Tuesday, November 04, 2008

No Spend Month

While perusing Small Notebook's sight today, I noticed she had posted about her No Spend Month and had links to others who were doing similar. So I have decided that for the rest of the month, I am going to do something similar. Too bad I didn't think about this sooner--I just did a little sleep shopping.

What is SLEEP SHOPPING, you ask?

It's where you buy stuff on the Internet with a click of a button while on auto-pilot..just like sleep walking...Amazon and Book of the Month Club are my weaknesses. Did I mention I spent $60 on book Sunday?! What was I thinking?! While 2 of the books are good books that I will use (Prayer Shawl Companion and a Pie book), one was a complete impulse. There were a couple other books that were the same impulse. SOOOO--for the rest of the month, I am going to limit myself to a budget of $10 a week for the rest of the month. When the $10 is gone, it is gone. This is going to be really hard for me. I'm used to pulling out my debit card and swiping..or ordering online with a click of a button. And truth be told, I really like coming home and having a package for me on the porch. .

It feels good.

However, what doesn't feel good is the fact that my house is filled with clutter and I am embarrassed to have people over. My brother in law is coming from California this Thursday to spend a couple days with us. I've been in a mad rush to get the house cleaned...

I've come to a couple conclusions.

1. I am a "just in case" saver. This weekend I threw out no less than 4 full trash bags of old clothes from when I was a size 9. I am 100 lbs past that (that's another issue I'm working on, but I digress) and have been saving them JUST IN CASE I get to that size soon. Reality: These clothes that were the height of fashion THEN are REALLY out of fashion now. REALLY OUT OF FASHION. ....tossed.

2. I save old jar and plastic containers to use for later. Not bad if you actually USE them. I usually don't, they're just THERE. Hanging around, adding visual clutter. The reality is that plastic containers are not safe to microwave in because of toxins, and when I transfer leftovers to a container destined for the fridge, it is usually a ceramic bowl with plastic wrap over it. Plastic bowls, glass bottles, plastic containers...tossed.

3. I save old magazines. A lot of them had recipes in them that I wanted to use for entertaining. Reality check: With so much paper laying around, it made my house not suitable for entertaining guests. This weekend, I clipped recipes, tossed the magazines and put the recipes in sheet protectors and a binder. Same with knitting patterns. I do not need any new patterns!

This morning I have been doing the Flylady's marathon cleaning. It basically is 15 minute intervals in different areas of the house, then continuing the sequence until the rooms are cleaned. I did it for 2 hours and am taking a break for an hour before diving back in. The crazy thing is I am making real headway. Once I get the kitchen table and the family room completed, I will consider that a huge victory. I still have the guest room and the family room, but I'll use the same system to get them done. I am glad I got this book. I will go back and read through it once I have the house at least decent for guests. I want to get the basic principle in place so I can complete the job after bro in law is gone, and maintain the house.

The other task that might be a challenge is the fact we need to furnish this house and make it comfortable. It sounds like a direct conflict to the NO SPEND, but I think I can do it by using what we have and repainting/refinishing and adding a couple minor purchases. I will allot a certain amount in the budget to this endeavor, but it might be measly until after the holidays..

We have been looking for a desk for our family room. The current computer desk is really small and it is impossible for the boys to spread their work out while working. It makes it really uncomfortable. I had been looking for "the perfect computer desk", when it occurred to me that we have a pub style table out in the garage that seats 4-6 people (it has an extension)...Hmmm. I will have to get a tall chair (saw them on sale somewhere...), but in reality it will probably work perfectly. It might even work better...

So there you have it. The rest of the month is going to be a no spending, clutter cutting and cheap decorating month. I'll let you know how it works. I will break down and take before/after pics of the family room and guest bedroom. The upstairs is a little scary. I'll have to think about that.....pray for me. Seriously! I could use all the help I can get with this total lifestyle change thing....


Anonymous said...

Sounds great! Just keep a little reminder somewhere of what you figured out this weekend. Maybe tape it on your card!

ksaviatrix said...

I can help clean - I have no sentimental value to other people's stuff; you would be amazed at what I could get rid of.....