Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Spending Money

It's the new year.  How much money have you spent so far?  I'm not talking about rent or mortgage, utilities, or anything like that.  I'm talking about on nonessential stuff.  How much money have you wasted? 
When we were at my sister's house last week a table leg collapsed sending wine glasses and alcohol crashing onto the floor.  This was in the morning, way before any of the guests started drinking!  When one of the grandkids asked what happened I said that we were thinking about just taking two one-hundred dollar bills and twisting them up and lighting them on fire.  Instead we decided to make a mess so we'd have some extended fun cleaning it up.  It cost the same.   
The reason I bring this up isn't to laugh about breaking all but two of her glasses.  It's because we waste money.  In this case it wasn't purposefully wasted.    But in many cases it is.  Perhaps if the table leg was checked prior to loading it with stuff it wouldn't have collapsed. How many times have you had to buy something because you didn't take care of the original one you had?  How many times have you misplaced something because it wasn't put away properly and you needed to use it right away so off to the store to buy another one. 
How much money have you spent on things you don't need?  In my case I stopped buying things for the kitchen.  How many baking dishes do I need?  I have some that are nice in case we go to a pot luck.  These are the kinds that I'd like to just keep buying and buying and buying.  I don't need them, I just like them.  But I don't buy them. 
Which do I use most of the time?  Either the glass pyrex baking pans or the metal ones from my buffet set up.  I like those the best.  There are two sizes - a half tray and a whole tray.  The whole tray barely fits into the oven.  Those last forever.  Even the pyrex baking pans are hard to break.  Mine are about 30 years old. 
How many plastic cups do you have?  Did you just buy new ones to match this summers latest colors?  This year it was orange and pink.  I didn't.  I do have about 30 plastic cups.  We have a stack of tupperware bell cups that I used when my kids were young.  The grandkids use them now.  I also have six of the aluminum cups that I used when I was a kid. 
How much money do you spend buying something to eat while you are away from home because you just can't wait for another hour until you get home?  Forgot to put a box of crackers into your car?  How much have you spent at Starbucks so far this year?  Ten, twenty? After all, we are on day four of the new year. 
I have spent exactly NOTHING so far this year.  I haven't charged anything, I haven't paid cash for anything.  I haven't used a debit card.  We did travel on New Years Day.  We brought our food with us.  We are traveling today.  We will bring dinner with us or just eat a little earlier than normal.  The hotel has free breakfast (and an indoor pool!).  The place where I have to work tomorrow is providing lunch.  We'll be back by dinner.  I'm not counting spending the money on the hotel or the gas because I'll drive the work vehicle and work will reimburse me for the hotel. 
We will need milk on Sunday so that means Friday or Saturday I'll buy milk.  I may spend five dollars.  I'm not going to do a grocery trip until either the end of January or beginning of February.  I wonder how long I can go without spending anything other than milk money? 

1 comment:

  1. Ever since I started my first job in mid 2006 I've had problems with spending. I remember always thinking before then that even if I didn't make a lot I'd still have a nice sum in the bank. Unfortunately I spend on a lot of little things like junk food and for a time, video games. Then when there is something that I really do need, either I don't have enough or I have just enough, which leads me to being broke again.

    I used to keep a notebook where I wrote down every penny that went into or out of my bank account. I don't do that anymore although I probably should. Instead though, I think what I'm going to do is to write down all of my extra spending. I could have two columns, one tracking non-essential but helpful (ex: buying a couple packs of lunch meat even though we could go without), and the other being completely wasteful (fountain drinks). This way I can at least see the numbers and figure out exactly how big my financial "leaks" and maybe figure out what I'm going to do to plug them up.

    Perhaps I'll even keep track of how much I put towards prepping. I have big financial goals and a small income, so I'll have to keep a closer watch on my overall spending.