Monday, February 16, 2009

Second update on the no-spending challenge

Another week, another update on my no-spending challenge. One observation: it is so much easier not to spend when I avoid places at which I spend! For example, I am only looking at the free section on craigslist, avoiding the temptation to spend on an item that will likely prove useful but take up space in the meantime. By not going to the charity thrift shop, I will not buy another sweater that I like, do not need and may not get a chance to wear much before the seasons change again.

That is not to say I am perfect. I did have a standing appointment with my wonderful hair stylist for a hair cut. I have been going to him for nearly ten years, he always makes me look good and I enjoy chatting with him. I go every two months for a cut and once every 9-10 months for a permanent. This may change in the future, but this is one item I have not eliminated from my spending plan. I suspect the only way I will give up my stylist is if I move more than 20 miles away from his shop.

Otherwise, my only other spending was on gasoline (creeping up a few more pennies per gallon) and groceries. I keep several denominations of bills in my wallet and the money has barely been used since the beginning of the month. While I am not a spendthrift, I am surprised how being strict about my spending keeps cash in my wallet. Those lunches and trips to the thrift store, my main cash-based transactions, really do add up.

This exercise just goes to show me that staying home and out of stores that can part me from my money will save some cash. I thought I did a good job on spending and saving, but there is another way to keep just a bit more in the pocket. And I missed the thrift store and visiting craigslist less than I thought I would.

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