Wednesday, January 6, 2010

No-Spend January, Week 1

You may recall from this earlier post that I was inspired to go a month without spending. Okay, when I say "not spending", I don't mean not spending anything. I'm getting necessities - still paying bills, still buying groceries, and still filling up my car with gas. However, I'm not going out for lunch, I'm not shopping the great sales right now, and I'm not using my cash for kindling.

So how is my first week going? I'm not technically even a week in, and I'm $45 in the hole. Let me explain though: my husband and I got the best (but totally unexpected) Christmas gift of Rose Bowl tickets to watch our beloved Ducks take on THE Ohio State University Buckeyes (thanks Mom and Danny!!), so the first two days of January, I was on vacation and all that comes with it. I spent $8 on a margarita before the game, $4 on sad beer after the game (Ducks lost, in case you were wondering), $7 for a trolley ride, and $26 for lunch on Saturday. Not exactly going as I had anticipated...

But I'm regrouping and keeping the lid on non-essential spending. I'm now religiously bringing my coffee to work. I got a cute new travel mug for Christmas (thanks Liz!) and that helps. I'm also packing my lunch every night before I go to bed. Usually, I'm just too lazy and say I'll do it in the morning...well, that never happens and then I spend $8 on sushi or pho.

I can tell you that already this has drastically changed the way I approach planning things. I wanted to get together with some girlfriends this weekend to see a movie and then it occurred to me that I can't. spend. money. I'd love to hear some suggestions on what Frugal Femme and I could do for free that's indoors - any ideas?

Although it's challenging, I know the payoff will be that I'll add at least an extra $300 to my savings account this month. Besides that, I think this little experiment will give me a chance to evaluate what really is an "essential" (no, Target purses do not count - unless, of course, your bag falls apart and you have to get a new one). :)

Keeping my eyes on the prize. Until next week...

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