by Vicky Monroe
First off, I want to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving! Today my partner and I kept it really low-key. I decided to opt out of Thanksgiving this year to avoid all the hassle and expense of cooking a big feast. We didn’t make a special grocery trip for the holiday so we didn’t have to fight the crowds. We were still able to make stuffing and potatoes au gratin with ingredients we already had on hand, so we felt like we got a taste of Thanksgiving. I’d love to hear what you did today down in the comments.
I also wanted to thank everyone for the feedback on my last post! It was encouraging to hear that I’m going down the right path. It certainly feels like I’ve made progress, but it’s nice to have that feeling validated by others. I wasn’t able to provide all the updates I wanted to in the last post, so I thought I’d share a few more now.
Feeling Settled in Our Home
A few months ago I was contemplating the idea of moving to a less rural area. Since I was feeling unsettled in my career, I thought moving to a more populated place would provide more job options.
However, my spouse and I are happy with our home, the cost of living, and the unparalleled access to nature we have here. There would have to be a concrete reason to move, and there definitely isn’t. The vague notion that I might be able to get a “better” job is not a good reason to pack up our entire life, sell our house, and incur all the expenses of moving.
Again, I think the whole idea of moving was anxiety and ADHD talking, but I just could not see that at the time. Anxiety makes it hard to think in a clearheaded way, so I couldn’t tell that moving was a half-baked idea. We’d have to make a lot more money to make up for the difference in cost of living if we moved to a populated area, and I had no real plan for how we were going to do that.
Following Through on Liquid Savings
Another thing I’ve been able to follow through on since getting treatment is increasing our liquid savings. We’ve been reducing our mortgage overpayments and stashing more cash in our high-yield savings account instead. Between decreasing our mortgage overpayments and saving my spouse’s bonuses, so far we’ve increased our savings by around $5,000.
This has definitely made me feel more comfortable and secure. I’m not worried at all about replacing our car when the time comes. We still want to pay off our mortgage and are working toward that, but recognize that liquidity is important too. I feel like we’re striking the right balance now.
Easier to Exercise Willpower
Before I got on medication, I felt like I needed the forced savings aspect of sending more money to our mortgage. I was always worried that keeping too much cash on hand would make me feel “flush” and able to afford impulse buys. But now I feel confident that I won’t be tempted to spend any of the money in our savings account, so we can pad it more.
I wasn’t ever spending recklessly or making tons of purchases. However, I spent a lot of time and energy trying to fight temptations. Exercising willpower feels much easier now. Today a Black Friday deal caught my eye, and I was easily able to put it out of my head because I don’t need it. Before I might’ve spent hours thinking about it and agonizing over whether or not I wanted it obsessively. It definitely felt like a win to be able to move on so quickly.
Overall, I’m feeling less restless and anxious and more settled and content. I’m hoping that these changes in my mental health will allow me to keep making financial decisions that will set us up well for the future.
Vicky Monroe is a freelance personal finance and lifestyle writer. When she’s not busy writing about her favorite money saving hacks or tinkering with her budget spreadsheets, she likes to travel, garden, and cook healthy vegetarian meals.