Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Frugal February

It’s amazing how time flies, isn’t it…or maybe how it seems to stand still?  I guess you really don’t know which it’s doing until it’s already done.  I really think the only reason I realized it was the last day of the month is because I had a calendar reminder go off this morning telling me it was time to send in my time report at work.  New Year’s Day and my mama’s black eyed peas seem like they made their last appearance eons ago but my baby, who will turn 14 in less than two weeks, was just born yesterday.  The passing of time shall remain a constant mystery in my mind until, well, probably the end of my time.
Interesting but rather irrelevant, Kel.  I know, I know.  Get to the point.  The reason time is on my mind is that it IS the end of the month making tomorrow the first day of Frugal February. {{I can already hear my children in my mind…The first day of WHAT??}}  As I’ve been going through my financial data preparing to file my taxes, I’ve come to realize just how much “waste” is going on in my budget.  So, in an effort to help myself, my family, and my savings account, I’m putting myself on a Frugal February plan. 
So what is this Frugal February plan?  First of all, this whole plan is what is “frugal” for me.  Frugal for someone else may be entirely different.  For instance, one of my commitments is that I will only order food from an outside establishment 4 times during the month.  Yes, I understand there are people in the world who wish they could eat out even once a month. I get that. The point, however, is to learn to live with a little less convenience that we’re used to, not replacing time with money. Eat the leftovers and don’t waste the broccoli stalks.  Use “scraps” for the scrapbooks.  Start thinking about that rainy day before getting lost in the middle of a thunder storm without an umbrella.  If you can read this and say, “Well, duh.  That’s easy and I’ve lived that way my whole life.”  Good for you.  Personally, I think this is going to be a challenge not just for me, but for everyone in my household. 
Coming out of this big adventure, I want to do a little more than just save some cash.  I want to develop better time management skills.  I want to build more pages in my cookbook by getting back into my kitchen.  I want to declutter and get rid of things I don’t need, don’t use, or that don’t add value to my life.  I want to teach my kids something that will stick with them into adulthood, whether we make it successfully through this whole plan or not.  I hope to be a little bit of a different person on February 29.  They say you can do anything for a month.  I can do this…I’m making up my own rules, for heaven’s sake!  I will succeed.  I will learn a bit of personal frugality {{is that even a word?}} and I might even redefine what that means at the end of the month.  But no matter what happens, I need to get started to hit the end goal.  I need to finish my commitment list first and foremost.  I probably won’t share it all but I’ll share little by little as the month goes by.  It’s a personal journey but I’m happy to drag you along for my ride.  Maybe I won’t even have to go it alone.  If the urge to buy a new pair of shoes I don’t need hits me so hard I start to shake or my lack of preparation plops a frozen piece of chicken onto the dinner plate, you’ll hear about it. It’s time to make this happen.  Ready? Set? GO!!!

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