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[sticky post] The Countdown [Jun. 22nd, 2012|07:12 pm]
365 Dollar Project

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Day 8...Things To Remember [Jul. 8th, 2012|08:36 pm]
365 Dollar Project
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Here it is...Just past 8pm. About an hour ago, my mother and I got back home. We had a nice day...she ran errands (and took me to the grocery store, to buy some much needed food.) She even took me out to eat a nice dinner, at a Mexican place...her treat. It was a relaxing day...something that I needed.
Upon returning home, I had every intention of getting myself all dressed up, in some fun, flirty outfit. All day today, I had been talking about how I had plans, to go to the club tonight, and have a GREAT time. "It isn't even about drinking," I told my mother. "It is about going out, and socializing. It is about having fun, and making new friends."
WHO THE HELL WAS I TRYING TO FOOL?
I hopped in the shower, and even picked out the outfit. Then, just the same as last Sunday, I stopped, and REALLY thought about it. Don't do it, Michael, the inner voice (also known as the voice of reason) called out, from inside my head. I tried to shake it out. "Just because I am going out, doesn't mean I even HAVE to buy a drink." I can go to the club, and not have a single beer. (Yeah! Even I had a hard time believing this.) I went to my bedroom, to get dressed. And with each step that I took, the inner voice called out. No, no, no, no, no...
It was rather easy to ignore that inner voice, this evening. After all, most compulsive spenders master the art of ignoring it. It comes with the territory. Before this project, whenever I went to buy something, this voice would chime in. And, we all know that it never stopped me from spending in the past. Why would change now? Just because I have started this project, does not mean that things are going to change overnight. Old habits die hard. It will take time to learn to listen to that voice.
Yes! The inner voice may have been easy to ignore. Not so easy to ignore, was the white board hanging on my wall. The giant '358 Days Left' caught my attention, and wouldn't let me go.
"Awe, CRAP!" I sighed, as I realized that I was not going anywhere tonight. Just like last week, that sign reminded me of this project, and the fact that I still have the rest of this month to go, before I get a new allowance. Unlike last week, I was not as happy, to be stuck at home. I REALLY WANTED TO GO OUT TONIGHT!
That is when I had to remind myself of something.
I knew this was going to be hard, when I started. I knew there were going to be sacrifices, and that there would come many times where I was stuck, sitting at home, because of this project. I remember part of the reason why I wanted to do this, was because I know that it will change me, in some way. And, knowing this, I have to ask: Is change ever an easy thing? No, of course it isn't! If it was, then everyone would constantly be setting out on goals or journeys, to change a part of who they are. Change is uncomfortable, at the best of times. But in the end, it will be worth it.
It is funny...
That white board is, as it turns out, the best thing for me. It has already deterred me from going out (and spending) twice.
Now, the anger of not being able to go out is gone. I am happy to be home, where I won't be tempted to spend money.
Another day down.
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Day 7 [Jul. 7th, 2012|08:40 pm]
365 Dollar Project
So, I am actually writing this (very brief) post on July 7. For whatever reason, the date here says July 8, and it will not let me change it.
Today has been, all in all, a depressing day. I am still deeply hurt over the words my nephew said to me. And, I spent all day, locked away in my own little place, on the property. I didn't even change out of my pajamas. There was no desire to leave the house...no desire to shave, or take a shower. NO DESIRE TO SHOP! (You know I am in a bad place, when I am too depressed to even want to shop.) All day long, I have been trying to keep the tears at bay. A few times, I have cried.
And worse...
Along with no desire to shop, there is no desire to write. All I want to do is climb into bed, and go to sleep.
Which I am now going to do.
But, before I go...
Today, on the whiteboard above my bed, there was something that brought me joy. I erased TWO numbers today. I have left the 60's. As of today, I have 359 days left, with this project. Changing that 6 to a 5 felt good. It was actually the only time I smiled today
Tomorrow, I will not be posting. My mom insists on dragging me out of the house.
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Day 6...Spent, But Not Broken [Jul. 6th, 2012|07:37 pm]
365 Dollar Project
I have something to admit, in this post.
Today, on the verge of tears, and shaking with anger, I left the house. And, for a compulsive spender, it is NEVER a good idea to leave the house, when consumed with an emotional blend, consisiting of equal parts of sadness and rage. I have already written that stress has ALWAYS been a 'reason' for me to play fast and loose with money. When I am in a bad mood, or devastated beyond belief, a little spending always makes me feel better. Hell...this past February, when the ex and I broke up, I went on a spending RAMPAGE! I bought items from Coach, and Macy's, and even bought myself a shiny new (expensive) necklace, from Zales. Spending money has been a way for me to convince myself that my pain is not really all that bad. By the time I left the mall that day, after my break-up, I had so many new goodies, that it was easy for me to forget the fact that it felt like I was DYING inside.
Today:
The day started off great. I went into the main house on the property, to have coffee with my mom. As we had our mugs of morning goodness, we watched TV, and talked. It was a peaceful, relaxing morning. She asked my plans for the day, and I told her that I had nothing lined up. The idea was to stay home, do a bit of crocheting, and maybe some light reading. Of course I had some school work that I planned to get done, as well.
Everything was PEACHY-FRIGGIN-KEEN, until about 10am.
My nephew woke up (he is 25), and STORMED out of the room. "Jesus Christ," he proclaimed. "Could people please learn how to not slam door so EFFING (not the word he used) much! God, Michael!" Now, one thing you have to understand is that my nephew and I used to have a GREAT relationship. He used to always treat me with respect, and was just an awesome person to be around. But lately, it has changed. He lives with us now, and I feel like I am walking on eggshells, whenever he is around. I honestly do not ever know what I am gonna get. Sometimes, he can be so nice. But, most of the time, is a flat out DICK! And it seems that I am his favorite target.
Today I snapped. "I did not slam any damned doors," I said, in a firm voice.
"I wasn't talking to you, was I," he said.
"No," I replied. "But you were talking about me."
"Like that is anything new," he said in a voice, that was as sour as lemons. "I always am talking about you behind your back."
With this, I felt the tears come. I got myself dressed, in the first clean clothing I could find. I grabbed my keys, hopped on my moped, and without another word said I left the house.
My day out started with me at the park, down the street. I was crying so hard, that the tears were affecting my vision. So, I had to stop, and allow myself the chance to recover. I remember exactly how I felt, when I went to through my break up. We had been together for 4 years, and it was hard, when things came crashing down. But this was harder. The words hurt me in a way, that I have NEVER been hurt before. My nephew is 5 years younger than me. We grew up together. We were always cool. And I knew that, after what had just been said, the relationship between us would NEVER be the same.
After the tears stopped, I made my way to the local library. I had decided that it would be nice to rent out a book on shopping addiction. It would be nice to read about how other people have faced this, and fought it. Unfortunately, they had no such books. (And, I must admit, the librarian was not helpful at all. She was one of those librarians that insisted on "shhh-ing" you, whenever you opened your mouth. She "shhh-ed" me the whole time I was attempting to ask for help.) I left the library, empty handed. From there, I headed toward my house. And, on the way, I had to pass a Barnes & Noble.
Hmmm, I thought. I could always BUY a book, about shopping addiction. As I pulled into the parking lot, I did my best to convince myself that this would not really be a frivolous purchase, at all. So, it would not have to come out of my monthly allowance. I pulled my moped into a parking space, shut it off, and was about ready to hop off. "No," I said. "You don't need this book. Not really. It is a frivolous purchase." I did not even try to argue against this. Rahter, I started my moped back up, and got away from Barnes & Noble as fast as I could...Before I had the chance to change my mind, on the matter.
The closer I got to home, the more I realized I did not want to go home, just yet. I was NOT ready to see him, or hear him...or even know that he was in the same vicinity as me.
"Hey," I said. I had pulled into a shopping center, about half a mile from my house. I was in front of a little grill, with the best tator tots you will ever have. I had called up my mother. "So, I am not ready to come home yet. But, I have a question. Would it break my project to go in, and buy myself a lunch, on my debit card?" After hearing her say 'no', I hopped off my moped, went inside, and bougt the tots, and a coke.
The total came to $9.42. Then there was the tip. I pulled out my wallet, and looked at the remainder of my allowance. "This may be frivolous any other time," I whispered. "But after the day I had...after the sadness I have felt, this lunch was needed." So, I put it on my debit card.
Here is the way I see it. I did not go into the store, to buy the book. I did not go shopping for shoes, or any of those other things, trying to make myself feel better. No. I just bought a lunch. And yes, I know I said in an earlier entry that eating out was something I considered to be 'frivolous'. But, when you find out that a family member-someone you love with all your heart- has NO respect for you, and talks about you behind your back, it seems like you should allowed to bend the rules, just one time, and treat yourself to a nice lunch, of your favorite comfort food.
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Day 5 [Jul. 5th, 2012|07:04 pm]
365 Dollar Project
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Yesterday was the 4th of July (Duh!) And while fireworks have never really been my thing-even as an adult, I still manage to get freaked out by the loud pops, that accompany fireworks. I swear, I think my dog handles his fear of fireworks, better than I do.-I did enjoy the day.Hanging out with friends and family made me completely forget about that desire to shop, that started up a few days back. Instead of wanting to buy myself a bouquet-http://ww11.1800flowers.com/product.do?baseCode=99109&dataset=12248&cm_cid=d12248-(I tend to always want to buy myself bouquets. What can I say...Flowers make me happy. There is nothing quite as cheery, as a collection collection of flowers, on display in the house.), or go out shopping for new sandals (the only pair I have-a brown leather pair-has started falling apart.), I was able to enjoy sitting at home, surrounded by loved ones.
Needless to say, this morning, the desire to buy flowers and shoes made a comeback. I must say, before going any further...I find it TOTALLY weird, not being able to buy flowers. Before this project, I bought (at least) one bouquet a month. I would be at the grocery store, and see a mix of colored carnations. And, I knew-I JUST KNEW-I had to have them. So, I would buy them, and think nothing of it. And on the day 3, just a few days back, you will recall that I went shopping for stuff to make cupcakes. Of course, I got bad tendonitis, and could not write about it that evening, but when I passed by the floral department in the grocery store, I saw this HUGE bouquet of daisies (white, and some colored red and blue). I saw them, and I had EVERY desire to buy them. The inner-voice, of the compulsive shopper, started screaming. BUY THE FLOWERS, MICHAEL! JUST USE YOUR ALLOWANCE, AND BUY THE DAMNED BOUQUET! Needless to say, it took quite a bit of will-power, to avoid buying the bouquet. (Honestly, I am REALLY not sure how I managed to leave, without the daisies. As I collected the can of frosting, cake mix, and all the things I would need for cupcakes, my mind kept repeating it. Flowers...Flowers...FLOWERS!!!)
This morning, I woke up at about 7:45. My phone beeped a happy little rhythm, just to left of my head. A new text message. I whined (not yet fully awake), and reached for my phone. It was a text from my friend...the one who had inspired me to start this project again, with his own goal to give up smoking. I didn't want to say anything earlier, the text read. I am so proud of you, for what you are doing. And, I thought if I told you this, it would send you back to shopping. But, now, it is time to come clean...Before he even sent the following text, I KNEW what was coming. I started smoking again. I made it for about two day, without a cigarette, and then, I HAD to smoke. Don't be mad at me. I responded, telling him that I was not mad at him. Hell! Giving up an addiction, of ANY kind, is seriously hard. As we all know, this isn't my first attempt with this one year goal. I got up out of bed, and made coffee. Then, as I had my mug, I called him up. I told him that he wasn't a failure at ending this addiction, unless he COMPLETELY gave up the desire (and the thought) to quit smoking. I reminded him that I have attempted this whole thing before, and was not met with success. Then, I ended the phone call, by telling him that I would be there for him, and would help him if he ever asked.
***
Day 5.
Today, after the phone call, I caught a bit of early morning news. Good Morning America. And, as I watched, I was reminded of the fact that America (on a whole) is a society that prides itself of materialistic goods. They had this segement, where they were showing all of these things, and then saying that if you went to their website, you could find promotions, to get the goods at (at least) half off.
And, it was very weird to watch it. Why weird, you may ask?
Well...there was one part of me, that wanted to hop online, get the pomotions, and buy one of (almost) every single thing they were showing.They were promoting a company that sells candied popcorn. (Which I was saying I wanted yesterday, oddly enough.) There were these necklace charms that looked like all the different states of our country. (Really...So many reasons to want it. This jewelry shows support in your home state. It is super cool. And did I mention...OOOH! SHINY!) And there were some other things as well. It was one of those segments that I would have looked at, just months ago, and been talked into making at least one purchase. Even today, as I watched it, I had to keep reminding myself of this project.
Then, there was this other part of me, that really could not believe that, in a time of economic distress, people are actually buying pillows that (on sale) cost $79.00. I mean, really...You have to be CLINICALLY INSANE to even consider buying a throw pillow, that costs this much. I will gladly admit that I am a compuslive spender. I used to shop with the best of them. And, yeah...there were certain things that I know I overspent on. But a FRIGGIN pillow? REALLY? And, not even a bed pillow, you would sleep on each night...no. A throw pillow!
Honestly, this just completely BAFFLES me. (And now, having written this, I am beginning to understand that this must be how people felt, whenever I came home with a new Dooney & Bourke, or Coach wallet.)
After watching this, I had some breakfast, and then I spent the rest of my day doing school work. So, no spending today. And, I cannot believe that I am already 5 days into this project. How I wish that time would continue to fly by this fast. But, I am no fool. I know that the longer this project goes on-the more I see what I am keeping myself from buying-the slower time is going to seem to go.
But, for right now, things are good.
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Day 3 [Jul. 3rd, 2012|09:33 pm]
365 Dollar Project
I wish I wasn't suffering from tendonits...The truth is there is a bit to say. But, every time I hit a new key, it hurts. So, I will simply leave it at this.
Today was day 3. I spent a total of $11.58, from my monthly allowance. $5.00 of that was to the bag of food for those in need. The remainder was to buy supplies, fo cupcakes, that I plan to make tomorrow morning.
As for tomorrow...there will be no post. (July 4th)
I will write a new post on the 5th.
Hopefully my wrists will be feeling better.
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Day 2...The First $5.00 [Jul. 2nd, 2012|08:07 pm]
365 Dollar Project
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This morning, I woke up (at the unusually late time of 8:57am), made my bed, and looked at the white board, on my wall. 365 days, I thought to myself, as I looked at it. Not anymore! I grabbed the eraser, and wiped out that last digit. The big green "5" was no more! I allowed myself a moment, to bask in the glory, of it all. Still on my bed, I allowed myself to take part in a victory dance. (Which probably looked more like a chain of spastic convulsions, than an actual dance, of any kind.) And, with a FREAKISH ethusiasm, I repeated the following, numerous times: "One day down! One day down! One day down!" I grabbed the green marker, and where the "5" had once been, I carefully placed a fancy "4". And as I looked at the new number, two thoughts ran through my head, at exactly the same time. First, there was a thought that told me I was ridiculous, for getting so worked up. After all, it has only been one day. And honestly, ANYONE could last for one day. Then, there was the thought that presented itself in the form of a question. Will this white board, and its continual counting down of days, eventually lose its charm? Or, will I get FREAKISHLY excited, each and every morning, when I take one day away?
After coffee, I went to my coin bank (a little coconut 'monkey'), and I pulled out a handful of different coins. Last night, after I was already in bed, and too comfortable to move, I remembered something my sister had told me, back when I was a teenager. She had these coins: pennies, dimes...etc, poked into the top of two doorframes, in her house-the front door, and the back. I remember being curious, and asking her why she had done it. "I read about this superstition, not too long ago," she told me. "If you put money at the main doors of your house, where you enter and leave, it is believed that new money will follow you home, and money you already have will stay in your house, unable to be spent." Since hearing her say this, I have tried numerous times to find this particular superstition. And, I have never been successful in doing so. But, regardless of whether or not such a superstition actually exists, it is still a cool idea. And I, being the ever so superstitious person (when Friday 13th rolls around, I make it a priority to stay home. I don't want to chance being the victim of a chain of bad luck. And, I am sure if this superstition has any merit, bad luck would indeed find its way to me.), decided that this whole 'ritual' couldn't possibly hurt. So, I put a few spare coins above each door, leading in/out of my house. (And, real superstition or not, it felt pretty friggin cool, putting coins above my doors. There was something so...MYSTICAL,about it.) I could practically VISUALIZE an invisible force, wrapping around my wallet...Only allowing to spend my monthly allowance, and not a penny more.
Speaking of the monthly allowance...
In this, my first month with this project, I have a grand total of $31.00 at my disposal. And, as I have already said, the idea is to hold on to as much of that allowance, as I possibly can. So, I really will not make a habit, of planning out ways to spend it. But today, I made the exception, of saying that I already know how I will spend the first few dollars of my allowance, for the month of July.
I was watching the afternoon news today, and there was this piece, about Vons, and something they are doing. I have always tried to help others, whenever I can. And so, this particular story captured me. Vons is currently holding a food drive. You can either buy individual cans of non-perishable food, or do as I am doing, tomorrow. The Vons by me has paper bags, already packed to the brim, with non-perishable foods: Canned fruits and vegetables, pastas, beans, tuna, and so on. Each bag costs $5.00 and, once purchased, the bag will be sent to a local group, that has need for it. As soon as I heard this, I knew...
This bag of food was the PERFECT thing, to spend the first $5.00 of my monthly allowance on.
While donating is nothing new to me (I try to give canned food whenever I can, and crochet for charity), I felt that doing this was perfect. Hearing about this today was PERFECT! Because it taught me something...something that may seem so obvious, but is still so powerful. I am doing this whole project, to better myself, in some way. I have made a CHOICE, to stop spending money, on stuff that I really don't need at all. While I may not be one of the 'rich elite' people, I do have the means to buy the essentials, as well as a few things that are not needed. But there are people out who are not able to buy food. They wonder if they are going to get to eat. (Oh God! As I write this, I am getting all teary-eyed.) Each day is a struggle...These people have to fight, just to survive. It just isn't fair.
And while that one bag may not be a lot, it will help. My first purchase in this project will mean so much, because I know it is going to benefit someone else. And the truth of the matter is that I'm totally blessed. I can honestly think of no better way to start this project off.
Which leads me to this.
I know this blog is still new. Most of you don't really know me all that well yet. But, I have a favor to ask of you. If you are reading this, and you can spare any amount of money, to help someone else, please do so. If you have a Vons or Pavilions by you, they are excepting donations, and selling bags for $5.00. If you are reading this, and do not live by either of these stores, then I am sure that there is still a way that you can make life for someone else a little bit easier. If you have the ability to help someone out (be it a $0.79 can of refried beans, or a $5.00 bag), then please...Remember there are people who can really use it.
Today is day 2 of my project. And, in the first days of this year long goal, I have remebered how truly lucky I am, to be able to do something like this.
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Day 1...It Begins [Jul. 1st, 2012|09:29 pm]
365 Dollar Project
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I went to sleep last night, knowing full well what today would bring. It was not an easy task, actually getting to sleep, last night. I kept tossing and turning...The thought kept running through my head. Tomorrow is July 1st. The day that the project OFFICIALLY begins. You signed up for this, Michael. And tomorrow, the fantasy of this project becomes a cold, hard reality. It is time to kiss the freedom of frivolous shopping goodbye. The thought kept sounding in my head, as though on 'repeat', until I eventually (just minutes after midnight) had to get out of bed, go to my medicine cabinet, pull of the perscription of Xanax (which I hardly ever use), and take one. And, it did the trick. Shortly after returning to my bed, the thoughts were silenced, and I was OUT for the count.
This morning, I woke up, to a thought. You FRIGGIN idiot! You damned fool! Yesterday was your LAST day, to spend. You had FREE REIGN, to go to the mall. You could have bought boots, or new clothing. You could have bought a new bottle of cologne, to replace your dwindling supply. But what did you do? WHAT DID YOU DO? You wasted your day, wasting your credit cards. It was your LAST day to freely spend...FOR ONE WHOLE YEAR! And, you blew it.
Yeah! You know what...It would have been nice to shop, yesterday. It would have been nice to lose myself, one last time, in the addiction of compulsive shopping. It would have been nice to allow myself one last BIG spending spree. I won't lie about that. I would have COMPLETELY enjoyed buying a nice new pair of boots. Maybe even treat myself to a delicious dinner, at an Italian restaurant, right down the street. (They have THE BEST mac and cheese that I have EVER tasted!) But, I didn't. And, you know what they say. Woulda, coulda, shoulda...
Day 1!
Shortly after having my morning cup of coffee, and strawberry banana yogurt, I made my way out to garage, and collected a GIGANTIC dry-erase whiteboard, that was purchased about 2 years ago...a perfect example of how extreme my shopping addiction was. (I actually remember thinking one thing, as I bought it. It would be SO COOL to own a white board. I'll hang it up, and use it everyday. For about a week, it hung above my bed. And, I didn't use it once.) I dusted off all of the gunk that had collected on it, over the course of two years. And, again, this white board found its way above my bed. I took a green dry-erase marker, and I FINALLY broke in this board. In big green (fancy, curvy) writing, I put: The 365 Dollar Project. 365 Days Left To Go! The way I figure, this is the PERFECT use for this board. Each day, upon waking, I will able to reduce the day count, by one. It will be just another way of keeping myself on track. Seeing the days reduce, will be a very positive form of encouragement.
So, other than that, there is one thing I would like to say, before I go.
Today is Sunday. And, a local bar by my house has gay night, every Sunday. I recently started going, just little over a month ago. It is a fun way to meet friends, and just get out of the house. There is no cover to get in, if you get there before 8pm (which I always do). And all day long, I had been looking forward to going. It may be sad to admit, but this single event is really what gets me through the week. As I do essay after essay, school assignment after school assignment, I tell myself that Sunday is one step closer, and I will have a blast. It a low-key joint, and I love it.
Guess what?
Tonight, I have decided not to go. It was a last minute decision, actually. I was all dressed up, and ready to head out. And, as I was getting ready to leave my room, I saw that white board hanging above my bed. Even though I have $31.00 this month, I decided that I was not ready to let any of it go. I want to try to hold onto as much of it as I can. And, I know what would have happened, had I gone out. There would have been a purchase of more than one OVERPRICED drink, and by the time I came home, half of my allowance would be gone. So, I changed from my 'club clothes', into pajamas. And, I cracked open a bottle of $2.00 wine (purchased before I began this blog.)The original plan was to go out, and have fun. But, the more I think about it, staying home has turned out to be so much better. And, there is no threat of spending any of my allowance...an added bonus, for sure.
And, that is it for today. One day down. And, I am feel pretty dang good.
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The Evening Before [Jun. 30th, 2012|10:24 pm]
365 Dollar Project
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So, here we are! Take slow, deep breaths, Michael. Repeat the mantra, over, and over again. You can do this...You can do this...You can do this...You can do this...
I sit here now, typing this entry out, at minutes before 10:00, in the evening. It is weird...all of the preparations I have done, over the past 10 days, suddenly don't seem like enough. As much as I may have wanted this project to get here, now that it is, I wish I had more time. Just one more day, to prepare. Or, to go to the mall, and give careless shopping a grand goodbye.
Tomorrow, I will wake up, and it will be DAY 1 of my project. And as I type this, I feel so many different things. I am excited. The knowledge that tomorrow starts the whole thing, is enough to make me absolutely GIDDY! There is also a fair amount of doubt, running through my head. You have attempted this before, you know, a nasty little inner-voice calls out, echoing in my head. And it didn't work out then. What in the world makes you think it will be different this time? This little voice is strong enough to make me wonder, if this time will be different. Is this project even possible? This doubt has been present all day, and has given way to fear, and panic. I want this project to be a success, this time. God knows that. But I am afraid, that temptation to spend more than my budget, will hit me one day, like a ton of bricks. Will I be able to resist this temptation, when it comes? There is the sense that I am about to start this big adventure. After all, that is what this project is...One great BIG adventure.
This morning, I had my coffee, and did some schoolwork. Then, I decided there was one final thing I had to do, before Day 1 of my project came. I grabbed my wallet, and opened it. I smiled, a devilish smile, as I grabbed my good friend, the Capital One credit card. I also decided to pull my other 'friends'-credit cards from Chase, JC Penny, and Zales. I looked at them all, as I fanned them out, on my desk. I remembered how happy I was, as I opened each card. The Zales card would allow me the joy of buy jewelry, from my favorite BLING retailer. Capital One and Chase both promised to rack up travel points (though I never actually saw them.) And JC Penny because, well...Why not?
Then, I thought of the debt, that these 'friend's of mine had given me, as a (not so nice) gift. And, with the smile growing even wider, I grabbed my pair of blue and white handled scissors (commonly used for crocheting), and I bid each of these cards goodbye, and I cut and slashed them, into itty-bitty bits. I decided to put the hard plastic confetti, that had once been credit cards, in a blue ceramic bowl, which sets beside my computer, in my office. I have decided to hold on to the sharp plastic shards, as sort of way to keep myself on track.
I destroyed all of my credit cards today. And now, I feel like this project can officially begin.
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2 Days Until... [Jun. 29th, 2012|04:06 pm]
365 Dollar Project
As of today, I have two days left, until the OFFICIAL beginning, of the 365 Dollar Project. The one thing that I continue to find funny, is how INTENSE, the build up to this project has been. It seems weird, that I should be so excited about this project. After all, I have attempted a different form of this project before, as I have already told you all. And yet, as I stop and examine how I feel right now, I realize that everything feels so different, this time around. In the past, it just seemed like a fun idea. If I am being truthful, then I have to admit that in previous attempts, my heart was not fully in this project. Not really. There was always that little bit of me, that knew I could stop, whenever I wanted to. And, as I look at this, I begin to think that this thought is why I was unsuccessful in the past.
Yes, this project is mine. Yes, I was the one who chose to do this. But no...It is NOT something that I can just up, and abandon, whenever I want to. This project is not something that I can simply choose to no longer do, when things begin to get hard (and yes...I am fully aware that this time will come.) There is a reason why the idea of this project stuck around, even after I quit it, in the past. It is something that I NEED to do. So, the mentality of just giving up, when things become difficult-of deciding that I no longer want to do this project, when I see that nice new pair of boots, that my budget will not allow me to buy-is something that I need to get rid of, as I start this project, this time around. This time, FAILURE IS NOT AN OPTION!
So today, I received a comment from a reader. And this comment made me aware of one thing. While I have briefly discussed the rules of this project-I am giving myself a monthly allowance to spend on frivolous purchases-, I have never really got down to the nitty-gritty, and explained what I view, as frivolous.
Obviously, there are certain things I will need to spend money on. I will need to keep gasoline in my moped, so I have transportation. (It is a two gallon tank, which gets about 150miles per full tank.) I will need to put money towards bills, and pay rent. Also, I will need to buy food, and personal care products. But, this is where things begin to get tricky. After all, there is a point, where food and personal care products, go beyond need.
Upon searching the Wal-Mart website, this morning, I came up with a price range, of what I can spend on certain needed things, before they switch over, into the 'frivolous' category. First up-shampoo. While there are shampoos out there, that can get very expensive, I can buy Suave, for (roughly) $1.46. This is a great price, and the shampoo comes in a variety of different scents. I will buy personal care products at the lowest price that I possibly can. Any higher end products that I choose to buy, will come out of my allowance. Also, any bubble bath that I choose to buy (I am a bubble bath FIEND), will NOT be considered a needed purchase. 
Next up...Food. I am a vegetarian, so that takes away those high-priced cuts of meat. I will try to buy food when it is on sale. Gourmet foods (such as higher-priced cheesed cheeses, items from the bakery or deli, ice cream, any sweats, or alcohol) will NOT be covered in the needed cost of living. These items will be considered frivolous.
Following is a list of other items which will be considered frivolous purchases, and will therefore be deducted from my monthly allowance.
-Shoes
-Clothing
-Eating out
-Clubbing
-New books, movies, or music (excluding school text books.)
-Plants
-Household decor
-Jewelry
-Yarn
-Cologne
-Flowers (I am a BIG bouquet lover!)
-Trinkets (of ANY kind.)
-Trips to the movie theater
That is the list, as it is so far. I am sure that, once this project begins, there will be more things that can be added to the frivolous list. The basic format is this. If it is a needed good, then it will be in its cheapest available cost. Any type of junk, or gourmet food, is NOT needed.
I am totally looking forward to this year. It will so great, to finally get out of the thought process, of needing everything, that I see.
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