Monday, March 4, 2013

Help Me. I've Fallen, & I Can't Get Up.

Do you know how this whole "SPENDING CLEANSE 2013" thing is turning out to be?  I'll tell you how it's turning out to be.
Ever been in a bad relationship?  You know your boyfriend totally sucks and you need to break up, but it's just easier to stay with the stupid loser so you keep falling back into the relationship?
Well, my spending habits are like that.  They're a totally jerky boyfriend who needs a swift kick to the A.
I can feel myself slipping.  February started out awesome, and then . . . gah.
Remember how I gave myself a star for every day I didn't spend cash in January?

I tried that again in February and I don't need both hands to count them.
Let me tell you what I didn't do.  I never bought myself clothing.  I don't think I bought a movie, or a book, or any music. . . I didn't rent a movie.  There were zero random "anyone want a burger?" stops. 
So I did good, right?!  I never went nuts at Lowe's.  I did step foot in a Target and I even looked at the swimsuits because I couldn't stop myself, but I walked out with only what I came for! 
Baby steps. 
But. - Money doesn't solve problems, but it could solve my money problem.
There was a lot of frozen yogurt trips. And I justified them all because it was a "girl's night!" or I was on a "date and that never happens!".  I have this crazy weird obsession with fruity flavors and sorbets and self-serve frozen yogurts.  And I just know it's going to be like that episode of Seinfeld where I think I'm eating this healthy (ish) stuff but my pants are getting tighter. . .
I've got to get back on track.  I am NOT a quitter!  Someone throw a big bucket of cold water at my face.  Give me a good smack back to reality.  I can't promise I won't punch you back but I'll thank you for it later after I'm not pissed anymore.
Let's talk March goals.  Can we?  Is anyone still with me?
1.  NO frozen yogurt for the REST OF THE MONTH. (notice I didn't say the whole month because I already had some at the beginning of this month)
2.  No clothing for me.  (Ya know what?  The whole family's got enough socks and underwear, and no one seems to be wearing floods for now, so I'm extending this to the entire family.  Barring some crazy clothing emergency, I see no need to budget in clothing.)
3.  I hereby give myself the right to one takeout meal night.  ONE.  That means I get to order my hot and sour soup and pon pon chicken extra spicey and pizza for the kids and not cook.  ONE time.  Oh, and no random "I need a burger so bad!" trips.
and finally, the last goal of the month?  This:
Do you get these?  This is letting us know how we're doing with our power usage.  And I just have to say,
Our bill is through the roof.  I nearly died when I turned the statement over and saw our "rating".
Um, is this like I got 94% out of a 100%?  So I got an A, right?!?  Oh.  Crap. 

WHAT??  My rank is improving.?.  

Look.  Over there.   The December rank.  I cannot explain it.  But if I had to guess, I'd say a basement with 3 computers and a massive TV might have a part in it.


Andrea said...

Man, that bill is rough. I have heart attacks when my home phone/internet/cable combo bill is over $140.

I should also probably not buy any more clothes, but I could always use one more thing! Ugh.

And yes, I feel that more money would solve my money problems ha ha ha

Lisa @ Shine Your Light said...

I am so impressed with your spending cleanse, even if February wasn't as starry as January. You are still awesome!!!

Setjay said...

I would like to say that i WOULD LOVE taking my kids to frozen yogurt trips and burgers out, but i don't have any money (850€ for the whole month for five). So i don't know why you're saving money yet, but hope it's worth it because to me, nothing deserves more that my children' smile ;) Like my mother always said (french translation) : "you won't bring it in the tomb" ahah

Ashley said...

Great job with the spending problem is going to the grocery store. I always spend way more than I intend to.
Has your electrical bill spiked since you put in the hot tub?

Jackie said...

You can do it! You have awesome goals.

Beth Moore said...

I feel for you girl... and I am guessing it is the hot tub that has contributed to your boost in energy use!!!

Team Tindle said...

My guess is all the high ceilings and no south facing windows. So you might be out of luck on the energy thing. You could switch everything over to CFL's and put all your plug in stuff on power strips that you can flip off when items aren't in use, but that would cost some dough and you're on a spending cleanse. It'll be interesting to see how these diametrically opposed ideas work out... da da da...

Sherron said...

I get those comparison bills all of the time- and we are always on the high end. I started to wonder if everyone gets them telling them that they are on the high end of usage to encourage customers to use the energy audit program.

Lorilyn Crum said...

I almost always fail in my goals (wow that sounds bad) but I tell myself each day, "Day, today is a new day, and today I will reach my goal". I'm not sure if that's of any help, most likely not. What I'm trying to say is each day is an opportunity to do better even if I didn't succeed the day before. That's what I have to do because otherwise I would feel like a HUGE loser. Not that you're a huge loser, because you're totally not. Unless you were on the Biggest Loser, then I would absolutely call you a huge loser, but that would be a great compliment.

My husband hides our money from me.

Maura said...

Didn't y'all get a hot tub? I think it costs like eleventy jillion dollars to heat those things in the winter. Totally worth it, IMO. Eat peanut butter, soak in the hot tub. (Except that peanut butter now costs roughly the same as the hot tub...)

the girl said...

We're trying a "No Spend" month for March... So far, I've missed the mark as well. But all I can do is watch what we spend the rest of the month. It's depressing when I look at what I've spent already....

We're doing this along with ya, girly!

Kelly Simonsen said...

If it makes you feel any better we are the worst house in the neighborhood. By like, a lot.

Jess said...

Eeek! That power bill rating thing is nasty. Glad they don't do that in Australia, lol. Seriously, it might be a scam. If you're still friendly with your neighbours I'd hang a head over the fence and ask what theirs says, just to be sure, before you start making everyone have cold showers and limit the TV to 15 minutes a day.
I hear turning stuff off at the power point makes a difference, and even turning your hot water cylinder (assuming they aren't just an Australian thing :P) down a couple of degrees can save a lot. Dryers are a killer too, I refuse to own one and line dry everything. But yeah as the others said the hot tub would be a killer.
When I was little and mum had 6 kids living under the one roof, she used to tell us that if we could keep the phone bill under $X we could do or get something awesome as a family. Maybe you could use a similar bribe system for your bunch :P Do you have a meter that you can read off? Its always interesting to see how much power your house uses when its not being used - i.e. if you go out for an hour, how much it costs. My house costs about $1 a day (from 7am until 6pm). I only have the microwave left on and obviously the hot water. Every other appliance is switched off at the powerpoint (socket).

Evelyn said...

Now you've got me curious...I'm gonna go and see how I compare to my neighbors! I get electric billing and have never seen a statement like that! sure to give yourself credit for all you are doing!!! I mean, my gosh, your spending cleanse has inspired me and you didn't ONCE say "let's get a burger"? That blows my mind, seriously. You rock!

Anonymous said...

Jeepers! That electricity bill is cool in a way though - helps you to know here you're at. South Africa should get on that cos we munch up power like it's nothing.

Good luck with the no money spending!

Maureen said...


Think of it this way - You watch Friends, right? Remeber when Monica is upset about her massages? And Chandler phrases it that instead of being upset that she's not the best at a good massage but she gives the best WORST massages. Think of your power bill like that. You have the best WORST power bill in the neighborhood. That will ease the tension nd then you can look for ways to conserve.
I recently moved, not that I wanted to, and the power bill was atrocious. Nearly $400 a month is insane! But by being much more diligent and turning of anything extra - lights in rooms no one was in and turning off my nephew's TV when he is sleeping - that sort of thing, our bill has been cut in half. My money downfall is eating out. Every month I plan on our not doing this except for ONE meal, planned as a family and every month I fail. It is the 6th and already we have had FOUR meals out!!! Not just because I don't feel like cooking and not impulse (what - eating/shopping/stopping/convenience?) whatever? And the way things are looking today, with the running around that I need to do, we are going to have lunch out AGAIN!!! INSANE!!!


Clarachk said...

I kinda like the idea of the comparison graph but honestly wouldn't want to see it on MY bill. That is simply b/c I KNOW we consume a lot b/c we run a computer business from home. We pay a sh** ton of notice to our meter and actually have to read it ourselves. Our electric company is the ONLY ONE where we live so they get away with pretty much butt raping us. They are too lazy to read our meters and "estimate" our usage and even charge us a mandatory "fuel surcharge" for delivery. We get a little ancy around here when the bill comes every other month. It outs a knot in our stomachs. That bill is half the cost of my mortgage.

Anyway, enough about ME. YOU, my dear, are awesome and inspiring. Your humor about such crap keeps you in check. Your hot tub might have something to do with it too, ya know! I admire your spending cleanse. I KNOW how hard it is. We are doing it too. Keep at it and don't get so discouraged. You are doing what you need to do to keep your wallet skinny. Great to read your bloggy blog!!

Emily said...

I haven't seen one of those power bills, but my sister has and I think she was up there too. Maybe the send the same one out to everyone.