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Moving always forces a person to take stock of what they own.  I always try to buy with that same eye: I like it, but do I like it enough to carry it up stairs? I used to be the opposite. I was the girl with the suitcase big enough to hold a human being (I have pictures, but no scanner, so I can’t insert one), I was the girl with the STUFF– CDs everywhere, piles of crap.  It was (I still maintain), an organized mess, but I was a hoarder and a packrat, and I blame my DNA.

My grandpa was a hoarder.  So much so, that three years after he died, my parents are still going through his buildings full of stuff.  Thankfully, some of the things he hoarded are worth something to some people, so my parents have a quite lucrative Ebay business, but it’s still a huge time suck.

I did a big purge when I moved into the dorm, and when my parents moved and told me that they couldn’t store as much of my crap as before.  Then the major purge came when I moved to Rhode Island, although I do still have a lot of books in Minnesota that are slowly making their way back to me.

I’m faced with another move in July, and even though this one is only across town, I still want it to be as painless as possible.

The major thing I’ve hoarded in the past year and a half of living in this apartment is food, so my plan of action to not have to move all of that food is to eat it.  Naturally, I’m not going to sit down and eat it all today, but if I abstain from buying groceries until moving day (except for the gallon of milk I currently need), I should be able to not only eat well (that’s how much food I’ve hoarded), but eat regularly, maintain a balanced diet, and save some cash.

The only area that I consistently go over in my budget is on food.  I maintain that I should be able to eat well and often on $250/month, but I have a Jewish Friend who loves to go out to eat, and a Gentleman Caller who is 6′ with a healthy appetite– hence, I’m in the red.

I’m determined to winnow down my stores of canned soup, canned tuna, boxed pasta, and frozen veg before July 1.  I also have an alarming number of deodorant sticks, but there’s less I can do about that.

A quick inventory reveals that I currently have:

  • 44 boxes/bags of pasta (that 10/$10 deal gets me every time
  • 22 boxes/bags of rice
  • 14 cans/packs of tuna, which actually surprised me, I’ve made some progress there
  • 16 cans/boxes of soup

Tonight’s dinner: boxed pasta.  Tomorrow’s lunch: soup and tuna sandwich.

It begins.

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!