Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Saving - not Spending

SmallBoy enjoying a winter swim... 
We are finally back on the no/low spend trail ~ aiming to not spend anything until the end of the month. This is the fourth day with no spending. Of course there are things that are best described as 'required' spending. Things like the electricity or gas bill, the rent or mortgage, those types of expenses are always needed.  However, we don't need to use the car - we can (and do) walk to school, walk up to the fruit & veg shop, walk to the doctors. We don't need to use the home phone - the mobile has calls and text included in the monthly charge, we can sent an email or pop over to someone's home for a chat. 

We don't need to go shopping - there is enough in the pantry, the freezer and fridge. A regular shop is often a habit which only brings you to the supermarket by force of habit. This is another reason why menu planning helps keep the costs down.  The only 'required' spends are $50 on electricity, $3 for school sports, $3 for milk over the weekend, maybe a few dollars on some veggies and fruit.

But that should be IT.

I am doing up our new budget now that we are settling in to a bit of a routine in our house-sit in Bundaberg. Restocking the pantry and fridge/freezer has been a bit of an expense but we have kept it to a minimum and put 'wants' on the shopping list and wait to find them on special. We've got all the essentials, its sufficient for now.

A big 'no spend' goal for the next 12 months is that of no new clothes. Seriously ~ having culled thousands of items to hundreds, left a few boxes in the shed in Ballarat and brought a suitcase (or three) here to Bundaberg which I cannot hang or store anywhere, if I buy one item ~ be it op shop, co-op, or some discount superstore ~ I will donate it AND three additional pieces to charity. Seriously, I have three times the amount of clothing than the boys combined. 

Husband is not really going to need anything either - perhaps shoes but probably not even them. SmallBoy will require new clothes over the year ~ strangely enough he keeps growing (or his clothes keep shrinking) and there will be new school uniform requirements in the new year.  
Clothes no longer possessed... *sobs*
This alone will make a huge dent in the outgoings ~ although I did see a really nice dress advertised for $15 today (stop it *smack* bad Mands). 

Today was actually a great day, involving no spending or money at all! The house is tidy, all benches and tables are wiped (with fresh lemon juice in the water too boot!), all dishes done & laundry away. The garden was watered, weeded and a trashy novel got read out in the sunshine. I went to school in the afternoon to walk home with the SmallBoy ~ thus meeting up with a fellow gardener/mum on the main road (who I met on Freecycle a few weeks ago), met her mum from Melbourne, checked out the vegetables growing and got an invitation to dinner on Saturday. Bonus! You can't buy a day like today *grins*

The veggies are starting to grow *yummo*