Monday, January 31, 2011


Have you ever done something you deeply regretted? No, I didn't break my spending fast on that $1.00 bag of mixed buttons at Porter's Craft Store. And, I don't regret spending half of my don't ask money on a traditional Valentine's Day gift exchange for my sisters.

I actually won't get into what I regret doing, and, I can't even give you a ballpark range for the event that brought on this post. I guess why I'm writing is because we all have something in our lives that we wish we could take back. This is the first time that I've spent the past 3 days at work (5 hours each) replaying in my head what happened over and over, when I realized how much energy and time is wasted thinking about this thing.

I once clipped out of a magazine a quote from Drew Barrymore, where she said, "I never regret anything. Because every little detail of your life is what made you into who you are in the end."

So, I can only keep going and learn from this. It's like I told my clients in my PSR days, "forget about yesterday, it's a whole new day." We get a new chance everyday to be the person we want to be. If I'm trying to not gossip about people, I only have today to say nice things. If I want to treat everyone the way I would like to be treated, I only have today to set an example.

Mistakes will inevitably be made along the way, but you learn to laugh off the small ones, apologize and make restitution for the big ones, and spend everyday striving to be the person you make your mind up to be.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

This is Tough

This spending fast is tough! I've created some dangerous habits that include (but are not limited to) running to Target because I'm bored; running to Target because of after-holiday sales; running to Target just because I saw a funny Target commercial. And by Target, I umbrella all retailers. I'm finding that it gets harder and harder to save my money...and it'll take a miracle to make it 3 more months in this spending fast. I'm down to $10.00 in my "don't ask, don't tell" money, and I thought by now I would be closer to $100.00 so I could go back out to shop for my dream jeans. Every time I go to the store, I think I find something my subconscious can't live without!

The moral of the story is, take only one trip per week to the store to get the necessities, which, while not fun and totally against my current habits and routines, will inevitably help me control my spending and succeed at this fast.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

The Long Road of Layaways

Jeff had a gift card to spend at Nordstrom's Rack, so we went this weekend in hopes to find something right around the amount on the card. While he set off to the Men's department, Lauren and I casually scoped out the jeans' racks. I've been wanting a pair of True Religions for quite some time. At the actual T.R store, they run for about $300 a pair, so you could imagine my sheer delight and astonishment when I found an adorable pair at the "Crack" (as we sometimes call it) for $87.00!

Do I need a pair of jeans? No, not exactly. Do I badly want a pair of T.R? Naturally. So, as I showed them off to Jeff, I racked my brain to see where in our "guidelines" of this spending fast I could get away with spending just shy of a hundred on a fashion entity...not necessity. The only solution I could muster involved finding out if Nordstrom's Rack had a Layaway program, and if me, my spendy-self, and I, could wait 6 weeks to pay them off with my "don't ask don't tell" money. (Because this past Friday was payday, I'm up to a whopping $38.87.)

I ended up handing the jeans to the fitting room lady and walking out the store empty handed, and needless to say, I didn't even bother finding out about the Layaway program.

This is seriously one challenge that is just that: challenging! I don't know what would be easier: a) continue this spending fast? or b) get an additional part-time job?

Thursday, January 6, 2011

And Just For the Record.... husband is doing no better than I! He just spent a quarter of his "don't ask, don't tell" money on a paper shredder that he insists "we really need". Let the record show, we both need to pace ourselves, and thank goodness for the 'don't ask don't tell' accounts!!! (Now, if we can only keep enough money in those accounts to keep this spending fast going longer than the month of January!)

An Ex-Shopper's Dilemma

What DO you do when stores have holiday stuff 90% off and you're only one week into your shopping fast? Well, with zero will-power, and a dream-like sale, I did what any new year resolutioner with a spending fast would do. I checked my "don't ask, don't tell money" account, and budgeted $8.00 to get 3 amazing items.

(Seriously, how am I gonna pass up "JOY" stocking hangers that were once $45.00 that were selling for $4.50??? Technically, these are a "need" for next Christmas. My new strategy should be to steer clear of the stores altogether....)
And, can anyone justify this $1.50 purchase??? I know, right?! A gingerbread kitchen timer!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Spending Fast in Full Effect

The Spending Fast is in full effect! Here are the logistics:

- Only buy things that are needs (i.e food, gas, diapers, baby things, etc.) and don't buy things that are "wants" (clothing, jewelry, things of excess, eating out, etc.)

Guidelines/Tips to get us there:
1) Before each purchase, ask:
- Do I NEED this?
- Can I get by without this?
- Do I already have this? Something like this? Similar? What do I have that would suffice?

2) Make things (i.e birthday gifts, homemade cards, presents, etc.)

3) Define 'checkpoints' where we can spend our "don't ask, don't tell" money. (roughly $25.00 each pay period). Checkpoints are up to the individual.

4) Allowed to spend gift cards and the extra that spills over. For example, we received a $25.00 gift card to Barnes and Noble. The Blueray movie we wanted was $28.00 after tax, so we paid $3.00 extra. (We agreed this is allowed.)

5) One date night a week to go out and eat. (We always share, so we really won't be splurging here anyway.)

I don't know how we'll do, but it'll be exciting to see how far we can go--and how much we can save!

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