Year of Less – Week 2

Well, I completed my first week of my year of less successfully — sorta, kinda, okay not perfectly, but I still think it was a success.  As a reminder, the point was to have a week of NO spending.  Well, I knew that wasn’t going to happen because I had a grooming appointment for my dog scheduled, and I had planned to kennel her that night so that I could have a day where no one needed anything from me. I also knew I would need some fuel in my car as well.  Now, other than those expenses, I had planned to spend nothing else, eat what I had in the house already.  My first struggle was to prevent myself from online shopping. You know that company that you can have your stuff here in a couple of days, we are really close!  The UPS guy and mail lady feel like personal friends.  So when I thought of something I needed, I hopped online to put it in my cart, and then I had to stop myself from finishing the transaction.  This happened multiple times during the week, but I never hit buy. So pat on the back for me — although I did put some things in save for later and a couple of other things are sitting there waiting for the week to be over, which I need to reconsider as this is also not inline with the spirit of the year of less.  

Also, I have a soft drink addiction. I didn’t plan very well as I had only one left on my first day of the year.  I have a refund from an overpayment of a bill on a credit card with $5 on it, and I thought I’ll just use that, and I won’t be spending money, right. Well, the damn thing didn’t work.  I totally thought about just buying some, but figured I’d only be cheating myself so I’ve had zero soft drinks for a week!  And, it hasn’t been terrible. I did have a few carbonated waters, which probably helped, and I need to go to the grocery store today and plan on buying no soft drinks at all!  I don’t physically feel different yet, but I do feel proud of myself and that’s a good feeling. 
I tried to use that same credit card to put just a little gas in my car, but again, it did not work, so I decided to put in $10 only (takes $40-$50 for a full tank). I work from home so I don’t need much in fuel, and by having a no spend week, I haven’t gone anywhere else after picking up the dog at the groomer’s because I couldn’t spend and didn’t want to waste fuel. By the way, I did spend another unanticipated $5 when the groomer mentioned a special upgrade, and I said yes before even THINKING!

I ate from my pantry and refrigerator. I had sandwiches and soups and even found some frozen spaghetti I had completely forgotten about. When I ran out of chips, I had crackers. When I ran out of bread, I had soup. Did I have gourmet meals? No, but I had more than enough and could probably do at least another week that way with what I still have in the freezer. However, it would be easier if I had just a few other items like veggies and salad.  I did drink more coffee to supplement the lack of soft drinks, but I definitely drank a ton of more water than I have in a week’s time in decades. 

The only epic fail I had this week was a $23 expense for a computer software bundle that I tried to justify to myself was a business expense. It totally is a business expense, but I didn’t really have to buy it this week; the special didn’t end for another week at least. I believe I was having spending withdrawals and also didn’t want to forget that I needed that. Did you hear that??  “Didn’t want to forget that I needed that.”  I think that is a clear sign that I didn’t actually need that because if I did ACTUALLY NEED it then I wouldn’t have forgotten that I needed it!  Clear signal of error in judgment I can use the rest of the year!  Surely, that insight equals success for the first week.

Week 2 will be no spending on nonessentials. I can spend on food, fuel, household supplies. I don’t want to spend more than $60 at the grocery store for the week. I will allow myself to eat out twice at most.  I’d typically eat out about 4 times minimum in a week, especially a week when my mother is here, which will be next week.  So we’ll see how it goes.