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Not only did I antagonize and enrage my friends, but I went to the mall on February 28, and bought stuff while I was there.  Yes, I did, I admit it.  I confessed immediately to Joe Roch and Sassy Redhead. I haven’t decided what all I’m going to return yet, but I willfully shopped and spent like some crazed movie character.

No Buy Month made me crazy because all I could think about was money– spending, not spending.  Clearly this is a plan far too extreme for me, so I’m going to try to be more successful in the month of March– financially speaking.

  • I am going to stick to my budget and live within my means.
  • With my heating bills (hopefully) going down, I’m going to start putting money into savings again
  • I’m going to do a thorough inventory of my closet and start making a list of what clothing items I need rather than just buying willy-nilly.

I’m not going to use the word willy-nilly anymore.

Despite the fact that I’ve fallen completely off the wagon (and been told not to get back on it by a number of people), I actually did okay this week.  Perhaps it only seems that I did okay because I felt really bad about my performance last week, and less bad about this one since my goal is already shot to hell.  Whatever, I’m over it.

Tuesday: Went to Spike’s Junkyard Dogs- brought own water, so spent $3 on veggie dog, then went to movie (bargain Tuesday!) $6, split snacks with three other lovely ladies– $4.  Total: $13

Wednesday: Went to Union Station Pub Quiz, but instead of buying one drink, I bought one pitcher– and one for Gentleman Caller (plus truffle fries). Total: $35

After that– I only bought gas and spent money on bills, which is just not as sexy as truffle fries.  So yes, I’m failing spectacularly, but still reining in my spending quite a bit.  By the end of last month, for instance, I had spent approximately $171 eating out.  This month– $38 on food+ $47 on beer =$85.  Those number still seem way too high to me making me think that all of the friends who want to me to go out with them need to start keeping track too… hint hint.

Also, my big plan to celebrate the end of No-Buy Month by buying things guilt-free, has kind of been foiled.

I like to overpay my store credit cards, for two reasons:

1. If I have a set dollar amount in my head when I go into the store, it helps me put things in perspective.

2. If I have a credit balance before buying something, it’s like I’ve already paid for it. It’s clearly much more fun than bringing home that new classy skirt and then wondering where the money is going to come from.

So what I did, was I overpaid both my Old Navy and Banana Republic cards last time I had a balance for use just in time for the new spring clothes, or deeply discounted winter clothes.  I also have coupons for both stores that I haven’t used.  I was going to celebrate a successful No-Buy month by indulging in what would actually be guilt-free shopping.

The credit card companies mailed me paper checks for the amount overpaid. Since I still use my bank in Fargo, I then had to pay postage to mail them there, and I now have a zero balance on both cards and have subsequently spent the overage on a rather exorbitant heating bill.

That is probably exactly what I deserve.

Wise Lawyer Friend, who is also my frugality guru, occasionally throws herself a “no buy month,” which is exactly what it sounds like.  She sets out the rules before the month as to what is ok to purchase (food, gas, etc.) and sticks to it.  I do a similar thing sometimes that I call a “financial fast”, but I always take it a step too far by being too strict and wind up buying a ton of stuff the day after the fast is over, which really doesn’t help me at all.

Since I had now been laid off from two jobs– good thing I always have three– it is time to start living within my means.  Also, I have the nagging fear that I may be unemployed for an indefinite amount of time, and need to stockpile cash as much as I can.  Therefore, February is Andria’s No Buy Month.

The rules are:

  • I may buy groceries, but I will be more diligent in making a list and sticking to it.  No impulse purchases.
  • No eating out
  • No buying clothes
  • Obviously, I still have to pay bills–damnit
  • I may buy necessities, if I need to, but I really don’t anticipate needing to since I usually buy in bulk
  • I may buy beer if I go out for drinks with friends, but only one
  • I can still put gas in my car

I think I’ve covered everything.  This is potentially the most boring blog ever written, but the whole point is that everyone who reads this has to keep me accountable, so those of you that interact with me on a regular basis get to be assholes if you see me getting out of line.

To frugality!