buy nothing new for 60 days.. checking in.

Anyone joining me on this – how’s your buy-nothing-new challenge going? I hope you’re still plugging along finding creative ways to satisfy those spending impulses!

I thought I’d recap my first two weeks of the challenge. It’s been pretty easy, quite honestly, because I have had plenty of distractions that cost nothing – work, study, workout, work, study, work out, study, clean house. It’s boring, but it’s affordable.

I’ve had a couple (small) money-saving victories on the necessities I wanted to blog about, however, because even though the following are “approved” expenses for the next two months, I still found ways to save a few pennies, and it’s added up! {And yes, I’ve been keeping track of these silly things – this stuff matters!}

  1. Week of April 1: Packed breakfast and lunch every day. {Approximate savings: $8 – I generally only eat one lunch out per week, but still worth noting}.
  2. 4/2/2012: Used grocery coupons: {Savings: $11.30}
  3. 4/3/2012: Purchased a Groupon for 6 oil changes, plus safety/emissions inspection for $59 {Approximate savings: at least $150 in the long run on this expense}
  4. 4/6/2012: Cashed in a Christmas gift card for a dinner date. {Ended up paying for tip only. Savings of $25.}
  5. 4/7/2012: Paid $6.50 for a haircut/style plus $10 for a brow tint at a local beauty school {Approximate savings even after tip:  at least $40}.*
  6. 4/9/2012: Needed a few greeting cards to send and was prepared to stop at the store for some. Realized I have a ridiculously large stash of really pretty note cards at home and they’d be totally sufficient. Duh. {Approximate savings of $8.}
  7. 4/14/2012: Attended 40th birthday party for a friend’s husband. Instead of a gift card or something we brought him a 40 oz from the gas station {complete with paper bag of course}. You have to know your crowd when giving a cheap joke gift but in this instance we knew the $4 gift would be well-received. He loved it, and thought it was super clever. 40 for your 40. Har har. Don’t judge, we also brought a very nice fruit tray! {Approximate savings of $21}.

Approximate Total Savings: $263.30!!!

*This one comes with a fair warning that you get what you pay for sometimes. I’ve had plenty of great experiences getting my salon services done on the cheap at a beauty school. The only real sacrifices generally are atmosphere (totally chaotic and unprofessional at times!) and not always quick (stylists who are still learning are often suuuper slow and careful). I’m willing to put up with both of those things to save a lot of dough. However, last week’s experience was rather disappointing. While my eyebrows turned out great, the haircut wasn’t fantastic. I had to touch it up myself at home, which really isn’t a big deal. I roll with it. If you aren’t the type who can I’d suggest paying the extra and going to a real salon. 🙂

Another thing I wanted to mention is my strategy for dealing with my “wants.” Cuz, don’t get me wrong, I still totally have them. It’s surprising what I come up with to purchase in just 14 days. My strategy is really simple. I keep a running “want list.” It’s on the same Word document I keep my little money saving victories on, above. When I think of something I want to go buy, I put it on the list. If I still want them when the challenge is over, I’ll probably go buy them. I’ve already taken many of them off simply by finding an alternative so I didn’t have to wait until the 60 days are over.

I didn’t add those items to the list above because that list is only what I saved additionally; they are approved expenses and I still trimmed them down. I will do a post later down the road of some of the ways I satisfied some pure wants for FREE!

Finally, found this via Pinterest and thought it was really great. It really is this simple!

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