So far, no spend March has been going well – I seem to have made it to the halfway point already, although I couldn’t begin to tell you where those two weeks went. Since the summer’s coming up soon and this is a time when I don’t usually work, I like to start cutting down on my spending a bit just to get myself into gear. We’d be fine even if I didn’t and we always live within our means, but somehow being more conscious of my consumption and spending less, even if just by a little bit, makes me feel a good deal better about getting through the summer in one piece.
To date, I’ve spent somewhat more than usual on health, but these purchases have been in the works (and in the budget) for a long while – I just haven’t had the time or energy to get to them until now. We finally got our two-months-overdue haircuts ($8 each), and I ordered a proper trainer tire for the bike so we can exercise indoors with a bit more ease and hopefully a bit more quiet ($68). In terms of other anticipated purchases, we also ran out of a number of health-related products at once and took advantage of a really good sale at the drugstore to stock up on things like advil, toothpaste, shampoo, and witchhazel ($67). Finally, we were delighted to spent some time with friends who were visiting from the states ($25), and it was well worth it to go out and have a nice dinner.
These were all purchases that were anticipated and planned for well in advance, so I don’t feel badly about them. They were also largely health-related, which is something I’ve been making a concerted effort not to skimp on. I did, however, make one notable slip-up – today, as it happens. I was at the bank to deposit a cheque, and walked right by the bookstore on my way home. I really shouldn’t have, but I went in, telling myself that I had a tough week and that I’d just look for the two books that have been on my wishlist for months. They weren’t there, so I was going to leave empty-handed. But there, on the shelf, next to some comics and a book about wallpaper, was the compact edition of the Oxford English Dictionary, complete with slipcase and magnifying glass. The tag said $9, and I checked it three different times to make sure that there wasn’t a missing digit. I’ve wanted an OED since I was working on my English degree, and there it was. The set came home with me, and I’ve been crowing about it all day.
Happily, even with this slip I’m on track to stay a good deal more under budget than I usually am. The health purchases have added up, but the fact that I’m not spending money on anything else helps to compensate for that extra spending. I’m also finding that being busy and making a concerted effort to read through the books that I already have has kept me from making my usual assortment of trips to the thrift store for books and other bits and pieces. By and large, not spending this month hasn’t been too bad so far (with the exception, of course, of today), and it feels good to be cutting back a bit in an intentional kind of way.
For the last half of the month I have a lot of work to do, which I’m hoping will keep me away from spending. I’d also like to get some seeds sprouting in the apartment for summer planting, start doing more yoga, get back to regular bread baking, write some more here, make some music, and keep up with exercise, cooking, and pleasure reading. Logically, I really have no reason to want to go out and spend, but I still find that I do sometimes. I’m hoping that having more things to do that leave me feeling like I’ve accomplished something tangible and taken some time for myself will help lessen this impulse. In turn, I’m also hoping that this will help to keep me on track for further reducing my spending and focusing on being more productive and using what I already have.