Everyone gets a re-do in life, right? At least once or twice? Shoot, if I'm talking about losing weight, I've gotten about 10 re-do's! ;)
And guess where I am now. $600 farther in debt than I was last year. Where the hell did that money go? I dunno - shopping in NYC with my sister? Countless dinners & lunches in restaurants? Christmas gifts? Yep, all of the above (and then some). So much for that idea.
Luckily, I get a do-over.
This time, however, I won't be dieting with my money. I'll be FASTING.
Holy shit - this is going to SUCK!
I'm ready to take it on though. Yes, I'm sure I'll whine and feel like I'm missing out on life. I'm sure I'll be grumpy from time to time. It'll be scary and challenging and may even put strain on some of my relationships. But if this is what it takes to be debt-free, then 1-year doesn't seem like that much.
Starting NOW I will not spend any money on things that aren't essential. I've revised my list from the last time, and here goes:
WHAT I HAVE TO SPEND MONEY ON:
FOOD - grocery store or farmer's market bought only, in-season fruits and veggies and only when I run out of stuff in cupboards. It's very important to me to still stay healthy though, so if I need to buy less to get better quality (ie - organic), then I will do so.
HEALTH INSURANCE / doctor co-pays / medicine (when needed)
GAS (as little as possible – bike / scoot / carpool / walk whenever you can)
TOILETRIES (minimal) – toilet paper, paper towels, boxed hair dye (super cheap), shampoo / conditioner, cotton balls, q-tips, razors, body lotion, makeup base. Only the bare minimum, generic brands, and what I absolutely need.
WHAT I WILL NOT SPEND MONEY ON:
Gifts (sorry friends and family... homemade crafts or re-gifting will be happening)
Coffee at coffee shops (oh man, this will be a hard one. I don't do it much, but every now & then a soy latte really hits the spot. I'm going to have to learn how to make my own!)
Clothes, shoes, jewelery (I hope a lot of people are up for clothing exchanges this year!)
Thrift shopping (yes it’s cheap, but it’s still spending - and I'll miss it!)
New make-up (not including base – sorry, that’s an essential. I have a ton of eyeliner, eye shadows, blush & lipstick to last me a lifetime though. Time to use up what I've got!)
Eating out (this is a big one!!) – breakfasts / lunches / dinners
Happy hours (another big one) – I can attend, but soda water will be my drink of choice!
Furniture / Decorative house stuff
Haircuts (I can probably keep up on these myself with trims)
Books & music (God BLESS the library)
Wine / Beer / Liquor Stores (this is a luxury, not a necessity!!)
Why am I doing this to myself, do you ask? I think this link pretty much describes my feelings perfectly. I have ALWAYS considered myself an independent person, but I have never in my life been debt-free. Okay, I was debt-free before I hit college, but I digress.
I want to be able to take care of myself. I want to be able to spend MY heard-earned money, and never have to work hard just to pay things off. I want to feel secure financially, and not burst into tears when something costs $20 more than I expected it to, or every time my damn car tags come in once a year costing me $85 (yes, I forget about it every single year).
I always used to think that life is too short not to live spontaneously. I feel like I can still live that way to an extent without digging myself deeper into a hole. And just giving up that careless attitude for only ONE YEAR will get me closer to living truly free than I ever have been before.
And that's pretty awesome.
So please wish me luck!! I'll keep up posts on this blog about my progress and tag it with "she saved" so that they're easy to find.
I'm puttin' on my big-girl pants right now!