Fiscal Fast Recap

I have been feeling better!

I have been thinking about how that fiscal fast has really helped me to put a cap on my spending.  I am being more purposeful with my spending and I love it!

I would never have thought that one week could make such a difference.

It’s hard to explain, but I really don’t feel like so much of a consumer.  I don’t feel sucked in to the spending like I was prior to the fiscal fast.  I almost feel now like I have choices, to spend or not to spend, whereas before it was just very unintentional spending here and there.  I think because it was nothing big, I didn’t count it as spending, but when I added it up it was probably $20 or so in just one week.  $20 is a lot of money to just let it go away with no real reason, and without realizing that it is going.

I am going to continue with this more purposeful spending and see if I can use it to make some headway on my Christmas fund.

How do you stretch your money?

Fiscal Fast Day 7

Yes, I did it!  I made it 7 days without buying anything!  Some days were definitely harder than others.  I learned a lot about myself and a lot about how and why I buy things.

I am glad it is over, but I really don’t have anything that I absolutely must have tomorrow!  I am out of black and white trash bags, but I have been improvising for 3 days, so no big deal.  I am out of butter, but that margarine spread has gotten us through.  We could use some variety for our breakfasts, but no one is really complaining.

I love that I had the self-discipline to make it through!

Yeah me!

Fiscal Fast Day 6

I made it another day with no money spent!  Today was much easier.  I find when I stay home I am not nearly as tempted as when I am out running around.  Since it was a weekday, I stayed home with not trips to get my daughter after Pre-K.  I cleaned the place up and did laundry.

I am running low on several things.  We are out of breakfast stuff.  I searched the pantry shelves for something that we could use and I found a whole jar of Nutella (yum!)  This will certainly help to keep the kids happy for the next couple of days.

I have been able to make do with what I have much better than I expected.  I made some homemade granola bars to have with the Nutella.  I followed this recipe.  They are pretty good.  I might try some different additions next time, but I will definitely be making them again.

I have tried a few new recipes this week and that has made my family happier.  I am trying to get us out of the rut we’ve been in with food.

Only one more day.  I’m sure I can make it now.  Here’s to saving some money this week!

Fiscal Fast Day 5

Another day down.  I soooo wanted to get something today.  Nothing in particular, but anything.  I wanted Wendy’s, I wanted Penn Station, I wanted a Coke, I wasn’t even hungry but I wanted to spend money.  I just wanted to CHEAT!  But I just couldn’t.  So, no unauthorized food or drinks for me!  I have been enjoying looking at my file cabinet.

Top drawer all cleaned out and organized!

Bottom drawer cleaned and organized too!

I have enjoyed having extra cash in my wallet.  I am enjoying not being so busy running around, but I am not enjoying telling myself no.  So, that probably means I need to tell myself NO more often.

For me, this journey of not spending for a week is more mental than physical.  I want to do what I want, when I want.  Another day down.   I hope tomorrow is a little easier!  I’ve been dreaming about what I will buy first when Thursday gets here!

Fiscal Fast Day 4

I didn’t spend a thing today.  But I felt like today was much harder.  My kids were being wild and I just wanted to get out for a little while, but when you aren’t spending money, there really isn’t anywhere to go!

I got the file cabinet completely finished today.  I ended up with another white trash bag of shredded paper from the upper drawer in the file cabinet.  I am embarrassed to say that there was stuff in there waiting to be filed that was 3 years old!!   I will post pictures tomorrow hopefully.  It sure was a lot of work.  It is nice to have it completed!

I am really sore from the run yesterday.  I missed the long run the week before and boy could I tell.  My quads are super sore.  I was a little slower in my duties, but on Sunday, that isn’t all bad.

I have been doing some reading too.  I am reading the Autobiography of St. Margaret Mary and the Imitation of Christ by Thomas a Kempis.  One of my 2012 goals is to read 6 religion books.  Considering this is April and these are my first two books, I better keep at it.

It was a good day, but it was harder for sure!  How did you do?

Fiscal Fast Day 3

Another day under my belt!  I am amazed at how much easier this is getting.  Yes, I am getting lower on supplies, but I have been being more creative.  For example, I had stew meat in the freezer and I had some stir-fry vegetables in there too.  I found a bunch of recipes on stir-fry and incorporated what I had in the kitchen and our stir-fry dinner was pretty good.  Normally, I wouldn’t have looked through the freezer so carefully and I would have gone to one of my standby dinners.

I had a good day, no shopping temptations at all.  I am getting ready for a half-marathon, so today we ran 10 miles.  I had plenty of chores to keep me busy around the house.  I was afraid after the long run, that I might not have enough energy to get all that I wanted done.  My energy was definitely lower than usual, but I moved slowly through my chores and amazed that I got so much done.  I shredded another big stack of papers, and I am down to one small stack that I need to file.  I hope to do that tomorrow.  Then I will be done with the bottom of the file cabinet!  The top is just a bunch of current stuff that needs to be filed.  I hope to get that done tomorrow as well!

Here is all of the shredding completed!

One stack still to be filed.

After a busy day, I am pretty tired and sore tonight.  Here are the highlights:

Played Monopoly Junior with my 7 and 5 year olds.  I lost again 🙂

Played 2 games of chess with my 7-year-old.

Finished the shredding.

Made a nice (and different) meal than usual!

I got 2 baths in today!  One to warm up after the run.  It is amazing how quickly you go from warm when exercising to cold after you stop.  I was freezing.  Later tonight I got in the tub again to help with some sore and achey muscles.

The house is clean!

Tomorrow is Church and 4H.  The finances are looking good!

Fiscal Fast Day 2

I survived another day on my fiscal fast!  Today was much easier, but I did find myself parked outside of a store ready to go inside to “browse” when I remembered I’m not shopping.

Other than that close call, I was good all day!

I started working on my file cabinet and shredding all of the older documents.  Here is the before photo.

This is such a mess!

A big stack of papers that need to be filed!

I got the bottom drawer cleaned out.  There is a big stack of papers that need to be shredded.

This is what is shredded so far!

I made pretty good progress for the day.  I will work on it some more tomorrow if I have time.

I made the croutons that I was contemplating in yesterday’s post.  They were so easy and tasty too.  It really helped my salad!  Here is the recipe that I used.  I got the link from Gail’s blog.  It sent me to this site

I got another bath, and played Monopoly Junior with A.  She loves playing games.  Oh, I also got a 4 mile walk in first thing this morning.  It was a good day.

Playing Monopoly Junior

Here’s to a no-spend weekend!

Fiscal Fast Day 1 Recap

I made it through the first day!  It wasn’t easy.  I wanted to get a coffee at the YMCA while my daughter took her ballet class, but  I remembered in time.

Then I decided that I needed to get my bangs cut because they are really long and driving me crazy.  I’ll have to wait until next week on that.

I am almost out of butter and about to panic, but I remembered that we had some kind of fake butter in the  fridge that I will be using up.

I like balsamic vinaigrette dressing on my salad and I used the end of the bottle today.  I have some Raspberry vinaigrette that I bought to try and didn’t really like, but I will use it up.

I am also out of croutons.  I love croutons.  I will have to try to make some homemade croutons to see how I like them.

I wanted to try Gail’s iced coffee, but I searched high and low, but I didn’t have any sweetened condensed milk.  Bummer.  I did however find 4 cans of evaporated milk which I never use.  Here is her recipe.  I will have to try that next week too.

Frugal Iced Coffee

6 cups of strong brewed coffee 1 14 oz can of sweetened condensed milk
Mix ingredients together and serve over ice.  You can also freeze leftover brewed coffee in ice cube trays so that your drink doesn’t get diluted by regular ice cubes.   Makes 1 pitcher full at around $2 per pitcher.

We mowed the grass tonight and I was thinking about how much gasoline we have in the can and we will have enough I think if we are careful.

In just one day, I have really been thinking about spending money without actually spending it.  I can see already how I just get this or that without any real thought.  This is going to be a challenging week.

On a positive note, I did take a long hot bath, and I did play Jenga with my daughter.  We had fun playing with the blocks anyway.

A built a fire and I built a 21 because we counted our blocks and I had 21 blocks

A built a "double triple-decker"

I built a house

I can see that this is going to be a tough week.  I buy little things here and there like they don’t really count, but I am realizing they do.  This is going to be harder than I thought.  Here’s to tomorrow.

I’m Doing A Fiscal Fast

I’ve read both of Jeff Yeager’s books.  I’ve watched Sharon do a couple of fiscal fasts, and I want to join her.

I have a tendency to fly by the seat of my pants for a large part of my dinner preparations.  We buy 1/2 of a cow each year and a whole pig to put in the freezer.  I  always have plenty of meat, but usually I am lacking in variety.  My husband says I serve the same 10 meals over and over.

I am hoping not purchasing sides, etc. on a whim like I usually do, that I will be more creative with my cooking.  I really don’t mind cooking, but I without a plan I go to the same meals, because it is easy and I know the kids will eat it.

So, from tomorrow Thursday, April 19 until Wednesday, April 25 I will be trying to not buy anything.  Will I be able to do it?  I don’t know, but I will give it my best shot.

What do I hope to gain?  Time to be more creative in the kitchen, to orgainize my file cabinet, to stay home and enjoy a little more leisure time.  I would like to read a little more, play games with my daughter, and take long hot baths.

I will report back each day and let you know how it goes!