Wednesday, March 2, 2011

No Spend March

When I was a little tyke I was very very very good with my money.  I saved every penny that I ever earned or was given for Christmas/Birthday (=birthmas).  Upon opening my checking account before going off to college, I was surprised to find that I had $70 in a savings account.  Apparently I had told my mother to "put this in the bank for safe keeping" as a spritely 8 year old. 

It should come as no surprise then, that I am a credit counselor for a non-profit agency.  Luckily for me I am very good at budgeting very little money, because unluckily for me, I make very little money.  :)  While I definitely make enough money to get by, I tend to splurge when it comes to anything running related, because that's what brings me joy.  I have a separate savings account for races/travel for races/etc. (and my profits from my scarves go directly in to this account).  Lately I've been noticing this account dribble lower and lower.  And my spending habits have been a lot less on point (uh... hello there online shopping..... let's make googly eyes at each other in the quad....).

Enter: No Spend March!  For the month of March, I will be putting a spending freeze on myself.  Eep!  Outside of my normal monthly financial obligations (ie:  car payment, rent, electricity... feel free to insert Glee's version of Bills Bills Bills here...) I hope to spend zero monies!  Full disclosure:  Back in January, I registered for all races through May, so this is usually something I budget for and would normally have come out this month, but I planned ahead.  Maybe it's cheating.... but whatever.  There are definitely some things I want-want-want right now:  a desk, for example.  But there are zero things I need, so I'll be sticking to that.

As far as food and beverage items, I will be curbing my starbucks consumption for the month (I typically limit myself to one latte a week) and for food I tend to go 100% nut-so during marathon training because as Kyle would say in a growly voice when I get crabby, "Jerbear is hungry!!!"  I will allow myself to go out for food once per week, but will really try to do it on the cheap/utilize gift cards (except for my 20 miler day, because I'm already craving Redrossa margherita pizza and cheese bread.... mmmmmmmmmm!).

Anything extra I save for the month will go directly to my running savings account to help fatten 'er up again.  Who's with me?  (And by who's with me... I actually mean.... who's taking me out for foooooooooood this month?!?!?  jk.....)

My Weekly Wish List/Weekly I Want posts may be out of control this month.  You've been warned!!

Tuesday before work I did 3.5 easy miles, which were not so easy due to the slick snow and ice.  I forget that when you run in the morning, everything that was nice and thawed from the warmer day before is now iced over again due to the freezing night time temps.  Drat.  I did 4 x 100 m striders during the last mile ~mile pace per speedy Jason's suggestion.  I kind of love striders.... definitely make an easy (=boring) run more enjoyable.


Dom and Trey said...

That sounds like a great plan and you seem so committed, I'm sure you will stick to your plan. I know how you feel about running and spending money. It's easy to get carried away with purchasing gear. Just yesterday, I had to hold back on purchasing a 20 dollar foam roller. I really want it. Sometimes the grown-up in us has to quite the inner-child. We'll eventually get what we want. Best of luck. Update us on your progress.


Heather said...

No spend March, that is a good idea. I should try no spend week first (okay, day) as I have serious problems. :) Come to MN, I will take you out for dinner!

Things to Do said...

Wow what a great plan. I've got some stuff I have to plan in March, but I'm thinking I should definitely try this for April! Good luck!

Nobel4Lit said...

That's definitely tough, but I think you can do it!

I've been trying to spend less money on food this month, too. And prior to yesterday, I hadn't bought any clothing in months.

I am making a Target run soon to restock on vitamins, face wash, and cotton pad squares. My willpower will be tested to only get those things.

J said...

I always try to spend less each month but it never works out because gas prices keep going up! It is so tough because everything costs money!

Generation X (Slomohusky) said...

like the seperate accounts method. I do the same.

I am going through a period of time where I have been running just to run without training for a race. Wow, what a concept? :) It has been fun. Races sometimes get to be a hassle of logistics for us as a family of 6 to plan for. So, for now till May, it is just local races if I do any, and just running to run and have fun. no worries about pace or length.

Anonymous said...

that sounds like a great idea! Also a great idea to have a "running" savings account. I may virtually join you in this task...although March is kinda a long month, huh?

Anonymous said...

Wow gooood luck with no spend March! I try and do a good job with not spending a ton of money but I am going to Vegas in a few weeks so the whole not spending money thing isn't really possible. Maybe I'll try in April?

Glenn Jones said...

Great discipline! I think most people would be shocked if they kept track of how much they spend at Starbucks!

Nicole @ "Haute Runner" said...

You make No Spending sound like fun!! I wish I had the willpower. The problem is that there is always something that I need!!!

The separate accounts idea is a good one! I do that for other stuff- why not running/racing stuff!