Nothing but gas. Monday #1.

For the month of August, I’m spending… NOTHING BUT GAS MONEY. A challenge for sure, but I want to also share with you the specifics I came up with. Because as I walked around asking people if they thought this thing or that was allowed, I was usually greeted with this response: “Well it’s your thing, so you make the rules.”

So these are the parameters of my nothing but gas month:

  1. The money in question refers to my paycheck. The other day my mom gave me $5 because she’s my mom and sometimes moms do that if they can. That $5 is fair game.
  2. I put $50 on my Starbucks card and have been saving my rewards. Those are fair game, but when they’re gone they’re gone.
  3. I can redeem Swagbucks, survey points, etc for gift cards and those, along with the gift cards that have been in my wallet since May, are fair game.
  4. I figured out how I spend my money and a large percentage of it was attached to experiences with people. I don’t want to feel like a burden to other people so I am allotting myself $5/week for being with people. It is a small enough number to require creativity but enough to not make others feel bad.
  5. Plane tickets don’t count, because if I wait until September they will cost way too many $$$$$$$$$$$$.

At some point today (Monday, August 5th, 2013) I will be 1/6th of the way through the month, and here is how I’m doing so far.

I spent the first 3ish days of the month at camp, which was a great safe haven for spending no money. There were $1 italian sodas in the cafe, which is where the $5 my mom gave me came into question. Despite having decided that gifted money did not count, I did not buy an italian soda. I was given one a day for free, though. Jackie went to Starbucks and had an extra treat receipt so I went with her. Treat receipts might only save me .45 on my drink, but that adds up. I didn’t regret spending the time with Jackie, but I did regret spending $2 of my budgeted Starbucks money on a drink I could only enjoy once, as opposed to a day like today where I am sitting and making use of my gold card free refills.

A few days ago Hilary asked if I’d purchased Army on Its Knees yet, a book our church leadership was supposed to buy and read together. We’re discussing chapter 1 on Thursday. I realized that no, I had not, and it was already August. I wasn’t sure what I was going to do… and then in my e-mail, like a gift straight from God in Heaven was this:

I won a $5 amazon gift card from CrowdTap. Guess what sells for $4.71 in the kindle store? Army on Its Knees. There was .40 tax, so I ended up spending $0.11, but I’m willing to take that very small hit.

Recently someone told me about David Ramirez, and I am all over that music. I sadly realized today that I will have to wait a month to buy any music from him, so I can’t listen to him in the car or anything… and then I remembered noisetrade and immediately downloaded his noisetrade sampler to hold me over to September. But seriously, how good is he?

As of now I am hopeful and excited about this month, not just the not spending but also the unstuffing. But let’s see how I am with a full, non-camp week under my belt. Or two. Wish me luck.


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