Thoughts on Arianne’s Challenge
Posted by Victoria | Filed under Victoria
As you probably know, last week Arianne challenged us all to have a no-spend week this week. As I mentioned in my comment yesterday, I failed at this challenge — but actually I don’t mind very much because it wasn’t a real fail.
I took out $60 at the beginning of the week, my usual amount since the other $40 worth of food money is tied up in the monthly payments for the CSA box. (I paid for that on Sunday so it wasn’t coming out during the week!) I decided that although I knew I wasn’t going to be able to have a complete no spend week, because I had a meeting set for a coffee shop, I decided I would try hard to spend less than $20.
So even though I have spent a small amount every day this week so far — $10 at the grocery store on Monday for the extra ingredients I needed to make kimchi with the cabbage I got in my CSA box last week and hadn’t done anything with; a bit for tea with a friend on Tuesday; another bit for tea at the coffee shop meeting on Wednesday; bread Thursday morning — nevertheless I am still well under my budget, I got movies from the library instead of the movie store, I was very good at sticking to my list in the grocery store on Monday and Thursday.
I also avoided a snare of book buying both in a bookstore and online, which is a big thing as it’s been a while since I last bought a book and I’ve been hankering after it. Not that I need any more, and indeed should get rid of some, but . . . this is a hard one in my life.
Fortunately, the book store nearest me only accepts cash, so although I saw a few things I didn’t have the money on me and didn’t go back. As for the online challenge:
I did not buy the $100 worth of books I wanted to get, even though there’s free shipping, and, since the books in question are heavy and coming from England, this is a substantial savings. One of the two books in question — if you’re curious, they’re Christopher Alexander’s The Timeless Way of Building and A Pattern Language, both on architecture, city planning, life in general really — I have had out from the university library for literally the last four months. (Ah, the glories of having faculty borrowing privileges . . . but don’t worry, if someone requests it I have to return it sooner!)
I do want to buy it, but . . . obviously no one else wants it all that much, and if I want to read it again, I can borrow it from the library again. Also, I just finished reading it. So I am going to hold off on that purchase for a while. It’s very definitely a want and not even a strong want.
With regards the other one . . . I think I will buy it. A Pattern Language is available in the library system, but I have to get it through Interlibrary Loan and so only get it for three weeks at a time. It’s also more of a reference book, talking about the patterns that make up buildings, neighbourhoods, towns, what makes some of them wonderful and alive and others cold and dead. I want to educate my eye by going around Halifax with my camera and looking for examples of each of the patterns in the book, which means having it around as a reference.
And since I have $40 I didn’t spend, I’m going to use that for this purpose. I am also going to give myself this same challenge for next week — and plan to put whatever I don’t spend into savings. I know this is basically just having a budget, but it helps me to break it down this way, too. I’m all right with saving for the bigger things, but I do certainly bleed away money in drips and drabs, usually at the grocery store, the book store, and Canadian Tire. But not this month!