Thursday, February 3, 2011

Tightening the belt

It's February, February 3rd already, actually, and yesterday Punxsutawney Phil predicted that spring will arrive early. (I know you east coasters are pleased with that news.)

So there's groundhog day. February is also la mes de l'amor, with Valentine's day falling smack dab in the middle.

But for me? For me this February means I'm going to suck it up and spend less. Yes, I'm going to tighten the ol' belt, as they say. Increased thrift and frugality will shape this month for me. Yipee?

A few years back I decided that I would not buy anything new other than food and household necessities (such as toilet paper, dish washing liquid, etc.) for the month of January. I did pretty well. I did cave on one occasion and let the girls buy streamers and a sign for a Charger's party we were co-hosting. But other than that? True to my word.

This year, because I grow wiser with every passing birthday, I decided to give it a whirl in February. A month is a month, never mind that there are only 28 days in this one.

So far, so good. I know it's only the 3rd. But as an added challange, I've also vowed to myself that I will bring my lunch to work each day, no spending unnecessarily for weekday lunches. I still have not decided if I can sneak out for a slice of pizza that would cost less than the frozen lunches I tend to bring in. I think if it's under $2, it should qualify, right?

Saving is saving, even if it does come in the form of a greasy slice.

I've not yet revealed the news to my husband. Surprise, honey! Hope you're excited about receiving a home-made Valentine gift this year.

The girls were not at all pleased to hear that I've suggested homemade cards for them to pass out to classmates. The school kids are all about the candy, of course, so I'll have to decide if lollipops that happen to have a valentine card attached count as food and/or a household necessity.

It's not going to be easy. It sounds like no big deal, I know. But it really takes swearing something off to give you a true idea of how much you'll miss.

Walking right by that dollar bin at Target is not easy for me. Neither is not purchasing a really good groupon deal. $20 for $60 worth of goods at someplace you already go? What's not to love?

And what about mom's night out? Does wine at a restaurant count as food? I think I'll put that one under the necessity column.

We'll see how I do. I'm feeling pretty committed, being, as I am, 3/28 of the way into it. But in the end, any savings is better than none, and making a commitment to evaluate every single purchase you make, if even for a month, can be a big eye opener.

Goodbye, sale-priced girls hair accessories, new best seller, and unnecessary smelly soap.

I'll miss you.


Obama came to Central PA today! said...

I might try it every leap year..that way it looks good that I picked the february that had 29 days in it ;)

ps. wine counts as a necessity...and didn't we always do homemade valentines??

Pat said...

Good for you Beth! good luck
Love, Mom

Me, You, or Ellie said...

Of course wine is a necessity!

But books are not -- just ask the New London Public Library where I am their *best* customer (and very smug).

Good for you Beth. It's hard, but it will be so fun to *spend* all that new found money on March 1!


Me, You, or Ellie said...

I have yet to dam the hemorrhage of cash that began well before Christmas. I expect to be blogging from the poor house by Easter. Good luck, Beth! And I agree that wine is definitely a necessity, as is sushi.