Friday, January 9, 2009

FRUGAL FRIDAY (FINANCIAL "DIET" UPDATE)

As mentioned in the past, we are going on a financial "diet" around here. I thought I might give you an update today. Please try not to fall asleep as I've only just begun and we really haven't done any major grocery shopping around here yet. I will tell you some of the things I did this week that were good, and some of the things that were not so good. You decide which is which!

I forgot I was on a "diet." Part of the success of going on any diet, physical or financial, is to remember that you are on a diet. That really helps you to stay focused and on target.

So, my first venture out was shopping with a friend even though I didn't need to buy anything. She wanted to go and even though I didn't need anything, I went along. Of course, I forget I was on this financial "diet" and happily spent the gas to drive all the way out there. Being with a friend is fun, but I could have skipped the store and got together with her at another time, somewhere closer to home and avoiding any temptation to buy things I didn't need.

I bought a diet pop while out on errands today. In the past, I have mentioned how sometimes "I waste money buying pop" while I'm out running around, instead of planning ahead and bringing a can from home. Today I was going to bring a can from home, but a certain child, who shall remain nameless, took the last one out of the fridge.

Now, you don't expect me to drink pop at room temperature do you, seriously? Do you? In order to save money? I don't think so. There are just some things to difficult to do.....

I forgot I had laundry in the washer and so had to run it through again. Oh, like you've never done that!!!! Well, maybe you haven't. Being disorganized can cost you money if you have to rewash your clothes all over again. It may not be alot, but it all adds up!

I am changing the way I look at things. I was going to buy some of the things I usually buy but don't really need, like croissants, and decided that I could make a lot more healthy things for breakfast and save the money. Please don't ask me if I have made any of these things yet though....

All of a sudden I am looking at things that I would normally buy (like pizza) and think, "I can make that for so much cheaper!" Please don't ask me if I have made any of these things yet though....

I had oatmeal for breakfast this week instead of something not as filling and not as healthy.

I am changing my attitude. I am thinking with a "needs" versus "wants" mentality. I may want it, in order to save myself time, or just because it looks good and I'm hungry, or whatever.....but do I really need it? Is it going to help me reach my financial goals?

I didn't buy a cute top at the store. Using my amazing powers of deduction, I knew that I already had a white one and didn't really need another one. Besides, earlier this week we all learned that "you can't eat clothes" and I was supposed to be looking for food not clothing.

I made a lasagna for dinner instead of buying a frozen one at the store. It is so easy to make a lasagna (I don't even boil the noodles) that really, I don't even have an excuse not to anymore.

I ate three cookies today. Oh, sorry! I forgot which diet we were talking about. Never mind.

I got to the thrift store after it closed. Well, you can't spend money if you can't get into the store.....not that I needed anything.

I went to the bookstore but didn't buy anything. I rarely buy books at the bookstore. I usually get them from the library but my son gave me a gift certificate for Christmas. However, I couldn't decide what books to get so I wound up leaving without buying anything. If you can't make up your mind it is probably better not to buy something than to make a rash decision to buy that you may regret later.

I took the library books back in time in order to avoid a late fee. Now, I have to admit that I have a rather bad attitude about library fines. What's a few bucks here and there? Aren't I doing my small part to help support the library?

One small thing of croissants is not going to send me into debt. One small library fine is not going to send me into debt (although my husband would beg to differ, hehehe!) However, the little things do matter. The little things add up. Most people will hesitate before buying a car or a plasma t.v. or an entire new fall wardrobe.

But we often won't give a second thought about buying a frozen lasagna at Costco even though we could make it at home (guilty!), or buying a case of pop even though we could drink water (guilty!) or buying a dozen croissants when oatmeal would be healthier and cheaper (guilty!).

We need to change our thinking. We need to remember our desire to either get out of debt, stay out of debt, increase our savings, establish an emergency fund, or build for our future. We need to consider the little things (a nickel here, a dime there) before they turn into bigger things (like debt).

What frugal things did you do (or not do) this week?

15 comments:

  1. DH is the saver and I'm the spender in our family. So..we decided that this year was going to find us paying the bills..together. Going over the grocery list..together. It's a learning experience for both of us. For me, it's all about giving up control and sharing it. For DH, it's all about realizing you can't buy groceries for 4 adults and the occasional drop by friends for $30...seriously..he thought that...
    So..today is my first real shopping trip in the new year. I'll let you know how things go!
    Let me also share what a total encouragement you are to me. I pray you have a blessed day!!
    Deb

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  2. Awesome post...I am going to change my clothes from washer to dryer right now. Thanks for the reminder. I am still using my DD gift cards from Christmas so I am all good. Well except the day I got 2 coffees and paid for 1...Yikes. there goes my whole budget! LOL I am doing pretty good so far, but have to brave the mall today. Pray for restraint.

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  3. One of the things I did was not head to the store to buy things for a meal I had planned previously but changed it and used what I had on hand. :D

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  4. I can relate to this post in so many ways. It is funny that trying to be frugal is helping me be healthier. I did not buy any sodas last week when I went to the store. I having been drinking water instead. Wow- what a great side affect. (Now, I am really missing my coke but I am doing it, anyway.) When I went grocery shopping, I was really thirsty. Instead of buying a cold coke in the store (like normal), I grabbed one of the kids Caprisuns that were in the back of the van. I had a week of little changes. Little steps go a long way!

    One more thing (but I could go on and on), I have been working on getting those library books back on time too! And, I managed it last week.

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  5. Hey! Do you know about library elf? Its an online thing where they email you when you are getting close to the due date. I used to have the same "supporting my library" logic...but I haven't had a single fine since finding library elf!

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  6. I started our financial diet last year and it has finally gotten easier. After the holidays, however, it is time to get back to serious effort. I met a friend last night (while the girls were at their respective activities), but instead of meeting at fast-food, we met at Target - popcorn soda combo $1.50...Christmas was marked off 90% so I bought some ornaments to use as ties on the cookies plates I make each year (.59 cents! for 12), found a thing of giant clear pebble things to make magnets out of ($3.48 clearance again!) and then I bought dog and cat food (not fun)...The best part...I paid CASH for everything! Yay! Me! I feel so proud of myself. Baby steps, baby steps...

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  7. I have been pretty bad with the library fines lately. I'm going to look into that library elf-thanks Autumnesf!

    I, too, have cut out pop from my diet, and boy, is that hard. Just don't try to take my coffee, though.

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  8. I definitely did NOT forget the laundry in the washer...I never do that either.

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  9. Oh I love that about keeping the goal in mind. This has been brought to my attention even more today. Hubby said we needed to take pay cuts to help the business. We already haven't had pay raises in several years.

    So I need to do better at watching what I spend. I think I will be going back and checking out some of those frugal websites you posted awhile back.

    Thanks friend for helping to keep us on track!

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  10. I see your "having to wash the clothes again", and raise you with "washing a load of nothing". I used to put the water & powder in the washing machine, then add the clothes after they mixed a bit. I forgot one time :-)

    As for a frugal thing - I bought a lot of discount meat this week (at fairly good prices).

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  11. Woman you crack me up! I hope you can hear my tone and know I'm laughing so hard! I don't know why you make me laugh so..I think maybe because you 'sound' so much like my hubby and I just adore that man! He's a wisecracker for sure!

    Happy Friday. By the way...loved the post and absolutely could not drink warm pop! Are you still saying pop? lol

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  12. Nope, never have to run a load of laundry through a second time, says she with tongue firmly planted in cheek.

    You're doing great. Step by step, you'll get there.

    I had to give up pop for health reasons rather than financial reasons, but even knowing that, it was still really difficult at first. Now I can occasionally treat myself and it truly is a treat.

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  13. Great improvements. Oops. I just bought a pre-made lasagna at Walmart last night. I figured out how to justify it though.

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  14. Amen! Changing our mindsets is the first step to living below our means...not that I have achieved this but I'm pressing on!

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  15. Shari, Sometimes it's worth it to pay a little more for convenience, so that's why sometimes I buy something pre-made, but I try not to make to much of a habit of it.

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