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Day 171: New rule: follow the rules

Not lots to report today, other than I totally got a FREE OSCILLATING FAN and it has REVOLUTIONIZED MY LIFE.

No more coming home to a muggy apartment and draping around limply like a snail outside of its shell! Now I can come home and turn on the fan and feel all cool and breezy and awake and wonderful.

Thanks for the free fan, my most favourite blog reader, JEM!

And the other thing is that I need to actually follow the rules. The rules are kind of guidelines, but I know that I need to buckle down.

1) DO NOT dip into credit cards or overdraft EVER

Putting my credit card on ice won't work, because my computer has the number saved for EVIL INTERNET SHOPPING.

Why it's hard: I have been staying out of my credit card money and not accruing new credit card debt. I would like to cancel my credit card to eliminate temptation, but I don't think you can cancel a credit card when you have a balance on it. Can you? And also I need it for some stuff, such as on-line airplane ticket booking (not that I do that very often, but sometimes).

I would also like to remove my overdraft so it's just not there, which will make me have more money and live more within my budget. But first, I need to stop using it. For instance, if I didn't use my overdraft for the rest of June, I would have like $5. So.... yeah. Need to work on this.

2) Shop from shopping lists (no impulse buying)

Why it's hard: Sometimes I don't remember what I want to buy until I see it in the store. Sometimes I don't have a pen to write a shopping list on. Whatever. I haven't been meal planning, which will also probably help. But honestly, I think I'm doing OK winging it with grocery shopping.

3) Do not buy things I already have at home.

Why it's hard: It's not! I'm totally doing fine! I'm pretty sure that I'm doing this OK.

4) No more chocolate bars or M&Ms EVER!!

These guys are kind of seductive, right? ... just me?

Why it's hard: It's nice to make food from ingredients, but sometimes I'm hungry and not at home. And if I'm hungry, I don't want to buy ingredients. I want to eat. And chocolate bars have peanuts in them sometimes, which are healthy. But on the upside, I have not bought M&Ms since I made the rule! (I think?)

5) Pack lunches, do not buy lunch on workdays

Why it's hard: It's not! I have been doing this all the time! There was one day when I forgot my lunch on the kitchen table at home, and I had to buy lunch. And it totally was not as filling or as tasty. Packing lunches for the win!

6) No more Starbucks (after $25 gift card is used up).

It's Britney, during her crazy dark-haired pregnant phase, bitches! Postergirl for frappuccino addiction.
Why it's hard: FRAPPUCCINOS. I have bought possibly three since my gift card got used up. And I did get two additional gift cards for my birthday, which are also used up. And the internet is confusing - on the one hand, there are recipes to make your own frappuccinos (the secret ingredient in xanthum gum) and encouraging you to make your own drinks. And on the other side are articles saying it's OK to get things that make you happy. I don't know. At least I don't work right across the street from Starbucks anymore, so I am for sure buying way less than before.

7) Reusable hygiene products whenever possible (i.e. handkerchiefs rather than tissues)

Why it's hard: It's totally not hard at all! I'm doing this with the Diva Cup and with cloth towels, and even am now using a microfiber towel instead of cotton pads to remove eye makeup. I would be using a handkerchief but... I kind of lost my handkerchief. That's probably not a good excuse, but honestly? I still have some Kleenex left, so why not use them? Once I'm out, I'll get more serious re: handkerchief use.

8) Make food from scratch as much as possible (no more frozen pre-made dinners)

Fresh made food looks gross when put in TV dinner style dishware.

Why it's hard: It's time-consuming, but I'm doing pretty well with this. I make an excellent homemade pizza dough and am doing well with cooking from ingredients. I guess the difficulty is that I really, really like cooking but there's just one little me and I can't eat it all. For instance, I want to make these yummy coconut squares but I still have most of a loaf of chocolate-chip banana bread to eat. Wah, wah. #firstworldproblems.

9) Homemade dish soap

Why it's hard: It's not! I'm still using castille soap, which seems to work fine. But does leave streaks on glasses sometimes (all the time).

10) No full-price clothes (only sale, free, or thrift clothes) at a cost of no more than $100/month.

Why it's hard: I LOVE CLOTHES! But I'm doing well. I think the trick is to avoid stores. And to turn off my computer at like 11pm, before I can be tempted into accidentally online shopping for clothes, which doesn't feel like really spending money.

11) The $100/month includes makeup and clothes.

Why it's hard: It's not SOOOO hard. Esp. after the makeup swap, I'm pretty well loaded up with makeup. The biggest challenge is MAC COSMETICS as well as OPI NAIL POLISH, both of whom keep coming up with new ways to market and sell the same colours of makeup that I already own. So I need to somehow avoid knowing what they're doing. Also, going through stuff for the makeup swap reminded me of how many awesome things I forgot I had, so I need to remember to use them instead of buying new things.

OK, I'm not gonna lie. This is REALLY REALLY HARD. But I will channel my inner Tim Gunn and MAKE IT WORK.


Why it's hard: I hope it won't be too hard!


Anonymous said...

okay..enjoy the just have to keep mentioning stuff that others have too much of..pack rats like me, who keep things, because, they never know when they will come in handy..

I think you can ask your credit card to reduce your you will not be tempted..

I have never had a line of I am a bit perplexed about the need for that one.

your dish soap is kinda grossing me out..I think you should just buy some when it is on sale ...

as for packing lunch, I generally do that..I have a supply of canned soup at my desk (buy it when it is on sale :-)..though I think that we all need to indulge sometimes with a meal out, but I generally don't eat out what is the fun in that!

I also think you should indulge in a Frappachino(?)every so often if you enjoy them soo much..but don't buy lunch that day :-)


Niki said...

It sounds like you are doing a great job! Keep it up!

I completely understand about Frappuccinos, they are one of my weaknesses too. I should try to find a good recipe. I've tried a couple, but can't find a great one.

~Carla~ said...

Everybody needs chocolate... ;) Really though, you're doing awesome! Just remember, the Ark wasn't built in a day! ;)

Anonymous said...

Although you can't cancel your credit card with a balance on it, you can take a scissors and cut the credit card up into tiny, tiny pieces. I just did that a few weeks ago with a few and it felt soooo good!

Annabelle said...

Hmm... tempting idea, Anonymous. The tricky part is that the number is already saved in a bunch of websites. But I suppose not having it would keep me from making any in-person purchases. And it does sound therapeutic...

andria said...

I think you can cancel your cards without paying the balance first. I feel like I've done that before. Beware of getting rid of all your cards though--it's best to have one For Emergency Use Only. Keep it locked away in a sealed envelope or frozen in the freezer so you can't be tempted.

Annabelle said...

Hi Andria! I've got one credit card and one line of credit, so if anything, I guess I'd cancel the line of credit but keep the card (for emergencies). I should chat with the bank to see if that's possible... and I've heard that thing about freezing your card. In this age of online shopping, though, I almost never need the actual card to buy something, tho.

Lane said...

Frappuccinos are my weakness! Oh blended goodness. I haven't had one in two weeks now. I try to shame myself from ordering it by telling myself it's not even real coffee. Just a lotta sugar & ice.

When I'm on business trips where the company foots the bill, you can BET I'm ordering fraps every day.

Good luck on your journey. It looks like we have similar weaknesses when it comes to our debt, so I'll be keeping tabs on you, okay!

Annabelle said...

Awesome, welcome to the blog, Lane! I am totally on board with Starbucks purchasing during business trips - you bet I saved all my receipts from my last business trip.

I don't know what it is about frappuccinos that is so perfect in the summer, but it seems like they're the downfall of lots of PF bloggers!

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