Hello, loves. I haven’t blogged in a while, but I have been Google Sheets-ing like a fiend. Anyone else out there make nerdy spreadsheets to track goals?
My latest one is somewhat revolutionary for me. It’s a short list of pre-planned purchases I will allow and budget for in the upcoming months. Prior to this month I used to just buy whatever I “needed” as it came up, plus random other stuff I liked along the way. I was lazy with money. Not heinous, but lazy. Now, however, I’ve decided that I will be credit card debt FREE by the end of the year, and that means Being A Financial Badass.
Here are the steps I have taken so far:
- Sharply curbing the temptation to online shop by deleting my eBay and Zulily accounts, removing my saved payment methods from Amazon and Etsy, and unfollowing a slew of boutiques and shops on Facebook and Instagram.
- Making it harder to shop in physical stores by leaving my credit cards at home in the safe and cancelling my loyalty/store credit cards.
- Finding non-shopping-related ways to pass time when bored on work days (this is particularly problematic for me during lunch breaks or on slow-moving days when deadlines have been pushed back) – so far I’ve thought of blogging, working on my “things that make me happy” list, building happy playlists to motivate me through more routine tasks, finding new walking routes, and going home for lunch whenever I can.
- Refining my You Need A Budget (YNAB) to include a “yearly and surprise expenses” pot that I now automatically put $65 into a month. This will prevent the emotional blow of erratic but hefty expenses like car registration, paddle and parks passes, membership renewals, etc.
- Seriously decluttering and minimizing my things (aka KonMari-ing) to A) reacquaint myself with how much abundance I already enjoy, B) reduce stress, and C) help me build a *real* “things to buy” future list that that reflects all the things I already have or could use to make a DIY. I’ve done this a hundred times before in a very half-assed way, mainly as a way to enable myself to keep on shopping without being buried in things. Pete wisely pointed out I was defeating the purpose of KonMari-ing by getting caught in low-key but still financially and environmentally crappy “shop-and-purge” cycle.
- Asking myself if I can make, rent, borrow, or buy secondhand before automatically searching Amazon. This has proven especially powerful for me, as I have always loved DIYing and this has the added benefit of being zero-waste. Reduce demand, reduce the size of landfills.
Good stuff, yeah?! I’m stoked so far.
In another post I’ll share what I have planned next and things I have learned.
PS: For accountability’s sake, this month’s non-essential “to-buy” list included only a strapless bra for the dress I am wearing to Jen’s wedding and a bulk bag of shea butter to refill my jar. Foot pain prompted me to expand it to include shoe orthotics (got ‘em half price at TJ Maxx!) and a pair of gym shoes with memory foam arch support ($50 at the Sketcher’s outlet), but I’ve already recouped those costs in selling things. 😊
There are two other items I am also considering allowing are worms for my new DIY compost bin and a mortar and pestle from the thrift store (unless I can successfully make pesto in my blender). This is way shorter than the usual list of stuff I buy!