Not Buying It

Not Buying It! Part 7

This is Part 7 of my 90-Day “Not Buying It” Challenge.  Inspired by Judith Levine’s book Not Buying It.
You can read my previous posts here: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6.
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 43:  I am very happy to report that my credit card balance is at ZERO again, despite the fact that I just had to charge $1,500 worth of car repairs.  It’s definitely a little sad (very sad!) to see my entire tax refund come and go so quickly, and on something so mundane (last year I used it for a trip to Costa Rica!)  But, on the bright side, it’s great I had the money so I can stay out of credit card debt.  It’s also good that I’m in a place where I can proactively make the recommended repairs so my car is safe to drive.  Believe me, in the past I have waited until the car stalls out on the road before making a repair, and when your car stalls out in front of a bus, in the middle of Harvard Square, it’s not so fun.  Or when you have to call a tow truck, and the driver smells leaking gas and calls the fire department, and the fire trucks arrive… and Mom has to come take her grandbabies while you deal with the whole fiasco on a freezing cold day…  Wow, yeah, not something I ever want to repeat again!!
Speaking of cars, I have some more exciting news:  I just made my last car payment!!!!  I officially own my car!  A friend paid me back money that was borrowed more than a year ago, and it was just the right amount to pay off the rest of my car loan.  Woo hoo!!!!  This is going to free up $400 a month for me that I’ve been paying for almost five years!!! I only had a few months left on the loan, but it is very exciting to be DONE!!
Now I only have two debts left, my mortgage, and my student loan.  For better or for worse I’m not one of these financial gurus that pays off a mortgage early.  But I only have about $3,000 left on my student loan, which I’ve been paying since the 90s, so I’m really eager to pay it off.
Day 44: My cellphone case has been chipping for months, and a significant piece finally broke off the corner, exposing one of the corners of the phone.  At first I thought, no big deal, I’ll just wait until April 1st to replace it.  But then I thought about it, and realized that if I dropped my phone (which I do all the time) and if it landed on the corner and I cracked the screen of my $700 iPhone, that would be really dumb.  And I’d be really mad.  So I decided replacing the case goes in the “essentials” category, and I bought a new one for $11.
Day 45: I used up the last of my birdseed.  I’m not sure if I’ll replace it or not.  It’s not exactly a necessity, and I often go for months without refilling the feeders anyway.  But I do love watching the birds come to the feeder, and that’s the closest I have to any pets right now!
Day 46: One of my house plants died.  It had been slowly declining for a long time, I thought I was reviving it, but it had rotted at the roots, and the whole thing just came apart.  So sad.  I saw really nice plants at the store, and would love to replace it, but this can wait.  Adding this to my list of purchases for April 1st.
house plants
Day 48: Five days in a row of eating stir-fried brown rice with tofu and lots of veggies.  It’s delicious, and healthy, but I am definitely ready for something new.  Maybe next week I’ll get it together to have two different kinds of lunches, so I’m not eating the same thing everyday?
tofu fried rice
Day 49: There are two VERY expensive things I really want to spend my money on, and waiting until April 1st will be hard, or impossible: 1) My friends are organizing a group trip to Amsterdam in August.  I want to go!!  2) Adyashanti, one of my favorite spiritual teachers, has a retreat in September.  And yeah, I want to go!!  I was actually supposed to go last year, but had to cancel.  It’s really expensive.  And if I wait it may be sold out, or at least the good lodging options will be sold out.  Damn it.
I look at the cost of the Adyashanti retreat (it will be over $1,000), but instead I make a $600 payment towards my student loan.
Making some tough choices this week!!! But with good results.