Friday, 6 January 2012

Update on no-spend January (+ more)

I'm doing well actually. I've set up a simple calendar on the computer - one of those "fancy" downloadable templates - and am marking in whether I spend or not as well as keeping general stuff on it as reminders, etc.

When I got back from Victoria in December, and prior to reading Carla's blog entry about her challenge, I stocked up on groceries. I spent slightly over $250. This includes purchases like a giant bottle each of olive oil and balsamic vinegar, 3 bags of rice, 4 tins of beans, some frozen items, a selection of meats (a family size salmon & some ground chicken) and various other non-perishables that will carry me through, and hopefully over, a month. There's a lot of veggies in there, too, but those will obviously have to be replaced regularly.

My intention is to not eat out this month, or at least not as often. I whine about how I have no time for breakfast in the morning, but I actually have plenty. I distract myself and choose NOT to make it or lunch. I have no excuses now that I've suspended Facebook for a month. It's a huge time suck and I need to break my addiction. I'm hoping that by the end of the month I'll feel like continuing for another month...then another. I don't want to deactivate it permanently because most of my friends are Outside and overseas and it's nice to be able to drop a little 'hello' here and there to them. It's my own obsession with it that's become the problem, not Facebook itself.

So how have I done since January 1?

Jan 1: $6.99 for a bottle of Tylenol. I'm not supposed to take Ibuprofen - kidney-related - so bought a bottle of Extra-Strength at one of the only places open New Year's Day. Overpriced for a bottle of 24 tablets.

Jan 2: No-spend day. A visit and tea with a friend for a couple of hours.

Jan 3: No-spend day #2! I called Visa to claim I had lost my Visa card. This is patently untrue, but is a step to save me from myself. I had the Visa number on Amazon and on FB (I know...) and giving the card to my friend to look after was pointless as I had memorized the number long ago. This way I get a brand new card and once I activate it, I will give it to my friend ASAP to keep hold of. A bit drastic perhaps, but 2011 was a terribly spendy year - although I am very, very happy with everything I got, which includes the long coveted KitchenAid mixer...

Jan 4: My dad's birthday. He would have been 81. Another no-spend day.

Jan 5: $2.16 mailing a late Christmas present & $26.03 on groceries. This was a bit of a bust in the sense that I left the groceries in the truck while I was at work and the temperature dropped to -12C or so...the milk is fine, the strawberries too, the eggs? Not sure. I put them out on the counter this morning for about an hour, so hoping they're not (still) frozen. I'll find out eventually! The bananas, however, have turned a lovely shade of dark green/black, so instead of going in my porridge, they'll be made into loaves or muffins or something. Oops. Still, I'm happy with the costs as it wasn't outrageous (at least not for here) and the strawberries actually look edible.

Today I'm going nowhere and doing nothing but catching up on some things around the house: laundry, dishes, tidying, and completing a lesson in my writing course. Tomorrow morning I'm going for brunch at a friend's house. I need cat food and cat litter, however, so it won't be a no-spend day, and while I'm out I'll take care of the recycling.

I mailed off a reimbursement form for some physio sessions I've had through October & November and will be getting approximately $280 back. In October 2010, shortly after my last post, my back went out and I was off work for two weeks. That was about a month after I had my little meltdown at work. So my body was making me do what my mind was only telling me to do - you. need. to. stop.

I had some physio sessions but because of how my symptoms presented then, the actual problem didn't get figured out until THIS year when I went back FOR THE SAME PROBLEM. It turns out it's the L2 area of my spine - the nerves had pinched somewhat and the symptoms that took me back this year were different than the last ones. The reason? We moved the library in October & November and had over 3000 boxes to fill, stack, move and unpack; shelves to unload and reload; kitchens to clean, tidy and refill; items to be discarded, deleted and catalogued (and repacked). It was a HUGE job and it took 7 weeks from start to end. All the heavy lifting and twisting I did exacerbated the problem area again and caused me enough problems that I took time off to recuperate about once every 10 days or so. It's getting better, thankfully, in part to daily and multiple trips up and down the stairs at work. As long as the weather stays warm (nice, but definitely oh-so-wrong for this little corner of the world) I'm going to start walking to work by the end of the month, which will help both my overall health and my bank account.

This blog did wonders to keep me accountable for things and I've missed a lot by not keeping up to date on your lives & posts. I'm happy to be back.

PS: This is the link to the article that I got published last year. It's about my trip to the horse sanctuary in Oregon. So much for anonymity! ;)


Canadian Saver said...

I'm so glad you are back to posting often! Lots of good stuff in this one, I loved the article, that place sounds amazing... it reminds me of the mare we have now, she had never really been outside in a pasture for her first 10 years... sad.

You have to share what you make with your KitchenAid! I love mine too :-)

You had a great week! I have started out 2012 in a great way too, but we're just starting so we'll need our blogs to keep us accountable :-)

The Asian Pear said...

Good luck with your goal & welcome back!

Jolie said...

OOOOOOO you're posting again! Excellent! I missed you.