My February Wallet Watch


check in time - if you remember from back at the beginning of the month, one of my challenges was participating in steph's wallet watch.  i decided to go full-on spending freeze, spending no money at all except the regular bills and minimal groceries.  

for the most part, success!  i didn't buy groceries at all, actually.  my mom bought me a ton of healthy foods because she loves when i go on these healthy eating diet bet kicks and likes to cook a bunch of vegan grain free things, so i basically ate vegetables, beans, and fruits the entire month.  but i won the diet bet and didn't spend any money so it was lots of winning on all counts.  thanks mom.

as for money spent, i did order pizza on valentine's day, so it was a $33 fail.  john and i did our valentine's the night before (even used a gift card i had for the restaurant), and then proceeded to hit the local bar until 2:30 in the morning.  we (obviously) spent sunday incredibly hungover, and sometimes that just requires papa john's pizza.  i do not regret it, it was a total necessity.  i also spent $12.50 on a cab this past saturday.  but when it's late and i've been out/drinking, i don't feel it's the safest bet to take public transportation home or walk too far, so ah well.  one cab, one pizza, it's really not that bad.

and i did justify it with all the money i made this month.  since i had nothing better to do, since i couldn't eat out or shop, i ended up doing a lot of extra little things to make money.  i sold some clothes to thredup and buffalo exchange, got about $27 from that.  i sold gift cards i was never going to use for $73 in amazon credits.  i returned some things to bath and body works for store credit, which i immediately turned into more candles.  i texted chipotle for that free rain check burrito (and got it) and i was adamant about a $33 return that was a hassle to get back but worth it now that it's in my bank account again.  and i got my butt out the door to donate old towels, sheets, and toys to the animal shelter.  didn't make money from that but they were very happy and i got it all out of my house and to a good place.  i also pet sat for my parents dogs, but all the money from that is going to hawkeye's upcoming yearly vet appointment.  and getting her teeth cleaned.  productive month, really.  spent a tiny bit, earned much more.

which brings me to the question(s) everyone asks - what is the point of a spending freeze?  are you actually saving money?

here's the thing.  if you (a) stockpile before you start a ban or (b) keep a shopping list and go out and buy everything on it come the first of the next month, no.  you're not saving any money.  if you're really going to try to freeze your spending for a purpose, do it now.  don't try to prep for it, just do it.  and then keep going day by day until something comes up that you really need to buy.  and then, again, figure out if you really need it or if you just think you do.  can you do without it?  probably.  other than bills, of course.

in case you're wondering what the monthly bills are for me - rent, health insurance, electric, gas, internet, train pass and netflix.  so all in all, other than that, $45.50 spent - no other take out, bars, online shopping, nothing.  not even toiletries or makeup.  i didn't (and don't) currently need anything.

so we're going to just extend the shopping ban into march and see what happens.  i did donate a little on tuesday to steph and her husband, who are sleeping out on march 18 to bring awareness to homeless youth through covenant house, and it's what she requested in lieu of the birthday gift i would have sent.  and i think that's pretty darn awesome of her.

going forward i plan on being a little more lenient with some eating out occasions, since i owe two friends a birthday lunch or dinner.  but i'm going to do my best to avoid 'stuff' like clothes and such.  i wonder how long it'll be before i actually need to buy something?

except toilet paper, gotta go buy toilet paper today.

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