Miss Night's Marbles

Musings, mumbles, marvels, and sometimes mockery, live from kindergarten.

My Challenging Year, Month 2 – The Spending Starve

Well, hello friends. How did September go for you all? Did you make it through the TV challenge? Did it change your life? (Or even just your habits?)

With one very small exception, I made it through all of September with no TV on school nights, and I promise to blog about my observations VERY SOON, but first:

IT IS OCTOBER!!! Which means the TV can come back on, and a new challenge starts today.

October’s challenge: No spending money on non-essential THINGS. Simple, right?

The rules I plan to follow:

Just like the last time I did this challenge, the rules are:

  1. I can buy groceries.
  2. I can buy gas for the car.
  3. I can pay for experiences like going to the movies or tickets to a play or dinner with friends or coffee with Mom.
  4. 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/boss or colleague = YES.
  5. If something I own and use at least weekly should fall apart or run out or irreparably break down, I can replace it.
  6. If it is critical to my health, I can buy it.
  7. If it is critical (critical meaning it CANNOT wait until November) to someone who depends on me, I can buy it.
  8. If it is critical to the completion of my school-related responsibilities, I can buy it.

Exceptions I will allow: This really deserves a WHOLE POST of its own, but: tomorrow I will pay the deposit on the BRAND NEW PUPPY who is coming home to live with me in 59 days. Also: my work wardrobe is kind of in crisis, and if I find some good work pants, I am allowed to buy them. BUT THAT IS ALL.

Why this is a challenge for me: I like new stuff. I’m not a shopaholic BY ANY MEANS, but I do like shiny new stuff.

Why I want to try this: I am a single, professionally employed adult with no dependents. I make a good salary. It is just WAY TOO EASY to blow through $20 here and $50 there on things I don’t need, and then to NOT have money for bigger things that I actually WANT.

What I expect will happen: Um, hopefully, there will be more money left at the end of the month than usual. This seems obvious, right? And also I will gain some insight abut my spending habits and where/when/why I get the urge to buy.

Ok, now: who’s in? Sign up in the comments as usual. And if you did NOT do the TV challenge – are there any new shows I should check out?

4 Comments »

New challenge: September Spending Starve

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:

  1. I can buy groceries.
  2. I can buy gas for the car.
  3. I can pay for experiences like going to the movies or tickets to a play or dinner with friends or coffee with Mom.
  4. 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?)
  5. If something I own and use at least weekly should fall apart or run out or irreparably break down, I can replace it.
  6. If it is critical to my health, I can buy it.
  7. 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.
  8. 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!

1 Comment »