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06 October 2008

The Spending Strike

I have excellent news! We had been apartment hunting for months now, trying to find something just right and yesterday we were offered an apartment for December 1st and it is absolutely gorgeous. I don't know that I've ever been more excited to move in my entire life (which is saying something, considering the fact that I have moved 16 times in total). Our new apartment has brand new maple flooring, new carpeting, new windows, a small mudroom entrance & a cute fire escape (that I know I'll want to have a tiny little potted garden on). The kitchen has new cupboards, everything is so clean & knowing it will be ours in less than two months makes me smile every minute.

Now this is where we have to make a few adjustments -- you see, we pay month to month for the apartment that we live in now, so when we leave here on December 1st, there won't be a last months rent coming back at us that we can hand over to our new landlord. Soooo, we have decided that in order to save up 1st & last, as well as making sure we have some savings for xmas, we are going on a spending strike.

We even shook on it.

We will only spend money on the things we really need (shouldn't we be spending like this anyhow??) so that we won't have to worry about having the money to move & be comfortable. Our biggest expense is that we eat out far more often than we cook at home which is simply awful of us. Unfourtunately we love our local hang outs & the fact that waitresses know our names, we receive excellent service & have memorized all of the menus. We also live less than a block from a fantastic brewery & directly across from a Belgian taproom which we both used to indulge in quite frequently (though of course now my partner orders delicious stouts & I enjoy how good they smell).

We have both promised each other not to buy anything that we don't absolutely need -- this means no new clothing until after December 1st, no new computer parts for the boy, no new crafty items (sob!) for myself -- if we can live without it, we can live without it til December! Today was the first day of our spending strike & so far so good. I did groceries, made a casserole & no one has cried about their lack of a pint this evening.

I think we'll do just fine.

I have already sent a plea out to our close friends & family to ask them not to invite us out to dinner, or to the movies, or to do anything fun that requires cash... no concerts, no shopping trips & no midday soup dates (unless, of course, one of us makes the soup). They have also been asked to strike me down in the street if they see me shopping or attempting to exchange money for anything I don't need to survive (Note: coffee/tea from our favourite cafes has been deemed a survival necessity in these times).

My hope for these two months is that we both learn to make this whole frugality thing a habit, as opposed to something we are forcing upon ourselves. In the mean time I will keep you updated on how the strike is going. If you have any tips on how to live life in a more thrifty manor, I would love to hear them.


Blogger Tracey said...

Seeing as how you live in the city and I live in the suburbs, our ability to spend money is totally different. In order to spend, I have to get into the car and consciously plan on spending.

I find that if I have only cash for the month, I tend to spend less. My sister is the opposite, so this obviously doesn't work for everyone. But if I know that I have $100 for groceries for 2 weeks, I am WAY less apt to justify spending $5 on a fancy coffee or treat for myself... It also makes you count what you're buying in the store instead of randomly shopping without an agenda.

Good luck! you can do it!

October 7, 2008 at 5:32 PM  
Blogger Desiree Fawn said...

@tracey: Oh how I wish we could live in the country! We both grew up living in sort of rural areas & I know that someday we'll move back there. And yes, it's totally a good idea to allocate a chunk of money to different things so that I know I shouldn't be spending it on others :D Merci!

October 7, 2008 at 5:41 PM  
Blogger piratelibrarian said...

You know a fun way to have fun and stay social is to have a casserole cooking party. Everyone brings a dish and ingredients for a massive batch of an agreed upon casserole they can enjoy together after it's cooked and take one home for the freezer.

October 10, 2008 at 11:25 AM  
Blogger mikki roo said...

I agree it's easier to not spend when you don't live in the city. We actually live an hour from any decent city, so to spend any amount of money, I have to get in my car and use 1/4 tank of gas which isn't exactly free either! And when I do go, I definitely get my $5 Starbucks coffee... because it's only twice a month! You would definitely need more self denial in the city... kudos to you!

October 20, 2008 at 1:02 PM  
Blogger Desiree Fawn said...

@mikki roo: It's been tough! We live right above & beside so many fabulous cafes and restaurants! We've been pretty good so far though :D

October 20, 2008 at 5:44 PM  

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