Where I Confess to Shopping But It was Planned

See that picture? That picture is of my feet on the Toronto Transit Commission’s subway at 1:00 a.m. I had just finished saying goodnight to my friend Gail McInnes. We met up for coffee then went to an event.

That’s not important. What’s important is what those self-satisfied feet represent. I spent money that day. I bought clothing, drinks and a meal.

Contradictory, you say? Well, yes and no. I said I was cutting back on spending but in a realistic manner. That means budgeting and sticking to it. I made a budget at the beginning of the month and knowing myself, knew it would be difficult to give up shopping entirely. Once I figured out how much I was going to save, my household budget and bill payments, then I calculated how much I could spend shopping.

It’s not a lot. With my goals for this year, I didn’t give myself a lot of leeway for shopping or entertainment but I knew I had to put something in there or I will end up writing whiny posts like this one. Just like fitness experts advise that you have one cheat day a week where you can splurge on junk food, I built in one day where I can shop but only up to a limit – and it’s a very low limit. It’s like a little release valve, you open it to release a bit of pressure so you don’t suffer from a catastrophic implosion.

It’s all about being realistic and knowing yourself. If you can go cold turkey, I fully respect you. Personally, I need to slowly cut back because going cold turkey guarantees disaster. Next month’s budget will have a smaller shopping budget and I plan on getting rid of a few items in my closet. I’m thinking of going the consignment route.

I got a top if you were wondering. It was on sale.

Why I’m Saving And Whiny About It

Camilla Skovgaard boots (photo courtesy of eBay)

See those? I want them. I want them badly but I haven’t bought them. I’m trying to be good but it’s really, really hard. I’m trying to keep my goals in mind to keep me from buying shoes I don’t really need and dresses I also don’t need. [Read more…]

Saving Money On Heat By Not Turning It On

Sweater, no holes, very warm

If you’re wondering why I’m not blogging about saving money on heat, it’s pretty simple.

It’s not cold enough in Toronto to justify turning on the heat. A sweater and a pair of wool socks works just fine. In fact, I’m wearing the wool sweater I darned a few nights ago.

I live in a building that’s about 25 years old. There’s a lot of concrete and I’m surrounded on all sides except one so my place stays quite warm. The one side that isn’t surrounded faces west so it warms up when the sun is out.

That can be a pain in the ass during summer but winter time it’s great.

Add a down duvet, flannel or jersey sheets (my friend Patti swears by them), a hot water bottle and I’m toasty warm. All of these bought off-season and on sale, of course. In fact, I got the queen-sized down duvet at a silent charity auction about seven years ago.

Plus I have nice sweaters. I should wear them.