No Spend September: Days 8-13

After a successful and fun-filled Labor Day Weekend, I started the next week by embarking on my yoga teacher training journey. ¬†It’s pretty hard to spend money when you’re booked for 11¬†hours a week in class, plus an additional minimum of 3 hours of yoga practice.

Day 8: $13 on groceries. ¬†First day of training and we jumped right into learning the flow we’ll be teaching.

Day 9: A day of moderate weakness. ¬†I used a BOGO coupon to get us dinner at Qdoba because I just could not fathom cooking because I was sick, Banjo was sick, and everything was too much. ¬†Dinner was $9 total. ¬†I probably would have spent more making the same things at the grocery store. ¬†Weakness continued when I invested $136 into yoga props during an extra 40% off sale at Sierra Trading Post. ¬†They don’t frequently have Manduka (an excellent, quality brand) props, so I got 3 types of bolsters, a wool blanket, and a hot yoga towel for the cost of one of the large bolsters. ¬†I will need all of these props if I ever teach yoga lessons, so I’m calling it a business expense. ¬†Shouldn’t have done it, but I regret nothing.

Day 10: No Spend Day!  I stayed home sick from work again.  Second day of teacher training and we were already teaching each other, which was exciting but I felt awful.  I earned $4.38 in interest and got a $3 ATM fee refund.

Day 11: Spent $25 on groceries/meds/remedies to make me and Banjo feel better. ¬†Poor Banjo was the saddest little pup I’ve ever seen. ¬†We cuddled all day. ¬†I gave him a coconut oil bath and he didn’t even fight it, which is very un-Banjo.

The saddest, itchiest dog in the world

The saddest, itchiest dog in the world

Day 12: UGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH. ¬†We realized the dogs were all having negative reactions to their new food. ¬†Banjo scratched sores into his belly, his eye was swollen shut, and he licked his snout raw. ¬†The other two were a little itchy, but were losing hair and that’s when we realized that it had to be the food, which was the only thing that had changed for all of them during the week. ¬†When I woke up and Banjo looked so miserable, I called the vet and got him an appointment for that morning. ¬†I spent $68 on a bag of their previous food and some treats that he could eat without an allergic reaction (the damn dog is allergic to chicken).

We went to the vet and after $280, a two week course of antibiotics, a steroid/antihistamine combo with complicated instructions, an anti-itch shampoo, an omega 3 supplement specifically for allergies, a probiotic that had better be made of bacteria that poop gold because it was $30 for a box, and instructions to make a coconut oil/turmeric/milk thistle mixture, Banjo is finally feeling better.  Thanks to my emergency fund for being able to handle unexpected vet visits.

2015-09-11 17.51.59

He was torn between hating us and appreciating our efforts to protect him from himself.

Later we went to a 70s party and I drank lavender soda, which I shouldn’t have purchased but it kept my mind off beer. ¬†I got to feel fancy for a hot second.

Day 13: NO SPEND DAY!  Because Banjo and I were too exhausted to leave the house or do anything.

A huge thank you to Dr. Kelly Keeny and Mulnix Animal Clinic, and a huge not-thank you to Taste of the Wild for trying to kill my dogs.

Advertisements

No Spend September: Day 2

Another successful day on the mission to only spend on Needs for a month.

I walked to the Max to get to work and had several meetings that filled up my day. ¬†Our office provides coffee so when I can’t get coffee at home, I can get it at work. ¬†I ate leftover roasted red pepper and tomato bisque for lunch because Andy ate the spaghetti with meat sauce I was dying to eat. ¬†The sacrifices we make for love…

After cleaning out the refrigerator, freezer, and pantry, I realized I HAD to go grocery shopping.  I initially thought I was only going to get a couple of things, but I ended up stocking up so that we would be able to eat for a minimum of two weeks.  For tips on how I shop for maximum savings with maximum sanity, see Saving on Food, Part 1: Groceries.

For dinner, I was inspired by this post on Smitten Kitchen:

I cubed¬†a large cucumber, a ripe avocado, and two heirloom tomatoes and mixed them with a large dollop of plain nonfat Greek yogurt. ¬†I stirred in a little of a dill dip mix that Andy found at the farmer’s market. ¬†Then I chilled it for a couple of hours in the fridge and let the flavors meld. ¬†OMFG, this salad is a game changer! ¬†Andy and I agreed that it would need to become a constant in our fridge.

Because we can’t live on salad alone, I also made a pizza with whole wheat crust (the kind in a tube because ain’t nobody got time for homemade crust on a weeknight), heirloom tomato slices instead of sauce, a generous sprinkling of basil, fresh mozzarella (thanks, half-price manager special!), some shaved parmesan, sliced uncured jalapeno cheddar bratwurst (again, thanks, half-price manager special!), and some artichoke antipasto from Trader Joe’s. ¬†Andy said, and I quote, “This has to be one of the best pizzas you’ve ever made, and it’s not like your other pizzas aren’t great.” ¬†I would call that a win. ¬†Unfortunately, I don’t have photo documentation of the pizza, so I’ll just have to make it again.

We play Geeks Who Drink on Wednesdays so that was an activity where I knew there would be some temptation to spend money. ¬†The whole reason bars and restaurants do Geeks Who Drink is to bring in people who are going to spend money on a normally slow night. ¬†I usually try to order either a beer or an appetizer or something, but I stuck with club soda. ¬†I like the carbonation and taste, and it’s hydrating. ¬†If no one at our table had been purchasing food or drinks, I would have felt bad about not buying anything and taking up space at the restaurant. ¬†However, we’re there every week, Andy tipped extra for the service I received, and the other five people at our table ordered food and at least two drinks each. ¬†As soon as No Spend September is done, I’ll resume buying something during trivia because I like to support local business, but for now I’m sticking to the goal at hand. ¬†Bonus: I won a beer so I can use that to save some $$$ when teacher training is done! ¬†And our team won by 10 points!

Day 2 verdict: Success!

Spending: $153 on groceries, and I only used my car to go to the grocery store.

Income: $.60 interest income

 

 

No Spend September: Day 1

No Spend September is underway! ¬†So far, so good, as I had a day completely free of spending (bills don’t count as spending).

How did I get through the day without spending? ¬†Here’s an overview of my day, my temptations, and my successes.

I got to work around 7:15 am and was in meetings from 8:00 am-5:00 pm with no breaks. ¬†Can’t spend money if you don’t have a free moment! ¬†I didn’t even think about things that are normally tempting me during the work day, like a delicious Consuelo’s Spanish omelet burrito.

No photo available of a Consuelo's burrito because they never last longer than a minute in my possession.

No photo available of a Consuelo’s burrito because they never last longer than a minute in my possession.

We had a working lunch at Rainbow, where I ate the peanut cashew vegetables with tempeh along with a tomato bisque because that’s a normal combination… whatever. ¬†The food was delicious. ¬†Thanks for buying me lunch, CSU!

I got home around 5:30 pm too exhausted to move. ¬†I may have crowded my way onto the bus by pretending I couldn’t hear the driver say they were at capacity because there was no way I was going to wait for the next bus. ¬†Andy was brewing a barleywine for 6 hours last night (…) so I had the house to myself. ¬†I wanted to cook dinner but all of my creative energy was sapped. ¬†This is when I REALLY wanted to order a pizza. ¬†Like so bad. ¬†SO BAD. ¬†But instead, I ate some hummus and tortilla chips to replenish my energy stores, watched a few episodes of The League, and then mustered up the ability to make…wait for it…tomato bisque because evidently I just can’t get enough. ¬†By “make,” I mean I took a carton of roasted red pepper and tomato bisque (see! it was different…I’m not a soup addicted weirdo), cut up an heirloom tomato, fresh basil leaves, and some leftover tofu I needed to use, and heated it all in a pan. ¬†It did the job and didn’t require a trip to the grocery store.

If you aren’t watching The League yet, someone should probably “take care” of you.

I worked on cleaning out the refrigerator and pantry while my soup was cooking. ¬†I added any hot sauce that was nearly out to my soup and threw out anything past its prime or questionable. ¬†I will probably have to make a grocery trip soon, but I now know exactly what I have in reserves so I can work on planning meals and making a “needs” list. ¬†No rando “want” food purchases during this experiment.

Other temptations I avoided: a TOMS shoe sale, a Sierra Trading Post sale, the idea of owning a yoga bolster and wanting to make that an immediate reality, and a yearning for avocado because we were out.

“Saved”: I could have easily spent around $200 on my Wants. ¬†I didn’t drive anywhere by walking and riding the Max, so I saved on gas and car wear-and-tear.

Income: $1.77 in interest and two found pennies.

 

Digit Update: Real, Tangible Savings

Digit update

Holy crap! Digit has saved me over $250 since I’ve joined! ¬†I currently only have about $8 in my Digit account because I’ve been transferring every $50 to my savings, but that is real, tangible savings that I never missed from my checking account and wouldn’t have saved on my own. ¬†Digit is now offering bonuses if you leave your money in their account (they use the interest they earn on users’ money to pay themselves), but I get a better return rate on my savings account. ¬†If you haven’t tried Digit yet, you need to do it. ¬†I never miss the money and it’s a nice surprise to see how much has accumulated when I get the handy account balance texts. ¬†It is also so SO easy to use. ¬†All commands are done via text so you don’t even have to log into the account online. ¬†I only do it when I need a screenshot to post. ¬†Digit is phenomenal. ¬†Do it.

Fall Challenges

Crow at Yoga on the Rocks last year

Crow at Yoga on the Rocks last year

I am going to start 200 hour yoga teacher training on September 5! ¬†I have been thinking about this for a while and I shopped around for a program I like and that works with my work schedule, and the program at¬†Elan Yoga & Fitness came out on top. ¬†It is more affordable than other programs, I got an early bird discount for signing up in advance, I get a free membership during training, it’s focused on the two types of yoga I am interested in learning more about (vinyasa and hot yoga), and, most importantly, the studio is welcoming and dedicated to sharing yoga with everyone. ¬†I’m really looking forward to starting the program, but I thought I would give myself a few challenges to help me fully commit to this experience in all areas of my life. ¬†Training runs through mid-November, which will give me ample time to build some good habits.

No Spend September

This sounds really hard until I think about the fact that I’ll be busy every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. ¬†Then Limited Spending October and November will follow (no fun money for two months is not really realistic). ¬†I am trying to save up a six month emergency fund and this should help make a big dent!

Healthy Eating Challenge

I figure I should also focus on eating as healthy as possible during teacher training because I will be completely immersed in yoga and learning about the body.  I will eat whole, healthy foods.  With No Spend September, eating out and alcohol will already be cut because they are Wants, so it will be less of a challenge to focus on clean eating if I have multiple reasons.

Fitness Challenge

As part of the teacher training program I am supposed to take at least three yoga classes a week in addition to the lectures. ¬†I’ll also have 24 hour access to the fitness center and studio. ¬†I’m going to make a goal of doing two yoga classes that are more athletic (vinyasa, hot, anusara, etc.) and one yin class a week. ¬†I will also work in at least two days of either strength training or cardio.

Stay Sane 

On days that I don’t do a yoga class, I’ll meditate for ten minutes. ¬†I will also commit to getting at least seven¬†hours of sleep a night (I do this anyway…I am a zombie with any less than¬†seven¬†hours. ¬†If I could sleep ten every night I would).

Call Your Mom

I will remember to call my mom while I am busy.

 

I’ll do my best to document all of this, but you know how I am. ¬†If you want to play along with any part we can do it together! ¬†Let me know.