Spending Vay-Cay

At least a couple of times a year, I take a month-long spending vacation. That does not mean that I step away from a budget, in fact, the opposite. I take a full month off from as much spending as I can including no eating out, no quick trips to the grocery store and most of all, banning myself from that incredibly seductive and easy to overspend, on-line store that offers everything from flame throwers to groceries to parkas and arctic mining equipment. I find that if I buy something on line, it is just WAY too easy to click and buy other things as well so I take the entire month off. Now that my partner and I are fully vaccinated and the country is collectively headed (we hope) toward herd immunity, I find that if I really need something, I can go out and get it though we are still masking and gloving up. If I steer clear of on-line shopping, I find I will also not be seduced by more suggestion marketing and recommendations. I also find out that I cannot be bothered most of the time to go out and get just one thing so I stop buying period. I make do with what I have at home and on hand. For example, my newly landscaped backyard started to have a few weeds sprout up, the ones that are really hard to pull but rather than go out and buy a jug of vinegar, I simply boiled water and killed them off that way saving gas money, time and the cost of vinegar that, while cheap, would have surely ended up with me buying other things just because I was at the store.

June is one of those months for me. I look forward to June because my garden is coming in and I am starting to harvest vegetables on a daily basis. We grill outside which means taking advantage of what has been languishing in the freezer and it is cheap to get that fine, smoky flavor on really inexpensive cuts of meat. I also review my budget in June, looking for ways to cut expenses. Turns out, it was time, this past June, to get a new cable package. It meant spending a lot of time on the phone waiting for a service rep but it is worth it (waiting now in fact). I took an honest and critical look at our cable usage and realized that several premium channels we were just not using. We have streaming services for so much of what we watch now so those channels were not needed, resulting in more savings for me. In fact. after some consternation and negotiations on the phone with the rep, I cut my cable bill by nearly $100 a month which translates into a hefty $1200 a year savings. That money alone will get me to Hawaii and back, first class if I plan in advance and watch for specials.

Next spending vacation I will start looking at phone options. My cell is old, screen is cracked (just a bit) and I am long past the normal upgrade period so I will start doing the math on that but for June, I am already ahead of the game.

So, try taking a spending vacation for at least a month. Stop going out, don’t buy anything on line and use what you have on hand and stay frugal as you bask in savings and sunshine wherever you are.

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