Here's where I toss out my words - like words in the wind. Sometimes putting stuff out on the internet can feel like that. Hope you can catch the breeze once in awhile.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Day 28

I walked right past the book aisle, the DVD aisle and the clothes. My feet didn't falter when I came to the kitchen applicances or the furniture. I stayed away from the bakery. For the first time in a long time I walked out of Costco with only the items on my list. Nothing more. Of course it helped to have my husband along on this trip to the city - though he said he wasn't watching me, I knew he was watching me - waiting for me to slip up. Pride is a great motivator. Plus, knowing that I'm on the countdown. Why mess up so close to the end! This is Day 28 of No-Buy month and this is Carolyne, hoping she doesn't splurge February 1st!

Friday, January 26, 2007


Today I go to the city with my husband. He's in a spending mood. And after 26 days of watching my money ( a very boring prospect let me tell you) I'm getting antsy. He wants to go look for a horse trailer. Fine with me. No temptation there. And Welsh's Saddlery. Ditto on the spending there. And Costco. Yikes. My nemesis. You see, I live out in the country and Costco is a once every few weeks, maybe even once every six weeks, event. I've seen good deals there - thought I should buy said item, but maybe not now and the next time I'm there - gasp - it's gone! And they don't re-order unless it's their usual stuff. So. Today, after not walking the crowded aisles of one of my favorite places for six weeks, I have to go in with my list of necessities and go out with ONLY what is on my list. This will be the true test of No-Buy month! I will see if self-control holds out over the desire to have - and at a good price. This is Day 26 of No-Buy Month and this is Carolyne, clutching her wallet.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

No Buy Day 18

Over the years we've had various discussions with our children over money. The main gist of what we've said to them can be summed up in the following - It's not what you make, it's what you spend. I would edit that and say What you make is probably less important than what you spend. Making money is the hard part of the equation and one you often have the least control over. If you are on a salary you are tied to a certain wage with only cost of living increases, the occasional bonus to provide you with extras. What you can control is the other side of the equation. What you spend. This is where you have some control and some say and this is where the self-control becomes the primary factor in how much you will have at the endof the month. I know that this month has been interesting for me. I have a credit on my credit card! How often does that happen! My bank account hasn't dipped as low as quickly and for the most part, I haven't missed much of what I haven't bought. Of course, the real test will be next month when the spending fast is over. Will I binge? I hope not. Anyhow, this is Day 18 of No-Buy month and this is Carolyne, counting her cash.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Dollars and Sense

A financial advisor once told us that people have two major attitudes toward money - greed and fear. I know I often struggle with either atttude. I worry about the future - and think I need more than what I have in order to maintain my current lifestyle (or even better it!). I fear losing what we have and therefore having to start all over again. Then a good friend told me something that I've tried to apply to life. Money is a tool, simply that. It isn't something to worship or run after, it is something to use. As Christians, it is also only one of the tools we use to serve our Lord. So I try to apply this attitude to my life, even though I know easily slip into one of the two negatives. This is an ongoing struggle. This month of not spending helps shift my attitude toward money. Helps me to see other things beyond what I can buy and what the money in my savings account can represent. Today was easy. Today was Sunday. We went to church, visited friends, had a nap and read our books. Spending wasn't even a blip on the radar. This is Day 14 of No Buy Month and this is Carolyne not daring to get smug (we're going to the city at the end of this week!)

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Snow day

Sometimes it's easy to save money, sometimes it's hard. It's easy when I can't go anywhere. My husband plowed the two feet of snow we had dumped on us yesterday during a white-out blizzard and he said he wasn't going plow out my Subaru which was fine. I hadn't planned on going anywhere - besides with temps like these, why would I want to? If I really wanted, I know I could power through that snow. It is a Subaru after all. But I don't mind the excuse to stay put.This is Day 10 of No-Buy month and this is Carolyne, saving her money by staying at home.

Monday, January 08, 2007

No Buy Day 8

I am a machine!! I went to our local Co-op and bought only what was on my list. Bananas, coffee for my husband, granola, cottage cheese, butter and raisin buns. NOTHING more. (pat self on back) No towels that were on sale, no scrapbooking supplies, no knick-knacks and no snacks. And then I came home and while I ate lunch, surfed the net and didn't buy this necklace for $13,000.00 or the brooch below for a mere $16,000.00. And here I thought I had no self-restraint. So I'm feeling better after my slip on Saturday. This is day 8 of No-Buy month and this is Carolyne, back in the saddle again.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Does it count? Day 7

My husband called me from town, a twenty -five minute drive away. It was Saturday and I tend to slip into Saturday mind-set. Things go a little slower, I take my time doing my chores and if I work, I usually don't work much or very hard, seeing every page of writing I do on Saturday as an extra. Anyway I didn't feel like cooking, which isn't just a Saturday thing I must confess. Did I want him to buy some pizza? Sure I said. I mean if he spent the money it didn't count did it? And though there is a spirit to no-buy month, and though I don't want to fall into my usual Calvinistic rules and subsequent guilt, I realized I had stumbled and fallen. So this week, it's try again. This is Day 7 of No-Buy month and this is Caroyne determined to try again.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

aye, aye Tunes

As with every good fall, this one started with pride. My huband and I were listening to the radio, I was fooling around on my laptop, my husband was bugging me about why I even bother going on the internet when it is such a waste of time - a song came on the radio - he said he really liked it but didn't know what it was. I gave him my superior smile, said nothing, surfed That Useless Internet, did a Google search of one of the phrases in the song, found not only the title of the song but the lyrics as well. Then I figured I would really amaze him so without telling him what I was doing, I zipped over to iTunes, found the song, downloaded it to play for him later and then, while I was there, I thought I may as well get that Enya c.d. my daughter was talking about, oh ya and there's a really cool song by Emmylou Harris and Linda Ronstadt I wanted to get - hit Buy Now without even a flicker of awareness. Play the song for my husband that lead me down this purchasing path, watch his eyebrows go up in amazement. Hah. So cool am I!

Then, this morning, as I was humming that elusive song, my husband asked me "Isn't this No-Buy month". "Yes," I said. "Then what about that song you bought?" Blank look and then realization came in a sickening rush. And the worst of it was, I would have gone on blissfully unaware I had even done it. That's how easy it is to spend money!!! That's how easy it is to fall. This is Day Six of No-Buy month and this Carolyne Aarsen trying to regain her no-buy balance.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

No Buy Day 5

Yesterday of no buy month was easy. I didn't go anywhere and I was so busy rescuing our main power pole from falling over that once I got back to work, I didn't feel like surfing the 'net and I had a quota of work to fill so I was safe. What I have found interesting, though, is the whole concept of waiting to buy something. Often, if I ignore the impulse, the desperate 'need' to have whatever it was I HAD to have, does go away. Part of my problem with spending is my need to have the whole bundle. I'm the kind of person that isn't satisfied with just Barbie. I have to have all her friends and all their 'stuff'. F'rinstance - I like scrapbooking. I got a Creative Memories catalogue. I read said catalogue and enjoyed looking at the pretty pictures and soon I was thinking "I have to have that". Not only 'that' per se, but all the accessories. All of them. The fancy cutters, the punches, the templates, the paper, the stickers, the idea books, the pens, the things to hold all the things and on it goes. Companies like those are made for people like me. Not even going to talk about the Fisher Price Loving Family dollhouse . . . with accessories. Anyhow, this is Day 5 of No-Buy month and this is Carolyne saving her money.

No Buy Day 4

Welcome to No Buy month Day 4. Checking in to give you a progress report. On Day 2 I went to town and didn't buy a People magazine, chocolate bar, doughnut at the bakery or some paper that was on sale. Brought all my pop cans and bottles away and came back with $45.00 in cash which I didn't spend. For a change. So far so good. On Day 3 I surfed the net and didn't buy some DVD's. So far so good. The real test will come in a week when my husband and I have to go to the city. Usually the thought sends a little thrill up my spine because that means malls and stores and all kinds of places to spend money. Having my husband along definitely subdues the little chill. I don't know how he does it but he can drive right by IKEA, West Edmonton Mall, Staples, Linen's 'n Things and his foot won't even leave the accelerator. Nerves of steel that man.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Mo Money

This month I'm embarking on a money experiment. I've declared January No-Buy-Month. This month I'm not buying books, c.d.'s, books, clothes, chocolate, books . . . Did I mention I'm not buying books? Are you sensing this might be the hardest part of no buy month as I'm surfing the web with my new (ahem) high speed internet, hopping from book site to book site hoping for the thrill of going to the post office and finding a little white card in my mail box telling me that Amazon has shipped me yet another package of books . . .Thank goodness I'm not going it alone, like I did last year. I made a trip to Grand Rapids Michigan and a friend and I went shopping and we hit all kinds of lovely sales and . . I . . did . . not. . . buy . . . but it was haaaard. Especially when we came to a Franklin Covey store and they had a sale on their handbags. 50% off the first one, 75% off the second one. My friend was trying to convince me to buy the second one and we would split the total cost . . . such a deal!!! But I clutched my wallet, shook my head and walked away from temptation. This month, I have two women in my corner. And I was thinking of them when I went to one of my favorite websites, Creative Memories and discovered, OH NO, they are discontinuing some of my favorite products. Must . . . buy . . . can't . . . miss . . . out. This is a necessity, isn't it? I mean what if they don't have this stuff next month? It's just a few stickers . . . I didn't buy them. I'm sticking to my guns and if you're interested in the journey, come back from time to time and I'll keep you posted on my progress. This is Day Two of No-Buy month and this is Carolyne saving her money.