Achieving financial discipline

The other day, I posted about how I would carefully consider any purchases or expenses based on my needs and wants. I also showed a couple of examples how my thought processes went when it comes to deciding whether or not I should buy something based on my needs. I also talked about how I should thoroughly do my research to get the best possible deals both locally and online.


This month however, it seems that I have hit a wall. I have trouble achieving fiscal discipline on my monthly expenses. It is not because I buy stuff on impulse. It is because I am starting to spend a great deal of my monthly expenditure set aside on food and beverages. Somehow I realise, the pursuit of eating good food and good restaurants with great company is something I find it hard to resist. I am more willing to say yes in trying an exotic cuisine in a new restaurant with great company than deciding on buying something purely on impulse. This intangible good feeling, a belly full of good food amongst great company of friends is something I cannot pull away from. And that is hurting my wallet, considerably.


Take for example, that I spend $14 on a plate of pasta during lunch time (it tasted really good by the way) at a newly opened restaurant near my workplace. Or the fact that I went to a steak dinner at somerset and spent $38 on the main course and desert with my colleagues. Not to mention the cups of coffee I buy in the morning, the mango juice that I buy after lunch at a nearby food court and my usual lunch at a hawker centre. In a single week this week I probably spent more than a $100 on meals alone. And don’t get me started on TGIF, and weekend brunches that I had last week. This is simple unsustainable. How am I going to save a little from the monthly expenditure I set aside for other things that I might need later on?


I like my workplace. Its a great place to work. And my workplace has a lot of fantastic restaurants nearby serving all kinds of cuisines from all over the world. Of course we still have cheaper alternatives like food courts and hawker centres nearby. But we are so tempted to try out new stuff and satisfy our growing taste and palates and it is something that I have not foreseen when it comes to achieving fiscal discipline. So this is what I need to do.


Of coffee and mango juice.

I love my morning cups of coffee and mango juice. So in order to be more economical, I will only buy them if I feel that I need it to get through the day. I will try to reduce my dependence on coffee and try to revert back to tea if necessary. I will try to buy them no often than 2 to 3 times a week. I will never buy a Starbucks Coffee in the morning. Starbucks is left to indulge and indulge only if I think I deserve it. By the way, there are two Starbucks outlets within walking distance from my workplace.


Of lunch and TGIF dinner

When it comes to lunch, if I am invited to eat at a restaurant with my colleagues. I will gladly accept it. But it must be paid back in kind by eating hawker food in the next 3 to 4 days. Canned drinks accompanying food will only be necessary if the weather is hot or the dish that I am eating is extremely spicy. Otherwise, I will drink good ol’ plain water back in the office. One sure way to reduce my spending is to cut down on buying beverages. If there is TGIF dinner, I will gladly go. It is my main avenue of relieving stress and get in touch with my friends. It is also a way to unwind and just relax amongst the company of friends. However, depending on how much I spend on dinner TGIF, based on my available budget, I will then determine if I deserve an afternoon weekend session at my local Starbucks enjoying my favourite coffee with a good book.


Of weekend outings.

Sad to say, I think I must start cutting down on my weekend outings, afternoon brunch and dinner with friends. If I can skip it, I might need to do that for a time being so that I could put my financials in order. I think I need to spend a little bit more time at home. This way I can indulge in other past times like catching up on my favourite TV shows, movies and video games that doesn’t require me to spend that much money.

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