January Money Diet update

JanMoneyDietsmallWell the first week of January is nearly finished, at least it feels that way to me, I’m exhausted.  I thought it was time to update you on my January Money Diet. I am pretty boring so to give you a daily update would put you to sleep, expect more of a weekly update instead.

While this week was partly in last month I will start this weeks update with Sunday.

  • Sunday:  Zero spent
  • Monday: $21.64 groceries, all necessary!!
  • Tuesday and Wednesday: Zero spent
  • Thursday: Paid rent ($410), internet ($45), and picked up a 3 pack of water filters for my faucet mount filter ($18.93). At the bank I withdrew ($10) in quarters to pay for my laundry needs for the month, something I think I forgot to list on my expenses (sorry) Since the weather was bad and I wouldn’t have been able to do most of this myself, I gave ($5) to my daughter-in-law for her time to drop off/pick up these things for me.
  • Which brings us to today Friday:  I will have today to myself and won’t be leaving the house, so this will be another no spend day, and rather I will continue to clean out and organize things around here.

The biggest problem I have encountered so far has been my loveseat. As you may remember I picked it up near the dumpster the same day a neighbor set it out there when moving.  The one side was weak and I originally thought I could repair it, wrong!  The leg/arm piece is made out of bamboo and is hollow so any plans to repair it would have failed in the long run.

So enter the Sunday before Christmas. My ex arrived and while we were all sitting here watching the Steeler game, the piece broke off the couch in the front.  My fault I forgot to remind him of how weak it was.


See how the leg is completely detached from the frame?

Right now I have the front corner of the loveseat propped up with three books to level it. I so want to purchase the fabric, cushions and new legs to repair and update it, but I promised myself I would make do.  I try not to look at it as when I do I find myself thinking that a 50 year old woman shouldn’t be living with broken furniture like some college student in the building might.

So that is my week, not bad at all.

I did one thing that will be helpful to me in the long run today as well.  I decided to withdraw most of the money in the account linked to my debit card so I can’t be tempted to purchase anything online/from home.  It’s so easy to convince myself that something (like the new legs for the loveseat) are needed in a moment of weakness and pull out the card.

Here are two wonderful people who are participating in with the January Money Diet

  • Happy Simple Living:  This is where I found my inspiration.  Please check this out.  You will find a daily homework assignment, nothing too hard and plenty of great ideas to make this the best start to a new year.  Also, by leaving a comment you will be entered in  a drawing for a lovely gift basket which will contain books, and home and garden goodies.
  • Notes From the Frugal Trenches:  Frugal Trenches, a single mother of two has decided to tackle this with gusto.  She is including her children in the no-spend month by educating them on consumerism and why they make the choices for fair trade items and the like.  She is posting their daily choices, and has broken down how much she hopes to save. With that savings she breaks down how much will go into savings and the balance (rather the majority of the saved amount) will be going to a charity.   She is an inspiration to me year round.

If  you are participating in the Money Diet, please let me know and I will add your site to the list.

15 thoughts on “January Money Diet update

  1. Lois, your blog looks different! Ahh, I can’t deal with change! Just kidding, it actually looks very nice.

    Great job so far, I’m inspired! Maybe this will be the year that I’m not always broke. You can get used to living like a college student. My car has hit 4 deer, and we quit fixing it after each one. My husband patched a fender with duct tape once, though, and wrote “See, I fixed it” on it.

    • I love your husband. There was a year when my car wouldn’t pass inspection due to extreme rust. I didn’t have the money to have the job done professionally, so I used duct tape and bondo over it. With some sanding it didn’t look bad and best of all passed the inspection. When it comes to a car I would drive anything that got me from point A to point B, somehow while I loved cars my personality wasn’t tied to how they looked, my home that’s another story. I hope this is the year we both aren’t broke! I need to remember that my own savings is a priority and give less away.

      Yep, the blog looks very different, at first I wasn’t sure if I would stick with this or try something new, but I’m loving the feel of it.

    • Thanks for the suggestion, I thought of that, also thought about purchasing some thing on Craigslist, but when I dragged this one in I knew the fabric wasn’t really me but it worked in the space size wise. If I were to get a replacement, that would mean this one would end up in the trash, which as you know would pain me greatly. I’ve decided to recover and put new legs on it. The old cushions will be repurposed to make cushions for the little one’s to sit on (that’s for a later project closer to summer) and the arm/leg portions I believe I will use in the garden for climbing plants. This way there’s no actual waste.

  2. First of all, I don’t see anything wrong with having furniture that’s not in peak condition… you oughta see mine! I still have a milk crate end table leftover from college 25 years ago and the only reason I upgraded the bookshelf to a “real” one (that I cobbled together myself) was because I was afraid the cats would knock over the old cinder block one and get hurt!

    But in terms of the money diet, I fear I’m sorta on the opposite plan at the moment. I decided to invest in some tools for my new bike so I can do a bunch of the maintenance at home instead of paying to take it into the shop, and I’ve also decided that it’s time to replace the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Plus, I’m indulging in a $10 antenna switch because half the channels only come in with the attic antenna, and the other half only with the small rabbit ears one, and I’m getting really tired of having to completely re-connect everything each time I want to change the channel! I guess in the broad scheme of things that’s not too much to spend, but somehow it feels extravagant because I don’t really “need” it.

    • I had a cinder block bookcase too, and when my youngest was 10 he was into building computers, needing a much larger workspace than he had. Our solution was to build a cinder block desk with an old door as the top. It worked and the cinder blocks gave him added storage (like his own drawers).

      Every new “advance” in television drove me nuts. Before cable was available in my hometown a set of rabbit ears brought in clearly all the channels. Cable arrived and we couldn’t get hardly anything, you had to tune into a channel a good 20-30 minutes before your program just to play with the ears to try and get a decent picture. Next we have digital, which wasn’t to improve our signal, but that’s another story, and we get nothing!!

      Getting tools for your bike is a good investment, with the amount of riding you do it would be much cheaper in the long run to do your own repairs. As for the smoke/carbon monoxide detectors well, those are needed at all times. I’ll let you shop for me this month and I will make do.

  3. You know what they say about diets to lose weight, choose a plan that you can live with the rest of your life. Well, my approach to finances is like that as well. I have chosen a plan for spending that I can truly live with. A lot of folks think of a money diet as something “extreme” that they will “go on” until debt is paid off, they buy a house, their kids are out of school, etc. Then they go back to extreme spending, and have to jump back onto the budget again. Yo-yo spending/saving.

    Once you make peace with the fact that you’re not going to live like the majority of the public, a money plan or diet becomes your way of life. And I think you’ve found yours. : )

    • So true, I was strapped for several years, then last year had cut my expenses drastically and had extra money to spend. I stopped making a budget and well my savings should have been better, the diet this month will help me to get back on track watching where my money goes. I want to avoid that yo-yo cycle you described. Good for you finding a plan that works for you long term.

  4. Hi, Lois. Thanks so much for linking to the January Money Diet. I just wanted to give you a virtual high five and applaud your efforts this week. You are awesome! I hope you enjoy your quiet Friday at home, and know that I’m pulling for you. May the sacrifices you’re making now bring you many blessings. Hugs and all the best!

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