The Cost of Living: June 2016

Well, this isn't good.  Here are this month's numbers:

Food: £197.81
Postage/ebay costs: £55.27
Rent: £650
Mobile/internet: £114.73
Council Tax: £84
Water bill: £150.57
Other: £193.87
Total outgoings: £1446.25

Income from work: £851.36
amazon/ebay selling: £80.96
Inbox pounds: £25.45
Total income: £957.77

BALANCE: -£488.48

£197 on food?!  DOUBLE-YOU TEE EFF?  How did that happen?  Going back through previous months' expenses, that comes within £10 of what I spent altogether on food since records began (in February).  The only way I can filter that kind of information is through peppering the rest of this post with unsettling looping David Lynch gifs.  This, as a way in to facing and articulating some uncomfortable truths about myself and my habits.

Now by "food", I also mean beverages.  While I haven't recorded every single item I've bought separately, it would seem from looking at my spreadsheet that I've spent around £35 this month on alcohol.  That was totally unnecessary.  I've never been a heavy drinker, and can more or less take it or leave it.  In April and May I barely drank at all.  I wonder if there's some compensation going on for the reduced Prozac dose that I'm not fully conscious of.  That seems plausible.  Closer analysis is needed.

I have also had two takeaways this month, costing £36.28 altogether.  Some months I have spent less than that on food in total.  (Admittedly, my previous stockpiling habits may have skewed those numbers a little but even so, it's an inexcusable expense).  So there's £70 right there that can easily be eliminated from this month's costs.

Most of the remainder, it would appear, can be accounted for by lapsing from my subsistence on discount food, and going for the quicker, more readily available option.  Last month I noted that working more night shifts appeared to have led to an increase in food spending, but I don't think that's entirely it.  Again, medication changes may have had something to do with it.  Though the simple fact is that I like eating.  I've always liked eating.  I often eat when I'm bored, or distracted, to punctuate an uneventful day, or to help me sleep (something else I've been doing more recently).  It is obvious that greater self-discipline is required.

This article grabbed my attention last week: Silicon Valley 'tech bros' (whatever exactly those are) have started to take 36-fasts as a part of their bio-hacking regemin.  Now I'm almost certain that I'm not any kind of 'bro' but bio-hacking is something that appeals to me a great deal (it's certainly one piece of the puzzle that is the human future).  It's also interesting to note how for those at the epicentre of transhumanist exploration, their fasting is for them, necessarily a communal activity.  From the article:  '"It was hard for the first couple of weeks, but now it’s like the company culture...A weekly ritual if you will'".  An ancient spiritual discipline finds its hyper-modern techno-capitalist nerd culture niche.  Interesting times.

I digress.  The mundane point for my situation is that not eating food is cheaper than eating it.  The occasional fast might would have financial benefits, as well as bodily-spiritual ones.

That's enough self-indulgence.  I shall now embark on an intense programme of self-discipline, lasting several weeks at least.  Details to be worked out over the next 24 hours.