Monday, November 15, 2010

The no-spend that isn't

I hereby declare this No-Spend November over.

It just wasn't working.

My heart wasn't really in it, and this is not a good time of year to play the "Let's get through the month on $200 cash" game.

Even with exceptions made for birthdays and Thanksgiving and wedding showers, there were just too many things piling up.

We ran out of everything.  Seriously, nearly everything.  Soap, lotion, shaving cream, sugar, flour, noodles (who runs out of noodles?! Cody.), snack foods, and clothes that fit.

Seriously.  I've been pretty creative with working with the clothes I have, and I've been pretty fortunate with some lovely borrowed items, but come on.  I'm going to need some maternity pants for work.  And I already need some long-sleeved t-shirt type shirts to wear under dresses.  Or just with jeans.  You know, just maternity items I can pick up here and there.

Because I'm maternal.

Maybe we're more frugal than I thought.  If you google other people's no-spends, you'll read a lot about how they realized they'd been wasting money, or buying more food than they needed, etc.  

But the more I thought about it, the more I realized how much we were still living like we were in the weeks after February's no-spend.  I'd usually withdraw around $100 at the beginning of every week, and that would be it.  We'd use our debit cards for our big expenses, and certain exceptions, and then gassing up our cars (which I usually just do twice a month).  We're limited for space, so we really don't buy a lot of groceries we don't eat.  We bring our own lunches to work.  We don't hit up Starbucks 3 times a week.  Neither of us remember the last time we paid actual money for a CD or a movie.  We don't have credit cards, cable, or Internet, and we don't pay for haircuts.
We like to spend our money on food, and things to prepare for the baby, and things that make our life a little easier right now.

Plus, there's this small matter of Christmas coming up.

I'm not one of those people who believes you have to go crazy with the spending (and if you've ever gotten a present from me, you'll back me up pretty strongly).  I like homemade and meaningful gifts.  I like checking out used books.  But even used books aren't free, and craft supplies have to come from somewhere.  And this year, I'm pretty sleepy and slow-moving.  So waiting until December to buy the yarn for your scarf, the supplies for the Christmas cards, and the books I want to give you would have stressed me out and put quite the dent in our account.

So.  The No-Spend is over because I have to spend money, and I was feeling defensive and weird telling you everything I spent and why, and you know what? 

Cody and I laughed about it this weekend: normally, I am the cheapest person you know.  We're not talking about one of those people scouring the world for bargains.  If I don't feel like paying for something, I don't get it.  It's pretty simple.  I work, I do laundry, I clean the house, I make things.  Then I check the online balance and call Cody just to say "You spent how much on what?"  And you know what Cody spent this week (not counting gas so he could go to work)?  Nothing.  What was I spending practically every day (sometimes on our behalf)?  A million dollars.  That man is so unfair.

But I have to mention that he was the one to suggest Chinese food last night, though.  Okay, I was the one who suggested we make it Pei Wei.

Yup.  We celebrated the death of this failed No Spend (I can't even call it a no spend adventure! because it wasn't that exciting) with Chinese food.  Like, a whole fifteen dollars' worth.

Hey, that sesame chicken was delicious and I ate it while watching DVDs we checked out from the library, and I have enough left over for lunch tomorrow.  Mix and match.  Live and learn.

The time is going to come when I won't spend much money on myself, or go on a lot of dates, and my clothes will fit again.  For now, we're just going to take care of things we need to care of.

Like this week's big purchases: maternity shirts, glitter, felt, and yarn.  

At least I'll use coupons.

Up next: the weekly baby update!

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