When we started our new habit of recording every single expense (see January and February here), it came with immediate rewards: We gained clarity about how we were spending our money. We got a new perspective from which to reflect on our new lifestyle. (And since I’m big on self-awareness, overthinking, and general worrying, this was a good thing.) But mostly it just made us feel good—when we added up each month’s expenses and saw a reasonable number, we could pat ourselves on the back. “Cool! We really have been able to leave behind our expensive city tastes and lifestyle and still enjoy ourselves! Being frugal is easy and fun!”
And then we added up the total for March. Let’s just go ahead and rip off the band-aid now, shall we?