Not Buying It
Lifestyle

Not Buying It! Part 5

By on February 5, 2017

This is Part 5 of a 90-day “Not Buying It” challenge.  You can read Part 1 here, Part 2 here, Part 3 here and Part 4 here.  My goals are to break my consumer habit, spend my time and money more intentionally, use and waste less, and pay down some debt.

Here are my rules for the 90 days:
* No shopping except food and essential items
* No new books, clothes, or music
* No eating in restaurants or buying take-out
* Try to use up food items that are already in the house
* I’m still allowed to pay for dance and yoga

Day 29: Now that I’m doing a pretty good job of not bringing more junk into the house, it’s time to focus some effort on clearing stuff out!!  Today I sorted through a stack of papers and recycled most of it.  I looked in my closet and got rid of a few things.  A good start but I need to do more!  Plus, I’m not sure if I actually want to get rid of that brown faux-suede jacket…

Day 30: I sold two more books on Amazon!!  Three books for a total profit of $30.44 after fees.  Not bad!  Speaking of Amazon, I learned something very cool.  They have a program where you can use your Amazon box, print out a free label, and mail items to a Goodwill.  Check it out here! I’ve got two Amazon boxes I want to use (don’t worry, just ordered organic cashews and alfalfa sprout seeds :)  no major shopping happening here.)

Made some lunch ahead of time to bring to work.  Rice pasta and LOTS of veggies.

rice pasta and veggies

Day 31: I made a donation of $100 to an organization I really want to support, and put it on my credit card.  I’ve been planning this for when I get my tax refund, but decided not to wait.  I should be getting my refund in a few weeks.  I don’t make donations very often, only a few times a year.  No regrets!  And hurray for tax refunds!! Today I got everything I need to get started.  Is it weird to get excited about filing taxes?  Mine are pretty straight forward, and I always overpay and get a nice refund, so I do them as quickly as possible! I bet I’ll be done filing by next week’s update!

Day 32: We had a coffee emergency at work today.  The machine broke!  I had some tea but by 2pm I was totally fading and my work productivity rapidly declining.  I was about to make a trip to Starbucks, had my coat on and everything.  But I hesitated, $5 or $6 for a latte?  That seems outrageous on any day, but especially right now!!  Plus, I don’t even like their soymilk because it’s way too sweet for me.  I took a look in the kitchen, and figured out how to make myself an individual cup of coffee putting the huge filter right over my cup and boiling water in the electric tea kettle (which I never even noticed was there.)  It was strong and delicious!  Necessity is the mother of invention!

IMG_3444

 

Day 33: For several years I’ve been playing the electric bass.  Just for fun, I’m not much of a musician at all.  I have red Fender Jazz bass, and it works perfectly.  But, for whatever reason, I’m tired of the red!  I’ve been fantasizing (for years) of getting a white bass.  I recently looked it up online, and now every time I go on the internet Amazon shows me pictures of a beautiful, white Jazz bass with a maple fret board.  It’s $600!!!  I will NEVER buy this bass.  Want to see my dream bass that I will never buy?

Pretty, huh?

The ones I was looking at were all under $200.  I will probably never buy another bass period, unless mine totally breaks.  Why am I “window shopping” if I’m not going to buy anything?  Makes no sense.  When I was a teenager my dad owned six electric guitars. I guess it was one of his few hobbies, he just had those and a lot of books.  The house wasn’t cluttered.  But it seems silly for me to ever own more than one bass.  I’ve been having a lot of fun playing it lately, and use it almost every day, but it’s not even my favorite hobby.  (I do own four yoga mats.)  For now I will continue with the fantasy, and be tormented by the ads.

Day 34: Today is a very exciting day!!!!  Ready??  You’re not going to believe this!  I did it! I paid off my credit card!  Today is payday and I put almost my entire paycheck towards my card, and brought the balance down to $0.  ZERO, folks!!!  Down from over $4,000 just five weeks ago.  I’m so proud of myself!  There were definitely some extenuating circumstances that allowed me to pay it off so quickly.  I had $600 left over from my vacation.  I returned the $900 camera.  I made some extra money because of a work trip I took…  I also have other bills I haven’t paid in a couple months, but at least I’m not paying interest on those! I’m really happy that I was able to pay it down using my salary and not my tax refund.

Check out my beautiful before and after shots! :)

December 2016

 

February, 2017

It’s still payday and my checking account is already empty…

Day 35:  I use up almost all the veggies from my fridge, some frozen peas, and some leftover cooked rice noodles, and make a stir-fry with sesame oil and soy sauce.  Yum.

vegan gluten-free stir-fry

Wow, I’ve eaten a lot of pasta this week…  Well, at least it’s organic brown rice pasta?

So I’ve paid off my credit card and still have almost two months of my challenge left to go.  I need some new financial goals!  I would love to finish  paying off my car loan and my student loan.  Both are already pretty low because I’ve been paying them for-eh-ver.  Oh, and maybe it would be good to start a savings account, so I don’t end up in this situation again!

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Amber
Cambridge, MA

From nine to five, I am a Senior Program Officer at a small non-profit working in International Public Health. In the rest of my hours I am a yoga and meditation teacher, a health enthusiast, an aspiring vegan, an amateur photographer, and most importantly, a mother of two.

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