November Review

November has been a money-focused month for me.

I bet that would give people who know me a good laugh – I am always budgeting, re-running my budget numbers, worried about staying on budget, talking about my budget. Love that budget! I have a nonprofit salary, city living expenses, some student debt and not a whole lot to fall back on, so it’s a hustle. I’ve had to save rigorously just to cover the next emergency.

But recently, I’ve been enjoying the fruits of a wee pay bump. I did indeed re-run my budget numbers, but mostly what I’m doing is just socking away the additional money in my savings accounts – I have one for emergencies, one for travel and one for large irregular purchases. Perversely, forcing myself not to touch that extra money makes it easier to be frugal and stay on budget. Instead of saying, well I shouldn’t buy this or that because it will make the monthly hustle a teeny tiny fraction easier, I say, I shouldn’t buy this or that because I’m choosing to use my money for fun and for big goals. Psh, easy.

Technically speaking, I did spend over budget some in November, but it’s okay – I paid for a bunch of fast food traveling to New York, I bought all my Christmas presents, and generally can feel okay about dipping into those savings accounts to cover these things if it turns out to be a hustle.

All right – that’s boring. What else happened in November? The weather was pleasantly mild and I wanted to be outside as much as I could, enjoying it before winter. I feel like I spent the whole month on my bike.

Those columns used to be part of the U.S. Capitol, and now they live in a field in the middle of the National Arboretum. The arboretum is a great place for a bike-adventure – my lady and I had a date there this month – because it is beautiful and full of surprises and oh my god the hills will work your bum.

On another bike date day we found ourselves at the Hide/Seek exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery. I only made it halfway through because it was so overwhelming and I wanted to read every word and see every detail. I have to go back and finish before it closes, and then possibly go to Jaleo and weep desperately into a pitcher of sangria.

Oh, and in November I started writing in this little journal! It’s good for the soul. Thanks, little journal.

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