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Monday, February 3, 2014

Monday Musings: Week 5

Can it already be February? We're one month into our challenge, and it feels like it's becoming a part of who we are. I can honestly say that I have lost the desire to mindlessly shop. I  go to the store, get what I need, and get out of there. Even though I went to town four days last week, I only went to Wal-Mart once. When Sunday's paper comes, I might flip through the sale papers to see if there is something on sale that I specifically need. However, more often than not, I just push them to the side, and read the articles. 

I never realized how much I was affected by the flood of email offers that come to my inbox. Since January, I've been deleting them without opening, but in the next few days, I plan to unsubscribe from a lot of notifications I get that are just thinly (or not so thinly) veiled pitches for me to buy something I don't need. Same thing goes for the text alerts from stores which send me coupons for a percentage off. You know the ones, "The more you spend, the more you save." Yeah, right.

Early in our marriage (back in the days of two incomes and no children), I would go on shopping expeditions and come home with bags full, proudly announcing, "Honey, you won't believe what I saved!" Even then, my husband, who was wise beyond his years, would say, "I don't care what you saved. Just tell me what you SPENT!"

Now that I'm keeping records of exactly what I spend, and being accountable to not only Syd, but to my readers as well, the wisdom of his thinking sinks in deeply. 

Here's my spending breakdown for Week 5.

Groceries                                      $99.06
Printer Ink                                    $17.83
Piano Lessons                              $10.00
Lunch after community service    $8.12   
Total                                            $135.01

Of the money that we allot for household spending, which includes food, toiletries, clothing, entertainment, school materials, gifts, miscellaneous purchases, and piano lessons, I saved $614 in January, just by applying our use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without principle. Since February is a shorter month, I anticipate that we might even see greater savings. 

For transparency, I need to let you know that we have allotted $20 each month for Syd and I for discretionary spending. At this time, we aren't including gasoline, car repairs, charitable giving, utilities, taxes, house payments, or insurance costs in our spending reports. Also, Syd has a "date night" fund. Anyone with kids knows how important it is to have couple time, so that fund is off limits. So, if you happen to run into us at the Roxton Cafe on a Thursday night, you won't think this whole exercise is a sham. 

1 comment:

  1. I spent the same amount you spent this month, TODAY! But, we are also still trying to furnish a home and have no food stored up at all. Oh and I also bought a car part in that number, which was sort of necessary ;-) And just to cultivate good spending habits, the 2 end tables we got today for a combined $25 are ones that we looked at on Saturday and then went home and thought about before actually buying today. You and your blog were mentioned several times on our thrift store shopping trip on Saturday.. ;-) "Now, do we NEED this? Lets think about Mrs. Newman..."