Monday, April 6, 2009

Spending Hiatus Update: Week Eleven!

Money poster by Howard Sokol via
Only one week left in the spending hiatus! I'm so excited to be able to get out there and buy a few pretty things for spring and summer, although with the weather like it is today (cold and drizzling rain) it seems like warm weather may never come. Le sigh.

Still, I'm feeling pretty upbeat this week because I did a decent job of avoiding the siren call of stores and spring clearances. I was pretty distracted anyway, with the start of classes. And plus, there's nothing like spending a few hundred dollars on textbooks to make you not feel like shopping, right? Textbooks, of course, being one expense I couldn't get away from.

So this week, instead of shopping, I:
  • Got my butt in gear for classes! One week down and nine to go until summer freedom :) (and by freedom, I mean summer jobs)
  • Did laundry like a responsible adult, with Hilary, on a Friday night. Because we have sweet social lives like that (and because I hate going to the creepy laundromat alone). I must admit, I bought a magazine to keep us occupied while we waited for clothes to wash and dry, so that was a bit of an unessential expense. I don't feel too bad though, given that we would have been bored just sitting there.
  • Moved my living room furniture around! I know this may not sound exciting to some, but I love the fact that my living room now has a little extra space in it, which is golden in an apartment as small as mine. Plus, I'm pretty proud of managing to move all the heavy stuff myself, with the exception of calling Nathan over to put the microwave on top of the fridge. Mostly because I almost broke it trying to do it myself.
  • And the Sarahs and I went to the gallery hop on Saturday night, which I talked about doing back in week seven. This time we found a rather amazing little pizza restaurant that made unusual (and delicious) organic pizzas. Then I promptly forgot its name. But I'm sure I'll be back one of these days, and then I'll remember.
Gallery Hop Night: via the Short North Arts District
Last week I talked about how I was still working out my plans for "phasing out" of the spending hiatus. I know I've gained a new awareness of spending thanks to this spending hiatus but I also know that all changes can be reversed pretty quickly if you aren't careful, much like a dieter who goes "off" a diet and promptly gains all their weight back. So while I don't plan on cutting spending completely out of my life, I do plan on cutting way back, starting with making a budget that will allow me so much money a month on "unessential" things. That way, I can still shop, but I'm controlling how much I spent. And I plan on writing it down *gulp* and reporting back to you all within a month or so to keep myself accountable. My other challenge will be to avoid all emotional/boredom shopping in general. I've learned that that's when I do the most damage, and it's usually not on things I even really want.

How else do you think I could control post-hiatus spending? Spill your wisdom, dear readers.

And, as always, you can read the rest of the spending hiatus posts here.


  1. I once heard that a bout of compulsive shopping can be cured by buying a fun set of underwear: there are so many choices and styles that if you put enough thought into picking out a pair, you are satisfied and don't really NEED to shop any more. It's worked for me!

    Also, I love pizzas with fancy toppings! yum :)

  2. i heard a smart budgeting rule would be to separate your money into envelopes in your bag, rather than carrying a debit card around. it makes you see your money leaving your hand, rather than simply swiping a card. after putting your savings away in the bank, separate your money into envelops. one envelope would be bills, another would be essentials like grocery, gas/toll/bus or train fare, and lunch money (this is where it can get tricky... plan no more than like, 5-10 bucks for food per day, TOPS, if you decide to cook at home. more if you eat out for dinner, making the grocery bill obsolete). and then the final envelope for spending money, it being only a small percentage of your paycheck, where you allow unnecessary purchases. however, this is also your emergency money, so if you need to call pop-a-lock, blow a tire, or have a random minor medical expense, this comes from your spending money so you don't have to dig into your savings unless aboslutely necessary.