You have seen this movie.
Slowly the hero enters the darkened passage. He scans the shadows and suddenly there is a sharp noise. He whips around to confront the danger. It turns out to be a cat or an old rocking chair. He breathes a sigh of relief, realizing there was no real menace, and relaxes. He turns back. Before he can even react it’s too late. He is taken down by a claw, a tentacle or an old school mate inviting him to a home sales party. Either way he is hooped.
Welcome to my January. I made it through Black Friday until just after Boxing Day. Even with the best of intentions I got hit with the January desperation deals and I bought things that were nowhere near being on my “without this we will become hobos” list. (This is not meant in any way to be critical of or unfair to members of the hobo community considering that without careful planning I could one day be carrying my possessions on the end of a stick.) Knowing that I have some financial needs that do not fit in the budget I knew that I needed to take some drastic action to get back on track.
Where do I start?
It means I can’t afford to get great deals. I cannot afford bonus points or couponing, at least for the foreseeable future. I know. I hear the tense snipping of the scissors and feel the disapproving stares as the coupon clipping continues at a furious rate. Heretic. I know that in the U.S. with double coupon days and stacking you can often go home with free stuff. My dilemma is that I am good with free but cannot afford a deal. I already have enough detergent, hair products, and pasta. A good buy is still using money for things I already have.
I learned a secret at a Mrs. Smith seminar, couponer extraordinaire. She said that most coupons come in three month cycles. If you have enough to cover that time frame you do not need more. The truth is that I can’t resist the deal so I have to get rid of the flyers before I look at them. It is just too tempting.
So what do I plan to do now that I have little suction cup marks all over my face from the last tangle with the lure of the great deal?
I am planning a “No Spend Month”. (It is more fun if you capitalize it and put it in flashy little grammar markings. I could have used an exclamation mark but I’m saving that for later.) I have ten days to strategize how to make this a success. I will share my battle plans with you. I’m going to have to get creative if I want to succeed. Let’s go savings! Momma needs a new washing machine.