Wednesday, May 12, 2010

It's that time of year again

The Ultimate Cheapskate's Road Map to True Riches: A Practical (and Fun) Guide to Enjoying Life More by Spending Less
Here in our house we're doing another financial fast.  If you've read this blog for a while you might remember our fast from last year, if you want to read about it you can read the posts about it here.  By coincidence it was almost exactly one year ago, so I guess it's time.

We have spent a lot of money in the past couple of weeks, most if it was on legitimate expenses that happened to come up during the same week, but some of it was just spending way too much on things that we either didn't need or didn't need right then.  Just like last year my major struggle is at the grocery store and this month we went to Sam's and Kroger in the same week and just like that our grocery budget was mostly gone for the month.

No matter where you fall on the money spectrum a spender, a saver, or somewhere in between, a spending fast is a wonderful learning experience and I really encourage you to give it a try.  Your not supposed to prepare for it, just jump in there and do it.  So you wanna?  Huh, you wanna, come on you know you do.  It'll be fun.  Well if you do wanna the rules are below, all taken from a great book that is full of great ideas.

"1. The fiscal fast should be at least one full week in length, with the starting and ending times determined in advance.
2. Everyone in the family should play. If everyone is not playing, nonplayers are prohibited from interference of any kind.
3. In regulation play, ALL SPENDING IS PROHIBITED, regardless of type of expense (e.g., food, clothing, entertainment, routine bills, commuting cost) or form of payment (e.g. cash, check, charge card, debit card). However some families may choose to establish agreed-upon exceptions before starting the fast. For example, commuting costs for working adults or writing a check for the mortgage.
4. No hoarding in advance! Intentionally stockpiling extra food and other supplies prior to the fiscal fast is strictly prohibited. Topping off the gas tank in the family car prior to the start of play is generally permitted.
5. In order to benefit fully from a fiscal fast, during the fast keep a household diary in which all players are required to make at least a short daily entry regarding:
*Challenges of getting through the day without spending money
*An estimate of how much money they would have normally spent that day, and on what
*An observation (positive or negative) about their fiscal fasting experience that day."

For our family's fast we will:
1. Last two full weeks, beginning on Sunday, May 9th and ending Saturday, May 22nd.
3. Exceptions: purchase of pediasure and milk, any adoption expenses, two previously scheduled events (Bunko and a shower I'm throwing for a friend).
5. Check back I will keep a daily log of what happened, what I learned, what made me want to scream! :)


Kyle said...

Exception #6: I'm buying gas for the truck to get me to work. But, I plan to commute to the office via bicycle at least 3x / week during the fast.

What are exceptions 2 and 4?

Jenny said...

The numbers were based off of the rules above, I was giving our rules for the corresponding rule # from the book..make sense?

Flower Patch Farmgirl said...

Oooh...I like this! I've been reading through your posts and really enjoying them. We have done similar spending fasts before (although we didn't call them that - we just decided to not spend $) and your comments on your most recent post rang so true! Ugh. That blasted grocery store. :) Life without fresh produce makes me tear up a bit! Also, I share your heart on the various adoption comments that people make. You're right - all you can do is show grace. I so often walk away fuming and wishing I would have put them in their place! ;)

Jenny said...

Thanks so much fpfarmgirl :) It's means a lot for you to comment on my blog...your blog is so big! and mine so little :) The fast is hard, but I always learn a lot, readjust my focus and it helps on tight months too.