Saturday, December 20

It's Coming! ...Wait, What Exactly is Coming?

I think I have lost my mind. No, seriously. It has left my body. I have agreed to what will be the most difficult thing I've done in my life thus far (and I labored for 36+ hours, pushing for 3!). I am giving up shopping, new things, and lots of eating out FOR AN ENTIRE YEAR. Ack!
How did this start? Well, I read an article about a couple who gave up buying new stuff for a year. They only bought used things & gave home-made gifts, etc. Their motivation was more "green" earth-wise than it was "green" money-wise. After I read the article, I thought "sure, we can do that!". So, I forwarded a link on to Luke with a comment about how if we did it it'd sure keep my crazy spending in check. Heck, Target sees me more often than any friends or family members do! Well, I think that made him think I was implying more than the earth-friendly side of things & he decided we needed to do it - and then some.
After a bit of reluctance, I decided I was in. Totally & completely in. BUT we had to set some ground rules or there's no way I'd stick to it.

With the exception of socks & undergarments. (We'll only be buying those if we really NEED them.)
(Shoes for the kiddo if we can't find them used.) I'll really try to hunt down used ones first, but sometimes that's just not possible, so I had to leave the option there.
All gifts must be hand-made, used, or non-material objects. We won't be giving many gifts this year, but there will be times that we "have" to, so we'll be sticking to the rules! One exception may be my birthday. Being the BIG 3-0, I do have something in mind that I really want (that ain't cheap), but we'll see when it gets here.

If we can survive another year without it, we can't buy it. If the tv breaks, we can survive without it. If the car breaks (knock on all the wood I can find), we won' be able to survive. We'll take it situation by situation.
If it costs more than $100, we must find it used, or borrow it. Nothing much to say about that.

We're each allowed *1* meal out per week. We are allowed, not obligated. Ideally, we won't each use that every week. It's awfully hard to tell co-workers you can't go out to lunch with them though, so the option is there if we need it. We can each have 1 meal out - brkfst or lunch (or, in a rare case, dinner).
As a family we are allowed 2 meals out per month. Whether it's date night, or pizza at home, we are allowed (again, not obligated) to have 2 meals from a restaurant.

No more than 1 special outing per month. (Zoo, museum, etc.) Another allowance, not obligation. I don't want the kiddo to not get to enjoy childhood fun because of our crazy idea.
Vacations must be CHEAP. (Camping, etc.) Vacations are nice, and almost necessary - we all need to recharge sometimes. We can't doing anything too exciting for the next year though. We have already decided to cancel our plans to go to Utah. ...there's always next year.

So, there you have it. That's exactly what is coming. We'll buy our groceries the same as always, but everything else in ours lives is about to come to a screeching hault. We hope that by the end of 2009 we will be debt free, with the exception of our mortgage. If we play our cards right, we should not only be debt free, but also have some money stored away in savings. Before this crazy idea came along, we had already decided to save up & buy our next car out-right. So, by the end of the year we should have a nice fund going. (Not that we need a new car yet - but all things take planning!)
I've come a long way since my initial hesitation to commit. I'm now a bit excited! If you'll notice, on the right side of the page there's a list of other blogs - more families up for the challenge. I think that is part of my new-found excitement, Luke & I aren't doing this alone. I wish each of you other families lots of luck & I'm right here if you need some distraction from a shopping lust. Go us!