Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Frugal Updates Moving Into November
This journey of blogging and posting began with a simple question of a mother facing an empty nest: "Time or Money" ? It seemed to me that I have been continually blessed with one or the other- but never both at the same time. When working outside of the home I had "extra" but not a lot of time to listen, cook, clean, craft, decorate or rest-but I did feel fulfilled by accolades, personal accomplishments and success. If working inside of the home I was rewarded daily with great conversations with family and friends unhurried, a project in every room, great recipes, candle scents billowing, time to exercise, to plan vacations, do coupons and redecorate on a budget...
Having done both, I personally feel that there is no "right" way, but that each individual has to weigh those decisions based on their own journey. I'm still weighing my decisions and options. :)
September we did a no spend challenge with a goal of saving $1,000 for our emergency fund. We reached that goal 2 weeks into this month of October. However, our cat of 9 years developed Lymphoma, and last week had to be put down. It was considered an emergency and cost $162. We will have to replenish this amount. This was unexpected, but it was encouraging to know that those funds were available.
October we are trying a checklist of 10 items that will make daily decisions for health, wealth, and wisdom easier. It has been going very well. (My checklist can be found in the Blog Archives) I have only checked the entire sheet 3 times this month. However, having the list is a tangible way for me to see that I've accomplished my goals for the day. I may tweak it for next month, but I think I'll try to keep it around. (Not everyone is a list maker, so if this is a drag for you ignore it ;) It keeps me motivated :)
On our car ride to Pittsburgh yesterday, I wrote some ideas down for November. One of the most important things that I would like to try, in addition to the Cash Envelopes and Daily Checklist is to have a "Little House on the Prairie" style month. Just 4 weeks. Make it like a game. For example:
Right now as I sit typing the kitchen light is on, the living room light is on, the space heater is on, the den light is on, the television is on, I left the radio on in the studio, the dryer is going......lots of electricity is being used. I do not want to become the person who shuts the light off when someone is trying to read, but if you've left the room and left a light on, that's a waste. So I read that anything that is plugged in uses phantom electric and is causing the meter to go round and round racking up $. It is my intention to go around to every room in the house and use surge strips to plug everything into it. (extension chords would work too.) Then I only have to unplug one chord at the outlet for many appliances, lamps and electronics. If it is not plugged in except when you use it, it can't draw electric and cost $.
I know that we all need the phone. Do we need 3 cellphones in the house? Can one person get by with none? Maybe not. Maybe so....this is on the table for discussion.
Is it possible to save water? Think of the ways we use it in the home. Do we have rain barrels? What do we do with the grey water from the dishes? Do you water the plants? How many times do you flush? Do you let the water run when you brush your teeth? Showers, are they 30 minutes or 10?
Do you recycle?
How long is the television and computer on at your house? What did they do in Ma and PA Ingalls day? They were outdoors, by the fire, reading, playing games, music and the home was filled with conversation.
This is the November plan. Continue to save. Continue to move forward with healthy food and fitness. Begin to have more of a Little House on the Prairie experience if only for a month.