Ok, this is not a post about teaching, so I apologise NOW if that is what you came for. (Sidebar: could someone please tell spellcheck that in The Canada, apologiSe has an ‘s’?) Yes, I am a teacher, and yes, I mostly blog about teaching, but man cannot live on school alone, so stay with me here!
I have set out a challenge for myself for the month of September, and YOU ARE ALL INVITED TO PLAY ALONG! If you’re like me, you get a little casual about spending money over the summer because it’s vacation! I’m relaxing! I deserve a treat! And then, in August, you get a little crazy about buying stuff for your classroom and general back to school goodness (teachers need new schoolbags, too!). And then, in September, you realise (see my earlier sidebar about apologise? also true for realiSe, thank you very much.) that you better rein things in, OR THERE WILL BE NO CHRISTMAS PRESENTS FOR ANYONE.
So: I have set myself a challenge: to buy no STUFF* for 30 days. Here are the rules:
- I can buy groceries.
- I can buy gas for the car.
- I can pay for experiences like going to the movies or tickets to a play or dinner with friends or coffee with Mom.
- I cannot get takeout to eat by myself as a convenience, but I can get takeout if it is part of a social thing with other people. Ditto to buying coffee/ice cream: Starbucks alone = NO. Starbucks w/teaching partner = YES. (Note that this is a sneaky way of also forcing myself to focus on relationships, which is sort of important during the first month of a new year, right?)
- If something I own and use at least weekly should fall apart or run out or irreparably break down, I can replace it.
- If it is critical to my health, I can buy it.
- If it is critical (critical meaning it CANNOT wait until October) to someone who depends on me (this is really just Skip for me, but if you have munchkins, this covers you, too), I can buy it.
- If it is critical to the daily operations of my classroom, or the completion of my school-related responsibilities, I can buy it. (There was no way to start this challenge in September without including this, truly.)
*After much deliberation, I decided that the definition of STUFF includes digital stuff like music and books and apps. This is a big weakness for me, and it is way too easy to impulsively buy a new song I love or a book I hear about.
There you go. My rules for an entire month. My goals are really to get out of the summer habit of treating myself too often, and to gain some perspective on what my spending patterns are. I promise to post every week and let you know how I’m doing and what parts are hard or easy.
Now, who’s in? Sign up in the comments!
And, if any of you have the talent to make a happy little blog badge for “Miss Night’s September Spending Starve,” I will happily post it and the code, for all of us to share on our sites.
Now go zip up those wallets!