Thursday, January 14, 2010

No-Spend January, Week 2

I'm nearly halfway done with No-Spend January! It's definitely been a learning experience and I really feel I'm starting to hit my stride now! However, when February 1st gets here, I'll be very excited.

It's hard not spending money, actually a lot harder than I thought it would be, particularly on the weekends. I met up with some girlfriends (including Frugal Femme) on Saturday, and it was so much fun! Frugal Femme hosted lunch while my friend Julia and I brought sides. I made a lemon poppyseed cake, so I had to get two extra things at the grocery store - ingredients costs me $3.18. We watched "New in Town" - predictable, but can you really turn down Harry Connick Jr.? On Sunday, I did something totally for free with my friend Kate and we went for a walk around the neighborhood. It was great catching up with her, we got in a workout and it was totally free!

Also on Sunday, I went to a mall to exchange some Christmas gifts (cue "Psycho" music) and it was TOUGH. Sales, promotions, new items that screamed "Take me home!" I caught myself a few times asking my husband to get me that really cute sweater (kidding, but not really). He didn't, and we both made it through without buying anything.

But isn't this sweater sooo cute?

This past week has made me come to two conclusions: one, pretty much every activity I do with my friends revolves around money. Going out for dinner, to a movie, even for coffee. It usually isn't expensive, but I had a hard time figuring out what to do for free. When you think about it, when was the last time you did something with your friends that costed absolutely nothing?

And then I got to thinking that I need a hobby. One of our readers David suggested this as a way to save money in one of his comments. And I totally agree. I feel that too many people (myself included) would count shopping as a hobby, and that could be a detriment to your bank account. Not that some hobbies don't get expensive (have you been inside a scrapbook store recently?), but I feel like I need a hobby that is time-consuming and not necessarily dollar-consuming.

I think that No-Spend January is really forcing me to take a good look at my spending habits, and while I like what I see for the most part, there is always room for improvement. Now, on to search for a hobby! Any suggestions?

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