Friday, February 1, 2008

January progress report

When I was explaining The Compact to my sister in law she said "That will be a no brainer for you. That is how you live." She is right. We rarely buy new, and only as a last resort. (For the record my SIL is equally frugal, and she is the one who got me interested in the environment.)

Well, of course now that we publicly committed to not buying new, everything broke this month. Maybe not everything, but it sure feels like it. The other day we were making breakfast and the toaster gave us a fireworks show. Thats ok - I bought it at the thrift store 7 years ago for $2. One will turn up at the thrift store, and until it does we will live without toast.

All of a sudden, almost every pair of jeans I own are looking pretty threadbare. They were fine in December, I swear. I have been checking the thrift stores, but so far, no luck. I may end up wearing dress pants all year or Capri pants in February in Michigan or something. That will be fun!

I had my first compacting dilemma on the 6th, but in the end it turned out fine. Our family lives in Ohio and my brother, SIL (the one mentioned above) and nieces all came to Michigan for our annual "Christmas in January." Each year we buy them a zoo pass, but since our nieces are young (2,3 & 5) we also get something small for them - last year it was a stocking filled with small things like coloring books & crayons, a stuffed animal and an ornament. I didn't know what to give them this year. They have so many toys that I'm sure my brother would kill me if I just went to the thrift store and picked up another toy. I am not crafty, so I can't knit or crochet them something. I posed the question on my blog (next time I will ask here, too) and sure enough, got some great answers. Christine suggested homemade Play Dough, and Cindy sent me her recipe for Kool-aid Play Dough. Ethan (my 12yo) and I found some great cookie cutters ($1.99) and a bag (75¢) to put them in at the thrift store, and we had the perfect bucket to keep it in. The girls loved it! We all sat at the table and played for hours.

I made my first anti-compact purchase on the 18th. And it was a box. I had to buy a box. How ridiculous is that? I had to send Christian's (my 16yo) MP3 player back to the company because it stopped working. Guess who too the box that the last one was sent to us to the recycling center a few days before? Ayup. Me. So I spent 77¢ on a box and $1.57 on bubble wrap. I hang my head in Compact shame.

I also bought Financial Peace University brand spankin' new on the 21st, but I don't feel one ounce of guilt about it. FPU is something that will help my family for years to come. They ended up giving me my money back and insisting that we keep the kit (looooong story) so the used kit we bought on ebay is going to be passed on to a family that can't afford to buy FPU.

Running total:
Box - 77¢
Bubble Wrap - $1.57
Financial Peace University - $149

How is everyone else doing?

X-posted at Life, In A Nutshell

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