We have dear friends over tonight because we’re all going GARAGE SALING tomorrow. 😀 It’s one of the largest neighborhood garage sales (with around 30-40 homes participating) and it’s in a super nice area – KEY. So, I’m prepping for that. I know. How could my house possibly fit more crap? We’ll find a way. Oh, yes.

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One of the blogs that I read regularly has a new feature by one of the writers. She now posts up her weekly goals into four categories:

  1. Family/Mothering Goals
  2. Personal Goals
  3. Home Management Goals
  4. Business Goals

At the end of each week, she will post how she did. I think I will adopt this as well for 2012. I don’t think I will have any Business Goals for the moment. It is a bit daunting – but I will start on the first three. 🙂 So, for this week – even though it’s Wednesday (I am writing this on Sunday night), here they are:

Family/Mothering Goals

  1. Go to the park at least once
  2. Limit screen time to 1 hour a day (this includes iPhone and iPad!)

Personal Goals

  1. Go to bed before 11pm
  2. Create Xmas cards and family calendar
  3. Finish 100 pages of Known and Unknown by Donald Rumsfeld
  4. Walk on the elliptical for 30 minutes at least 1x
  5. Read at least 5 NYT articles a day (NOT the fluffy pieces)

Home Management

  1. NOT buy anything online/craigslist (YES – that is a seriously difficult goal)
  2. Cook at least 3 dinners
  3. Pack at least 3 lunches for DH

Wish me luck!

There is something about responding to a craigslist ad and wanting so badly to get in early for that awesome deal that I end up not thinking and rushing without getting all the facts. (Eg: asking for a picture, finding out how many pieces there are, how big the box of stuff, etc.) There is always that fear that I will never see this awesome deal again – which is totally ridiculous since I will (and have).

So, yesterday, I ended up being an ass by leading a lovely lady on about buying some Lego Duplos and then reneging because I thought about it, didn’t want to spend $65 on a Lego table (for which I have no room in my house) and 100-200 pieces when another ad I responded to had about 300 pieces for $30. *sigh* Truly, she should’ve smacked me. Poop.

On the plus side, I got this wagon today for $35! I already bought the canopy on amazon (since I rarely see it on craigslist) and am very excited. Now, just to resolve WHERE to store this sucker in the garage. I got a used push tricycle yesterday (although I was disappointed because the lady did NOT mention the crack in the basket – of which, I don’t really mind, but now I regret paying $15 for it) and DS was VERY excited when we picked it up. Too bad it’s been such cruddy weather.

I am also getting a used kiddie picnic table for the backyard, so that should be cool, too. Seriously, I have a bad craigslist habit – but I was meaning to get these things anyway, might as well get them used, right? After all, I’m hopefully getting a used JJ Cole Bundle Me (basically, a sleeping bag for kiddos in their strollers and car seats) because the new one I got a year ago for DS is great and I want one for DD, too. Unfortunately, the used one I got the other day for $10 was not the one I wanted since it doesn’t seem as warm as the one I already have. (I wanted the Urban one with fleece and waterproof outside).

If you’re still reading, you are very kind. This is so boring for everyone else except my shopaholic self. I have been meaning to go to sleep earlier and all I can do is stay up late and shop. Truly, very stupid.

So this past week, I finally stopped dragging my feet (I know, I know, the galling part of this is that I am a financial advisor – but hey, Doctor! Heal thyself!) and took a good, hard look at what we’re spending. (Or rather, what I’m spending since DH doesn’t spend naught except food and gas. He rather needs to spend money on gas.)

*sigh*

I just want to dig a deep hole, bury myself in it and cover all my shame. In particular because I know there are millions of people out there who would kill to have the income that my husband makes and what do I do with it? Just twiddle it away!! Blargh.

The daunting part is, of course, to stop. Sure, I could just go cold-turkey (and likely, I will have to just forswear Amazon.com and pretend I’ve never heard of its beautiful Amazon Prime 2 day shipping and no CA tax at least until 2012). But if I also want to save an additional $15k next year as well as double our giving (since we’re only giving a paltry 5%), then I HAVE TO MAKE SOME DRASTIC CHANGES.

Problem that I’m facing: most of our expenses are FIXED. The big ones that make a difference in saving or not saving. I can cut my eating out/Costco/Amazon habit by a lot – but even that is a small, pathetic amount compared to the actual amount I want to save. 😦

Back in college, I was part of an on-campus Christian fellowship. The culture of the fellowship was big on inductively studying the Bible (especially the New Testament and the Gospel of Mark) and coming up with ways to actively apply the Word (or at least, our interpretation of it). I remember one year, I pledged not to buy anything new for a year (not including food, school materials, etc). It covered the bulk of clothing shopping, books, possessions, the like. Another year, I de-accumulated a ton of clothes and items and whenever I bought something new, I had to throw something out.

Ah, those were the days. I know that DH used to be exceedingly proud of the fact that besides his clothes and his car, he really didn’t own anything – not even his laptop since that was provided by his employer.

We are a far cry from yesterday. Granted, most of the crap in our house is mine (or what I bought for DS). DH could technically get away with saying that he only owns his clothes and his car. Oh, and since I got him an elliptical for his birthday, that, too. (He says it’s mine.)

Well, ever since we bought our house a little over a year ago and DS came along, I’ve gone a little crazy. Now, granted, I love to shop anyway – and a new house and a baby were great excuses! I finally unpacked all the wedding gifts and baby shower gifts and found myself overwhelmed by all the stuff I still needed to get for this house! It never occurred to me that I could ever fill it. And boy, did I ever.

I, of course, justified all the baby stuff by saying that we were going to have four kids so at least the toys and books and accessories would get a lot of use. (And, I’ve been lending a lot of our baby stuff out, too. So there!) And the house stuff, sometimes, I don’t really consider where something will go before I buy it. Hence, I now have a train table for a coffee table and my coffee table is out in the front room in a sort of furniture wasteland holding station.

It’s getting a bit out of hand and I keep buying more crap. So. In an effort to curtail this crazy spending habit gone overboard, (to be fair, we received a crap ton of Amazon gift cards that were clearly burning a hole in my online shopping cart and just begging to be used – so, I um, did. A lot. A lot a lot.) I am instating an immediate moratorium on buying stuff. No more random crap for the house or DS just because it’s super cute. That kid has way too many toys.

I make an exception for necessities and some work clothes for DH. But other than that, time to get back to the good old college days.