Company contributed $100 to a traditional 401k for 2016 and gave me $250 in Safeway gift cards to make up for the old 401k provider greedily charged my account $334 dollars.  Ok, so hopefully for the second half of March I only need to budget $250 for food, and I can use the gift cards.  Maybe that lets me do $3450 in savings for condo payoff on Mar. 15?  Stock market dropped some, so safety net is at $30914.  Potentially $34364.

Ok, let’s see how I get to March 15.

$715 in bank account

-$320 HOA

-$75 PGE

-$103 ATT

-$30 gas

-$15 audible

= $172, food for 5 work days, 2 weekend days = 7 days = $24/day.  Should work!  Eating lunch leftovers for dinner to help me get there.

We don’t tend to count our blessings.  We don’t tend to reflect on how cushy our default lifestyle is.  That I have catered food for lunch.  That there is a fridge to preserve that catered food, and then I can eat it for dinner.  I don’t have to waste time getting the food or preparing the food.  It contain spices and flavors that I have no clue how to select or cook.  I’m very lucky.

For the second half of March, I just need $380 for 1st half April food, Comcast, gas, and Netflix.  That leaves $3535, not $3450.  I think I’ll just leave the $85 cushion there though.  Thinking about food spending at the dollar level on a daily basis causes me stress.  Much better if you can just buy the food and have the meals pre-planned but not think about their actual cost on a daily basis.

It’s interesting.  I have $31k in the bank, but the stress I feel is the same as if I had $172.  I know the stress has multiple contributors: coffee, being alone at night, not spending tiem outside, lack of exercise, etc.  Perhaps the $31k is irrelevant completely.  Does it matter that I believe I will part with the money shortly?  Is money only exciting when we know we soon spend it on wasteful pleasures?  At my current burn rate, $31k is well over 6 months of doing absolutely nothing.  After graduation, I’ve never been out of work for more than a month.

I shouldn’t expect the stress at $34,364 to be any different from today, not unless I change a more significant coping mechanism, like the type or timing of exercise, caffeine consumption


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