Friday, January 4, 2008

One More

So the Hubs and I made a deal after Christmas.

No "purchases" until March 1. That means no toys, no DVDs, no "extras", no clothes, no gadgets. We told the kids no toys until Easter. We decided we needed to eat out less. To stay home more. We need to tighten the belt and pay down the debt. We are living outside of our means.

We want to do better.

Then Mad Hatter shares this challenge. It is such a happy coincidence. And now it feels like a competition? It at least makes me more accountable because I've got to report back how it's gone.
So go read about the challenge and read Mad's post.
I'm saying ME TOO!

Between January 4 and Feb 31, I will only purchase essential items for myself and for my family. This includes groceries/consumables, gas, basic hygiene (shampoo, soap, not cosmetics), medicine and essential clothing.

I have always been a practitioner of retail therapy. Even in high school, I would take the tip money I had earned as a waitress and treat myself to a new pair of shoes or a new t-shirt to cheer myself up. This is a bad habit that has gone on for years. The Hubs and I both do it. I figure it's time for us to find joy in our family, in each other, rather than at TaRgEt (Swistle, I'm sorry for putting down your boyfriend!).

I'm planning to track my expenses more closely during this time. I'm pledging any extra money to our debts, which we desperately need to get paid down. I'm also pledging to give some to our church, because we often leave that needed offering unpaid.

This is a pledge. Another resolution.
Oh, I love a project.
Add it to my list.


Mad Hatter said...

I am so thrilled that you are doing this that I am commenting here just after emailing my enthusiastic thumbs up. Let's make it happen.

bubandpie said...

I can't figure out how to approach this one. I don't actually shop much at all - I used to buy books a fair bit, but after I realized that I hadn't even gotten to the books I got for Christmas LAST year I've cut that out. I buy clothes in September and May but not otherwise. I haven't bought music or DVDs in ages. And yet money still flows out of this household at an ASTONISHING level. And it goes almost entirely to food - lunches on campus, pizza or take-out for supper, McDonald's for lunch ... even my grocery store purchases are less frugal than they could be. But there's only one way to cut down on those expenses: cooking. Hmmm.

Jenn said...

I'm totally in.

(But I have to admit, right after I go to Target to buy my mascara. I'm sorry, but it is essential for me.)

Mama said...

What do you think this will do to the U.S. economy? We'll probably put a big blip in the radar screen of the specialists. I have become a true believer that living within your means is a joy. JOY, JOY, JOY to you all.

Beck said...

I buy way too much. Next weekend, for example, I NEED new mascara and foundation.
So I'm not even in the running. Ho hum, I suck.

Jenifer said...

I admire your B&P though I am not sure about this one. Our worst offense for sure is too much eating out and we are trying to reign that in. I buy a lot of gifts and such as it seems there is always a party we are going too.

Shopping is definitely a stress reliever for me too, but now that we are a one income family I have had to cut that out. Now a coffee makes me happy.

I love this idea though and I will test it out to see how I do.

Omaha Mama said...

Beck! I may be in the minority here, but I Feel that mascara and foundation are essential hygiene items. No one wants to see Mama out in public without either. C'mon, scary!

LoriAnn said...

I am a $1 store junkie - and believe me, even that adds up fast. I mean really, how many picture frames and cute mugs do I really need...even though they're "just one dollar" I also spend WAY too much money on trying new products - new lotions, potions and polishes. I adore body wash and I'm so wasteful - if I find one I want to try I just buy it and toss the other one. I know, I know - SO wasteful.

Okay I'm on board with this one, too. I have a $15 or so left on a Starbucks card so I'll have to use that sparingly until March 1. Good thing I just stocked up on new Burt's Bees lip balm.

Anonymous said...

I'm not even going to try this. Boy #1 has a birthday in February. Plus my Christmas present never made it (stoopid and now I'm going to rebuy it. But with hardly any restaurants in town and even fewer shops, I"m pretty frugal. Boredom is a great way to clinch the purse strings.

But I wish you luck. Lead by example!