Compact Day ?

I am losing track of the days, but I still haven’t bought anything new! Today is Friday, so I’ll give a quick recap of the week:

Monday, I can’t remember what I did. Tuesday I spent in the car, going to see my nephew in the hospital (he is out now). Wednesday I made gravy (what non-Italians and misguided Italians call spaghetti sauce) early in the morning. No better feeling than to have dinner accomplished right off the bat. All I had to do at dinnertime was boil water and cook pasta. Thursday I made a pretty yummy loaded potato soup in the Crock-Pot, so once again it was a no-stress dinner hour. Today I baked cookies and tonight we had pizza, as we have for the last 500 Fridays. The weather was somewhat mild all week; we got outside a bit and I took a long walk alone on Thursday. Last fall, I was jogging and walking pretty regularly, and I want to get back in that habit.

So while it was a good week in terms of not buying new, I noticed that I spent quite a bit at convenience stores and McDonald’s. I’m also getting hit up for Girl Scout cookies and other fundraisers, and I have a double christening to go to tomorrow, which means cash gifts. I don’t necessarily mind spending the money, but I think I need to start keeping a budget again, so that I don’t feel like my spending is out of my control. I used to budget very closely, but ever since I left my job I’ve felt too busy to do it.

The grocery store circulars are here and I actually glanced at the Rite-Aid one (I don’t get a CVS one for some reason). That post about couponing got me a little fired up again. I know that one of the reasons I was so into couponing was that it represented “me time,” in a perverse way. It was a task that I could argue was important to the household, and so I could request some quiet time to work on it. I also enjoyed the organization and categorization required, and the number-crunching. (I get such a thrill out of using Excel, sometimes I think I should have been an accountant or something.)

One last thing: I showed my 7-year-old how to use Amazon on the tablet he got for Christmas, because he kept talking about how he wanted to get some toy planes (kind of like the plane version of Matchbox cars) with some of his Christmas money. He caught on quickly and now he has a “wish list” with 20 items, and two planes will be arriving tomorrow. What I wanted was for him to practice typing/spelling and to see how searching works. I did not want him to become obsessed with buying stuff. But I also now have him doing chores for an allowance, so hopefully some good money lessons will come out of all of this.

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