Sunday, August 21, 2011

School Daze

We are getting ready to start our school year here. I'm so happy that public school is starting back. As a homeschool family, we celebrate when kids go back to public school! Our homeschool group actually throws a party.
It's not that I don't enjoy summer, I do. Plus, the Boss gets to see her public school friends a lot more and I know she enjoys that. However, I do love getting back to our regular routine. Summer is so much more hetic with the traveling and camps and such. I like our normal routine.

So, I did have to buy a couple of things this week. A new school planner for one. Anyone who home schools can agree that a planner is a necessity. I did find our old planner from last year still on the shelf so I tossed it. (one in-one out)
Why did I still have that thing?
I also ordered new math books for both the kids. The Boss hated what we were using for math. Seriously hated it. So, I found a new curriculum that I think she will enjoy and ordered the first book. I am listing the old ones on Amazon this morning.
I think keeping up with what I bring into the house is key. One in-one out seems like a great rule, not to mention the bags of donations that go each time the trucks come through the neighborhood.
Being able to buy necessities, keeps the raging shopping beast inside me appeased. I still haven't bought myself anything. I feel okay. I have so much stuff to stay busy.
We've lost another library book. This is beginning to be a very expensive habit. I want to encourage reading, so I never try to limit the books that The Boss checks out, but I certainly don't want to pay for a new branch by myself either.
Now where is that stupid book...

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Whistling Dixie

So, yesterday I purchased a rebel flag bikini top on eBay for a costume piece. I felt bad buying something new, but this really does sum up my character nicely. To make up for the purchase, I purged three more items from my closet. Granted, I probably won't keep the costume piece after the run of the show. I can't see when I would wear it again, but it's the principal of the matter. I don't feel any guilt for buying this item since it will be used and then donated. I do think of costumes as a necessity. When I agree to take on a role in community theatre, I understand that finding my own costume is part of the deal.

Sometimes, I will admit to wondering if I am doing the right thing. I still shop for everyone else. It's starting to become hard to not buy myself a little something. I do feel like I am punishing only myself sometimes. Today is especially hard. I have a huge list of errands that involves stopping at a couple of my favorite places: Lowes to get two new plants for the veggie garden and Bed, Bath & Beyond for a final gift on the list for Mr. Challenge.

And yet.

There is nothing that I actually will buy for myself.
It always comes back to this.
I want many things, but nothing that I am willing to compromise the challenge for.

Yes, I know, I can hear some people say that this challenge isn't real because I am still purchasing, but that's the beauty of making your own rules.
I know how much I shopped before. It still seems strange to me to not come in the house most days with my arms full of shopping bags. I would carry them all in, set them on the dining room table and commence with the large task of finding homes for new items that probably should have been left at the stores.
I am enjoying my newfound time.
My home is slowly becoming clearer. Every day I part with a few more items.
So, I will head off to these two stores today with a renewed sense of what I am doing.
I will not feel bad for myself that I can't buy anything.
I will be happy that I have the time to garden and that I am almost completely prepared for a birthday that is still one week away.

My name is Suzan and I have not purchased any unnecessary items for 45 days.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Empty Pockets

I really thought that by doing this project, I would have the added benefit of saving money.
I have the lofty goal of putting $1000 into my personal savings account. It isn't going so well.
Getting rid of items has felt good. No feelings of deprivation yet. I see lots of things that I normally would have bought, but I am able to walk away from now.
 How much was I actually spending on crap before?
I do try to think long and hard before I buy things for the rest of my family as well, but wonder if I am using that as an excuse to still get my "shopping fix". I have been buying presents for Mr Challenge's birthday recently. I don't think I have bought more than usual, but I have thought about each item. Making sure that it will be used and loved. No useless junk.
That little voice inside my head tells me that it's still shopping.
The Boss cleaned out her closet and got rid of an entire trash bag full of clothes that no longer fit. Then I went and bought her a new outfit. It's only one outfit, and yet, it still wasn't an actual necessity. My goal was not to make my family suffer through this year with me, though.
or is that just my excuse?
Then, there's the dining out. I have gone off the deep end with that. Now, with the extra cash in my pocket, I am more likely to grab a bite while I am out. I have not, however, significantly decreased my grocery budget, so this is still excess. The very backbone of this entire challenge. 
Sugar free snow cones are the new crack.

I suppose I am just feeling a bit down on myself today. 
Truth be told, I have purged my house of bags and bags of clutter. I do have more money in my saving account ($150 instead of $0 when I started). I have found more time to do the things that I want to do, which I can't put a dollar amount on.  

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Retail Las Vegas

Well, I must say that Vegas may not be my scene. The food was incredible, there was so much to look at, but overall, Mr. Challenge and I were ready to come home and leave it all behind.

There is just far too much excess for someone who is really focusing on simplifying her life. Even if I were shopping, I wouldnt be shopping at the stores found in our hotel. Jimmy Choo? Guess? Armani?
I'm not even tempted by those establishments. I don't want to judge, but when I looked at the tourists shopping in thoses stores, I wanted to shake them! To tell them that what they bought in Vegas would follow them home. It's so easy to become carried away there. Everything is so over the top and it seems that each person catches assholeitis as soon as they step off the plane. The sense of entitlement is palpable.
Everyone is a big shot in Vegas. Including me. We dropped $80 on a breakfast (that did not included any mimosas). We were drunk as skunks by 3:00 the first afternoon. No, I didn't bring back any clutter, but overspending is part of the game. We don't even gamble! All of our money was spent on food and drinks. I left my low carb lifestyle at home and oinked out on macaroni and cheese, cupcakes, bread baskets and even a giant baked potato. It became all about the food to me. That was my overindulgence. My vice.
But guess what
It didn't stay in Vegas.
I was lucky enough to bring three four extra pounds home with me.

Now, before you say, but Suzan, it's only three four pounds! Let's remember that I was only there for approximately 48 hours.


Friday, August 5, 2011

What Happens in Vegas.

I leave for Vegas in a couple of hours. A quick weekend trip. This is my first time and I am totally stoked. I bought a couple of things this week, but totally justified. However it felt weird. Already?
I have been working on a blanket for a while and ran out of one color of yarn. I seriously debated on whether I could finish it without that color.
That would jack up the entire pattern I have going. The point is to finish the blanket so that I can get it out of my house (although, it would look lovely on my couch, the colors are so nice...) Anyway, I bought the yarn I needed. It was a small form of torture for me to have to wander through Hobby Lobby.
Look at all the projects I could start and never finish

I also bought SeaBands. I have a HUGE fear of flying, but even more than that, I am afraid that I will have to vomit in that little white bag with someone sitting beside me. I cannot hurl gracefully, I have tried.
So I bought the SeaBands. I didn't even think twice until I got out to my car. It was automatic. I am feeling guilt, but I am not even thinking of taking them back. The person sitting in front of me on the airplane is very happy that I just made that statement.

I did not buy any new clothes for Vegas, though, normally, I would have.I actually have two "new" items for the trip, a dress and a cute top, neither of which have been worn although they were purchase well before the challenge ever started. I am packed and ready to leave. I won't be bringing any souvineers for myself home, though I will pick up some trinkets for the kids and a few friends. No pressure, no stress, I'm relaxed as I head out the door, a first in my travels.

Btw, local friends, check out Frisco Style Magazine that showed up in your mailbox. There is an article about a lady who also did a project similar to this one. It's not exactly the same, as she allowed secondhand purchases, but the main goal is the same. Her blog is

I'm out!