Sunday, January 6, 2013

A week of (almost) no spending

As I mentioned in my last post, I'm trying to cut spending this year. My reasons for doing this are many. But here's one: all the recent fiscal cliff stuff got me to thinking about my life priorities. Beyond the spiritual and family stuff, the thing that gives me the most pleasure in life is travel. Now, maybe that sounds silly to some of you. But hey. That's how it is. And I've decided that it's more important to be able to travel once or twice a year than it is to have a new car or fancy house or expensive clothes. So there.

This week, my personal spending was exactly $1.99 -- that's right: one dollar and ninety-nine cents. There was an e-book on sale via a 'daily deal' that my local library didn't have and I wanted to read it very badly. So I went for it. Of course, I immediately felt guilty. Oh, well. At least I got the e-book on sale. 

Although my new-found frugality is mainly directed at my personal spending, I'm trying to reduce household expenses, also. So far, there are three things I've done:
  • Turned the thermostat down, and started wearing sweaters in the house if I'm cold! Not sure this one will matter that much in the short-term, because I've got it set so that our electricity bill is the same amount every month. But maybe when our contract comes up for renewal in June, we'll get a lower monthly price (or stay the same) for next year.
  • Meal planning! Last Sunday, I put together a plan for this week's meals, and when I did the grocery shopping, I only bought stuff I needed for those meals. I probably saved about $30 on this week's groceries.
  • S fixed the toilet! That might sound like a strange one, but I'd noticed that our water bill had been a little higher than usual, and that one of the toilets was 'running' and making strange noises. While I'm not certain of a correlation, it seemed likely. Guess I'll know when we get the water bill next month.
That's this week's report! I've already got my meal plan for next week made out (and purchased the food). My 'resolution' for next week is to keep up the good work . . . and to take my lunch to work everyday. That in itself saves quite a bit, as it's impossible to get a 'healthy' lunch out for less than $15-20 anymore -- at least in the part of town where I work.

Have a good week! :)