finding the balance between living and saving

Spending Detox March 5-10

Spending Detox March 5-10

See this post for and introduction to our March spending detox and the accompanying ground rules.

Monday, March 5

An Amazon order I made at the end of February arrived – an exercise ball recommended by my physiotherapist to help with posture. Unfortunately the Amazon 55cm is much smaller than the 55cm ball in her office so I can’t use it to sit on in the office. It’s also $10.47 to return the $13.00 item, so it’s not going back. I’ll bring it home and mess around with it there while I hold out for a chair ball I can test in real life.

I spent the evening with my Girl Guide Unit and Chris made dinner. He roasted half (his preference) and slow cooked the rest (my preference) for lunch. Eating out zero times means we are going through groceries at a faster rate than usual, so I started adding stuff to our Click & Collect grocery order for pickup on Wednesday.

If you haven’t tried Click & Collect with Loblaws or a similar service, I definitely recommend trying it. For a $3-$5 fee (depending on time of day), supermarket staff will do your shopping and deliver the order to your vehicle. This saves at least an hour of time, untold amounts of impulse food spending, and probably a decent number of empty calories. However, we’ve made a few orders where the exact item on our list wasn’t available and staff didn’t make make a substitution, even if a substitution was requested. For example, we selected broccoli crowns, which weren’t available, but they didn’t substitute with normal broccoli. This is a pain in the ass and means you may still need to hit the grocery store old-school if you’re counting on a particular ingredient for a recipe.

Spending
Nothin’.
Total: $0

Tuesday, March 6

The slow cooker chicken and veg turned out great. We also confirmed our grocery order for pickup tomorrow. It gets charged to the credit card on the day of pickup, so technically it’s tomorrow’s spending. In the evening I yoga’d and Chris gym’d. He picked up a 10 pack of Timbits and a coffee on the way home, which I heartily tut-tutted before collecting a 35% donut tax (3.5 Timbits).

In other news, the building management installed a ridiculously bright floodlight right above the bedroom window last month. The light has been driving me insane and our translucent shade is no longer cutting it, so that had to be fixed. I briefly considered hurling a rock at the bulb last night as a temporary and free solution, but ultimately settled on an interior fix. We have one blackout curtain that will do the trick for now, but nothing to hang it with, so I bought a tension rod. Getting to sleep is loads easier and I really should have done it sooner. I think one more curtain panel will help block a bit more light and look better on the window, but ’ll postpone that ‘til next month, because the current setup is working fine.

We ate leftovers for dinner, frozen berries for dessert, then fell asleep watching Frasier. Lifestyle of the rich famous, I know.

Spending
Tim’s: $3.79
Gas: $48.86
Tension rod: $13.62
Total: $66.27

Wednesday, March 7

I picked up the groceries this evening then had my hair trimmed. We dropped $33 on hair wax/paste/creme stuff. It’s made of black magic, we both use it daily, and the last pot lasted 11 months. It’s expensive, but we decided to repurchase after cheaping out a couple weeks ago trying to find a more affordable alternative. Alas, we’ve been ruined for drugstore hair wax and were just frustrated by the cheapo version. I won’t count it as a fail because it was accounted for under toiletries, but it’s certainly not a necessity. I normally wouldn’t agonize over a purchase like this, but the scrutiny of the spending detox is proving to be a good reset button for evaluating the small “luxury” purchases that tend to add up.

Spending
Groceries $125.00
Trim: $20.00
Hair product: $33.00
Total: $178

Thursday, March 8

Happy International Women’s Day! I attended a wonderful event hosted by the Calgary YWCA. The ticket was purchased last month, so no spending there, but I did realize I don’t have a line item in my budget for charitable donations or functions. I do make donations on a semi-regular basis and will be budgeting for that properly going forward. This is in part because I listened to Jessica Moorhouse’s interview with J.D. Roth of Get Rich Slowly last week. JD is one of the O.G. personal finance bloggers, and his situation began to really improve when he started treating his personal budget the same way he treated his family business budget, where he worked as CFO. I think this is excellent advice – with the underlying premise being you should always know exactly where your money is coming from and how it’s being spent.

Spending-wise, we picked up cream, milk and butter from the drugstore around the corner.

Spending:
Groceries: $12.92
Total: $12.92

Friday, March 9

Holy shit, I wanted to stop for an Egg McMuffin and hash browns this morning. This is the first time I was dying for fast food. I drove the long way to work to avoid passing a McDonald’s. I drove the long way home because all-day breakfast is my blessing and my curse. I deleted Uber Eats from my phone so I wouldn’t order breakfast at midnight. I also had a strong desire to go plant shopping because it’s warming up and I’d like more green in my life after a very cold, white winter.

I didn’t buy McMuffins or plants and I feel like a damn saint. We did buy cat food and litter, and we spent $30 USD/each to download a course on coding in Python. This wasn’t explicitly budgeted for this month, but we’ve been meaning to start on this, and figure it’s worthwhile to begin while we’re still spending a lot of time indoors during the (hopefully) last vestiges of the winter from hell.

Spending
Learn Python the Hard Way: $60 USD
Cat food & litter: $20
Total: ~$100 after USD/CAD conversion

Saturday, March 10

We both worked out in the morning, then Chris hung out at a friend’s place. I spent a couple hours evaluating funding applications for a committee I sit on, then started tackling some cleaning tasks. I ended up reorganizing the hallway closet so I can stick the cat litter in there behind a closed door. I nearly ordered a swinging cat flap on Amazon, but then I remembered the detox. I still removed the closet door and arranged to borrow a jig saw because I’m an impatient ass, but the rest of this project might have to wait ‘til April.

Spending
Nada.
Total: $0



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