Tuesday, May 26, 2009
After watching my savings account slowly, but surely, dwindle little by little, I have decided that I need to do something proactive. One of my biggest flaws is that I am a spender. I love to buy stuff. Granted, I usually try to find great deals on the things that I buy, but I'm spending all the same. I have come to the realization that much of what I spend is on non-essential luxuries, so I have decided to challenge myself.
My challenge is going to be called Essential Living. In this challenge, I will attempt to limit all spending to only items that are essential for every day life. Things such as food, basic household goods and gifts for family and friends who have birthdays or baby showers coming up will be considered essential. It will officially start on June 1, but don't worry, I'm not going to go hog-wild and spend a bunch of money in the last few days of May! I will buy only essentials for the rest of May, but these next few days will be days in which I can research and refine my challenge and look for tips on frugal living. I don't know how long I want this challenge to last, but it will be for no less than 30 days. Here are the ground rules I've given myself:
1. Before buying anything, ask myself: can I live without it? If I can, put it back.
2. Purchase produce, poultry and eggs at the Farmer's Market when available. All other groceries should be bought at Wal-Mart, Target, Dollar Stores (or other discount stores). Specialty items should be few.
3. Find coupons and start using them.
4. Find free things to do to amuse myself besides shopping (window shopping is allowed but probably not advisable).
5. Put all credit cards in file folders in my filing cabinet.
6. Use what I already have (example: don't buy new lotion because I'm tired of the scent of the old stuff).
7. Buy only what I'll eat for the week so as not to waste food, which is money down the drain.
8. Necessary work-related activities are considered essentials (i.e., luncheons which are usually paid for or reimbursed anyway). However, happy hours are not essential if not paid for by the firm.
I will allow myself one non-essential purchase each month (assuming I can survive longer than 30 days on this challenge!). However, the non-essential purchase can be no more than $30.
This is going to be a "challenge in progress" for me so bear with me as I continue to learn and create my master plan!
So, does anyone have any tips to help me in my challenge? Does anyone want to join me take the Essential Living Challenge for the month of June? I dare you...