Friday, January 09, 2009

No-Spend Challenge: Week One

Ugh...this is embarrassing.

I didn't do so well you guys.

I posted that challenge on January 2, so let me give you the day-by-day spending breakdown.

January 2:

January 3:
$11.76 at McDonald's. See, a day into this and I'm spending when the goal is to be NOT spending. Ugh. We took a huge load of recycling to the drop off center and still had some more things to do in town before heading home. It was lunchtime and we didn't plan ahead well so we bought the kids lunch. The parents ate when we got home.

January 4:

January 5:
$14 on haircut for Will. I'm tempted not to count that since he needed one and I couldn't wait 3 more weeks for February to roll around, but I didn't exclude haircuts, so it counts.
Also went to Walmart and got groceries, but only bought what was on my list.

January 6:
-0- (Thanks, John for re-gifting that Starbucks card that AK gave you! You're THE best!)

January 7:
$8.00 I spent Tuesday and Wednesday at home cleaning/organizing/purging. I tackled the girls' room on this day and decided that they needed a new lamp to match their new decor. Hmmmm...that no-spend thing wasn't going to make this easy. I decided to check out the home furnishing consignment store that opened last fall and see if they had anything suitable. They didn't. In fact, I thought their stuff was way over-priced. 

So, on the way back home, I stopped at my favorite consignment store to check their small inventory of home furnishings. No lamp, but I did find a pair of brand new black mules, and this cute little iron bird. The shoes were on sale for $14 and the bird was on the 80% off rack marked down to $1.80.  Yeah, that adds up to more than $8, but I had a credit from some stuff I sold last fall and my grand total was $8.

You might be rolling your eyes and thinking that I can justify almost anything (and yes, I probably can), but John gave me some money after Christmas to buy some new black shoes. My old ones were in really bad shape. I was going to wait until I found a great sale, but I doubt I would have found any (brand new!) for $8. I love them and I'm not going to feel guilt about this purchase!

January 8:
$9 I've been motivated all week to get things clean and orderly around our house. John's parents gave us a new rug for Christmas (love it!) and once we got it down, I realized that pattern in the rug was competing with my red fireplace wall as the focal point of the room. I decided to keep the rug and ditch the red wall. I've never liked the red much anyway. Lucky for me, I had 3/4 gallon of paint in the basement (matches my wall color) and enough Kilz left from my last project to not have to buy those items. I spent $9 on paint roller and edger refills, tray liners, and a plastic drop cloth. Not too bad. And yes, I could have waited until February, but you know what? I had time and motivation to do it now. I might not have either of those next month!
January 9:
Oh dear. A spendy day.
I don't have a total, but I went to Co Springs to buy a birthday gift for Will's friend--a gift card to BestBuy. Also ran in Bed, Bath, and Beyond to check out their lamps. Didn't find anything, but bought a Yankee candle (Christmas Cookie) marked down to $7.49. I had a 20% off coupon so I got it for $6. Totally got sucked into that deal.

(I need a minute to tell you about Bed, Bath, and Beyond. If there's one close to you, get on their mailing list and they will send you 20% coupons all the time. Seriously, it seems like I get one a week. They will let you use expired coupons (so don't toss them), and if you forget your coupon, you can bring it back with your register receipt and they will adjust the price. You can also use the coupon on sale items. Obviously, I'm a big fan of that store!)

We also went to Chick-Fil-A for dinner. I ordered for myself and the kids and walked away while John paid because I didn't want to know how much we spent.  I could tell you that Sarah finally had the sleepover that we've been putting off since her birthday in JULY and that we wanted to make it special for her and that her friend lives super close to Chik-Fil-A and that the snow was terrible and it took us forever to drive the few miles to pick her friend up and we were all starving. But that would totally sound like I was trying to justify things...and the bottom line is that I caved. I spent money. Willingly.

Here's to a MUCH better week this week. I'm tightening my belt and am determined to do BETTER.

How did you guys do?

Updated to add: Overall, I realize that I wasn't as motivated to not spend as I'd hoped. All the things I bought weren't necessary or needed (except maybe the haircut and shoes). I willfully chose to buy them. Other purchases (lunch/dinner) could have been avoided by better planning. Sure, some of those purchases were bargains, but where was my resolve to THINK before spending? Again, I'm determined to do better this week. If at first you don't succeed, try, try again.

And, hey, I don't know how to make that image above into a cute little button Holly made that image above into a button for me, and you're certainly welcome to steal it and use it on your blog if you want. See if you can copy and paste it from here, if not email me and I'll send you the code. Thank you, Holly!!!


Amber said...

Ah, Mer...don't be hard on yourself. You're doing great!

Lisa says that eating out should count as groceries (since you have to eat anyways)....I like the way she thinks!!

Now....I love your bird. Love your wall. You have been busy this week, haven't you?!?!?

Stephanie @ My Answered Prayer said...

Well we broke down and had a girls night last night...Totally needed it.

I spent $13 on dinner, $8 on movie (at behind the mall) can you believe that...I'd pay that at at Tinseltown but Behind the Mall that is a rip off, and $15 on magazines at BAM.

You're doing great...keep it up!

Michele said...

I don't think you did too bad! I can make a good excuse for any good deal.

I actually did pretty well this week. I think I only spent money on groceries, and what I spent was fairly reasonable.

I did have to buy a b-day gift for a friend of Alec's, another b-day gift for a friend of mine, and another gift for a friend of mine for a "pick me up" (her dad is sick also). But I got away spending less than $25 on all 3 gifts:)

However, I do have to confess. Tiffani sent me a text saying Goodys was going out of business. I was out of my house in 2.2. Then she called as I was pulling out of my subdivision saying no good deals b/c today was the first day of the sale. I did set a limit of only spending $50 if I went. But . . . I turned my car around and went back home.

All-in-all I had a pretty good week! Hopefully next week will be even better. Have a good weekend.

Christi @ Writing the Waves said...

Sounds to me like you are doing pretty well! It is hard to go cold turkey on spending! At least you were able to identify the areas that are likely to sneak up and bite you...and you can watch out for them next next week!

The bird sure is cute...and for that price...who can blame you?!? :)

Betsy said...

It's okay, Meredith!! I think you deserve a pat on the back just for trying. And look at it this definitely spent LESS than you probably would have before the no-spending challenge! You'll hop back on track this week!

This is REALLY hard to do!!

Anonymous said...

The bird was a steal! I love it! A very good buy!

Great job on painting the wall for so cheap! Fun that you got a new rug as a Christmas gift!

Seems like you are doing great on your spending challenge!

~ Ali

Moriah @ Please Pass the Salt said...

I love your (brutal) honesty, Mer. :) I still think you did probably a whole lot better than December!!! lol

Makes me feel a little better about my caves this week. (Like last night! (ha!) BUT it was a once-in-a-who-knows-how-long opportunity and I snatched it. Furthermore, it was Andy's idea.)

Anonymous said...

If Craig pays, then it's not on my dime. I'm totally with you there.

We went grocery shopping today, and probably a little more went into the cart than I wanted (but if I'm with the menfolk, I just count on there being impulse items..I stuck to my list.)

I managed to make it through this week without spending a penny on fun stuff. But I was grumpy when I drove past Subway to go home and make my own sandwich. It wasn't the same. Sandwiches always taste better at someone else's house.

Gretchen said...

I'm cutting my wasteful spending, sure, but I'm definitely not belt-tightening as much as you are. I know I should be. I'm still doing well on my Target fast, and no coffees. BUT...I see that I can still do better, so this week, I'll see if I can cut more out. You're very inspiring. I happen to think you're doing a faburiffic job, Mer, and I'm thrilled about your $8 shoes. You go!

OhioFamOf4 said...

My Bed, Bath and Beyond will also let you use more than once coupon per transaction, even though it says right on the coupon that you can't. Not sure if they're all like that but for the most part I think the company is pretty lenient about it.

Tiffani said...

Maybe I am not a good friend to support you in this because...I think you did pretty good!!

I agree with the fact that you are thinking more mindfully of spending and perhaps will hone your skills each week :)!!

I have no comment on my spending..heehee...actually, we ate out a couple of times...I got a movie out of the Redbox at Wal-Mart only $1 though if I get it back today...I had a return at Belk's for JuJu and got her a shirt instead for .23...but now that has to go I'll have around $8 from that...

And I guess that's it! I, too, was mindful had SEVERAL things in my hands at various times while running errands on Saturday but ended up putting them all back (they were great deals but WAY impulsive--like 70% off Christmas stuff stuff)...I spend $80 at the grocery store but that's for just one week.

OH, I did spend $17 on Connor..he gets to go to the Atlanta Zoo on Tuesday for a class for homeschoolers...he'll get to have an animal encounter, activity, tour the zoo, etc. SO, I couldn't resist...I was THRILLED to learn about these classes and he has been my animal lover since birth!!! I first thought "it's gonna be so expensive" so when it turned out to be $17 to register..I signed him up immediately!

Good grief, sorry for such a loonng comment!