the spending hiatus : week 3 update

non-essentials spending:

  • hair cut on Tuesday (I have not yet really decided on its classification)
  • paint brushes (this is another gray area for me, see below)

some of my weaknesses:

  • the grocery store (especially Wegmans) where I can justify fancy foods to try or a new magazine at the checkout counter
  • Itunes – I will log on to buy one song and end up spending $30
  • books – such small little purchases, lovely purchases, I love books and I justify them because I am buying them secondhand but $8 here and $13 there, I have spent a lot more than I think.  Also, I have a shelf full of books that I have not really read yet.

how I will (hopefully) overcome them:

  • make a comprehensive grocery list before I go and stick to it.  I like to try new recipes every once in awhile (like tonight I tried this Moroccan spiced chicken so I had to buy cardamom) and I will but I need to be more mindful of what and how much I buy so that I am not wasting food and money.  I don't have a solution yet to counteract the temptation that the magazines at the checkout line cause.
  • I need to budget an amount each month that I can spend on music.
  • Same with books.  Budget.  And of course the public library.  I just picked up Peace Like a River today thanks to the handy 'hold' request that our library has.

I am sepnding more time in discussion (with me, myself and I) about what I need and what I am only trying to convince myself that I need to justify a purchase.  I will admit that the last three weeks have not been that difficult, but I say that humbly knowing full well that I have not hit one of the moments or days when I am feeling listless or bored (not because I don't actually have anything to do, mind you) and would like to get lost in Target.

My other issue: home improvement.  We have lived in our house for 16 months and most of it still looks like it did when Mrs. Crum decorated it back in 1983.  I have grown to love our house despite its outward appearance, but still have an ever-growing list of minor cosmetic and major construction projects that I would like to accomplish before I go to my cloud in the sky.  For right now, just so I do not make things so complicated for myself that I fall off the wagon, I am allowing purchases such as new paint brushes and paint (for our bedroom and upstairs bathroom), but in the long run, we need to come up with some sort of system (budget) for home improvement from a new ceiling fan for our bedroom to a total bathroom reno. 

 I am jumping ahead a bit, but I have already started to think about what is going to happen on April 15th (the last day of my spending hiatus).  Or more importantly what is going to happen on April 16th.  I can't go hogwild making up for the prior 3 months (if I make it).  It all leads to the large picture and reinforces the need for us to be on a budget.  I won't bore you with all the details.  In short, I have been working on one (on paper) but we have not implemented it.

I am writing this all as I think about it, so I apologize if it is a bit scattered.  Ultimately, the task before me is to concentrate on sticking to the essentials until April 15th.  I have to find a balance between over-analyzing every single purchase and talking myself into buying something I should not.  I do not have to figure it all out now, but I do need to think about how this exercise fits into the bigger picture.

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