Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Not a New Year's Resolution

 Awesome card from an old friend!

We aren't usually big fans of New Year's resolutions around here.  I can remember making exactly two.  One year I resolved to always have fresh flowers in the house.  That lasted until about April, and then I decided to save my money.  Another year we resolved to have "table time" every day--either have dinner at the dining room table or play a game or something.  That only lasted until about mid-February, because our schedules are all over the place.  Neither one of us was wild about compulsory table time at 11 pm, and sometimes that was the only time we had to do it. 

So this isn't a New Year's resolution.  Yes, it started on January 1st, but that is just a coincidence. 

Simply put, we are buying "no-thing new" for the next three months.  For now, I'm not going to get into a big, long-winded explanation about how this came about, but I will share about that later.  The parameters:

We are starting with a week-long fiscal fast, as championed by the Ultimate Cheapskate, Jeff Yeager.  We will spend no money.  None.  Well, okay, if one of us needs cold medicine or we run out of kitten food or gas, we will make allowances, but other than that, nope, those wallets are staying closed.  We are looking at this as a kind of detox.  Instead of cleaning out our colons, we're purifying ourselves for a new approach to spending...or not spending.

Once this week is over, we will enter what I think of as the "no-thing new" zone.  I'm using the words very deliberately.  No-thing means we're focusing on things.  Buying food is fine.  Paying for entertainment (as I'll explain later) is fine.  But things?  Those we'll try to do without.  And if we decide there is something we really want, we will not buy it new.  We'll check thrift shops, craigslist, freecycle, or ask our friends, but buying new is not an option. 

Notice I said "something we really want."  Anything that's a true necessity (toilet paper, toothpaste, tires for the car) is exempt.  And, trust me, we are not going to be loosey goosey about calling things necessities! 

The purpose of all this is to be more mindful of our spending.  The rules probably aren't comprehensive and could be open to interpretation, but we're counting on our consciences to keep us in line.  As long as it gets us actively thinking about what, when, and how we spend, it will be a success.

Here is my first little success story!  We usually receive several free calendars, and we use one to keep track of gym visits with stickers.  I know it sounds really juvenile, but it works for keeping us accountable.  This year we didn't get a single calendar.  Ordinarily, I would have bought one.  I wouldn't have spent much, either a dollar at the dollar store or even less at the thrift shop, but this year even that was out.  An alternative would have been to print one, and there are a lot of very attractive printable calendars out there, but our printer is not working right, and I didn't feel like fighting with it.  So, I just got out a piece of paper and a ruler and made one!  It isn't a groundbreaking achievement or anything, but it is a nice little symbol of the project.  :)

Speaking of the project...any suggestions on what I can call it?  No-Thing New is the default right now, but it doesn't really have a ring to it.  Anyone?


Sarah said...

Fantastic! I am looking forward to following your progress. :)

How about: 'No New for You' or 'The Fiscal Free Challenge'

Linda Lou said...

Call it the "No-money or Mo-money Marthon of Savings."

Belinda said...

I love your bulletin board, Susan. And your homemade calendar is adorable. :)

Darling Petunia said...

Sarah, as I said in today's post, No-thing New kind of grew on me after I'd spent all day thinking about it. But thanks for the ideas!

Darling Petunia said...

Linda Lou, thank you as well for the suggestions! I am going to stick with my original idea only because it best describes the project!

Darling Petunia said...

Thanks, Belinda! The gingham contact paper was a thrift store find YEARS ago!

Vicki W said...

I am intrigued by your project and so glad you will be sharing it on your blog. I feel certain that you will meet your goals and feel great about it in the end!