Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Yet Another Diet? Not Quite!

Some of the ladies in the baby-sitting co-op on our (military) installation’s gym have started a weight loss challenge. We’re still not sure what the grand prize will be or even what the time frame is, but we’re dedicated to working out and improving our eating habits so we can look better on the outside. All this just before the holiday seasons-great timing!

Our first meeting and weigh in was this morning. As I stepped onto the scale, I went to that happy place that detaches my brain from the number flashing back at me...and that’s when I realized: there are other areas of my life that need some serious tweaking.

Although our family is debt-free (THANK GOD!!!), we still do our very best to be responsible consumers and to shop responsibly. If I’m a responsible shopper, why am I using my debit card almost every day of the week? Even though I’m pretty strict about not shopping on Sunday (to promote a day of rest and to give companies less profit, which is the only reason they’re open on Sundays), every other day of the week produces a gross amount of receipts.

I (finally) took over as the primary Quicken data input person early last month. As a result, I became all too well aware of how often I pull out my debit card. I produce at least thirteen receipts on my own in just one week! Ack! And that’s despite knowing exactly what my budgetary constraints are!!!

So, I’m going on a new type of diet. I’m going to dedicate two days a week as “no spending days.” Sunday is already taken care of, so I have to plan carefully on what the other day should be. I’m thinking Thursday is the other. I’m also aiming to “only “have twelve receipts: two gas receipts, three grocery receipts (we spread it out over three stores to maximize the cheapness), one medical receipt, and six miscellaneous.So far this week (read: today, Monday), I’ve already produced five receipts: one gasoline, one medical, one out to eat, and one class-related (I’m taking a cake decorating class and had to get some supplies), and one auto (annual inspection) We’ll see how this goes!

I figure this: if I’m controlling the amount of times I go out to buy something, I’m doing lots of good. First, it helps me stay in our family’s budget. Second, it reduces the amount of driving I do, which leads to all sorts of good things: less wear and tear on the car, less gasoline used, less nasties emitted into the atmosphere, less road rage (almost always a by-product of driving in the Northern Virginia area), and more time to actually hang out with the kids or do homemaker stuff. Third, it forces me to really think about whether I need something. Stopping to think about a purchase is an excellent way of staying within my financial diet.

Therefore, this little experiment (I’ll try it for a month) should do my family, the environment, and me lots of good. I’ll do my best to remember to update! Please support me or challenge yourself to do something similar!

-Domestic Goddess out.


  1. Tuesday: No shopping!

    Wednesday, 3 receipts: Auto (registration renewal), personal, baby stuff.

    Thursday: No shopping yet, and I'm not planning on buying anything today...though I was very tempted to get a nice, big coffee this morning!

    Eight out of twelve. Let's see if I can make it through Sunday. And no, I'm not cheating by having my husband by stuff for me! However, I'm not counting his purchases in my experiment.

  2. Thursday update: No shopping!

    Friday: No shopping!

    Saturday: 3 receipts, one personal and two grocery. Eleven down. Tomorrow is a no shopping day. Does getting the paper from the newspaper stand machine down the road count as shopping? We'll say yes. That's one for tomorrow. Whew, I think I am going to stick within my budget here.

  3. Excellent idea about a financial diet!! For the weight-loss diet, here is how one friend and her co-workers did their program a few years ago. Each put in $10 (maybe $20 is better now-a-days)into a kitty. Then for each pound they lost in a week they got to take out a dollar. For each pound they gained they had to put in a dollar. 1 lb = $1, up or down. At the end of 6 weeks, whoever lost the most got whatever money was left in the kitty. Maybe it will be a lot or maybe just a few dollars left, but everyone will most likely be a winner because the incentives are to try and get your initial $ back as well as lose weight. Good luck on both your diets.

  4. Thanks for the encouragement and the weight loss challenge idea. Both are greatly appreciated!

  5. Week 2 Diet Updates:

    Monday-No shopping!

    Tuesday-Two receipts: groceries and lunch

    Not anticipating any shopping tomorrow. It will also be a meatless type of day. Yum! :)

  6. The rest of Week 2: 10 receipts. Very happy about that.

    Week 3: 14 receipts. I was traveling and had to go out for meals and get gasoline a few extra times. Sigh.

    Week 4: 4 receipts so far.