Fiscally Fasting in March 2020 is going to be tough. I almost decided not to even try it this month because of 4 potentially impossible days.
We are going on vacation to Denver for 4 days for a volleyball tournament, so we have to pay for a) gas, b) hotel, c) dining out, d) entry to the tournament, and probably e) something else. But the truth is, we NEED to do this fiscal fast, and really we are spending this money in Denver anyway, so we might as well try for 27 days of fiscal fasting with 4 days of not-so-good spending, rather than just 31 days of a financial free-for-all.
I don’t know if anyone else wants or needs to do this with me. But I personally need to slam on a few brakes in my financial life. I did great with my fiscal fast this January (see my January Wrap-up), but as soon as February 1 hit, I went back to my willy-nilly spending ways, especially in 2 main categories: groceries and eBay inventory.
No spending on eBay inventory. This is a big one, and probably my biggest non-essential expense in February. I can justify almost any spending if it’s “for my inventory” but the truth is my death pile of unlisted items is pretty big. It will definitely feed me through March, if not longer. I have a couple of exceptions to this rule: 1) If, in Denver, we have time to go to the Goodwill “bins” I will do it. The amount of items I could bring back will be limited due to space constraints in my car, so I couldn’t buy a whole lot anyway. 2) On Mondays, I have to kill about 1.5 hours while the kid is at volleyball practice. If I can’t figure out anything more productive to do (I will walk when it’s warm enough), I can go wander around a thrift store with the understanding that I am only allowed to buy a “home run” item. Meaning, I know it is something I can buy for a couple of bucks and sell easily for $100.
- Sub-goal: Declutter house and sell stuff on eBay. I have a bunch of books that I no longer need, and will put them up for sale on eBay. I have a few nice items of clothing and shoes that I can list. Any decorative items that no longer bring me joy will get listed or donated. Bonus effect: cleaner house.
Get groceries back on track. We slide so easily from $75/week to $200/week, it’s kind of shocking. If I don’t meticulously plan our shopping list, then look for coupons and deals, we just go to Walmart or Smiths and buy whatever sounds good. So in March, I will be much more involved in the list-making and coupon-clipping and Dollar-Tree-shopping.
Stop buying gardening stuff. I realize that once we start really creating our gardening space (end of March or early April), we will need to buy some compost and decent soil. We will need to buy a few bags of potting mix in March to pot up the seedlings that are getting to big for their starter cells. But I can easily stop buying seeds, trays, etc. One exception to this rule: 1) when the bare root roses come out at the local nursery and/or Walmart or Lowe’s, I will buy several. I believe they need to go in the ground before April, so it can’t really wait. But I will buy bare root to save $ over the potted varieties.
Stay off of Amazon. I need to just log out of Amazon for the month altogether. March goal: zero Amazon purchases. If needed, put the item in the Amazon cart and let it
fester wait there for a month. See if I still want it in April. No more impulse purchases.
Stop turning the heater up to 72. Last year, I froze everyone out by keeping it at 65 or less all winter. This year, I have been feeling lazy and spoiled and just turning it up to 72 every morning. My goal for March is to keep it at 65 and everyone can just deal with it (mostly me).
I think these are my main specialty goals for March, but I might think of a few more. I will add eBay inventory spending to my daily record of expenditures, just to keep me focused.
Special possible random exception to everything fiscal fast stands for: I really want to get a pedicure and manicure sometime in March. I made a promise to myself last November that I would go for a manicure/pedicure once a month in 2020, just in the spirit of better self-care and not always having hands and feet that look like I just climbed out of a well. So naturally, I haven’t had a pedicure since December or a manicure in yearrrs. Self-care fail. So, if the stars align and my schedule ever allows it, I MIGHT get a pedicure and manicure in March. The fiscal compromise here will be that I will get the basic “nail shop” version of both these things, not the 2-hour long “spa” versions with the aromatherapy scrubs and all that. Just the basics. I also need a haircut, but it can wait until April.