Thursday, March 3, 2011

A Penny Here, a Penny There

I read an article about a North Carolina family that takes a break from spending any money during the month of February each year. Paul and I talked about it. I said I would like to give it a try for two weeks. I could tell by his expression he doubts I can do it.

Here's my plan:
  1. No trips to the grocery store. The family in the article set aside $10 a week for milk and fresh produce. I don't know where they are buying their fruit, vegetables and milk for $10. That seems impossible. Our milk is delivered weekly so I won't stop that. I might be able to manage the produce on $10 a week but it will take some pretty careful shopping, and blinders when I go into the grocery store.
  2. No dinners out. We can do that for two weeks with what is in the freezer and pantry. There might be a lot of macaroni going on but it's doable.
  3. No entertainment. We have been going to the movies once a month lately. We only have basic cable but we do subscribe to Netflix. Again, that's a monthly fee I can't turn off for two weeks.
  4. No shopping at all. For me, the original online shopper, that will require some reminding. I know I can do it.
  5. No gifts. Not even money. Sorry kids. I'll try to pick two weeks that doesn't include anyone's birthday.

That probably doesn't seem like such a difficult project for two weeks but I admit I run through Dunkin' Donuts pretty often for coffee and a bagel. I'll have to plan lunches better. And we do go out to eat once or twice a week which will stop.

We are both on the road for work, so we won't be able to limit our gas consumption for work but no dinners or movies out will cut down on travel.

One expense I won't cancel is my cleaning lady. Now I know you're thinking that should be something I can do without for two weeks but it's Ana's job. She has worked for us for a long time, and it wouldn't be fair to cut her income for two weeks. I always keep that in mind when we go away. If we're gone for two weeks, I pay her for one. She's never asked, I just do it.

We'll still pay mortgage and utilities but the money that seems to slip our hands, mine anyway, will stop there.

I'll let you know how I make out.


Laoch of Chicago said...

Sounds challenging.

Bethany said...

Wow, that definitely sounds hard. Good luck! I am just one person and I'm not sure I could do that! :)

Pam said...

Wow! I bet the hardest part is just the awareness of all the little things you spend money on in any given day. Good luck!

Debby@Just Breathe said...

I imagine it is a great lesson to learn by doing this. I am sure we can all do with less. Your right about the $10. for milk & fruit!

FranticMommy said...

I've heard of that! I think it's called a Spending Fast (or something like that). I considered it, but I have two ravenous wolf-children under the age of 8. The amount of bananas and milk alone they inhale is staggering

Jeanie said...

So, how did it work? Or is it still going? Boy -- all those food prices -- they'll get you every time!


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