No Buy Round 2

So my friend and I decided to do another month of 'No Buy' which basically means no shopping/purchasing unnecessary things for the entire month. So aside from groceries and household items, I will not be buying beauty items, clothes, shoes, accessories, etc. That means a lot of restraint on my part as you all know. But I need to cut it out and focus on paying my bills. I definitely want to be done with my credit cards by the end of the year. And from the calculations I did, if I play it smart, I can be done by December with all my credit cards and store cards. I will absolutely be able to pocket that 'extra' money and use it for savings and all the other things I've been meaning to do. I've learned my lesson and I am done with the devil and his promises. Its times like this I really wish my mother would have had a real conversation about this with me and educated me rather than just telling me not to use credit cards. Though sometimes I know that even with all the right knowledge and tools, it is hard to make the right decisions.

Well here's to nothing new for an entire month. So far its 2 days in and I'm good, haven't bought anything. Let's hope I stay strong.

- L

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No Will Power

I broke my No Buy already. Yea I'm weak, I know it. In my defense, the sales were too good to pass up. I shoulda known better than to go to Target during my No Buy. LOL I will try to refrain from shopping for the rest of the month and try again in April. Realistically April 1st is the date to look forward to where things should fall into place for me. *fingers crossed* Not that I should have any excuses. But to be fair, I still put money in savings, paid more than my share on my bills and still had quite a bit of breathing room. I didn't go broke splurging it all on one check like I do sometimes. It's all about balancing.

And while I need to save a little more, I'm still content with what I bought. It wasn't anything super unnecessary. It was stuff I needed and some that I wanted that I will use and not toss to the side. One pair of sneakers because I have no casual footwear besides my gym sneakers. I kept meaning to buy them I just didn't want to pay jacked up prices. I saw them on sale, took it as a sign and bought them. With my luck if I would have waited, I would have never gotten them. That's always the story. The stuff in Target? That was a little unnecessary, but again the sale prices were really REALLY too good to say no to. I know for next time to stay away from Target during a No Buy session.

All in all I'm not feeling too guilty or bad about it. I could have done worse. I owned up to it and didn't try to hide it. So now you all know I cheated, 'cause I fessed up. On the plus side, some of the stuff I got at Target will make for good future posts. So it's more of an investment ;-)

BUT I'm still going well with my fitness and diet. Loving the Hot Yoga and the way it makes me feel. Working on my core, and general well being. Summer is around the corner!

Stay tuned!
-L

Spring Cleaning

Spring is almost here, just another month. I know we all can't wait for the warmer weather. The flowers will be blooming, and allergies will be in effect. We clean out our homes and pack up all the winter gear and get ready for the warm sunny days. I usually almost never do spring cleaning. I rotate out my wardrobe at the most. But there are still a few key pieces that stay with me year round. So those drawers are untouched. This spring, I have 2 things I want to try out - for myself.

Starting March 1st, I am following MJ Fan Girl and going on a No Buy for the whole month. No shopping, only necessities and stuff for the house. This has 2 purposes. 1 - to help me save up some cash. 2 - to let me dig deep through my wardrobe and see how creative I can be with what I already have. I want to see if I can revamp my current clothes to make fantastic outfits without the added cost. Especially for me, I buy all these accessories and never use them. So I'm going to make the most of what I have and prove to myself that newer is not always better.

I'm also going to start my own "March MadnesS: Fitness Edition" Forget about New Year's resolutions, this is about spring cleaning - for my body. Most everyone has forgotten about their resolutions, and I'm just now starting. But it works. I know the gyms will be empty! I'm not trying to be a skinny chic. Weight is not the goal here. Being fit and healthy is. As I am now, I can barely walk up and down the stairs without wheezing. Not a good look. Not to mention my craptastic weak ankle. I want, no need to work out so my joints loosen up and drop a few pounds so I can ease the pressure off my ankle. There is no real deadline or end goal. I don't want to psych myself out. Just do this in a healthy way, at a steady, comfortable pace. I'll also really work hard at weaning off the meat and becoming a pescatarian. So far I've been good at staying away from red meat, now to slow down on the chicken. It's been a little harder than expected because I not only have no will power, but the Mister is the one who cooks most of the time. I can't force him into pescatarianism, so I have to really hunker down and say no to the bird.

Any one else "spring cleaning" or have ideas/tips?

Slow and steady wins the race.
-L

Weird Ways to Save?

We all try to save, and for some it's easier. I can admit that I had trouble saving before. But there were several factors to that. Now that I'm on the right path, I thought I'd share a few things I've done.


I've never tried this, but I think it would a cool way to start, if you do the math it really adds up. Now I may try to do this one year just to see if I can incorporate it into my other routines.

One of the things I started doing to save that wasn't so weird, but normal, was to set up an automatic transfer from my checking to savings every paycheck. I started small, $25 a week to start. But every check (when I can) I add a little more on top of it. It make a difference. I even set some goals for myself to make myself more motivated. I'm happy to say that I've met my goals and continue to make new ones. Even if you can't commit to adding more than $20 a check to savings, it still adds up. Don't be discouraged! Start one step at a time, baby steps until you get where you want to be and/or feel comfortable to do more.

Now for the not so normal. Ha. These both get on the Mister's nerves because I'm so OCD about it. I started doing this about halfway through last year but it worked to help me save up quite a bit. No judgment here, please. I started saving up my crispy bills. Whenever I took money out the ATM, or got change back, I separated out my crispy bills from the more used bills, from the singles all the way to Big Ben. Yes I know how silly it sounds, but I hardly ever walk around with cash, so it was a good way for me to save up cash to have on hand in case of an emergency. And after I reached a certain amount or so, I would put some in the bank. I have had to use it once or twice, and thank goodness it was there! Even if it's just singles, it all adds up.

The other thing, is to empty all my change. Every night when I get home. I dump out my change and separate the quarters for laundry and put the rest in the cosmetic bag I use for change. But I also separate the quarters. I dislike the 'states' quarters, so I dump those back into the savings and use only the regular quarters for laundry. If there's any bi-centennial quarters or any other non-standard ones, back into savings they go. It may be odd, but it's what works for me. When the bag gets full, I lug it off to the bank and dump it into the change machine (thank you TD!) Whatever I get from it, goes straight into my account. Unless it's an emergency of course, in which case I keep it for what I need.

What else do you do to save money? Or so you think I'm crazy?

-L

Shop-A-Holic

I must stop. I swear I cannot do this anymore. I checked my Mint account a few weeks ago and I am a certified shop-a-holic. Too much of my money gets whisked away before I even know it. Part of it is that I have absolutely no self control, the other part of it is me having money. Sounds odd, but when I was making single digits an hour I had no choice but to pay all my bills and barely have money for a metrocard and lunch, let alone to shop. Now that I make well above what I was making before, I am going out of control. I already know I'm more than over-compensating for the fact that I could never buy anything before when I was consistently living paycheck to paycheck. But its hard to see something I want and not buy it. Especially since I know I can afford it and I'm totally compulsive and have to have it yesterday. Did I mention I have horrible self control? Don't get me wrong I do save, and I have a decent savings. I'm not neglecting my bills either. Everything gets paid on time, believe that! Credit card companies are vultures and they do not joke around.

I am slowing down now though. Majority of my money goes to food, but we all gotta eat right? I am cutting down on spending exorbitant amounts of money on lunch, and jumping on it when the company buys us lunch. Shoot.. I'm not turning down anything free. I also don't shop for clothes. Mostly because I'm fat, and partly because I don't care how the hell I look 80% of the time. I'm a very low key, in and out of the bathroom kinda gal. I secretly do like to dress up, but my esteem is shot with my waistline, and I really don't have the time for all the dolling up. I'd rather sleep than wake up early to do makeup, hair and all that extra stuff. Which makes me wonder why I made VIB status at Sephora in less than 3 months and am at over 600 points -__- I still have not found a good foundation I like, so that's my reason for not using all the million products I have. What's the point in dressing up everything else if your face is all blotchy and shitty looking?

Anyway I digress. I will put myself on a new savings plan and see how that works out. I'm putting more towards my bills so I can be free from these predators scavengers, whatever you wanna call them. I've already set aside a moving out fund, and am almost done with my emergency fund, so I will start a vacation fund, or something similar. Maybe I'll just name it "Just Cause" fund. That has a nice ring to it :-) But less shopping! After my birthday splurge, I will take a hiatus. I promise!

Ciao bellas!