"no retail" revelations - day 1

I am feeling a little giddy right now, because I just unlocked the secret to the Universe. I know, this is kind of a big deal.

My "no retail" challenge has already taught me something, on day numero uno. My biggest pitfall with budgeting is not planning ahead. I always knew that was the case on my food budget {not packing a lunch because I slept in leads to the salad bar down the street, not setting up the coffee pot leads to Starbucks.

But there I was yesterday, after work, faced with a completely free evening and I decided to go running around the track on base instead of hitting the gym, since it was like 100 degrees outside and I don't know... I'M INSANE??? Half-way around the loop I am realizing my least-favorite, only-wear-it-because-everything-else-is-dirty "dri-weave" tank is NOT dry and NOT made for running outside on a hot day, and I am sweaty and gross. And already temporarily forgetting that I'm on a buying hiatus, I plan to stop at Target on the way home for new workout gear so I can attempt the run again the following day in more appropriate clothing. But wait... but why? I have oodles of workout clothes... most are just buried under mounds of other dirty clothing. Here was my revelation: I should do laundry more frequently rather than buy new stuff!!!

I know, you are totally thinking, this is what EVERYONE DOES, ARE YOU HIGH??? And ok, I don't do this all this constantly (I'm taking about avoiding laundry here, not getting high). Except. I've totally been known to go buy something because it's the more convenient option. Sometimes it's been easier to go buy another pair of yoga pants before class than drive home and get some I already own. I have 700 tubes of lipgloss because I don't remember to bring one with me and I have like... LIPGLOSS EMERGENCIES. Same with headphones for my iPod... why I can remember my iPod but forget the freaking headphones at home is beyond me, but I've got something like 8 pairs of those, too. 7 of which are lost.

So, there I was on day 1 of my challenge and I've already learned something may-juh about myself and my consumption problems. As many ways as I find to pinch pennies, I have these ridiculous moments of spending that are adding up. It's not my well-planned purchases that are getting me in the long-run. It's the $20 here, $6 here that I forget about immediately because they don't bring me any joy. And those purchases are a result of my lack of planning.

So. Here are some mini-goals I'll be trying to meet to keep me going here. They all involve planning ahead more effectively.
  1. Plan for my activities better: Plan ahead at the start of the week for all my after-work activities... kickboxing/softball/grocery shopping or whatever, so I never have to run home for gear or reusable bags, or buy new. And... HELLO, throw some flip flops in my car so I don't end up buying another pair when I can't bear to run my after-work errands in heels.
  2. Pack a better gym bag: I already do this, but rather than throwing in whatever's clean I will have a couple options {workout and yoga clothes; running shoes and flipflops}...& pack a grab-and-go makeup bag while I'm at it. I don't wear a lot but you know those days when you just feel ugly? Those are the worst ever because I decide I need lipstick LIKE IMMEDIATELY and run out on my lunch break to buy some.
  3. Plan a better menu. I know, I know... I blogged about being awesome at this. And I am... when I set aside the time to do it. Weeks that I don't I'm left to my own bad habits and end up eating gummy bears so I'm too full for dinner when Jonathan gets home or I grab takeout. Not good alternatives.
  4. Always keep a book in the car. So when I have time to kill here and there I can go park in some shade and read rather than kill time at the mall.
Let's hear it- anyone want to share how they plan ahead effectively, or ways they think they can save money through better planning?

{Image: Multi-Task notebook from See Jane Work}.


Melissa said...

I've been in a major money saving routine lately so I've curbed buying snacks downstairs. Instead I keep a few power bars and granola bars in desk for those afternoon cravings.

Also, I relate to your need for lipglosses. I usually keep one lipbalm in each bag (and I have tonssss of bags), with a hair elastic, and a tampon. You never know when you'll need any one of the above. Also, I like to keep lipbalm, Rosebud Salve and 2 hairties in my desk. They always come in handy!

kellie said...

Good tips! The hairtie thing is huge for me too- I have, no kidding, skipped the gym just because I don't have something to tie my hair back. Maybe the new short hair will cut out some excuses there... ;)

Good luck with the penny-pinching!