It was the summer of 1997, and I was looking for a job. I must confess that I did not particularly want to get a job, but I had been told that I needed to get one, so that was that.
One day about five and a half years ago, when I was living in Vermont (a time, by the by, when my student debt was only half—half!—of what it is today), I was hungry, so I bought an avocado at the general store for about a dollar.
Okay, that’s a bit misleading, because yeah I was hungry, but I also had a much larger plan. I ate the avocado, and then I suspended the pit in some water, and I waited for it to hatch. If you have ever done this, you know that it can take many weeks. This one was particularly slow to awaken. I started the pit in April, and the first crack appeared in August. So I named her August.
If my sources are correct, it is now November, which means that my October Challenge to purchase zero restaurant food or takeout is officially over.
Rather than going through each day individually (since it occurred to me that maybe it is a bit of a leap to assume that just because you are reading my blog, you care what I had for dinner last Wednesday?), I will just offer a few brief highlights:
Ok, so the first week of my October Challenge to purchase zero restaurant food or takeout is behind me, and I’m happy to report that I’m on track! I’ve definitely had to do a lot more meal-planning than usual, but so far I’ve been able to make everything work without too much trouble.
As I mentioned in the initial October Challenge post, I always eat breakfast at home anyway. I’m a little obsessive about having the same thing for breakfast every day, because I invented this breakfast a long time ago and I love it so much.
So, my big news is that I’m already beginning the third day of my October challenge, which is (drumroll, please……) NO EATING AT RESTAURANTS and NO EATING TAKEOUT.
Now, I realize that you may be saying, um, that’s not too challenging. And I totally get that—perhaps you are someone who already rarely, or never, eats out. But please understand that for me, this is going to be a big change and require a lot of extra planning that I don’t normally do.
My normal routine is:
In my last post (Small Potatoes) I calculated the total amount of money I’ve legitimately earned or saved thus far in 2015, not counting my paycheck from my actual job. And the grand total was…$779.25! For me, that’s like a month’s rent plus a couple weeks of groceries. Nothing to sneeze at.
For all the financially responsible steps I didn’t take over the past 10-15 years, there’s one thing I know I did right: I opened a Roth IRA.
To be clear, this certainly wasn’t my idea—it was my dad’s. He had me open one a long time ago, when I still lived at home, I think when I was about 19 or 20.