life : stay on budget


Spotted Owl Fabric, Alexander Henry : Sweet Dots Fabric, Yuwa

Hi Everyone -

I hope you all had a nice weekend! It was pretty cold here, but it didn't keep us inside for too long. On Saturday, we went to Soho with a gift certificate I had and wandered around down there. On Sunday, I thought I was going to see Slumdog Millionaire, but ended up in Last Chance Harvey. Scott said I agreed to see it, but I think there was a 'failure to communicate' (listen) on my part. The movie was very sweet and is basically about never being too old for love. Apparently, Scott loves Emma Thompson and he got weepy during the movie THREE times. That alone made it worth seeing because he gets so embarrassed. I think it's cute.

There were many financial temptations this weekend and online (this new collaboration is irresistible). I'm doing pretty well staying on my $99 a month budget, which applies mainly to credit card purchases and impulsive buys. Necessities like socks (3 for $18), cookies, etc. are not included ;). I've already learned a few things that are helping -
  1. Rainy Day Fund. Every two weeks we each get a cash 'allowance' and Scott saves some of mine for me. I only dip into this when the item I want is really indulgent and I have to bring in my heavy artillery during an intense negotiation - I NEED that little camera, this one is TOO big to lug around all of the time.
  2. Gift Certificates. I forgot about the one I had for Purl Patchwork ($45, spent half), which made it all the better. Kind of like found money.
  3. Sales. Everything seems to be on sale or reduced with a coupon. I'm usually not very good about getting things on sale, but I was so lucky to find a pair of Tretorn sneakers for half price ($27)! I've only wanted them my entire life. They would look great with this jolly car.
  4. Bailouts. A little help from a 'friend' who likes to buy you stuff goes a long way. In this case, straight to the florist ($18). And, don't put said 'friend' on the same kind of budget, at least in relation to things for you.
I'm sure I'll learn enough to write a book and will keep you posted. All I know is that January seems like it has been the longest month of my life! It probably has to do with the winter. Sure, that's it ;). Have a good week!

xo, Cindy

24 comments:

Chelsea said...

I've wanted to see that Emma Thompson movie... glad to know it's good!

Cicada Studio said...

Wow, those sneaks are sharp! I never heard of them before. How is the arch support? (getting older sucks big time when it comes to fashionable kicks).

cindy : quaint said...

there isn't really any arch support in the sneakers. grasshoppers.com, which is owned by keds, has some nice sneaker/shoes with lots of nice cushioning and you can wash them. i get a pair every summer.

aimee said...

i'm curious to see how your fiscal restrictions shape what you buy and post. last month i got together for drinks with a few friends and had a fascinating discussion about the impact of the economy on people's ability to create, and we all agreed that we thought it would encourage people to be even more creative. we have to actively think about what we buy and why we want it, what we can do to get it for less, and even better, work with what we already have.

cindy : quaint said...

you are so right, aimee! we didn't have a lot of excess money growing up and my mother was very good at 'making do'. she was creative and could make something from nothing. my goal is to get the $99 budget down even more, because i can 'make do', too. it feels great, like a personal challenge, when you choose to do it. i'd like to grow my rainy day fund in case the economy causes my job to vaporize.

i don't want to completely stop purchasing though because that doesn't help the economy, especially handmade artists. you can get something very special for under $20 and that is my criteria. i think what people buy also says a lot about them.

mary said...

Oh my! I want those Tretorns!!

please sir said...

You are learning so much from this month - congrats! And thanks for sharing it with us. I've been trying to re-evaluate my finances for this year too!

blue moss said...

enjoyed your post......
and i love your tretorns,
tretorns have a special place in my heart
when my husband and i first started dating...we were apart for a summer and he wrote me letters every day...yes, good old fashion letters....i have them all in a tretorn box...

cindy : quaint said...

oh, your love notes are so romantic, michelle! i must find a good use for the box.

SimplyGrove said...

Great post Cindy! Thanks for the tips:)

i.d. said...

Yes! We need to get you a book deal. :)

ambika said...

Ooo, love the Tretorns. I'm definitely trying to figure out how to put boundaries on spending--we're really trying our hardest to get our savings in better shape and I suspect all the little (and big) things adding up isn't helping!

L'Atelier said...

I really enjoyed this post! laughed alot but also thought about it alot too.
It is amazing how different one purchases things when one thinks about it! love your lessons learnt and evenmore that you sharing it!
"make do" is definitly something most of our parents or grandparents could do and our genration sort of forgot, its a great tool for survival though! I had to learn it traveling around the globe, and am really greatful for it, it gives me backup, I know if I have to, i can do it!
LOve the tretorns, but even more i adore the owl fabric! ... your new header is just too cute and gorgeous!

Julia said...

You are so clever! I feel like you 99 dollar diet is such a good idea. I really should try and figure out a way to manage my spending a little bit more!

Okay, I'm just going to do it! And I'm going to come here for inspiration on how to make it work!

Does coffee count?

cindy : quaint said...

every little bit really does help! the $$ scott has put away for me, not me doing it, have added up over time.

l'atelier - i bet you could write your own book from traveling. and yes, our parents and theirs didn't have such an abundance of stuff like we do.

julia - i would say coffee doesn't count unless you're spending a lot each week. we have a 4-cup mr. coffee and make some at home each morning with a favorite blend. scott loves coffee, so he'll also buy it in the deli in the am and then our local cafe in the evening. i don't think he spends more than $5 total. i almost never buy it, but do like the occasional green tea latte.

Rebecca said...

sweet owls! :)

Vana said...

I love this idea Cindy!

Mrs.French said...

oh sweet tretorns...I haven't had a pair since college...maybe it's time to revisit them? oh and you really have to see Slumdog too...my new favorite...xo t

lotta said...

I am inspired by the $99 budget. I have tried to come up with a clever spending plan - like only buying vintage and hand made, or make my own clothes (as if I have time for that...). My sister-in-law spent all of last year without buying anything new for herself, except underwear...
But you have to be realistic, so maybe a set amount each month is a good idea. If you don't spend it all can it roll over..?

cindy : quaint said...

your sister-in-law is very disciplined, lotta! i couldn't do it unless things were very dire. there is definitely a rollover feature, but it also works the other way, too ;). i'm pretty sure i'll be over this month. thankfully, february is a short month! good luck!

Elizabeth said...

I want that fabric!!!!!!!!!!

suzanne cabrera said...

Oh gosh...I feel like such a lush after reading this post. I just went out an blew 250- on new clothes. I needed them...I think.

Anyway, you inspire me to try to do better.

And if only I'd found some Tretorns. I've always wanted a pair since my big sister had some in...oh about 1983.

suzanne cabrera said...

After having looked it up in the dictionary, I don't think lush was the right word...but what do I know anyway?

cindy : quaint said...

never fear suzanne, dear. i blew my january budget and will come clean about it after i wrap up negotiations with my banker (scott). lush as in plentiful ;).