💵 Low-buy check-in #9: Generosity and a couple of other things

Hello! It weirdly feels like it wasn’t that long ago that I did an update, but here we are again. 😊 The past month hasn’t felt that eventful in terms of spending, but I found myself feeling a certain way about money: feeling generous and less averse to donating to causes.

Generosity and donating

I’m in a privileged place to be able to work from home in the current global climate. I still have a salary and can still support myself – I can still pay for a roof over my head, and to feed myself, and can afford to pay for life’s small luxuries like having a gym membership and paying for a restaurant meal every now and then. When I still lived with my parents, I was penny-pinching and I disliked the thought of lending money, donating money, or simply using my money for something other than something solely for myself. I was very selfish – perhaps greedy – about it.

Recently I found myself donating generously to a couple of causes without much hesitation. If you follow Humans of New York on Instagram, you might have seen that Stephanie’s (aka “Tanqueray”) incredible story took the world by storm, and a GoFundMe was set up to help her cover some expensive medical care. I donated to that, because she was an incredible storyteller, but above all – I decided that she needed the money more than I did.

In the last month, there was a horrific accident between a bus driver and a motorcyclist down the road from where I live, and I saw it five minutes after it happened. I was just going for a walk in my neighbourhood after finishing up work one day. But what I saw was so horrific – a motorcycle completely crushed under the wheel of the bus at an intersection – that I hoped the people involved were still alive.

I found out that the man on the motorcycle was a delivery driver. He had survived and was in hospital, but, sadly – he died just a few days later. Bouquets of flowers were taped onto the street poles at the intersection where the accident occurred. We later found out that he was from China and left behind a wife and family. He had been sending money back to China for his family, and was just trying to earn some money in Sydney. It was a heartbreaking story that was worse than I’d imagined it could be. I started to think about every food delivery order I made after that, and every person delivering my order as a real, actual person, with a family, with a life. Someone in our neighbourhood had set up a GoFundMe for the family and I was more than compelled to send some money their way. It was the same thing: they need the money more than me.

Of course, I am very fortunate to be able to donate money like this. Not everyone is financially able to help people, and sometimes there is no way other than a monetary way to help someone.

To sum up, I’ve felt less stingy about my money recently. The combination of being able to spend and save more wisely, as well as feeling more generous with my money, has been both humbling and uplifting.

Savings and paying bills early

Last check-in I said I was hoping to save another $2000 but thought I would struggle to. Well, uh, somehow I managed to save $3000 in October. I’m not even completely sure how I managed that. 😅 But because of the late(r) release of the iPhone 12 Mini – which I’m planning to pre-order this weekend when it’s available – I didn’t have to fork out cash on a phone yet.

After I last got paid (I get paid twice a month), I made some calculations for upcoming bills and added $1500 to my savings this month (November). I may be able to put more into my savings before the end of month.

I’ve been getting into the habit of paying some of my credit card bills early especially when there is stuff on there that is a few hundred dollars. I have become less comfortable with knowing that I “owe” money (at least, when it’s large amounts), so I just pay some of that stuff off early.

Spendings in the past month

My spending in the past month was definitely up. I spent a couple hundred dollars stocking up on coffee and supplements for the gym like preworkout and creatine. 😆💪

A woman’s hand holding a hand-written card. In the background are white boxes of coffee with black artwork and branding
My coffee order came with a surprise extra pack ☕️♥️

I bought a pair of shoes which was in my latest Fashion Friday post, and I bought a few new tops both on eBay and brand new. After these purchases, I updated my new budgeting spreadsheet. I had originally panicked that I was going off the rails, but turns out I am actually still in my spending budget. I had a horrible urge to just go and shop for more clothes, but after trying on a handful of combinations of outfits with both my newest items and my existing clothes, I felt more content. I’ve been journalling regularly, and I’m actually documenting a lot of thoughts around how I feel about my wardrobe emotionally. I feel a little embarrassed by it, but I feel like I need to be open and honest with myself as it also helps encourage me and remind me to focus on what I have instead of what I don’t have. Especially when it comes to material items and non-necessities such as clothes.

Further plans for the rest of the year?

Honestly, I don’t have many plans for the rest of the year. I will still be saving as much as I can, and spending wisely. I’m actually thinking about how Christmas is coming up soon and I will be spending money on gifts for my friends and family. I feel like this whole year – pandemic and all – has allowed me to focus on and pay attention to what I really care about, and how I will probably say, “I don’t know; I really don’t want anything” if someone were to ask me what I want for Christmas. I’ve yet to be comfortable with asking for non-material gifts like gifting me an experience, or even asking someone to donate to a charity under my name as a gift. 🤷🏻‍♀️

At the end of the year I’d love to do a reflection on my low-buy 2020. I do feel like the pandemic played a part in me not being able to travel, thus I was able to save more money and spend less. I was lucky enough to have a job during this time as well. I’m unsure yet what I will plan for 2021, but I’ll save that for the reflection. 😌

Thank you for reading! Are you doing a low-buy 2020? Has the pandemic affected your spending and saving negatively or positively? I’d love to hear about your experiences. 💖

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Comments on this post

With the pandemic, I’ve actually spent more on home delivery food, especially Japanese. It’s one of the few things that helps me with depression. However, I’ve been able to cut out a bit of that this month to help a friend in need (it’s true, it’s so uplifting to be able to help another person, even a little bit – I wish I had a bigger income, though).

I think it’s a good thing to be honest with yourself in your journals. That will help achieving your goals and self-reflect better than keeping things vague out of embarrassment (it’s your journal, it doesn’t judge you).

Love you, Georgie.

– Lu

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