Friday, March 15, 2019

Gearing up to pay taxes next month

No Spend Month Challenge

Starting the first day of the upcoming month, can you go on a no-spending spree for a month to help get your finances, bills, or buying habits under control?

This means you cannot eat out or go to a movie.  Do not buy take out, only buy perishable groceries when nothing in your pantry will work as a substitute.  You cannot go to the mall or strip mall or consignment store for clothing, shoes, and purses.  Even if you cannot go all in (as it were), cutting back is better than not even attempting a no spend month.

Peter Walsh suggested something along the line of this: have a need and a place for the item you want to purchase (not a want), if you do not, then do not purchase that item.  I am trying to follow his suggestion.  A no spend month puts even this purchase on hold.

However, I would like to add, if you spend money for an unnecessary want, consider then, what will you have to do without since you bought it that item?

Can you still do that special "date" with loved one, whether spouse or child?

How hard will it be to pay anticipated upcoming bill (utility, credit card, taxes, and insurance)?

Have you paid into your "rainy day," savings, or vacation expense accounts this month?

Have you reduced credit card bills to "zero" balance each month or have you started adding extra money to the payment each month to speed up paying down a card?

Can you use something else you already have to fill this need or want for purposed purchase?

As you can see, I am a "what if" and list type of person.

Good luck with the No Spend Month.  Hope you do well.  

Perhaps one of the preceding questions will help you reach your goal of no spending for the month.

Sunday, March 3, 2019

Closets, again

A Packrat’s Closet

I have been decluttering for over 15 years.  When hubby’s mom and dad both went into the nursing home, he (we), and his family had to deal with the accumulated possessions of his parents over the life of their marriage.  For us, it was a time consuming, lengthy, draining process.  It was after this life altering experience that I started decluttering my own home.

The garage is well appointed and has been mostly organized and cleaned.  Big heavy furniture, from both the living room and the spare room have found new owners in another home The heavy furniture in our home was replaced with lighter, easily moved furniture.

The books now fit into the bookcases.  The craft and catering stuff has a building, (note—area still needs work). 

All towels and linens have a designated home and fit within those confines without spilling over into another space.

“But, what about the closets?” you ask.

When I visit decluttering web sites, I see challenges about removing x number of items a day or per week, or reducing clothing down to x number amount of clothing in an effort to simplify or minimalist the amount of clothing one owns.  

I have had that simplification, almost 49 years ago.  When I got married, all of the clothing that I owned fit into one large suitcase.  When I had a child, the clothing choices were limited.  The resulting body alterations reinforced those limitations.

However, being in the work force, motorcycling, and attending church increased my need for a varied wardrobe.

I can and do wear clothing I wore 30 years ago.  If I put something on that does not fit my body, I will gift it away during the upcoming weeks and not replace it.

I have chosen core, classic, forgiving clothing that skims the figure.  Each item works with other items in the closet.  They all fit, flatter, are classic, and are quality made.  Although the clothing closets are full, all the clothing in the closets and drawers fit the space when everything is clean and put away.

More recently, retirement has limited my optional spending pattern. Therefore, reducing my closet to x number amount of clothing is not something that I am comfortable with doing.  I cannot afford to replace the nicer things if I got rid of them.

Someday I will have that minimal wardrobe again, but it will mostly be because I will not replace outgoing items until I reach a self-imposed goal.  I will shop my closet when I want a new look. 

I am happy at the organized plateau that I have reached with my clothing and closets.

We each have to reach a happy compromise of our own with our possessions.  We do not have to meet someone else's idea of perfection.

Personally, I have learned to live with good enough.  At least, it is a step forward.