Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The Challenge: Use What You Have

My plan for saving was born of two needs: first, to use up some of the stuff I've accumulated, and second, to have spending money for London. I'm the kind of person who does not follow a budget. I basically spend at will, until I realize it's out of hand, then I am a penny pincher. Once the bank balance starts looking healthier, I loosen the reins, and the cycle begins anew. I'm fine with it. But it does result in the accumulation of a lot of unnecessary and sometimes wasted stuff. For instance, take my pantry. It is full. You'd think a family of four lived at my house. Yet when I open it, I inevitably think, "There's nothing to eat." Same with my freezer. There's a similar issue when it comes to toiletries. I have enough soaps and lotions and shampoos to clean and moisturize an army. Of course, the army would probably not care for my choice in fragrances--a little too flowery for the soldier types--but I digress.

Which brings me to my challenge for May. I will not purchase anything at all from now until May 20. If I think about how much I spend on clothes, meals out, etc., my eyes get big and my eyebrows go up, like in a cartoon. I like that I can afford to live that way, but I want to see if I can live without. Or rather, what it's like to live without. I know I CAN, but how hard will it be? So my plan, in all its complicated originality, is to charge nada. Nor will I use my debit card (except for gas). My goal is to save $1000 this way. On paper, it works out. What remains to be seen is the reality...

I have the highest of hopes and the most earnest of intentions. I already purchased a Mother's Day gift and a birthday gift for my niece, since both fall during the spending moratorium. For any unavoidable incidentals, I took out $40 from the ATM and will use that if necessary. The Blue Planet Run is the first weekend of May, and I anticipate needing to purchase food at the venue, since it is an overnight camping trip. But I plan to find out if bringing food is an option. (There are still so many details I am in the dark about--and it's causing more than a little anxiety. I'll be glad when it's over.)

I will keep you posted on how it's going. The hardest thing is the moment of realization--like just now I realized I won't get to have a massage for a month. Boo hoo!


  1. Blue Planet Run 24 here. Please give us a call @ 828-669-2787 with any specific BPR24 questions.

  2. Another thought would be to go through things and see if any of the excess is of value and place it on Craigslist. You never know, one man's trash is another man's treasure. Just a thought.

  3. I wish you the very best with your adventure. I look forward to hearing about your progress. Not having massages for a month..... now you will know how the common folk live....I joke! I am excites for you.