Our family is on a “no-nonessential spending kick” for September. Why? We had a few hangover bills from a summer vacation and three unexpected car repairs. So a spending freeze seemed like a sane way to get our budget back on track.
Now, we’re pretty careful with our money anyway, so I thought, “How hard can this be?” Well, it’s only September 2. And I’ll tell ya the truth: It’s very, very hard!
I read a suggestion in financial celebrity Suze Orman’s 2009 Action Plan (which I downloaded for free; you can still read the first chapter here). It was: Don’t spend ANYTHING for one day. So during the last part of August, I kept trying to do that, in preparation for September. Emphasis on “kept trying.” I’d think: OK, this is an easy day to spend nothing. Then we desperately needed milk. Or it was my “mom’s night out” and I wanted to buy a cup of coffee with a friend. Or I needed to send in a check for my daughters’ lunch money.
So I’d put off the “spend nothing day” until tomorrow. But the funny thing was that something kept popping up—sometimes a need, sometimes a very strong “want”—and I found it really tough to go even one single day without spending at least a few bucks! I wondered: How the heck are we going to get through September?
Our project for this summer: Start a vegetable garden. Not only do we hope to save money on produce, I think it will be fun, too!
We’re planning to install two 4′ x 4′ raised garden boxes on the narrow south side of our house. One will be a “salad garden” with arugula, lettuce and other greens. The second will be an “Italian garden” with basil, parsley, tomatoes and the like.
I’ve been wondering, though, how we’d know if we’re really saving money by growing our own veggies.Then I came upon this cool savings calculator that helps you figure out how much you save by planting your own vegetable garden. Perfect! Now I’m off to the nursery to buy basil and blueberry bushes and tomatoes….