This week, spending went really well until today, when things went awry. Early in the week I didn’t spend much – just $3 on some books that I was really pleased with. On Thursday, I had to put gas in my loaner car, so that was $30. I actually forgot about putting gas in the budget, but given the use I’ll get out of it and the plans I have for picking up a bunch of groceries and other necessities, I don’t mind paying for that in the least. But then, Friday hit…
Today did not start well. For two days, I’ve been watching four animals: my friend’s dog, my friend’s cat, and her friends’ two cats that she was watching while they were out of town. Her friends came to pick up their cats this morning and we couldn’t find one. We searched for over an hour and, as sure as I was that I hadn’t accidentally let him out, the fact that we couldn’t find one cat in a small apartment had me questioning just how sure I was, and the thought that I had somehow lost someone’s pet – or even that this person thought I had lost their pet – was wretched. Happily, once we cleared out and left his one of his people alone in the apartment he came out after 45 minutes, but oh, those 45 minutes…
After hearing that he’d been found, I went to the thrift store. I was still feeling pretty shaken and, for whatever reason, I find browsing in the thrift store to be relaxing. It gets me out, there’s cool stuff, and being able to get nice things for pennies on the dollar makes me feel far richer than I am. But, for all of these reasons it’s also still more of a temptation than I’d like. It was admittedly silly to go, given my state of mind, because it was almost inevitable that I’d leave with something. I found a kitchen scale that was exactly what I’d been looking for – vintage, metal, with sliding weights, and in a great colour too – and in my relieved but still somewhat freaked out state, I bought it along with some nice yarn and a sun tea jar with a spout for kombucha.
Given that it’s another place that totally calms me down, I then went to the farmers’ market where I spent $27 – some on food to eat this week, and some to stockpile for winter. This I’m fine with, but I felt so lousy this afternoon (tension headache) that we also decided to go out for dinner. We decided to try a new local restaurant that uses locally sourced ingredients. It turned out to be absolutely delicious, but still…this was not the best thing for the budget.
Here’s the total for the week:
- Gas – $30
- Kitchen scale – $10
- Sun tea jar – $3
- Three books – $3
- Yarn – $5
- Groceries – $27
- Dinner – $17
Total – $95
Honestly, it’s possible this wasn’t the best month for me to do a no spend challenge. Since I have access to a car for two weeks, I’m out a lot more than I normally would be. I’m trying to stock up on things that we need and use regularly, and I plan to pick up a few things that I’ve had my eye on for awhile now. I don’t have a problem with the groceries – they’re in my budget, and I love supporting local farmers and getting great food. I did spend more on extras than I wanted to, though, which was a lot easier to do with easy transportation. It’s not that I can’t afford it, it’s just that I’d like to not spend so much on extras and put as much as I can in savings.
Or, perhaps I’m just looking at this all wrong and this is the ideal time for me to do a challenge. Sure, I’m having some trouble with it now that I’m more mobile, but maybe that’s the point – try it out when it’s easy for me to spend and learn something. If nothing else, I now know that making shopping more convenient means I spend more money, and that it’s maybe not in my best interests to browse when I’m feeling badly. This is hardly earth shattering, but it’s a good thing to be aware of so that I can work on changing my behaviour, which is a big part of why I do this.