I don’t have an overlying theme this week — just a few thoughts that have cropped up recently.

On being social:
After three years of consciously opting for the peace of mind that comes with being a quasi-hermit, I recently decided that I was ready to venture back into that scary world of meeting new people and actually being social. It never occurred to me when I made this decision, however, how much my goal to become financial independent would have an impact on this entire endeavour. In retrospect I was pretty naive. The sad truth is that being social (whether it be with friends or in the romantic sense) is inherently going to cost money, and not everybody is going to understand what you’re trying to accomplish. In fact, in my experience so far, pretty much nobody understands it; living frugally is more or less anathema to how people function these days. I suppose it doesn’t help that many of my friends are doctors and lawyers with cash to burn.

Ok, so maybe I should probably find a new circle of friends…

I’m genuinely curious how people who are striving to become financially independent deal with this. I realize there are things one can do with others that don’t cost anything (boardgames, hikes, sports, etc) but these aren’t the sort of activities one does when you’re meeting people for the first time. I’ll probably write more on this topic in the near future.

On biking to work:
If you’ve been following my blog, you likely know that I started biking to work recently. The whole experience has actually been pretty awesome so far. Unfortunately, given that I live in Canada, winter was bound to show up at some point. Sadly Father Frost (or whatever his name is) decided to visit the Ottawa region this week and left a thin blanket of snow on my world. It was utterly heartbreaking — except for the fact that this means snowboarding season is upon us, but that’s beside the point.

At first I thought I was going to be brave and face the cold like a super trooper, but alas, it was not meant to be. On my literal first outing (sans bike) in the snow, I barely made it 20 meters out of my building before somehow managing to slip and fall on my a#% and make of fantastic fool of myself. It was pretty spectacular. My rational since then has been that if I can’t even walk to the parking lot without wiping out, I can’t imagine how clumsy I’ll be on my bike. I might try it to see how it is in the next couple of days, but I’m finding it hard to justify putting my safety (and the safety of others) at risk just to save a hundred dollars a month.

On food:
Getting my food budget under control is proving to be a battle of epic proportions. I keep telling myself that I should be eating out less, but it’s just too hard. Part of the problem stems from the whole social thing I mentioned above. I like going out to restaurants with friends, and I’m not really in a position to invite people over to my place for a meal. I don’t even have a table to eat on at this point. I’m also just too lazy to make anything worthwhile for myself — I mean, why spend an hour or two cooking something when you can just buy it and have it right away? I’m also (to be perfectly frank) a terrible cook. To give you an idea, my speciality is Kraft Dinner (Macaroni and Cheese for you Americans), which is pretty cheap to make and totally amazing… but you know… it’s not exactly healthy (please don’t sue me Kraft). I can’t imagine inviting someone over for KD, although I’m pretty sure I’ve done that before. Regardless, I really need to buckle down on this.

André