What did I get for my card?
Half-way through the month, I made a list of vital necessities.
- Cat Food
- Cough Drops
- Card for Carole
- Dr. Pepper
- Vegetable Oil
You all know my math skills are shaky at best, but I stood in the aisles doing long addition to make sure I didn't accidentally go over the card amount. At mid-month, that would not have been good. With coupons and the 10¢ per bag discount Target gives you when you bring your own bag (I had 2), I discovered I could get a Valentine's card for my mother, too, and use only $3 over half of the card. I didn't want to use the whole thing because there is always the end of the month and bills. I felt very good about myself, my prioritizing and my math.
I trotted off today to get a few more items.
- Cereal x 2
- Cough drops x 2
- Kitty Litter (By far the biggest expense)
- Mr. Plummer
- Toaster Strudel
- Cottonelle Wipes
I had milk and bread on the list too, but I didn't like the selection at Target. My local Target is undergoing major renovations to add the fresh vegetable and meat selections of a SuperTarget store. While prices for milk and bread are comparable to any other store, I just didn't feel good about the selection, as they are moving things around and shelves are picked over. I have a wee bit of cash so I will dash over to the grocery tomorrow and get milk and bread. Yes, I do have milk delivered, but I was gone during the delivery time this past week, so I took a vacation hold. It will be Thursday before my fresh half-gallon appears in the milk box. I have cereal to eat before then.
I got one item not on the list, a box of Stash's Chocolate Hazelnut tea. I know that sounds weird, but, when it's piping hot, it's really, really good. Stash made the tea my sister gave me for Christmas, which I like and which I'm nearly out of.
Added up, subtracting coupons and the bag discount, I had to chip in $12.69. No, I didn't NEED the Toaster Strudels. They are a quick breakfast when I get up late. Plus, they were on sale and I had a coupon. I didn't NEED the Mr. Plummer. I don't use it unless my plunging attempts don't get the drain running faster. I know it's not good on pipes, but I can't unclog drains and I certainly can't afford a plumber. And I didn't have to get the tea, but it was on sale and it's not always on the shelf anywhere.
I have the cash. I treated myself to delivery pizza when I got back from Iowa. That's going to be it now for delivery pizza unless I am the recipient of some largess. I could afford it and I felt I was worth it.
I have done well. I'm still reading at least 4 magazines a month. The stack is shorter, although there is a long way to go. I am half-way through the book you've seen on the side here since November. My goal is to finish that this week. I was able to pay almost all of my bills. I forgot about the gas bill and the phone bill comes at mid-month and I will be hard pressed to pay that. I haven't written a letter in a month. Shame on me, but I have nothing to do at the office so that's going to change. I have not had cash to buy fresh fruits and veggies and I'm down to about 3 inches of cranberry juice. I have one box of jello left and I did think about buying a few more boxes. I have not gone to bed consistently by 11 and I need to, nor have I picked up a craft project and finished it.
BUT, I am immensely proud of my ability to pay for anything I want or need in cash for a whole month. I used my cards only for gas to go to Iowa, nothing else. I have proven to myself, for the second month in a row, that my needs and wants do not have to involve a piece of plastic.
Every change involves baby steps. As March dawns, I'm getting there.
Beverage: Chocolate hazelnut tea