Wednesday, January 4, 2012

And then she saved (RE-DO!)

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! ;)  

Anyway, life has hit me in the face again with reality, and it's time to have a look at things all over again.  Remember that time when I decided to do a Spending Diet?  I think that lasted about 2 or 3 months tops.  It was very hard, and I struggled with it - and eventually lost all motivation.  

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: 




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. 

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! 


Yiy said...

Good luck, Bethie! But remember to reward yourself, too. It's never good to go totally extreme. If you have a really successful month, treat yourself to a nice cup of coffee from Starbucks. :) Good luck!!

Beth B said...

Thanks so much, Yiya! :) But the little "rewards" are what got me into trouble in the first place - tiny spending here & there adds up to a lot! So I'm going to have to figure out "free" ways to reward myself - like a long bubble bath, or a night off from exercise.

Thank you for the support though, darlin!! XO

Kendra said...

Good luck, good luck, good luck.

We should celebrate the little victories sometime at each other's house, with free(ish) coffee made at home or the bottle of wine that was gift to me from a co-worker.

We can have at-home happy hours!

RMRG test said...
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Anonymous said...

Sweet Dee-
You should reward yourself by setting small goals. When you accomplish a small goal, like paying off a credit card or reducing some debt by X% or going 1 month following your strict rules, throw yourself a party! Invite all your friends to celebrate with you. Have a BYOB potluck to have friends over and let them supply the celebration goodies.
I have done this when we paid off a car, paid off student loans, etc. It's super fun and your friends want to celebrate with you!
Good Luck!!
*the blob*

Beth B said...

Aww thanks for all of the support, gang! Kendra - I'm totally going to take you up on that! :) And Blobby - that's a wonderful idea. Celebrating the accomplishments will really help me get through and appreciate how far I've come. And doing it in a FREE way is even better!! <3 Love you guys!

Anonymous said...

Good Luck Beth! It sounds like you have a good plan to save yourself some money. It might also be a good idea to make a budget you can stick to every month which allows you to afford the necessities, but still be able to reward yourself with a little something, just so you don't get burnt out. Another thing I thing I think you should consider is not only how to save money, but also how you might be able to make more of it. Attack the Beast from both ends!! Best of Luck!!

Beth B said...

Absolutely a great suggestion! I actually usually have a bit of money left over every month from my paycheck, which I'm going to save for any unexpected costs that I HAVE to pay (ex: random parking ticket, doctor's visit, etc). And I'm definitely going to try and figure out a way to make more too - the more I make, the sooner I can get everything paid off! :) Woohoo!

Nikki said...

Strong work Beth! I know you'll totally kick butt this year. Some friends and I used to have these clothing exchange parties where we'd all bring food to share and our stash of clothes we were willing to part with. Clothes, shoes, purses (my fav!), random bags, whatever.. I think there were even some books tossed in there too at some point. As each person arrived, we'd toss everything in a big pile in the middle of the floor, eat, hang out, and then all of us would tackle the pile at once.
Super fun!
When you're itching for some new digs, let's do it! I'd totally come to D-town and help set it up!

Andrea said...

You can do it Beth!! Tina and I have gotten pretty good at finding free entertainment (free museum days, movies in the park) if you ever want to join us. Also if you are looking to make extra $, I have tried a bunch of online gigs and can tell you which ones are legit and worth your time. Just let me know!

Beth B said...

Hellz YEAH, Nikki!! I'm all about that idea. We actually do something like that too - we call it the Naked Lady Party, and we do it about once every 6 months. I always find great treasures, and come home as though I just went on a shopping spree!!

Let's totally do one though, as I'm sure I have books & other things I could bring as well. :)

And Andrea - you're totally ON! Thanks so much for the suggestions too. YAY FOR FREE STUFF!!