02 September 2015

No-spend September

How many times on this blog have I mentioned that I want to get myself in a position to buy a house? Did I tell y'all that a few months ago, I bought a house? Or rather, I bought half of the house Left-brain owned when I met him?  Well I did; we refinanced and my name is now on the deed . . . and the mortgage. I guess you could consider it a killer belated wedding gift from my husband, part of that "with all that I have and all that I am" clause we said as part of our wedding vows, and I am thrilled to be a homeowner, but, ummm, it was a little shocking to look at my credit report and see that figure on there.  And I owe other money, due to poor choices I made at the stupid age of 23 and how that rippled down my financial life (If I have one piece of advice to offer young people, it would be that, if you want to break up with a romantic partner and don't know how to do it, loan them money, the more the better. Those people will leave you in a month.), and it's a rough path to go down. Some of it has been spent on legit purposes, we've made some badly needed repairs to the house, but . . . I read something in a book that people who are perpetually in debt choose to seek ways to bring in more revenue, not ways to cut their current expenses, so, starting now, I choose to cut our expenses by not spending money, because we need a new house more than I need a lot of the stuff I buy.

So I am doing no-spend September. It was online. People were discussing it being done in terms of craft supplies. I figured that was too easy. So I am just not spending, and, hopefully, it will turn into No-spend 2015-2016. I figure this is a good way to refocus on using what I have and finding ways to entertain myself in other ways than shopping. 

That said, I did renew my JCS subscription today. Just for one year though. I agonized over this decision. I really don't stitch that much out of those magazines anymore, and what I do stitch is either the Halloween issue or the Christmas issue, not sure that is worth the subscription. And I gave up all my other subscriptions and magazine addiction after Someone Small was born, it just seemed like an unnecessary expense. I'm going to think about this very carefully this year and see if it's really worth the continued expense.

And I paid for the Cross Stitch Christmas book. I enjoy it and they're lovely designs. I just kitted up a bunch of designs out of there, and, if I had to choose how to spend my cross stitch dollars, that is it. Though I would be pleased if Better Homes and Gardens started issuing a large hardback Halloween book every year. Or patriotic. Could you imagine?  Oh, how cool would that be?

I also wanted to take a second to pass on a really cool place I found in Baltimore. The city has not gotten the best of media attention lately, but there are good things happening there, like every other city in the US.  We have the coolest FREE used bookstore, A Book Thing. It's only open on the weekends, but it's open EVERY WEEKEND.  AND THE BOOKS ARE FREE.   The place was started when a bartender found out that the teachers who patronized the bar he worked at were upset because Baltimore wanted teachers to have books in the classroom, but would not pay for said books to be there. (As someone who graduated from the Maryland public school system in the 90s, there was never money for things you actually might carry into adulthood. We had no driver's ed or heat in my high school). So he took his tip money and bought BOOKS, and told the teachers to take what they wanted. And it has grown into this non-profit where unwanted books can be donated and passed on to anyone who can carry them out of the building. It's amazing and packed every time I go there.  I've found things from my Amazon wishlist, and some books that I wanted. The last time I was there, I got two books that, new, would have cost $50, and there was no cost. The only caveat is that you can not resell the books, but most people just donate back or pass them on. We have a bookshelf at work, so I can pass them on that way, if I don't want them. They also take donations, so a good way to get rid of books!  Yes, I checked for stitching books, haven't found any . . . .

So that's life here. I am starting a new SAL from with the Cross Stitch and Discuss group on Facebook tomorrow, a By the Bay SAL. I have the Fall Mystery Sampler kitted up, so that is my choice. Will try to post a picture of it.

Til then, see you guys later


Robin said...

The book place you mentioned sounded great. Best wishes to you on your No Spend September. I am here cheering you on. Look forward to seeing your progress on the SAL piece.

Robin in Virginia

Danielle said...

Rachel, I am so glad to hear you talk about your spending. When I talk about it on my blog I feel very alone, as I hardly ever see anyone mention it on their blog. If you have ever read my blog you will notice that I have a problem with overspending, on makeup, books, needlework. I have had this problem for 20 years. I vow to get a handle on it. I live in Maryland as well, and only 20 minutes from Baltimore, so I will have to check that bookstore out. I have never heard of it.

Meari said...

Congrats on becoming a homeowner :)

Good luck with your no-spend September. You can do it!

Annie said...

Welcome to the world of happy homeowner.. sort of. Good luck on your no-spend policy. Won't be easy.

I'm not going to renew JCS after my current subscription expires. Not worth it for the very, very occasional piece I stitch from it. Might break down and buy an issue online occasionally.

BeckyG said...

Rachel, I've gotten some great stitching books at Book Thing. You should come and shop for stitching books at my house, I need to downsize!

I do my thing and you do yours. I am not in this world to live up to your expectations, and you are not in this world to live up to mine. You are you and I am I, and if by chance we find each other, then it is beautiful. If not, it can’t be helped--Frederick Perls