Archive for Rules

Week of January 1-12: What Have We Bought? — Buy Nothing New for a Year!

IMG_20130113_130428So as part of our resolution, we had promised to keep a running tally of expenditures so that you can help keep us honest! From what I can tell 2 weeks into the project, we’re going to need a day off of blogging here and there, so it looks like Saturdays or Sundays should be a good day to update spending information for the prior week. Considering I skipped the tally last weekend, this week’s update will take you back to January 1st. Also, please note that these are our personal family expenses. Business spending, while part of our resolution, will not be published here. Perhaps that will be our project in 2014!

From what you can see below, we have yet to purchase any physical items this year (though considering the time of year, I don’t think it’s that much of a stretch just yet. Let’s see how we’re doing come July!) All of our expenses so far for 2013 have been food and pet/cleaning supplies, as well as a couple of Friday night dinners out in the Portage/Jefferson Park neighborhood. Just because we’ve vowed not to purchase anything new certainly does not mean that we can’t treat ourselves every now and again. Plus, it’s been a looooooong couple of weeks, so the Friday night meal out is as much therapy as it is nourishment!

The other thing I noticed is that on 6 out of 12 days, we didn’t spend one. single. dollar. So far that’s 50% of our days without a single purchase. Considering we own our own business and can stock our shop fridge with delicious homemade lunches and snacks, this knocks off a significant portion of what many young professionals might normally spend on out-of-pocket lunches. When I was on the road all day in my previous corporate life (just a few months ago!), there were very seldom any days where my card wasn’t swiped at least once for lunches, multiple trips to coffee shops, gas gas gas gas gas, etc.

Here’s a list of expenses by day with category and dollar totals. Remember from our original post, we will not be publishing itemized grocery lists, just listing it as “food.” You’re more than welcome to come over and help me clean my kitchen if you want to see what’s actually stocked inside.

January 1: Nothing

January 2: Grocery shopping

  • Food: $47.38

January 3: Nothing

January 4: Local Restaurant

  • Dinner for 4: $38 + tip

January 5: Nothing

January 6: Nothing

January 7: Warehouse Club Shopping

  • Food: 124.23
  • Gas: $55 (save 20 cents per gallon over non-club gas stations. With 2 vehicles in our family, even with our limited driving, it should more than pay for our membership this year!)

January 8: Nothing

January 9: Nothing

January 10: Doctor’s Office

  • Visit $30

January 11: Local Restaurant

  • Dinner for 4: $41 + tip
  • I did not end up getting that haircut I blogged about… ran out of time…maybe next week

January 12 ($39.99): Grocery shopping and Walgreens

  • Supplies: Cat litter and dish detergent $14.71 (We need to find a cheaper alternative to purchasing cat litter, I know…but our kitties are partial to the pine brand which is much less toxic than the clay brands, but twice the price. Additionally, while we make most of our cleaners from scratch, a good recipe for automatic dish detergent has eluded us…so I stick with the store-brand 75oz box of powder for $4.19, unless I find a sale like I did today on a major brand for 20 cents less…gotta keep your eyes open!)
  • Food: $25.28
  • Liam won a $5 Walgreens gift card for completing his “Book It” reading club for December. He didn’t even ask to spend it in their toy aisle, saying, “I know I’m not allowed to buy anything new, but candy doesn’t count!” $4.98 on $5 gift card, no money spent.

There it is! All of our purchases for 12 days. With some creativity these past couple of weeks we’ve managed to make ice cream, a race track, Christmas gift tags, kill our tissue habit (saving us about $100 annually), and box up all of our files from last year for FREE. So far, so good. I must admit, we haven’t felt a pinch yet in terms of feeling like we’re “doing without,” to the contrary…it’s been fun!

How many times have you swiped your card these past couple of weeks? Notice any changes from how you were living prior to the holidays? The weeks after the holidays are always the best for making big changes, and remember, like anything else, it only takes about 30 days to create a new learned behavior, and to make that behavior a habit! Good luck, keep reading, please comment when you can and thanks for making Thrift & Thrive part of your 2013!