My Dear Readers,
This first month of living on a budget (pretty strict budget) is over. As much as it feels like a relief, I am anxious to start the new month. I already put a February budget together: I did not make it as strict as January but I still made sure to be on track with my new year’s financial goal that I set for myself. I think it’s important to mention that living with a modest budget keeps us on track of living below our means. Living paycheck to paychek is not in our plans. Instead of figuring out how to make ends meet, we will work on having fewer ends.
There are a few takeaways that I would like to share with you. Some of those are funny, some are a little tough to share and some might be just plain every day things that most of you do.
First of all, my husband and I are still on a simplifying & downsizing journey. As a result, he caught a “selling” bug and we sold about $500 worth of random things. Those were old phones that we had in the house, some toys that our toddler wasn’t playing with, some household items that nobody cared for. Things that we didn’t sell in the first couple weeks, we donated to Salvation Army & shared with friends. I also dropped off some toddler clothes & toys to the second hand kids store resulting in some nice store credit. We will need some spring gear for the little man, so it worked out perfect. One of the things that I was having a little bit of a hard time departing with was my wedding dress. I was trying to sell it for a while but I couldn’t imaging having tons of girls going through my home, trying it on. It didn’t feel right. It wasn’t worth much so I didn’t want to spend tons of energy trying getting rid of it. At one point I thought: if getting rid of it is the right move for me, the Universe will show me the way how to do it. And It sure did. One day, I drove by a small wedding shop that I’ve never seen, emailed the owner asking if she knows any place in town that take donations and there absolutely is one. There is a group in town that takes wedding gowns to make dresses for infants that were not meant to come to this world. I cried after I donated it. And not because I felt sorry departing from a gown that I worn once and will never do it again. Not because of some myths that if in this life I will have a daughter, she will wear it (silly myth anyways, why I would force my child to wear something out of an obligation?) I cried because It felt like it was the right thing to do for a great beautiful cause. God willing, my dress will not be used, but there are things that happen in life that we have no control over.
Alright, enough sadness. Quick note, my January budget was strict – I already mentioned it. I didn’t allocate any money towards clothes or any extras towards cosmetics and other things that we girls like. Although, i did have an emergency! I ran out of mascara! One morning, my mascara made that ‘pop’ noise.. ‘Pop’ like there is an air in the tube and not a drop of a product left!! I surely treated it as an emergency. But you know what I did? I pulled $30 out of my food budget (I have very few items but those are very good quality items) and used it to buy a nice organic, not tested on animals Dr. Hauschka mascara. Love it! Here she is – my emergency 🙂
Other than that, this months went pretty flawless. We used food out of a pantry, wore what we have, didn’t drink much wine, didn’t have any take outs but made sure we went out with a couple friends to keep our social life going. When I had something non-urgent popped up that I needed (or wanted), I put it on the next month’s budget. At the end, it felt good. It felt like we didn’t use any non-essential resources from our Earth, we didn’t spend any unnecessary funds that could have gone to a better cause. We treated people around us good as always, we read, studied, played outside, played at the house, worked hard and volunteered. There are lots of things in this life besides shopping and mindless time spending.
I absolutely look forward to next month! Will keep you posted 🙂