Contributors

Rach

I'm daughter to Lissie, sister to Jess, wife to Brien, mom to Hannah, Lily and Eleanor. I am a stay at home mom to my girls, and my free time is dedicated to gardening (I confess I'm still a novice and look to Lissie and Jess for advice), baking and cooking, and card making. I'm doing my part to make the earth a bit greener, trying hard to avoid processed foods and HFCS, and find the "slow food" movement intriguing and inspiring. I love visits to my local farmers' market, fresh produce, reading, getting out in nature, and spending time with my family.

Jess

Catholic, homeschooler, lover of books and great wine and an amateur gardening addict.

Lissie

I'm Melissa aka "Lissie", mother of Rachael and Jessica, and grandmother to a passel of the sweetest children on the planet. I'm a semi-retired public educator and professor who works from home for a small publisher. I am a lover of all things beautiful ... flowers, the mountains, nature scenes, the innocent faces of children, and my rock and fossil collection, to name a few. I enjoy shopping at the farmers' market for fresh foods and then experimenting with new recipes. Good food and good wine delight me. I love to travel so my suitcase is always packed. Like my daughters, I take pleasure in simple things ... clothes drying on the line, tomatoes so fresh they are still hot from the sun, good books, and interesting movies. I'd like to know everything before I die.
Being A Consumer

I am a mindless consumer. I am in need of reining in my spending and focusing on what I already have that pleases me. This really hit home for me today, two days after Christmas. I had resolved to do a small Christmas for my children and it didn't end up that way because I bought too many things for them. It doesn't matter if they are all well liked or will be played with, what matters is that I am teaching my children, especially my daughter, that if she wants something she should have it. The best I can do now is try again, try to do better in the future. I realize that it is an enormous luxury to be able to afford to give my children and myself many, many things that we do not necessarily need but still enjoy. I am sure many mothers on this vast planet would like to have my problem and I seem like a jerk for blogging this in the first place.

I want to save money. I want to be a person who knows where every single penny has been spent and makes mindful choices, even if a mindful choice is having an extravagantly expensive coffee out with a friend or buying a new book instead of waiting for it to become available at the library. The money spent on extras needs to be planned and alloted. I need to go to the grocery store with a shopping list and I need to stay out of Target, period. On the other hand, I don't want to go overboard here, just have some control. And I think identifying why I buy things is more important than what I buy. Trying to remember in the moment of purchase that having long term financial security will make me feel better than the quick thrill of the new item.

My New Year's resolution for 2009 is being mindful of my purchases. I am not going to go wild and sign up for Compacting or declare I will not buy anything made in China or will only buy handmade, etc. I admire people who do this but for me, at this time it is too large a leap and I will fail quickly and then I will completely fall off the wagon feeling defeated. I am just going to resolve to be mindful and to wait 24 hours before purchasing anything that isn't a need. No more impulse shopping. No more loading Etsy out of boredom. No more cruising by the bookstore just to "browse".

With the economy dipping ever farther as each day passes this resolution could not come at a better time. Our income could swing dramatically in 2009 and I want to be prepared. I want a fantastic safety net and to really start getting aggressive with long term savings. We are young, time is on our side and I want my husband to be able to retire at a reasonable age. We are on track right now but improvement is always possible.

 

3 comments:

Rachel said...

What a great resolution!
Do you have a "budget" per se? I have always paid bills on time and kept things reasonable, but in 2008 I started actually "budgeting" - keeping track of every penny and setting limits for categories and spending. I use a software called "you need a budget" which I downloaded, and it makes it SO easy to keep track. :) Good luck!

Shelly said...

I learned to budget this summer from a really good book that I checked out of our local library. "America's Cheapest Family," by the Economides. Totally cheesy title and author name but they really spelled out how to do a budget in the most easy to understand format I've ever seen. There were other tips about saving money, etc. but I thought the budget section was the best part of the book. I bet they have it at your library. It would be worth a look.

I am not a cookie, I am a free man said...

I find that not going into stores, or not browsing online stores, really cuts down on the amount I buy (especially impulse purchases). Not only do you save a lot of money but you also save a lot of time otherwise wasted shambling aimlessly around stores you don't have a specific need to be in.





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