A few weeks ago, my best friend suggested that we try and do a slow month. What is a slow month? Well, it can be whatever you want it to be, with the ultimate goal of spending less, and being resourceful. And since all of us are in different places, we can make our own rules.
We started out defining what our goals were going to be. Mine are as follows:
1~To get our credit card down. We use a credit card for all of our purchases because of the cash rewards we get. Between doing stuff before Matt left, my road trip, plus some birthdays, our balance is a little too high for me to feel good about it. So, this month, it will be smaller.
2~To use what I have. I cooked some pinto beans at the end of August, and froze them. They taste awesome, and are SO MUCH cheaper than buying a can of pinto or refried beans from the store. Been working on using those. Next up are black beans. I have other things that I want to use that I haven't been, for whatever reason. Plus, with it only being the 3 of us, I can make our meals last longer. Minimal fast food too. (even though the 10 piece chicken mcnuggets for $1.99 at mcdonalds is a great deal!!) And this doesn't just apply to food, this goes for everything. Rather than go out and buy something, I look and see what I've got and make it work.
3~We are not good savers. Thanks to some poor financial decisions early in our marriage (isn't that how it always goes????) we've been paying off debt. We've got it so low, it feels so good! But. Not much saved. And since Matt is deployed, we have access to a high yield savings account. It is only high yield while he's gone. So the sooner I get some money in there, the better. So, my goal is to save money for whatever we may need it for in the future. Down payment on a house? Trip somewhere? Kids college fund?
4~To sell or get rid of stuff that I don't use or can't use. Or just don't want. I have a nice little list in my head of things that need to be listed on ebay. And, I also have a nice little favorites list on etsy. So, the only way I get anything off of etsy is to sell some of my stuff on ebay.
To accomplish this, I am planning on avoiding Target, and any other impulse buy type of stores. I am planning my grocery store visits. (I made it out of Costco spending under $100. I thought that was pretty good!) I am making a big effort to have a list of things, and to stick to the list as best as I can!
There are some things I have to do this month, like get the oil changed in our cars, pay for school pictures, and things like that. I did want to get my Christmas card planned and supplies bought for those. Got a few packages that need to be sent, too. I also need an external hard drive, and that will cost a little bit of money.
Since I live in the middle of nowhere, and Ross and stores like it are a good twenty minutes drive away, I think I can do that. I do have a Walmart (I just hate Walmart), but I'm trying to get what I need a little at a time between the Commissary, Costco, and tomorrow I'm heading to the nearest Trader Joe's. (which is about half an hour away) I'm sticking to the list!! Hopefully I'll only have to go to Walmart for milk this month. Because the less of my money there, the better.
I am really going to try and do this. It will be good for me. I do like spending money and having stuff. But I'm getting tired of stuff. I have too much stuff, and it is really crappy to have to constantly be packing it and unpacking it time after time.
So, have any of you tried a slow month? What were your rules? Anyone want to join us? If we can do it, and be mostly successful, we're going to get ourselves a years subscription to RealSimple. What defines success? Well, I guess if we manage to do our best, and expect that we'll have a few setbacks, I think that would be a success. We're also going to be accountable to each other. I'll be checking up on her, with regards to her goals, and she'll be doing the same for me.
For a hard core slow lifer, check this out. I've been reading her for a while, and wow.
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