Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Fiscal Fasting Reflections

Think there isn't much to say about not spending money? Au contraire.

We are on day three of the Fiscal Fast, and I have lots to share! As advised by the Ultimate Cheapskate himself, Jeff Yeager, my husband and I have taken some time each night to reflect on our days without spending. Ger's reaction so far? "It's been pretty easy." Here are some details:

Day One: Right out of the gate, we both screwed up. Gerry walked into the house that night carrying a bundle of shirts from the laundry. I was hoping they'd been in his car and he just hadn't brought them inside, but that wasn't the case. "Did you pay MONEY for those?" I asked. Yep. After taking pains to pack a lunch, make his morning coffee at home, and tote along a reusable water bottle, Ger picked up his shirts without giving it a second thought. But that's okay, because we can learn from that. That's money we've been spending without giving it a second thought. For my part, I made a donation that was important to me. It was an exception that had to be made.

Day Two: Yesterday, we were determined to get back on track. I talked to my mom and told her about the FF, and she responded with a shocked, "How can you not spend any money for a WEEK? What if you need BREAD?" I kid you not, her mind went immediately to bread. I assured her we would survive this famine by eating English muffins from the freezer and, if I was lucky, Ger's homemade bread. Thus calmed, she went on to ask me to pick up three yards of scotty dog flannel at JoAnn's. I must have hesitated just a bit too long, because she then said, "You can do that. I'll pay you back." Okay, I can't say no to my mother.

Later on Day Two I came to the sudden realization that mom was right to be worried about BREAD. Yes, we could just bake a loaf or whip up some biscuits...if our oven wasn't broken. It died on Sunday night while heating up Super Bowl snacks, and I guess in all the excitement we forgot that little detail. The good news is that the stove is still under warranty. The bad news is that we ordinarily eat a lot of bread. Tonight we had pancakes. The next hurdle is going to be cheese. I am getting very low on cheese.

Day Three: Like a good daughter, I ventured into JoAnn's to look for my mom's flannel. Like a bad Fiscal Faster, I took along a coupon which could not be used on the flannel. Ahem. Just what did I think I was doing? Buying something? was good for $5 off any regularly priced item of $5 or more! I could get something for FREE! Did I do it? No. I was good. I reminded myself of all the stuff I have at home already--the very same stuff I'm STILL trying to get organized--and walked out without buying a thing for myself. Yay, me!


Sonia said...

awesome. I like this idea. Does this also include gas for the car?

Darling Petunia said...

In the book, he does make allowances for gas in the car, especially if you don't have other options for transportation. I did know that our tanks were relatively full when I declared the fast, but we are determined not to REfill during the week. This may require trading cars, but we'll make it work.

Myra said...

Awesome idea we should all practice at times to keep life in perspective. We are a 1 income family, we have to do that all the time. I keep a running total of expenditures and check them almost daily against the online banking. We limit our groceries to about $100 a week for us and 4 kids, including diapers for 2 (one will never go away as he is handicapped and not able to fully control his body). We use one car, make almost everything from basic staple groceries, fresh vegetables/fruits, plain meats, etc. As far as donations, I would not count those, frugality should include donating to help others in need.

Paula Jo @ Outdoor Garden Decorations | Home Decor Accents said...

This is a great idea. I've never thought about it doing it since I try to watch the money anyway. I might try it for a week though and see if it makes a major change.