2010 Resolutions, Part February

Categories: Work in Progress |

Well, in January, I resolved to conserve by spending less, recycling more, and decluttering.  There were some high points, and there were some low points.  I did a pretty good job of recycling more.  I was already pretty good at it, but I took it a step further by meticulously sending all scrap paper, plastic, and glass to our recycling area in the mud room.  However, after Chris has sinus surgery mid-month, things started getting a bit crazy since it’s his job to take everything to the recycling center.  (For those of you who have pick-up in your town, you better be recycling everything like mad.  You just don’t know how good you’ve got it.)  When the cardboard piles got so high that I couldn’t get to the washing machine, I started losing my mind.  Still, I didn’t stop.

On the decluttering front, I sent a very large bag to Goodwill.  I know I can send more, but my January resolutions don’t stop in January.  If I can keep sending stuff every month, I should be in a much better place.  I’m going to try to reduce some of the pantry clutter in the mud room.  (That poor room is a catch-all: laundry room, pantry, recycling center, tool shed. Ugh.)  I have a hard time not stocking up on stuff when it goes on sale.  Okay, I have a hard time not stocking up on stuff even when it’s not on sale.

My financial conservation failed.  I really struggle with this area of my life.  I know it could always be worse; we’re not in debt over it.  However, it’s really limiting our potential.  We could invest more money into the business.  We could save and renovate the living room or kitchen.  I could pay off one of my student loans faster.  I need to get this area of my life under control.  It’s just hard.  I spend when I’m upset.  I spend when I’m bored.  I spend for fun.  My best approach is just not going out.  I honestly cannot leave the house without going to a store, and when it comes to going shopping for a specific item or list, well forget it…  A quick trip to Target for toilet paper turns into a $100 trip.

My resolution for February is to spend less.  I know that was one of my January resolution, but I think having those three tasks were too much to focus on at one time.  I’ll continue to recycle and declutter, but this month I’m going to focus on why I spend and how not to compulsively buy.  Instead of just trying to do better, I’m going to do some research and reading in order to better prepare myself to resist temptation.  I really would like to be content with what I have and spend less time thinking about what I want.  After all, I’ve been blessed beyond my expectation, and I have everything I need.  I need to spend less money and enjoy the riches that surround me.

4 Comments

  1. Laura

    Kelly, I have also failed at this. Groceries are my downfall. I go to the store for coffee and spend $90 (or more). I have heard you spend less if you pay cash and I tried that for a while (having a grocery envelope) and it is harder to hand over 5 twenties than it is to swipe a debit card. But, I lost $200 once and I quit.

  2. Lori (Vess) Cantabery

    I agree, I struggle with the same thing. If you look at my blog (loribery.blogspot.com) I just updated with my plan of action for this month (basically an envelope system, but I take out money weekly so I can’t loose too much if I lost it). I know I’ve felt the same way you do about spending, but I decided that I feel the need to spend when I feel trapped (i.e. “someone” says I can’t spend money. It’s like a rebellion/sticking it to the man thing, but I’m the man lol!). I think it’s kind of a battle between mind and emotions. I’ve found that when I have X amount of money dedicated to each category of purchases in my budget I don’t feel as constrained because my mind is happy to know that I did put a lot of planning into my budget and know that I can spend X dollars (so no guilt or panic), but I also feel like I CAN spend that money (albeit carefully) and that allows me to feel relieved and less incessant about spending (not being able to spend makes me feel deprived and in turn panicky). It also allows me to feel the joy that comes with shopping (i.e. providing for my family) without feeling guilty or held down.

  3. Lisa Sivley

    I have a similar Target habit as you do! I also have an Ebay habit. On the plus side I sell a lot and donate a lot of stuff. Does that even things out? haha

  4. amanda

    It sucks having to take recycle to the bins, silly Franklin should have curb side pickup…the bins are always full and the place is always busy.

    For the finances, what has helped us is to pay yourself first. Creating a specific amount to go in savings, to ventures, etc. as if it were a bill…then the money was never there for us to spend!

    Oh, and I never recycle peanut butter jars or wet cat food jars…just to admit! haha.



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