Coffee Talk: Growth, Budgeting, and the Write Life

The weekend is here and I couldn't be happier. I've always enjoyed weekends, obviously, but I've noticed that I love them even more now. Maybe love isn't the right word. I think I appreciate my weekends in a different way now than I have in the past. Weekends have always been the much-needed break from a long work week, but I've noticed that I'm more conscious about how I spend my time on my days off. I mean, I have limited time in which I'm not working so I'm choosing to make the most of that time.

Chalk it up to growth. I've grown so much as a person over the past year and a half. Granted, it was an incredibly emotional, trying, and rough period of my life, but now that I'm past it, I realize how much I learned from it. More than that, it actually reshaped who I am as a person. This isn't a surprise when I think about it as I am moving closer to another zero birthday. I refer to this as the five-year shift, something I've talked about before.


Another thing I've talked about in the past is how I pay my bills. I'm a big fan of the bill-folder method, where I dumped a traditional budget-style regimen in favor of an easier way to manage my household bills. This method works wonderfully when you don't have much money to begin with. Well, that changed recently. Last month, August 2019, I spent the entire month tracking where every cent of my money went. I downloaded a simple Excel budget template, adjusted the categories to match my own bills, and carefully logged every purchase. This was eye-opening, to say the least.

Now that I have a bit more in the way of disposable income, I wanted to see where I was spending it. While some of it was expected, some of it definitely was not. I was a bit disheartened, if I am being honest, by how irresponsible I can be with my money. Now, let me backtrack a little bit here and point out that I do pay all my bills every month, in full and on time, I save money every paycheck, and I contribute the max to my employer's retirement plan. However, I am still a bit shocked at where my disposable income goes. I'm definitely going to correct this as I have found where I can make changes to save even more money and pay other things off more quickly.

While it was a good experiment, I think I will only do one more month of this tracking before I give it up. I'm only doing it to see where my money goes, not make it a lifestyle. You never know, though, that might change. Never say never, right?


The Write Life is coming back around. I finally finished the first chapter of my new book, which is huge for me after my recent struggles. I feel like I'm just about in full swing and it feels fantastic. I've also been busy writing for Slime & Grime - where I write reviews of albums, shows, and an interview here and there - as well as my recent guest appearance on an online discussion review that I detailed here.

For a few years, I was deeply mired in a couple of organizations that brought me stress instead of joy, so I gave them up. I also reclaimed my life, bringing my vested interests in heavy metal music and writing to the forefront...even merging the two. For me, that's just about the best thing ever and, for once, I can say that the things I'm involved with do bring me joy.

I hope your weekend not only brings you joy but that you realize your time off from work's fullest potential. Have a great weekend.



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