you try really hard to spend within your budget, only to find that you go over every month? I thought that I was doing a good job at budgeting. I tried saving money every month, but in the end lifestyle inflation caught up to me. Instead of taking responsibility, I blamed random expenses that came up.
Reflecting on the past few years, I’ve never been great at controlling my spending, and now I see why. Last year, I spent $20,000 on the combination of food and “other expenses” which is way too much, and is slowing down my progress towards financial independence. I know for a fact that I can do better.
One of the more poignant memories that I have from my childhood takes place in the most innocuous of locations: a Greek take-out restaurant. I was still in High School, getting a gyro for lunch before I headed back to class. Waiting for my food, I looked at the television and the news was covering the stock market. I never really paid much attention to it. I remembered playing the “stock market game” in Middle School, and that I lost a lot of fake money, but that was it. On this particular day (October 15th, 2008), the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down several hundred points because retail sales had hit a new low. I didn’t really comprehend everything that was going on, but I was suddenly filled with sadness that I did not truly understand. All I knew was that people were losing their jobs and families were hurting. I wouldn’t feel sadness like this again until my mom’s business went under and we had to sell our house a few years later.
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