One step forward, two steps back

The “No Spend Challenge” went great this weekend! Mr. Wonderful and I engaged in some outdoor activities and enjoyed a little couch time. All free, all fun with no recreational shopping to speak of. On my way home yesterday, I tortured myself with a spin through TJ Maxx only to learn that they didn’t have one thing I wanted to buy. Nice,eh?

A quick trip through Aldi garnered $16 worth of groceries that, combined with the freezer/pantry stock should get me through the next two weeks.

Or so I thought.

Things didn’t exactly go as planned.

At home, I found a large puddle of water in front of the fridge. All of the ice from the ice maker had thawed. Funny. It’s not supposed to do that……

The compressor had blown on the fridge which is only about a decade old. A lot of food lost. Frustration mounting.

I do all this work, earn extra income and pinch pennies so that I can dig myself out of debt and maybe even…gasp….get ahead….only to fall further and further behind.

Deep Breath.

It will be ok. But now I will lose a day of productivity at work to go shop for an appliance I really can’t afford.

On the bright side, the sun is shining, the sky is blue and it feels like fall today. If Mother Nature is smiling it really can’t be so bad, right?

Keeping it together

The first few days of my No Spend Challenge have gone okay so far. No slip ups since the Subway cookie and I’ve had absolutely no interest in shopping or buying anything since then.

I’ve done this exercise several times in the past – for as much as a month at a time and as little as two weeks. The first few days are usually the hardest but this week has been relatively easy. Although, we’ve not made it to the weekend which is where I’m most apt to misbehave so I could be singing a different tune on Monday.

Be certain, I am not a materialistic person. I do not understand these people who are waiting in line for the new Iphone today and I really don’t care what kind of car you drive or how many Pandora beads you sport on your wrist. Those things are nice but they don’t really appeal to me.

I do, however, have a weakness for books and music and thrifting. And the $15 I spent at the local used music store a couple of weeks ago wasn’t a lot of money, especially for all the great tunes I bought …… but it adds up. And my life isn’t any better for owning it.  That $1.50 pack of gum doesn’t really enhance my life either

I reviewed my budget the other day and added up how much extra money I would have this month if it weren’t for the debt. The debt being mortgage, car, a small home repair loan, a student loan and a small amount of credit card debt. The amount was staggering.

What I wouldn’t give to have that money in the bank.

And that’s when it hit me.

I have given away that money and that piece of mind in exchange for gum and music and a closet full of clothes when I still have nothing to wear! Instead of buying this stuff that doesn’t really matter I should be paying off my student loan, paying off the home repair before it’s broken again, paying off the credit card so I don’t ever have to borrow money for a small expense again!

So in addition to retraining myself to stop buying unnecessary things through this No Spend Challenge I will be consciously reminding myself what I’m trading for the few things I think about bringing home from the store. I’m counting on this to help me keep it together not just through this No Spend Challenge but for the long run too.

What could you do with the money you are spending on stuff? How much better could your life be without the stress of debt? What are you willing to do to fix it?