Every penny of our spendable cash for the month of February will be monitored very closely. So we will still be paying our mortgage, electric bill and all that jazz. I will only spend money on MUST haves like milk, fresh produce, gas and doctor visits...but those purchases will be tracked.
What I learned from last year is to plan for the expected. Last year I got caught off guard by Valentine's Day. I don't know why but I didn't even think about it and I ended up resenting having to spend $60 on trashy candy and valentines for the kids to take to their school and little gifts for my kids that day. This year I am proclaiming myself a planner and picking those things up this week so I don't have to use my February budget money. So think of birthdays or other times you may know of in advance and take care of them this week.
Also, I know I will have a few more days of down time since I will be slashing a lot of my errands... I want to paint one of my bathrooms so I bought paint yesterday and I will paint in February. I guess you could call that cheating but I'm not using February money to do it, so I am just calling myself a planner.
If you want to stop here, I get it...but this year I am taking it a step further
Now for the Simply my Life (Escape from Consumerism) factor:
I know this will put me in a whole new league of crazy for a lot of people but I am up for the challenge. Especially because I am an all or nothing kind of girl.
I am going to use my time away from consumerism to PURGE! I want/need to have less stuff to have to keep track of. We do NOT need 1700 different clothing options in this house when there are so many people in this world who have so little. We will be purging everything that we do not absolutely LOVE! And to make this hit home a little better...we are all going to pick out our 7 favorite outfits and wear them once a week for 4 weeks. I am not a clothes loving girly girl so this will probably be very easy and actually refreshing to me. It will also cut out a lot of stress with the kids getting ready in the morning. I doubt my husband will join in on this part of the crazy, as he actually has to look presentable everyday... I ,on the other hand do not, and it won't be a stretch for me to be wearing my favorite jeans or yoga pants nearly every day. And maybe I will actually learn to appreciate my closet full of clothes :)
I am also planning on making the same 7 dinners for the month... so the same 7 meals for 4 weeks. This will REALLY simplify things around here. I surely won't be stressing what to make for dinner every night. And maybe, just maybe we will learn to appreciate that we have so many options and luxuries when so many do not. Another benefit to this one is that I can go shopping now for the basic items so my February grocery bill will be much lower and I will only have to purchase the fresh necessities! Score. So far my menu is spaghetti, stir fry, chicken tacos, breakfast for dinner, and soup.. I still have a day or two to come up with the last two :) Any ideas on budget friendly meals is appreciated.
So if you didn't think I was crazy before I surely just sealed the deal. Is anyone still with me? Is anyone intrigued? Anyone?
All in all there are no "rules"... you can do it however you would like...or not at all. I decided to start a F@cebook page for anyone who wants to join in and add to the conversation. I would be so fun to commiserate, share tips, goals and the ups and downs of it all. The FB link is up at the top of my blog for the month... come join in :)