The Plan, Part 2--Spending Money in 2010...
*really deep breath*
*really long exhale*
Let's be honest. This is the part of the plan that people really want the scoop on. Cutting back on the grocery bill is one thing, but to claim that you're not going to buy anything new in 2010? That....that is what is really swimming around in everyones head.
I know you've got questions. If you do, ask! I'll answer honestly.
All of this came about after the Great Red Pepper Purchase of 2009, I began to think about where my money was going. Looking through my bank statements, it's easy to see that my money isn't going to any one place...just lots of little places.
An itunes download
Latte at Caribou
Cute shoes at Target
New scarf at Old Navy
But the little things add up and soon I begin to wonder why I can't put more money aside into my savings every month. Since I'll be sharing an account with the Big Guy soon, it only makes sense that my spending habits get a make over. And fast.
A few years ago, I saw a story about a group of people who joined a recycling movement called The Compact (you can read about that group here). Their goal is simple: spend money on nothing new. If you need something, you either pick it up at Goodwill, a thrift store, a garage sale, from Freecycle....but you don't buy it new. For this group, recycling is the ultimate goal.
Obviously, necessities (food, medications, toiletries, underwear...) should be bought new. But everything else, can be found by means of recycling.
I like the concept.
But to join the group you spend money on nothing new.
I already know I'm going to break the rules, so I'm not joining them. I need to modify it to fit my goals.
My goal is to save more money. Not to jump on the green-earth friendly bandwagon.
Save your hate mail. Nothing wrong with being green & earth friendly. It's just not the reason I'm doing this project.
Here are my rules...
*No new purchases like: clothing, shoes, iTunes downloads, DVD's, handbags, craft projects, etc.
*No gifts of a material nature
*Finding cheaper alternatives to cleaning products, toiletries, medications, etc.
As I mentioned, I am spending money on some new items. Here is what I have planned:
*Gifts: I have already set aside money for the Big Guy's 40th Birthday gift. But because it's wait listed, that cost comes out in 2010. Other than that, gifts for new babies, sorry-you're-feeling-down, etc. are no longer going to be of a material value. What will it be? You'll have to wait and find out!
*Wedding stuff: Obviously, this is in our wedding budget. Since we are doing things pretty frugal to begin with, the purchases remaining are very small (and honestly, if I can find them at a thrift store or borrow it from friends, I'm all over that!).
*Payday coffee: A few months ago, I told myself that I was allowed a latte twice a month--on payday. I have still factored this into the budget. I think I can afford $7 a month for a little Caribou happiness.
*3-day stuff: I still plan to spend some money for the 3-day. This is close to my heart and no one can put a price on finding a cure for cancer. However, I'm sad to say that my donations to other philanthropy projects will have to wait until 2011.
Obviously, there will be some critics. I'll address the concerns that folks have (if there are any) in a future post.
The reality is this. I feel it is my responsibility as a soon to be wife--who has a stake in a forever-and-ever-amen partnership--that I do my part to be mindful of how money is being spent. In a few short months, it's no longer my money. It is going to be our money. This is a huge step for me. I've always been independent and now to dive into this is going to be quite the experiment.
My promise to you
Honest answers to your questions.
Honest insight to how it feels--the ups, the downs...
No preaching--I'm not perfect. I'm no money guru.
I hope you'll follow along with me as I navigate 2010!