As you may have read last week, I am super excited about this crazy 39 things challenge I am on for three weeks. With week one under my belt, I have returned to update you on my progress. First, the decluttering is much easier than the no spending. The latter is seriously crimping my style. It is also teaching me a lot about money and how much I truly was spending in any given week.
I have talked to some of my girlfriends about this challenge, some of who have even joined in, and they shared some particularly insightful tidbits with me. Here is some of their widsom:
- I’m amazed at how much I take to Goodwill every year and it doesn’t make a dent. This really got me thinking. If you looked at my house today, you would not be able to tell that I have taken two car fulls of boxes to Goodwill, one carload to a resale shop, and one carload sold to an expectant mother of multiples. Isn’t it sad that I have so much stuff that, even after a concerted effort to eliminate the stuff, a visitor would still be astonished by how much I have? Ladies, we have lots of work to do.
- Honestly, once you have donated an item, do you ever think oh I still wish I had that ? I never do. This is so true. I agonize over parting with an item for some sentimental or necessity reason, but I never again think about how I wish I still had it or end up missing it months later.
- We did some hard core math this past week on what we SHOULD be saving and it is not anywhere close to where we need to be – and that’s squarely my fault for my trips to Target, eating out, going to the grocery store more than once or twice a week, etc. So, I’m playing a game with myself to see how LITTLE I can spend in one week! Don’t you love that? First, this family is TALKING to each other to make sure they are on the same page about where their finances should be – this is huge. Then they turn spending less into a game. What a great way to teach kids.
- We are also using the one in, one out rule. If I buy a new work shirt, I have to donate one. If T gets a new toy, he gets to donate an old one. I quickly replied that I would immediately be implementing this rule in my house. I can’t even imagine how much this would help us to prevent the store up that has put me in this overstuffed stuff situation to begin with.
So here’s the report:
Give-Away: On 8-16 I delivered four boxes and two bags of over 100 items to Goodwill. I delivered a large stack of lovely women’s clothing that I no longer had use for (some of which were new) to the local thrift store. And I sold a few of our higher end large baby items and clothes to an expectant mother of multiples. On 8-22 I delivered four boxes and two bags of another 100 plus items to Goodwill. Then I took a second turn at the thrift store which indicated they had additional needs in my sizes of clothes/shoes. The kids even got in on the action – they “helped” me put things in boxes to give, and they each selected a stuffed animal to contribute to the bag.
|My closet after last week’s attack on it|
|My second car load of stuff to Goodwill|
Spending: I spent a total of $20.81 over the week. I spent $2.49 for a breakfast sandwich, $10 for lunch with a girlfriend (it was $10.01 but I only had $10 in cash, see tip from last week, so the lady spotted me the penny), and then $8.32 a week later for lunch. The rest of the time I brought my lunch and I did no extracurricular activities.
What I Miss: I had hoped to get a pedicure before we leave for Disney on the 3rd. There’s no way $25+ fits in my budget so I will have to paint my own toes. Bray is in town this Saturday and I wanted to have breakfast with a friend and then see a movie with another one. Neither are in the budget so I just have to go on a walk with them.
Where I Was Graced: While my $3 a day budget was not busted, I did have a few moments of grace spending on me that I realize most people in America with a $3 a day budget would not have. Bray took me on a double date Monday night with his parents to celebrate their anniversary and eat at Pappas for Restaurant Week. The firm sent me to lunch with a potential summer clerk and they paid for my nice lunch this week at The Grove. Those were lovely outings that I would not have enjoyed had the resources not come from elsewhere.
Next up, digging deeper. The low hanging fruit has been discarded or given away at my house. Now to evaluate what I really need to possess and eliminate the rest. Or as Ann Voskamp says, “A dare to live an emptier fuller life.”