In my last post, I presented myself with the challenge of not spending a copper penny during the month of March on anything that wasn't a fixed payment (rent, insurance, groceries, transportation). And all my apologies for not updating along the way, but I was just so dedicated and swept up by my frugalness that I barely had to time to enjoy my weekly successes. There was no real motivation behind the idea of stashing every possible cent, other than having a stockpile in my savings account. It was more for the self-gratification that I could stick to something so vigorous. I hadn't been so dedicated to a cause since my fundraising stint in seventh grade selling oranges and grapefruit for my class's end of year trip (I clearly dominated as top seller, earning myself a cd walkman. It was 1996, gimme a break).
I think I fared pretty friggin' good. And there was a lot of spin-off from my thrifty efforts. Not only did I save money, but I made money - putting furniture & home deco wares on Kijiji.ca which I did not use and would certainly find a better home elsewhere, and hauling a bin to Elsie's Consignment clothing store on Queen Street, bringing in a few extra dollar bills. I turned off lights and unplugged dormant appliances & electronics like there was a power shortage. My monthly consumption was $26, my lowest monthly usage bill yet. No take-out food, no eating out. I cashed in some Air Miles for Sobeys gift certificates totalling $100 worth of free grub. With some careful grocery-shopping consideration, I was able to make that $100 stretch 4 weeks, meaning I didn't pay a thing to eat in the month of March.
Now, there was one thing I overlooked, which I am somewhat disappointed in myself with. In all of my prepping and planning, I forgot about my monthly $8 subscription to Netflix, which I use several times a week. Since I do not have cable, and do not rent from the local vid store (usually borrow or feed my entertainment craving with online episodes), I have accepted this error in judgement and decided I was due for a splurge of some sort this month. Umm.. right?
My savings for the month totalled $561. I had a pretty good laugh when I saw how much I could be saving - if I had NO LIFE. No, really. I only went out to the pubs if we were sure to get there before cover was charged. I didn't drink a lick of booze - unless it was purchased or graciously offered (out of pity, perhaps). I found it easy to not spend anything on clothes or unnecessary housewares if I avoided the shopping districts of the city (though my inbox had me tempted with Steve Madden specials and new arrivals at shopbop.com).
With blinders on and my eye on the prize, I had a successful month. It would be beyond easy to shove that saved cash into the hands of those adorable Biscuit staffers, but then I'd start the vicious spending cycle again. I don't need anything for my closets or my living room shelves. Plus I've got school to worry about now. Hurrah for tuition - again!
But if I were to up and spend my little stockpile of dedication, a little vacation would be a fabulous investment, don't you think?