Monday, February 23, 2009

The ongoing no-spending challenge update

I am heading into the home stretch of no-frivolous-spending week. What benefits have I seen?
Spending less time on craigslist looking at items for sale.
Driving less since I am not making a trip to the thrift store every Saturday.
Learning to use my brain rather than spending money to solve a problem.
Using my sewing machine to make things rather than ignoring it.

These are not new concepts and certainly are tasks I can accomplish without a self-imposed challenge. However, thinking twice about spending money really does help me consider alternatives before plunking my credit card or cash down on the counter.

This was not a spending-free week. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I went to the pet store to pick up an item for hairball treatment and prevention. It is always an issue with my cats as I do not brush them regularly enough to prevent them from swallowing fur. I did avoid spending extra money on toys but did not accomplish zero spending.

My second weakness: my local garden center. I wanted to pick up as many seeds locally without paying for shipping and handling. So I spent just over $50 on seeds, fertilizers and packets of mosquito inihibitors. This expenditure does not come out of my spending plan but from money I save for using on or around my home. This expense was planned for and will be used to supplement my food expenditures later in the year, assuming I can get my garden to grow and produce. Thus, I spent $60 this week with ~$6 spent from my spending plan cat allocation.

I have one more week left and the only obvious challenge to keeping my money to myself: one or two lunches out with friends I rarely see. I will have one final wrap up posting with the extra money I saved and where I allocated said money.


  1. It's a hard undertaking, not to spend for a certain period of time. Before Christmas, I was trying to save money and decided not to spend a penny for 10 days. It was tough! I started having a yen to spend, even though I had everything I needed at home. Good job, I hope you saved a lot!

  2. @Rain,

    I think trying to challenge yourself to save money around times like Christmas is difficult. Even though I planned and purchased gifts throughout the year, I still found myself exceeding my spending plan in November and December. It is a stubborn, focused person who can resist the siren call of the holidays. My choice of February for my no-spending challenge was quite delibrate.

  3. That's a good call then! For me, I live quite a solitary life, so holidays don't have much meaning and I don't spend on gifts and things like that. But I'm thinking of starting a new challenge for myself to coincide with the Lent time. I have to think about it today to figure out my limits and see if I can put more money into my fall move account!

  4. @Rain,

    A challenge never hurts especially if it is for a great goal like moving! Where might you move in the fall?

  5. Hi FP, It's nice to chat a little! I'm currently in Southern Quebec, I like the natural beauty of it, but not having any English services is wearing thin. I've always wanted to live by the ocean, and I'll stay in Canada, so it will either be Nova Scotia, Newfoundland or Prince Edward Island. I've given myself the year to decide because I don't want to spend another winter here in Quebec. I was awarded permanent disability income from the workman's comp a few years back from a severe burnout - and since my income follows me, I can go wherever I want. I'm doing so much goal is to return to university in 2010 to study physics, math and biology. Luckily in Canada, the tuitions are very cheap so it's a viable option. My previous job was Director of Admin at a securities firm, but I can't go back to that kind of environment because of the high stress, and our government has basically "decided" that I am unemployable...but I just cannot be retired at my age! One of my dreams was always to learn the sciences and either teach or work in research...looks like this dream will come true after all! I do a little more research every day, it's fun! (chatty cathy again, haha!)