Monday, March 10, 2008

Forget The Joneses Project - Phase I (Steps 1-5)

As I noted in my last post, I am participating in the "Forget The Joneses Project" at the Mommysavers Forum. I am a bit behind since the project began in January, but it doesn't matter so long as you follow the steps in order.


#1 Grab a Notebook

I decided to use a word document for this.

#2 Go on a 21-Day Spending Freeze

"What is a spending freeze? To put it simply, no more spending. Zip. Zilch. Nada. You’re not allowed to spend money on anything but necessities. Use up the food you have in your cupboards. Your grocery budget is now limited to what you must buy (milk and toilet paper, for example). Think of it as “Mommysavers Survivor” except the only prize at the end of the game is the money you’ve saved." J

This one is going to be tough. Yes, I have committed to going 21 days without spending money on anything that is not a necessity. I am excited about this challenge though. It is something that I have thought about trying often in the past. So, from March 9th through March 30th I will not spend money on anything but necessities. Luckily I just went grocery shopping and my home is filled with food.

#3 Question the Difference Between Wants and Needs

"During your spending freeze, you will need to question the difference between wants and needs. Try to anticipate the decisions you’ll have to make in the next three weeks. Are you going to be invited out to lunch? If your child needs money for school lunch, will you have him brown-bag it instead? What will you do? "

As I look ahead to the next 21 days I do notice two dates that will be a challenge.

The first is next Saturday. We have planned to take the kids to the Museum of Science for the day. We reserved passes from the library which will allow us to get in the museum for $5 each (instead of the regular price of $17), plus we have one free pass, so the total for our family of 5 will be $20. Plus we will be taking the train in town, which will cost. These things are obviously wants not needs. But since they were planned before we began this challenge, we will keep the plans.

The next is Easter dinner. I will be having Easter dinner for my extended family at my home. Although I did already purchase the ham, there might be other foods for the event that I will buy that won't technically be needs.

#4 Create an "Approved Spending" List

"Write down all the things you think you will need to purchase in the next three weeks. You are only allowed to purchase the bare-bones minimum, things you cannot get by without."

Here's my Approved Spending List for the next 21 days:

- Groceries (fruit, vegetables, milk, bread, eggs, Easter dinner food, NO DIET COKE)
- Gas for the car
- Museum of Science Trip (noted above)
- Easter Baskets for the kids

#5 Get Support

I have been going to the Mommysavers forum for support and the blogosphere for support. :)

(I'll keep you posted as move along through the steps.)