28 December 2007

A dollar in the hand is worth two in the bank

Maybe this only happens to me, but when I HAVE money to spend and want to buy something, I can never find anything I want. But when I'm broke and have a credit card in my pocket, EVERYTHING is amazing, and I need it, and it's SUCH a good deal I would be stupid to pass it up. This happened to me yesterday, as I spent an hour walking around the 50% off clearance at Target, my $100 gift card burning a hole in my pocket, and I walked out of there with a 26 cent calendar from the dollar spot (75% off!). It's funny when 50% off becomes unimpressive. Anyway, my thought is this- I might take each week's operating budget out of the bank in CASH. Let it sit in my pocket, and be real. I think I'll be less eager to part with it when I have to hand it over.

26 December 2007

Almost go time

I'm not sure if this is cheating, but I got some gift cards for Christmas that I plan to spend on myself in 2008. The way I see it, I'm not spending any money, and I'm getting what I need. Works for me. I've been gearing up big time for this mentally, but honestly, not much will change right away. As of now we are awash in new toys, new pajamas, gift cards and all we need. I even have tons of batteries, thanks to CVS and their -.71 8 packs of AAs. The problem will come in about 8 weeks, when the excitement wears off and I want or need something that's not in the budget. Like a New Year's Resolution diet, by February, you're skipping some workouts and sneaking cookies. Which reminds me, I have one of those too- but luckily I already own some workout equipment and dvds, and the library has them too. So the key is to stay focused through the next 8 weeks or so, and then stick with it. Because I'm planning on heavily planting the garden this year (I may even use vacation days to dig it up, child-free) I should be busy with planning by mid-February, so that should help. I'm excited for the produce!

17 December 2007

Getting ready for some frugality

So, I've been getting ready. I've been thinking a lot about the cost of things and plans and reducing my expenses while reducing my inpact on the environment. I started selling things on ebay- so far I made a whopping 15$- and I'm trying not to go nuts on Christmas presents so I don't have extra unplanned-for bills to deal with come January.

I've also been thinking a lot about packaging and buying things in bulk. For example, I bought applesauce in a ginormous glass jar instead of the little plastic cups. Yeah, its a PITA to pour them out instead of just flinging the cuplets at the kids, but those little things aren't recyclable, and I believe the glass jar was cheaper per ounce. But the best part is, when I'm done with it, the jar will be good for bulk food or plants or something.

I'm operating with this theory that we have enough things in our house at this very moment to keep us entertained for the next year. Between the unopened crayons and coloring books, the puzzles wrapped in shrink wrap, and the mish mash of reusable craft materials like tp rolls and the like, I think we can make it through the next year without even noticing a thing. Its like how I have enough food to last us a week or two just in the pantry and freezer, yet still buy food every week. Add the cool stuff we have with the things that I plan on selling, and I think we should have a pretty decent operating budget. We'll see.

Okay, back to work. I'm staying here for lunch so I don't waste gas driving around to stores where I will spend money. Total cash output today- $0. Awesome.