Monday, 13 January 2014

J to J report #2

This is a lot harder than I expected. Especially the No Spend days. I finally achieved one on Saturday, away on a games club retreat (that is board games, where you actually sit down with real people & have a conversation while playing a game, and possibly exercise your brain at the same time). But spent money again the next day when we had dinner out before driving home.
It seems the kids being on holiday and us travelling around etc makes it harder, it will be interesting to see how different it is when the kids start back at school and then later when I start back at Uni.

No Spend Days / Spend Days: last week 1:6 (absolutely lousy!); YTD 2:12 (the same).

Staying in the nice list is a lot easier, most of the spending has been on food, often only one thing per day, and the odd activity. But last night I fell off the wagon, without even thinking, and purchased a video download. I enjoyed it tremendously, and intend to watch it again in the next couple of days, but all the same……it happened so easily.

I had to go to the shops today for a couple of items, including new bathers (mine have finally given up after a number of years), but this meant I had to walk through lots of racks of sale items. Do you talk to yourself? In your head or under your breath? "You don't need it, you don't need it. Yes it looks nice/interesting, but you don't need it". At least I was conscious of the temptation this time. It helped that I had a specific purpose, and a very short deadline. Similarly when I arrived home the mail had arrived, including a catalog. I took the plastic cover off and put it straight into the recycling bin. In both cases I was able to avoid browsing - This maybe the key to avoiding unnecessary spends for me. How about you, any tips?

So - one lapse in the J to J challenge, I guess that is a pass. What do you think?

I need to add Bus Fare to the Nice list - transport costs being unavoidable for getting to Uni next semester. And postage - I'm not going to stop writing letters to friends. Is that fair?

I'm also not going to count paying bills such as utilities or rates (or bus fares to Uni) as Spend Days. This is because I have set most bills up to pay automatically so I don't even know when they happen, and they are also unavoidable. Catching the bus is more environmentally friendly (and more convenient) than driving the car, but as the cost is per journey for the bus, and chunked for the car I could rig my stats by using the car and not the bus. I don't want to punish myself (in terms of the challenge) for doing the right thing environmentally! Does that make sense?

BTW the video was "Much Ado About Nothing" with David Tennant and Catherine Tate.


  1. Bus for Uni should not be counted. What are you studying? I am at UTas doing my BA (Public Policy/International Relations) after graduating last year with BRRM (Regional Science/NRM/Understanding Communities) - I have found study addictive.

    Now, as for the spending thng - the first little while is tough. Especially when you have to be in stores - back to school time will be Hell on legs. Talking to myself that I didn't need it helped. Today, I can stop, look at something, handle it, try it on, and put it back, because I don't need it. Getting to this point takes time. The trick I learnt is, if you see somthing that pulls you viscerally to desire it, walk away. If it still rises to the forefront of your mind, unbidden, 24-48 hours later, go back, and look again. Then give it another 24 hours. If it does the same, buy it. If it's gone, think of the $$ you saved towards something else.

    Don't beat yourself up over small indulgences - they are essential to sanity, especially in the early days. Just be aware of them, and don't use them as a reward.

    Being aware of spending is the first step down a long and ultimately extremely rewarding road.

    1. Thanks for your support, and tips Rosie, lovely to hear from you.
      I think I should be right for Back to School - I ordered the book pack via our local newsagents (as organised by the school) and that arrived prior to Christmas. And the uniform shop sent the couple of new pairs of shorts etc home on the last day of school - might not need to get anything! Here's to crossing fingers.
      I'm an Engineer by profession, studying at QUT to become a Secondary Physics teacher. Must admit I am enjoying studying again, never thought I would. Helps that most of the assessment is by assignment, and prac (of course), only one exam. Might think about an Arts degree sometime in the future, German & Ethics maybe. If I can spare the energy, time & money of course :)