Break In at the Parlour
Well, I guess with the way things are going lately, it was just a matter of time. I have already sent out a Vintage Bugle Newsletter, so I am not going to dwell on this and write about it again. But for those of you who have yet to sign up for the Bugle... I just wanted to let you know. It could have been worse... onwards and upwards as they say!
The reason I mentioned it at all is because, due to the break-in... We made the leap to now have a fully monitored Alarm System installed at the Parlour AND at home. It's a changing world and we're taking this as a little nudge from above
that this could and might get worse in the future so... we're getting to security now. We've been in this building a long time. Jason's mom owned it for close to 30 years and we never really had to worry about it back then. Now, the new methadone clinic is just behind us where the old Medigas was and there are two homeless encampments and we are not far from the Bridge and Church, Church... so... it's time.
The fact that we had to get these systems meant that we had to put up front the installation fees for both the Office/Parlour and our home plus now an ongoing monthly fee. Don't worry... you are not paying for this. There will be no price increases for you! But somethings gotta give... I mean, we all only have so much money, right?
So, I decided to turn this whole ordeal into a challenge for both my MATCH and I. Mostly me though as I think I am the one who spends most. I am not eccentric. We live a modest life... haven't been on vacation since our honeymoon... a long time ago. But still, I think cutbacks can definitely be made.
I began with a list of things that I already have. Projects that are unfinished or supplies that I already own to make things with. I came up with THREE journal pages that will allow me to stay entertained and use only things I already have! I am sure that as I get going, I will think of even more things. But all of this got me to thinking... maybe I should share my venture into NO SPENDING with everyone. I might have some great options and ideas that others might like as well. So that is what I plan to do. From crafting ideas to art, from education and reading to sorting and selling... I think I can aim for ONE YEAR of non-spending except on essential items.
So, what constitutes an essential item? In my mind these would be items that we absolutely need, and it would be just gross if we tried to eliminate them. For instance, I wouldn't go without new undies or bras however, I would also look for sales and not go to a boutique to purchase (which I personally don't anyway but...). Buying food is essential however, instead of shopping at the most expensive place in town... maybe shopping at a more modestly priced grocery. Medical issues or emergency issues like house items, alarm systems etc. I would now consider essential. Gifts for friends... nope, those, I have decided, need to be things I make or have already purchased etc. We even cancelled going to a family wedding because, well, gas to get there, babysitter for Norman, a gift for the wedding, a new dress to wear... so, it just can't happen this time.
I am going to aim for a year or no spending and see just how this goes. How creative can I get and how will this change my view of things. Maybe I will see that I don't really need things. I mean, let's face it, in less than 20 minutes last night, I was able to write THREE pages of stuff I can use and do that I already own! That says something!
Then I started to research things online about "Saving Challenges!" There are lots of helpful lists and challenges already created there. It might be a great start to inspire. Now-a-days it seems Most people are blissfully unaware of the amount of money that they’re spending. It's so easy to just click that button and purchase or hit the dollar store and grab this or that.
Little things like grabbing a coffee or tea out each morning, or those weekend breakfast dates, really add up. If you nix the coffee, I bet that's $50 a month right there. I currently have in my wallet a Starbucks "credit" card. It's loaded with about $45 right now. That card is already spent money so... I will save those bucks for days that I really need or deserve a treat! Like what about adding that to the game and say, if I do X for a month, I can get a treat of a Vente Lactose Free, 1 pump vanilla, London Fog tea! Now that will be something really special to look forward to. Any you know what, this makes gifts from others to me really extra special now too, just like the old days.
Here are some common things that you’re probably spending money on that you don’t really NEED:
Coffee shop coffee – This one is my budgeting vice!
Eating out at restaurants
Buying lunch from a restaurant everyday instead of making it at home
Impulse grocery store buys
Seasonal home decor items
Paying for movie rentals when you already have a streaming service
Entertainment expenses like miniature golf and movie theater outings
Buying books that you can check out for free from the library
Personal care services like manicures and hair coloring
Gas station snacks
Late Fees - not paying off your credit cards completely each time or being late
Track your progress.
Use a calendar, your planner or a free printable No Spend Challenge worksheet to track your progress. You can either:
Cross off each day on a calendar. – This also helps you to see that there is an end in sight, which can be motivation to keep going.
Color in money or piggy bank symbols in a bullet journal for each day that you don’t spend any money. Or you can choose an adult colour book and colour in one piece of the image every day until you image is finished on your goal. Just number the sections ahead of time so you know how much to colour each day to help you reach your goal. A YEAR which is my goal is a long time but based on what I already have to complete and work with, within my home and stash... it is reasonable. You might only choose to aim for 30 days!
Keep track of actual dollar amounts that you are saving on a savings tracker worksheet.
Use a free printable No Spend Challenge worksheet to track your progress.
If you decide to try this... just remember, be easy on yourself. Start small and work your way into it. This is HARD to do. But for me... there's no option at this time so I am deciding to embrace the situation and challenging myself will make this more like a game! It will help me to not feel like things are being taken from me and instead it puts me back in charge.
So, I will be posting all kinds of fun ideas in my block posts over the next year. I am excited to start this and it starts for me today! A New Newsletter was one of the things that I wanted to spend time creating. Inpiring you brings me great joy. Sharing what I am up too also brings me joy and I love to write. It's a win win!