Tuesday, September 02, 2008

30 days of nothing

Okay, so the title is obviously a little bit of a misnomer...as we have LOTS of stuff...

A while back, my friend Katie mentioned a blog called Owlhaven - she really is into the blog because the blogger has adopted several children from Ethiopia (as has Katie). I read through most of the archives, and I was most interested in an experiment that she did called 30 days of nothing. Basically, she challenged herself to spend minimal money (gave up things like buying books, tried to keep to a very minimal grocery budget and eat from her pantry, etc) and do activities with her kids to show them how good we have it in our lives as Americans (I think they washed clothes by hand one day, do regular vegetarian meals, eat oatmeal regularly for breakfast, etc.)

I brought it up to hubby a while back, and he didn't think it was a good idea. Largely in part (I'm guessing) to the fact that I tend to be very rigid and tend to beat myself up for little mistakes. Also, probably because he didn't want to have to hear about it all the time and listen to my determining if something would fit into the spirit of the challenge. (I can see his point, one thing that bugged me most about the service learning house at our college was that they could spend DAYS arguing over whether or not a pasta fork from the thrift store could be considered simple living.)

So, in a spirit of not torturing my husband about it, I have decided that I (not the whole family, just me) am going to attempt a 30 days of nothing challenge...of course, my definition of nothing isn't really nothing:

I am going to:
-Allow $25 a week for groceries (milk, eggs, bananas) but plan menus to clean out our deep freeze (we are trading my parents our little one for their larger one) and use up some of our pantry stockpiles. If we run out of something, I will buy it if I can work it into the $25 budget.
-Take the kids to the library at least once a week, and maybe even check out some movies for family fun night.
-Work on clearing out clutter from our house in my spare time.
-Put a vacation hold on my paperbackswap account (this is the thing that will hurt the most! I love swapping books!) which means, no more books coming in, and no more books going out (which costs us the postage) for the month of September.

I am NOT going to:
-Obsess about how much money hubby has spent on things (really, he doesn't spend very much at all...but I tend to be a bit of a maniac when it comes to saving money) or how much money we do have/are putting/will have in our emergency savings account.
-Talk about how it is going (I'll probably blog about it, then hubby can have fair warning and can avoid reading my posts if he doesn't want to hear about it)
-Nag hubby about cutting down on trips to see his parents. Transportation will continue as usual, and I won't fret about the number of miles/cost of gas.

So, here it goes, my own 30 days of nothing (starting 1 day late!) There are 30 some other people doing the challenge, so feel free to check some of them out!


Whimsy said...

I see Lent has started early at Majella's. . .

Owlhaven said...

sounds like great plans!!!

glad you're playing along


fawndear said...

We are trying the month of nothing as well, much to my kiddo's horror. I can't wait to get ideas from everyone on how to have fun with nothing.