Thursday, September 13, 2012

September spending fast

So my husband and I instituted a spending fast for the month of September. Well... my husband had the idea and I am going along with it. No, but really, it was a fun summer and I did do my part to weaken the kids' college fund on the Disney cruise, so it's not a bad idea, per se... I did also manage to fit in some Christmas shopping during that last camp week....oh yeah, camp, that wasn't cheap...Uh, It'll be a busy month anyways, so I'll hardly notice the handicap redirection of my energies?

He quickly outlined the rules for me:
  • No Material goods
  • Groceries/Food only
  • I agree, and add: while we're at it, let's try to eat all the food that is just sitting in our house waiting for the apocalypse.
September happens to start during Labor Day weekend, and we are down the shore. THE LAST weekend of summer and of course, ALL the stores are having clearance sales. Seriously? No. I can do this. I don't need more crap from the shore and I will certainly forget that lovely cover-up in the back of my closet by the time next summer rolls hiding from the hubby here; I'll put on a good front; gotta prove a win on the first day. Jeez.

First Friday night rolls around...I ask him what he wants for dinner. He looks at me funny, like: Take-out. OF COURSE. This is generally our Friday night tradition. But I quietly remind him that we are not spending this month. There is certainly a frozen pizza or Mexican Fiesta combo pack buried deep in the freezer that can satisfy his need for prepared foods.
"No, no, no. Just material goods," he quips.
OHHHHHHHHkay, buddy. I strike while the iron is hot. 
"So I'm not limited to taking the kids out to lunches?"
"Well, let's be reasonable..." he starts in. 
Enough said. You have made your bed, darling.

The next week I head to NYC for my mother's birthday. I'm at the farmer's market getting her favorite treat and I see flowers. Yikes. That doesn't seem necessary, but I really want to bring her some. My daughter helps me commit the crime, so it feels less naughty.

When I get home and all is settled in after my trip and the work-week, he mentions the spending fast and with a wry smile says, "how's it going?"
"Fine....oh, but I bought flowers for my mom's birthday."
"Oh that's different. That's consumable."
 Oh. I'm glad to be getting these rules in a slow trickle over the course of the month, buddy.
"I just don't want us to bring any new sh** into. this. house," he declares.
Well that makes sense. Just flush it all down the drain. Oughta make us all feel a little lighter.

It's good I gave up my Starbucks habit a few months ago, although I replaced it with a specialty coffee grounds habit that I must order online.  And although this, again, would be considered a consumable, I was using this opportunity to give the credit cards a breather as well. So I refrain myself. I could probably get through the month without ordering.

Back to tagging.

I'm spending the week 'tagging' merchandise that I'm going to sell at our Moms of Multiples Exchange Sale this Saturday. This is the great purge device in our lives, taking out old toys and clothes that the kids no longer use, and! I won't be able to BUY anything at the sale! [I usually buy just as much as I sell, but it's always at such a large discount that we always marvel at the great quality and volume of new stuff.]

But just before the weekend is upon us, the hubby breaks: a microphone foam cover?
"It's for you," he says with a smile.
No. I'm not having this on my head.
"It's for work!" He says with a laugh. "It was $2, with free shipping." Like the price matters...
[Hubby is doing a little fun-side project for work, and he wants me to sing for it.]

So he reveals his purchase this morning, after last night we had friends over for dinner. I had used this opportunity, as I do every six months or so, to clean the house up and down. I wake up this morning so less stressed because the house is actually, relatively, clean! I shake off the microphone-cover conversation and remind my husband how amazing I am:
"I'm just so happy the house is relatively clean!" 
"Yeah, and you still have 24 hours before my mother arrives." 
"Well it's not that, it's just...the CLUTTER that drives me bonkers."
He gets that smug look on his face like, "See?" and says,
"that's why I wanted us to not bring anything new into the house."  
Yeah, cuz all of your efforts are usually geared towards keeping our house clean, just like mine are geared towards keeping us financially sound, buddy. When's the month of putting-your-dirty-AND-clean-laundry-in-the-right-spot, your-dishes-in-the-dishwasher, and finishing-the-basement!?!


NOW we are on more like, a spending diet. You broke first, buddy. 
So let's just see how this Saturday goes...


  1. Good luck Ashley! How can you resist some of the great deals that will be at the sale? It's kind of like me at a fabric sale! Give us an update in a few days. B.

  2. I want to do a no spend month, I'm just not sure that either of us can! It would be a good text of our wills though.


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