I’ll admit it… I’m an “ignorance is bliss” kind of gal. It’s not an esteemed trait of mine, but I’ve come to realize that I’m obnoxiously good at avoiding certain things, and subsequently, I don’t worry about those things that I avoid. It’s a ridiculous mindset! As if I’m a toddler covering my eyes and expecting no one can see me… or a snotty nosed kid in the school yard sticking my fingers in my ears while bellowing out “la-la-la-la… I can’t hear you”! So ridiculous!
Acknowledging that I subscribe to this pesky personality trait is one thing, but asking myself “why” opened a whole new can of mental sardines. For someone who considers themselves a planner, goal-setter, and go-getter, how can I possibly plan for the future if I don’t have a solid grasp on the “now”?
Well, let me tell you… for years, I have been blissfully ignorant about my monthly spending habits, and since the new year, I’ve successfully avoided stepping on a scale to face a number that I know has grown bigger based on my jeans that feel A LOT smaller.
So, when PC Financial offered to help me track my monthly spending habits for the month of July using their online calculator, I thought it was the perfect opportunity to start food journaling as well and stare ignorance right in the ugly ‘ole kisser!
30 days later, and all I can say is WOWZERS… ignorance is NOT bliss! It’s RIDICULOUS!
I blogged earlier this month about tackling my half-year finance and fitness resolutions, and at the time, I suspected that our biggest cash-draining, belt-busting culprit was our penchants for dining out. Boy was I right! Of our total monthly expenses, almost $800 went to restaurants! And ready for this Captain Obvious correlation? Our expensive on-the-fly menu choices definitely didn’t support my health and fitness goals. I was a deep fried, sauce drenched, dessert enticed disaster!
When I started my 30-day tracking challenge, I had a few simple goals in mind…
- Identify how much I was spending and where I might be able to “trim the financial fat”
- Figure out ways to maximize my rewards points to help me save more throughout the year
- Stop making excuses, get off my keister, and find my fitness groove again
- Plan and prep meals to ensure I was making healthy food choices
Oh, and I was also reallllly hoping to trim some actual fat so I could slip back into my skinny-“er” jeans.
When it came to finances, I knew that we had to curb our frequent resto spending, but when I fine-tooth combed our expenses, it was eye-opening to see “how” we were spending vs. “where”. I never realized just how often we pay with debit… and as a result, how much money we were burning through with monthly transaction fees. And as a side note, every time we paid cash or debit, we were missing out on oodles of PC® points which we have collected and cashed in faithfully for years. We are very proficient at paying off our credit card balance at the end of every month, so if we had used our PC Financial® World Elite Mastercard® instead of debit, we could have earned an additional 10,000 PC® points this month alone. That’s an additional $120 a year in free groceries on top of the approximately $800 we already save by redeeming PC® points annually.
As for my health and fitness goals, let me start by saying that I’ve sweat more in the past month than I have in the past year. I’m the type of person that will make every excuse in the book to avoid working out, but once I finally force myself to get off my arse, the momentum quickly grows. And grows. And GROWS. Our family recently joined an affordable neighbourhood gym that offers adult AND kid classes, so while our boys are doing programs like jiu jitsu and wrestling, my hubby and I have no excuse not to tackle our own workout since we’re already there.
My boys have been keeping me accountable, and as I said, the momentum has been GROWING. So much so, that I built up the courage to take both an adult boxing and muay thai class this past week and although every muscle in my body aches, I LOVED it and I’m feeling stronger by the day!
It took a few weeks of mental whining, but my fitness groove is back. And as for food journaling, it’s ironic how easy it is to make wise meal choices when you force yourself to put pen to paper and plan ahead. The fact that we’re consciously cooking at home more often rather than eating out has made the quality of our meals that much better… and little fringe benefits like earning 30 PC® points for every dollar spent at our local grocery store instead of 10 for every resto meal using our PC Financial® World Elite Mastercard help to pile on the savings!
And did I mention that I’m down 7lbs?!?!?!?!?! I was optimistically hoping to drop 5lbs, but between chugging more water daily, hitting the gym regularly, and consciously eating clean, my body is responding positively.
So, the moral of my 30-day finance and fitness challenge is… ignorance is just plain ignorance!
Being financially tuned in and feeling physically tuned up… now THAT’S bliss!
Disclosure: This is a sponsored blog post on behalf of President’s Choice Financial®. The opinions on this blog are my own.