Reality Bites

Random musings of reality bytes ... when reality bites.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Could you live a year without shopping?

The wheels are in motion!

Progress is being made on resolution 3 - save more/spend less.

My husband (DH) and I were studying our savings. (ok - it was a Tuesday and there was nothing on TV). As we analyzed DH's forecast matrix in Excel (sounds complicated but it really is just a spreadsheet), we learned that we did not save as much as we could have. We saved an acceptable amount in 2006 but we would have liked to seen more in the bank account. We both work and have above average incomes and live fairly modestly in this expensive city. We don't have extravagant tastes nor live or spend like there's no tomorrow. Yet, where did the money go??

As we racked our brains on what we've spent during the year, we came up with the following items: big trip to Hawaii last year, DH went to the east coast to visit relatives, we went to Vegas and I also went on a weekend trip with my girlfriends. Those are they only really big ticket items we spent on. Then there are your general stuff: clothes, shoes, books (mostly mine), sports equipment for him. Sigh... it all adds up.

So DH and I agreed to try and conciously save more this year, at least 20% more each month. I think it's a goal we can achieve and still be able to maintain our current habits, lifestyle and play.

I came across this interesting article on how this couple curbed shopping for 1 year.... yes 1 year! They only bought the necessities and went cold turkey on splurges. Motivated by the premise, I sent the article to 2 of my girlfriends, SCal and AS, and we decided to give it a try.... for 2 months. Hey, we have to start slow.... We girls can't stop shopping cold turkey altogether. :)

Each of us listed items that we would give up buying for the next 2 months. Mine are: clothes, shoes, make up, books. I chose those as they are my weaknesses.

We will see.... I've been good and have stuck to my pact and so have my girlfriends. It's only been 1 week so we have a looong way to go. :)

It will be an interesting study for us and hopefully we will learn more about our spending habits by doing this.

Question of the day: What can you give up buying/splurging and for how long?


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