Friday, September 4, 2009

Reigning it in

Hi. My name is Janice, and I have a spending problem.
Well, actually, I have no problems spending... it's that saving thing that I struggle with.

Between vet bills, home improvements, giving away my lawn mower, and things that keep breaking, it has occurred to me lately that I'm really broke. So broke, in fact, that I've had to cancel a trip I had planned with the girls. We were going to go to Vegas in November, and it would have been loads of fun. We were going to shop, eat out at fancy restaurants, and see some fancy shows.

We were going to drive me further into debt.

I was prepared to embrace that debt; but then my vacuum broke. With my allergies and proximity to pet hair, I had to buy a new one. It's something that I need, but I can't seem to get past the fact that I just bought something else that I can't afford.

So, I decided to bow out of the Vegas trip and I promised myself - once again - that I'd cut back on the spending. Start brown bagging my lunches, avoid temptation by not window shopping, write down what I spend... yadda yadda yadda.

That was Wednesday. Yesterday - Thursday - I found myself wandering around HomeSense with an ornate wooden mirror that was perfect for my bedroom.

Except, it was $100. One hundred unnecessary dollars.

Except, if I can't go to Vegas, don't I at least deserve an ornate Vegas-like mirror for my bedroom?

Back and forth, I went. It took me a half an hour to talk myself out of buying that mirror (during which time, I lugged all fifty pounds of it around the store to ensure that nobody swooped in and bought it from under me while I debated with my bank account.)

It made me realize even more that I need a plan to get my spending under control. So, I'm starting something that has worked for me in the past. I'm going Cash Only.

Every Sunday, I am going to withdraw $200 from the bank. I can spend that $200 on whatever I want; but it's all I get to cover groceries, gas, vet bills and nearly everything else. (Utility bills, taxes, mortgage and insurance comes out of a separate account.) Once the $200 is gone, I don't get to buy anything else until the next week starts. The money left in my "spending" account at the end of each month will be applied to the debt.

So, you'll have to excuse me. I've got a day and a half before my credit cards are retired on Sunday. I need to get out there and get that shopping out of my system.

Don't worry, I'm joking in that last paragraph.

Kind of.


  1. Oh there is such a fine line between need and want. I feel your pain but encourage your determination.

  2. Yeah, that fine line is pretty fuzzy for me.

    Plus, I've got expensive tastes on a desk jockey's income. Shoulda been a trophy wife, I guess.

  3. Life. Just when you are carrying around an ornate wooden mirror ta die for an ugly little thought just pops in your head. The freakin' vacuum, the mower. In our case the heat pump and a little tooth problem just after I spent $189 bucks on a pair of Cowgal boots that my feet just would not be happy unless they were in them. And in my defense I will wear the heck out of those boots and will be buried in them. They aren't my only boot splurge. What the heck? We have since CH retired(we did a practice run for a year prior to retirement)operate on a total cash only/debit kind of life and I think it works for us. But life just wants to clog up the works.