Friday, March 18, 2016

Turn Around

Friday is usually my favorite day of the week, but today I'm just not feeling it.  We're supposed to be saving money, but we've already been out twice this week.  Now it's the weekend and it's sunny but we really shouldn't go out.  Also, things just aren't going as well as I'd hoped for my four days off. We're both stressed out about this house stuff and this apartment is really starting to get on my nerves.  I know this is just a bunch of complaining, but I was hoping I would feel better if I got it all out and got some perspective.

I really need to remember that this is not the last Friday that will be sunny.  I have had plenty of fun already this week and there is no reason I can't enjoy a little down time.  I would like to save money and lose some weight and going out will not help me accomplish either of those things.  It's not even that warm out and it's supposed to be windy.  We had a little tiff this morning and I think that's probably what's really bothering me.  We made up, but it's just not the same for a while after a disagreement.  Now it's the weekend that I was looking forward to and I don't seem to be enjoying myself which makes me feel sad and guilty and then it's just a big circle of crap.

So, what to do now?  Be excited for what's coming next in life.  I can think of it that way or pout about it.  The grown up thing to do is accept that you have to make some sacrifices to get what you want.  Also, it's time to let things go and move on.  Not everyone holds a grudge and I bet they have less wrinkles and sleep better at night.  I am going to give that a try and I bet you this weekend turns around in a hurry.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

March On

Things are still going pretty well with Miserly March.  I haven't kept up with tracking my spending, but I know I'm spending less.  My diet, however, is on life support.  My husband has been sick for almost two weeks and he cheers himself up with pizza.  This has put us back to our old habits and the future is clear, if we don't stop it right now we will gain all the weight back.  Another perfect excuse to go out and be bad is moving.  We just found out after three and a half months of waiting that we will be moving in 35 days.

One problem we've had this year is that our apartment is less inviting than almost any other place we've lived.  I know we've had places we liked less, but this apartment is tiny and faces a wall.  I find myself using that as an excuse to go out to dinner.  We keep telling ourselves that our new place will be so great that we'll want to spend more time at home cooking and hanging out.  I'm worried that we'll still want to go out, but we won't be able to.  When we talked about budget last night I felt a little concerned that we're headed for a lifestyle change.  I just have to keep focusing on what I'm getting, not what I'm giving up.

I haven't been having trouble not buying other things, it's just going out that's a problem.  This is the same issue I've had for years, and things will have to change.  We are going to need to be on a very strict budget for at least the next six months.  This is the cost of buying a house that's perfect for the foreseeable future instead of one that we know we'll only like for a couple years. While it's a smart move for the future it's going to be a tough adjustment for the present.  I really do think it's going to be worth it.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Miserly March

It's time to buckle down.  We heard back from the bank and it's going to require quite a bit more cash at closing than we were expecting, so we really have no choice.  I was online looking for pictures to post around the house to inspire me to save money and I found several references to 30 day No Spending challenges.

Everyone knows there's nothing I love more than a gimmicky challenge with rules and rewards.  Add to that it's the beginning of the month, which is a siren song to me for starting something new,  and we have a full blown game on.  I have posted No Spending pictures around the house with one of the vacation we have planned for this summer and the sofa we need for additional motivation.  I read one post where they tracked what they spent on what and where each day so I posted a calendar on the front door.

I found several additional philosophies associated with the no spend concept.  Some people feel that you not only stop bringing things into the house, but take the time to purge things you don't need as well so that at the end of the month you have spent less and have less stuff as well.  Another comment that I loved was the idea that you use up all your pantry reserves even if that means eating the multiple cans of beans you got on sale.  The idea being that you use what you have and get an opportunity to think about maybe not gathering up 20 cans of beans in the future.

Everything seems to point to one common theme and that is mindful consumption.  One blogger even tracked what she wanted to spend money on but didn't.  I found it very interesting because it was the same kind of stuff I would like to buy.  She also kept it realistic by including a dinner out once per week in her allowed spending, it's supposed to be sustainable for a month after all.

The Rules For My No Spend March

  1. Groceries and Pharmacy are allowed but not additional buying and use pantry
  2. One dinner and one lunch out per week 
  3. No spending on stuff or entertainment
  4. Track spending
It took me a few days to finish this post, so in the mean time I have been putting all the no spending challenge tips to use.  I have already noticed that I shave a few dollars off of every outing because I'm conscious of my goals.  The other thing that sticks out immediately is that we both spend money on lunch at work.  To be realistic we both agreed to try to spend less rather than stop having lunch out on work days.  It makes the day nicer, and we aren't here to torture ourselves.  I'm encouraged to keep going.