I made the decision to not spend any money this week. I have a bachelorette trip coming up soon, baby's first birthday, hubby's birthday and the holidays coming up. I've also started listening and watching no non-sense financial guru Dave Ramsey. He tells it like it is, and a lot of what he says makes sense! "If you can't pay cash for it, you can't afford it". Duh! Why hasn't this clicked for me before? Immediately I decide I need to pay off all my credit cards, and get rid of them. I will take joy in slicing them as soon as this goal is achieved.
Dave Ramsey's first step in financial freedom is to save $1000.00. Start a mini savings account with this money for a rainy day. Step two,pay off any and all debt starting with the smallest debt, step three, start investing.In order follow some of these steps,I will not be buying ANYTHING this week. Normally, during the week, I spend money on Starbucks, McDonald's egg Mcmuffins, lunch at work and dinner items for the family. On occasion, I'll get pedicures, buy books, succulents, makeup and things in general that make me happy. I use my debit card, credit cards, basically the first one I grab in my purse with really no ryhm or reason. I need to be better about this. This week I will master Money. I went so far as to give the hubbz all of my credit cards and debit cards for the week.
The hubbz was on board as soon as I mentioned anything about saving money. Together, we decided we would not shop for any groceries this week. We would use up everything in the house. We cleaned out the refrigerator and the cupboards and found things in there that will make great meals without needing to buy a single thing. There was a moment of great relief and hallelujah when I found two packets of frozen bacon. Immediately I shouted out "bacon! we are going to be OK, we're going to make it!" Meal planning for this week just got exciting. Bacon makes everything better.
We came up with a weekly menu in order to stay organized and came up with some pretty exciting and healthy meals for the week. I try my damnedest to follow a Low carb/keto diet and was able to somewhat abide by the rules of low carbing for all our dinners.
Monday: For breakfast, I made coffee at work and used the creamers and sweetener there. No Starbucks necessary. I was disappointed when my breakfast yogurt was runny and expired and my "boiled egg" was raw! No breakfast then I guess. Then, like a greasy shining light, my co-worker Adam walks in with an extra egg Mc muffin from McDonald's for me. Budgeting loophole. Thanks doll. I usually remove both buns and have the egg and sausage only for low carbing purposes. Adam rolls his eyes and eats his muffins whole and drinks his large iced coffee.
I became comfortable spending zero dollars and drinking coffee at work,I even brought my own mug to make it feel a little more special. Packing my own lunch was a must every day. In my lunch bag,I carry leftovers, Almond butter ( I eat it by the spoonful as a snack), cheese and whatever snacks I can find in my pantry. On Thursday, gabe walks in with a bottle of tequila and says "Oh, I forgot, I just wanted a margarita". He "forgot" about this no spending challenge I've been talking about every day.Sure. The reality of the weekend coming is setting in and I immediately decide I need to make a game plan. Idle hands are the devils spending playground. I'm having dreams about going to the mall, Costco, and Target this weekend. I actually don't want too much! I just want some Organic Strawberries and white bean hummus from Trader Joe's. Tampax Pearls would be nice too. My dedication to this experiment is so monumental that cardboard tampons are being used. I don't know who buys these. I bought them by mistake and they've been sitting under my bathroom sink for about six months. Do these things expire?and who actually uses these?! If you're a woman, you know the struggle of fighting with these uncomfortable yet biodegradable little pieces of sharp angry cotton. On the plus side,I'm not only saving money, I am saving Mother Earth one period at a time.
Over the weekend,I had figured out how to not only save money, but make money with 8 hours of over time at work. By Friday/Saturday the meals had gotten odd. Keto/Low carb was out the window. It takes money to be healthy! Our coffee pot broke mid week and we were able to go the week without it. This was a bachelor coffee pot that Gabe has probably had for the past 15 years.I sold an old dusty bike in my garage and made 30$ for a new one. Loophole. By the weekend, the meals were getting real weird. Before work I filled my lunch bag with whatever I could find at home. I began to lay out my lunch to the dismay of my co workers. "what are you going to do with all that?" one of them asked. "I'm going to eat it and hope I don't get diarrhea". I respond as I ate my canned clam chowder and followed it with half a jar of peaches and a spoonful of almond butter.
During the week one of my coworkers gave me farm fresh organic eggs from her chickens coop and I've never seen anything more beautiful. I realized I've been taking little things like this for granted on all of my shopping spree's. A dozen eggs is normally nothing special until you can't buy them. I had been saving 2 eggs in the refrigerator for a special Sunday breakfast. After this generous and beautiful gift it seems like the menu options are limitless. It's easy to take a little things like this for granted. This challenge reminded me that every single thing is a gift. Everything we have the pleasure of purchasing with our hard earned money should be cherished and will be cherished from now on.
I credit the successful week of no spending to a few things. Staying home and going straight home after work every day was key in saving all the pennies. Meal planning and being prepared so you don't have to shop is helpful. Getting Gabe on board with the plan was the most important part of the whole thing. He was encouraging when the meals were terrible and was entertainment when the nights in were boring.
We celebrated the last day of the no spending challenge by spending $8 on a movie matinee at 11am. We experimented on lunch and dinner options for our food truck,The Blacktop Grill. Another spending loophole. We came up with a new menu option and called it the "BBC" the big bacon Caesar. This all beef, bacon hot dog is layed out on a pita flat bread and rolled up like a gyro/taco. Inside, there's fresh chopped romain lettuce, freshly grated parmasean cheese, Caesar dressing, slices of bacon and bacon crumbles on top. When we find a menu item that has that magic, we both know it instantly. The BBC has it.
I ended the challenge and didn't feel the need to shop. I prepped for the week by raiding the refrigerator and making it work. I made over night oats with berries, bananas, peanut butter, vanilla, flax seeds and almond milk. I also found a big bag of quinoa in the cupboard and made quinoa and veggies for the week. Total cost for meal prepping, zero dollars. Learning lessons, Priceless.