Saturday, January 9, 2010

Spending Fast Update: Week 1

Our first 7 days into the spending fast and it is going pretty well. We purged most of the house this past weekend (while you were partying, we were in bed by 10 pm. We are losers.) and didn’t find much to sell on ebay or craigslist. I am confident that things will change in our remaining room, though.

We found stuff, but frankly, figured we wouldn’t make enough money to make it worth out time posting it on ebay. Instead, we’ve installed a new rule.

Rule #1. Whatever you donate to Goodwill/Salvation Army, you get to count the tax write off as money to spend for the month. We are in the 15% tax bracket and so far, have donated $200.00 worth of stuff. Money to spend: $30.00 ($200.00 X 15%)

On January 3, I was out getting gas for Dana when I got a text asking me to go to the grocery store. It said: Avocado, lemon juice, sour cream, and butter. I gave in because

1. I really wanted dinner that night and Mac and Cheese later that afternoon.
2. I didn’t want to start an argument, and
3. I had extra cash in my pocket from last month.

Reason 3 leads us to rule number 2 of the spending fast.

Rule #2. Whatever leftover cash that is in your pocket from the previous month can be used without counting towards the fast.

Therefore, I spent $4.05 on groceries, but the amount is off the books due to rule #2.

We did have one little hiccup in the first week. Dana went to Walgreen’s and bought $26.74 worth of ‘essentials.’ That was the answer when I asked her after finding the receipt.

I looked at the receipt and didn’t say much. After all, Dana’s a good shopper. I noticed that she bought 2 containers of dish soap for $1.00 each and picked up some photos that she got on sale for only $3.00. That $5.00 is not what I had the problem with. It was the other $21.00. The remaining $21.00 involved two items: 2 pkgs. of makeup remover and a package of skin moisturizer.

Any other month and I would not object. However, I had been making some sacrifices this past week.

Take for example, I ran out of deodorant this week and had been using my Polo Sport deodorant (that came with the box of cologne.) Just so you know, Polo Sport is a great cologne, but their deodorant stinks, both literally and figuratively. I take that back: it smells great for a couple of hours. After that, I start to smell like Polo Sweat. I sit at a desk all day, but it’s, evidently, exerting enough for the deodorant to completely wear off by the end of the work day. I have to reapply in the evening just for Dana to be in the same room with me.

I was going to run to the dollar store this weekend to buy some real deodorant, but was suffering for the cause all week.

Last night, as I was applying my nightly deodorant (yes, for a third time in the day) Dana asked me why I didn’t just go and buy some deodorant. This led to the ensuing exchange of words:

Bryan: Because I am trying to adhere to the rules of the fast. (For those of you that know me, I did actually say ‘adhere,’ an intelligent word by my standards.)

Dana: Well, you can still buy some deodorant and you can use my Secret in the meantime.

Bryan (in a raised voice): I would have bought some, but you broke the budget at Walgreens. So, while I have Polo B.O. all day, you sit on a mountain of makeup remover and swim in a tub of moisturizer.

Dana (defensively): I need that moisturizer. It’s the driest month of the year.

Dana: At least you smell good for a couple hours during the day.

Despite the Walgreen’s incident, we are doing well with the spending fast so far. We haven’t eaten out during this very busy work week and have eaten the groceries that we have at the house. For lunch, we have been doing PB and J’s as our main course. During the 21 day fast starting on Sunday, those sandwiches are going to really sound delicious.

Here is the score at the end of one week for those keeping track at home:

Total extra income month to date: $30.00

Total expenses month to date: $26.74 (remember the $4.05 is off the books)

Profit (Loss) $3.26

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