So I’ve been keeping track for a week of EVERY SINGLE THING I spend money on. It’s been an expensive week, and an unsettling one, and *whine whine whine*.
So, the things I’ve added up include: Starbucks, any other meals out, gift for our nephew (which I bought second-hand and was something he NEEDED!), extra money on top of my credit that I spent on shirts that just launched with my jewelry business, an adapter for the stroller I just bought second hand (more on that later),eyebrow threading, a trip to the Telus World of Science with the kids, plus lunch, and the magazine I bought. Sounds like a cheat but it’s ALLLL about how to increase one’s happiness, and is entirely applicable to this project. I’m calling it a research cost. Oh and a little organizer for the stroller that I found on kijiji…..ALL adds up to $377!!!!
And that DOESN’T include: the new light fixtures that we bought for the house (our bedroom, girls bedroom, spare bedroom, office, and dining room), the stool from Ikea so I can actually sit down at the kitchen counter, the stroller that I bought at Once Upon a Child, and the swimming fees for the girls. UGH. Only the swimming was on the list of costs I knew we would incur this month. In ONE WEEK. I think writing down all the expenses and tracking them is going to be very important, because I feel SICK about how much I spent/we spent. Especially on outside food, we have A TON of food in the house, just have to make it. Where else do you folks see places I could cut back? (Eyebrows are non negotiable, I didn’t get them done for a month and I looked like Frida Kahlo. No offense.)
So, the stroller. I’ve offset the cost by selling off the smaller stroller we did have; I paid $250 for the “new” Bugaboo Bee, and sold off our Baby Jogger for $120, so that’s still $130 missing, and with the two accessories I got for it (one so I can get Mira’s scooter board on the back, as it’s the same brand as our big heavy duty stroller, and a stroller organizer for the handle) and I’m $180 out. So. My plan is to give up my Starbucks treats until I’ve basically offset the cost of the discrepancy. Complicated, no? Basically I have one every 2-ish days,maybe less, and they are $4.50 a shot (for a tall chai latte with soy milk, no water, extra hot, if you were wondering). So, to offset $180, I’m giving up chai for 80 days. See you October 27th my dear Starbucks. Insert crying emoji faces here.
It may seem dramatic. You’d have to understand my history with strollers. It’s a thing. I have tried a few different ones now, and the number of Youtube videos I have watched about strollers is terrifying. But this stroller is not strictly a NEED. It’s been useful already as it’s much smaller as our other Bugaboo Buffalo, and Mira pushed it all over the Telus World of Science today, and I love it to bits. But I need to get it into my head that spending money in one area necessitates a cut back in another area. And honestly, I need to cut back on chai, as they are totally full of sugar and not great for me anyways. Feeding two birds with one hand. But oh god I’m going to miss them. But I love my stroller.
Another resource I was going to flag for everyone is a quick Youtube video called “The Story of Stuff”. Mark has been telling me about it, as he shows it to his grade nine Social Studies students. It really puts it all into perspective. You will realize WHY we think we need all these THINGS, and it might help you realize the consequences of those needs. It’s been hitting me whenever we do end up in a box store of any kind, like Canadian Tire or Ikea, this STUFF won’t all get sold. There’s WAY more inventory than they actually need to sell to people, just to provide us with all the options that they (and we) think we need. Where does all that stuff go when it doesn’t get sold? When they need to make way for the latest version? When all the food goes bad? When they discontinue a line of Ikea furniture? And I also just started reading “Stuff-ocation” by James Wallman, which proves to be an interesting read. He references one of the guys from the Minimalism documentary that I mentioned way back when. Book is pictured above with my cup of home made green tea (bye bye Starbucks). I’m learning so much.
And yet I’m totally beguiled by my latest possession: a stroller. I’m still a huuuuge sucker for the story I tell myself about my material goods and the story that I think they tell about me. But I’ll keep tracking my expenses and see how much lower I can get them. Because. Embarrassed. Hoping to do better next week. Much love, thanks for coming on this journey with me!