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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Post graduation BBQ chalet

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It was a success, even though we planned a little late and did not manage to reserve the ideal chalet, we still had a lot of fun and the turn-out was good. Slightly more than 20 people came for the chalet and it was a good turnout, since we predicted and bought food for 20 people. In the end, the amount of food ordered for everyone was just right and the crowd was perfect that everyone had a great time. We initially invited more than 40 people to the event, but it is understandable that not everyone could come down for the BBQ and Chalet stay over, since we organised and plan the event a mere 2 weeks before.

I stayed overnight for the chalet and when most of my friends  have left, we were left about 11 of us staying over. It was a great and fun night. We played lots of stuff and did stupid things. Things like long exposure light art, writing the words “graduation” and “grad loh” and “SBS 2013” using the flashlight from our smartphones and sparklers that we bought and lit up. I bought a number of board games as well and we played till we were crazy. It was one of the most fun nights I ever had. And I get to enjoy it with the company of some of the great friends in NTU. I truly regard them who were there that night to be my great friends. Friends I will never forget and I hope we remain as good friends no matter what.

That night, was the night that clearly sealed the fact we felt almost inseparable and infinite. Just like the movie, “Perks of being a Wallflower”, there were moments that day where I couldn’t care less what happens next after we leave the chalet the following morning. I just feel like I want to enjoy and treasure the moment, that particular moment with them. The moment where nothing matters. Just me and them. The feeling of being infinite. That night was truly magical for me. For the first time, I get to spend it with the one I admire most…

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Timbre @ The Substation

I had a blast tonight. Me a group of my friends went to this really cool place called Timbre @ The Substation. Its near Fort Canning and it had great place to chill, eat great food and listen to wonderful live music. 

I havent been to the place before but ive heard of it. So my friend invited me to go earlier this week and we decided to meet up over at 8pm. By the time  i reached there, a friend of mine was already queuing up for the seats and good timing too coz it was jam packed by the time we arrived. Luckily when i came, he already booked the tables  and we just had to saunter our way in. The relative position of the tables to the main stage were great. We could see the live band in plain view. We ordered really good food like:

3 large pizzas, one was duck meat, the other was beef and onion and one spicy jalapeno or something like that

1 large plate of calamari rings, 

4 baskets of fries

1 large plate of fried chicken wings

1 large plate of rodeo chicken wings served in spicy sweey and sour.

a host of drinks, alcoholic and non alcoholic.

The food was great. The pizza tasted better than i anticipated. I heard that the pizzas were great but i never expected to be this good. It was those thin crust pizzas and i loved all the flavors that we ordered. The rodeo wings were a treat too. By the time we finished everthing, we still had 2 unfinished basket of fries. We were full to the brim. 

The live band was a pleasant surprise. It started playing around 10.30 in the evening and it was really good. The band was called “The Goodfellas” and they played really well. They played cover songs of Guns N Roses, Michael Jackson, Jason Mraz, Red Hot Chilli Peppers and more, all requested by the audiences down below. They really took up the challenge of playing the songs according to the requests made by us and they played it well. I had a great time there with all my NS friends, present and those ORDed already. I seriously dont mind going there again to enjoy the atmosphere and the live music, but i was just thinking how long the queue was just waiting for the seats even at 1am in the morning when we left. It must take sheer will and determination with a generous serving of patience to be there an hour earlier than us just to reserve the tables. But in the end it was all worth it.

 

I dont have the photos with me but i will post it up soon once i get it transfered from my friends camera. So stay tuned.