This month was largely shaped by a self-imposed 30 day no shopping ban. I’m proud to report that I did it! Even through a 5 day holiday! I also tried a few other things, such as limiting my discretionary spending to $2000 TWD (about $65 USD) for a week, including groceries, meals out, coffees and incidentals. I almost made it (I think I was just a little over). Thoughts so far is that it is so much cheaper to eat at home. Even in Taiwan! And little expenses that you don’t think twice about add up quickly. This upcoming month, I might try $4000 over a two week span, just to give myself a little flexibility. One important lesson these financial habit shifts is teaching me is to be more mindful with my money. I work hard for it… and I should really be more aware of where it is going.
As I mentioned, the shopping ban coincided with a 5 day holiday… I considered starting the ban after the holiday, but then I thought, might as well go for it and see what happens. It turns out I spent a lot of time reading. In fact, I read 5 books between the holiday (mid-April) and now. On some occasions, I relaxed and read at home, other times I treated myself to a coffee or drink at a nice coffee shop. It was heaven. I just let my mind run empty and dove into the stories. I enjoyed every single book in this stack, but my favorite was definitely Eleanor Oliphant is completely fine. The book is simultaneously heartbreaking and heartwarming. I absolutely recommend.
Lastly, the days are getting longer since summer is approaching. I’m relishing the last days of being able to slurp down down piping hot soup and noodles without melting into a puddle. These noodles are from a tiny shop in my neighborhood. It’s run by the brusquest group of people… they never smile, and the rules change all the time (write down your order! Don’t write down your order, just tell me! Wait here! Wait outside!) However, the uncertainty is worth it because I love the thick, velvety rice noodles in simple broth. I forgot to take a photo of it, but there’s also a tofu side dish that comes drenched in a spicy, savory sauce that is also to die for. The shop is always full of people and they sell out quickly, so I always get my noodles and tofu to go, and enjoy at home in a beautiful plate that it deserves.
Hope everyone is doing well! Next month, I’ll be looking more into habit shifts… research varies on how long it takes to change a habit (21 days? 6 months? A year?) I’ll do some sleuthing and experimenting and keep you updated.