No Spend Month, Week Three and Four

September 8, 2008

spend nothing month frugal challengeI’ve been a bad girl. A very, very bad girl.

Well, not so much.

I did go WAY over my $10 non essentials budget.

But I also earned far more than I spent selling off some clutter on eBay.

And I’m way behind on posting my confessions. So I’m doing two weeks at once now.

Some of the non essentials I bought actually WERE essentials. They just could’ve waited until next month.

I hit the thrift store for another .25 day. Got 3 bags full of like new kid’s clothes, books, a bag for myself, a few nice T shirts for me (including one that was 100% organic cotton – for a .25!), a pair of Converse high tops for the oldest son.

I also caved and bought that Blur Best of Blur CD. For .99 plus 2.49 shipping, I couldn’t pass it up! And it’s bringing me much pleasure. I haven’t stopped listening to it.

One of my expenditures was the cost of postage to mail books to other PaperBackSwap members. Around $9 so far. But since books are such an obsession, I’m actually saving money by doing this. Because I’ve gotten several free books this month too.

i also spend money on a couple of greeting cards. One for my nephew who recently had a huge personal success that I wanted to congratulate him on, and another for a friend who needed a pick-me-up. Combined total of around $5 but money very well spent.

Sure, I could’ve written a letter or made my own card, but I’m not crafty. And both of the cards made me laugh out loud in the store when I read them, so I’m sure they got a laugh from their recipients too.

So – bad news is I went way over my $10 budget. Good news is – I’m still under budget because I made around $90 on eBay, after fees.

What the month has taught me is that $10 a week for nonessentials really isn’t realistic for me. It may be do able for a week or two, but not for an entire month.

I also was able to recognize what my weak spots are. Books. That’s a big one. But I’m learning how to get those for almost free. Music could be, but I’ve been a real avid user of Last.fm and Pandora.com lately, so that scratches that itch.

Another trap is shopping with the kids. If I really want to save money, I need to shop when they’re not with me.

Speaking of kids, recreation is an essential expenditure. (For me as well as them.) It has to be a line item in the budget. We went out to Moe’s for a nice meal, ate outside – it was a gorgeous day. Then we spent the entire afternoon playing in the park. Frisbee, soccer, swinging – it was great. That part was free, and there are a lot of fun free things to do, but still… the meal out cost money. It was entirely worth it though. :)

Recap of No Spend Month:

Week One
Week Two

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