Happy January 1, 2013 ….
Who is up for a challenge?
I don’t know if it could be considered FUN, but it will be a challenge.
A “Deep Freeze” on spending. I am thinking no extraneous spending for the month of January.
I don’t think a cash only system is necessary, (you know yourself) but a list of questions that should be asked before any spending:
- DO I NEED IT? (why??)
- CAN I USE SOMETHING ELSE?
- CAN I BORROW IT?
- CAN I WAIT TILL FEBRAURY 1? (It’s a “It doesn’t make sense to put off buying seats at the theatre if they are cheaper if you buy them earlier or they sell out” kind of question)
- DO I NEED IT???(yes, again.)
I am not advocating paying on the minimum on your credit card kind of freeze, but a freeze on acquiring new things/saving money challenge.
Food— Minimal amounts of money to be spent.
- I do not have access to either a cow or a deep freezer/extra fridge, so I can’t run out this weekend and load up on whole milk for when Layla visits.
- But I CAN look in the freezer and cabinets and identify the minimal amount of meats and vegetables required to utilize a clean out of the pantry kind of menu, and go to the grocery store for those items.
- Lunch for work packed from home.
Gas— Well, if I am not driving over hill and dale to hit up sales at stores I don’t need to be in, I should be able to spend a smaller amount? Go to Gas Buddy and check out the daily gas rates, but it doesn’t make sense to DRIVE for a penny less, either, unless it works out that I am heading that way.
What else is there, anyway? Obviously, all bills will be paid —utilities, etc. And I never pay minimums on credit cards, so that would stay the same.
Gifts, entertainment, toys—
- Buying a gift for a birthday IN January makes sense, talking myself into stockpiling for all the gifts needed and Christmas 2013 is out.
- Thread to finish a project I am in the middle of, yes….Acquisition for the stash, out.
- Movies and the rest—sensible expenditures. I have already made a date with my daughter to see Les Mis this afternoon, so….
- A drink or snack at the cash register …how far away from where I am going AM I anyway?
But I WANT (NEED) IT—
- Adding these items to the list of things I DID buy/spend money on….have a wish list column of “I can’t live without it today but TOTALLY don’t need it”…along with the cost and location of purchase, and revisit the list on February 1.
It’s not a “how much you SAVED using coupons to grocery shop” kind of challenge—Because I can SAVE a lot of money if I hit up all those awesome sales, but was it money I needed to SPEND?? Couponing seems to make one more likely to spend, so they can SAVE so much…and the items—well, how much toothpaste and hair color can one USE??
I will do this with a list on my iPhone. All monies spent and where they went. (Can not buy an app to do so!! Not a NEED!) There isn’t a dollar amount I can assign to myself to spend per day or week or month— or to you. I don’t know your needs.
I will succeed in this challenge if I am made more aware of my spending habits, and so will you.!
Let me know if you are joining in, and keep us posted on how you feel you are doing!