Monday, September 22, 2008

Buy Not, Want Not

We are now officially more than two-thirds of the way through Buy Nothing Month. My biggest fear at this point is the fact that we are almost entirely out of cheese... and I made a promise to myself not to buy more before October! Seriously, we are almost out of cheese, except for some Parmesan and a small piece of pepper jack. Still, I think we can make it.

While I've been pretty strict on the food front, however, I can't claim no other expenses have cropped up. The problem with a moratorium on spending is that following through requires a good deal of foresight. We've just had one significant expense and other, smaller costs are bound to be incurred before month's end.

The (relatively) large recent expense was due to the fact that we took the car in for a tune-up on Friday. Luckily only minimal work was needed. But why take the car in now? Couldn't we have waited another two weeks at least?

See, there's where planning comes in to play. Next Thursday we'll head off on a road trip to Pasadena, and considering we hadn't taken the car in for a tune-up since we bought it a year and a half ago, neither Michael nor I felt comfortable driving such a distance without making sure everything was in order. We could have done it sooner, but the fact is either way we'd be paying for it.

The same goes for a couple of other upcoming expenses - buying a wedding gift and hostess gifts, for example. Since our friends' wedding is the impetus for our trip, and since we will be staying with family and friends at various points along the way, these are also expenses that can't be postponed.

Am I complaining? Not at all. We've been planning this trip for some time; it's not going to break the bank. And while buying gifts for others may violate the literal definition of Buy Nothing Month, I'd say it in no way violates the spirit. It's one thing to be frugal, but another to be miserly. With that in mind, I'm off to face the last eight days of Buy Nothing Month. Cheers!

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