Saturday, September 20, 2008

no spending

I read an article in this month's Reader's Digest that I've been thinking about all week. Some family decided to go a whole month without spending any money. Here were their rules. First, of course, they paid their obligatory bills (mortgage, utilities, car, etc.) Then they could spend $100 on groceries that are perishable (bread, milk, fresh fruit/veggies). But they could not spend money on anything else... no gas, no babysitters, no fast food, movies, shopping, etc.

Could you do it? They explained what parts were hard and how they got around them. They explained why they wanted to do it and how it changed their attitudes about money and our American need to have more, more, more. Sounds like an interesting experiment. Don't know if I'm up to it, though.

First, I couldn't stop buying gas. There is no way I can get two kids to Nene's, Michelle to school and myself to work (Monday is the big day when I return to the world of the working) on a bike or by riding the bus. I'd have to leave on the bus at who knows, probably 6 in the morning.

I guess we could go a month with no shopping (I have several meals frozen and enough food in my food storage that we could go a month or two, but it wouldn't be fun; and we really don't NEED any clothes, shoes, etc.) But Halloween is coming and I don't have the time, talent or inclination to make costumes. Then Christmas is not too far off either, and ditto the time, talents, thing when it comes to gifts. Plus, especially when working full time, it is nice to ocassionally just stop and buy dinner rather than cooking. I could go a month with no fast food or take out, but I don't know if I'd want to. We don't eat out a lot, usually, but at least a couple times a month.

Interestingly, Alfredo read the article. I thought he would scoff and say no way. He said, "I think we should try it." Even though he likes to shop more than I do, he was the one who was excited about trying it out.

So I'll ask you, could you go for a month without spending any money (other than bills and minimal groceries)? What would be hardest for you to give up? What do you think you might learn from this experiment?