No Washing Machine

The new apartment I moved to doesn’t have a washer or dryer. I debated buying at least a washer because I could always use the balcony to line dry. (Fortunately, the balcony is on the side of the apartment, away from the ‘public’ area and strategically hidden from the apartment next door by some tall evergreen trees).

I considered my alternatives:

  1. Rent the washer. Well, this certainly is not consistent with my goal to reduce my monthly expenses.
  2. Purchase new- absolutely not considered due to the cost.
  3. Buy used from Craig’s list, etc. I nixed this idea because I get nervous about buying something that either ‘needs work’ or will soon ‘need work’. And then there is the problem of getting the washer from there to here. I would need a truck. And a dolly to get it up to my second floor apartment.
  4. Buying used from an appliance store would provide some assurance that the machine would work and it would also be delivered. However, considering I plan to move in a year, do I really want a washer to add to the moving list?

Do I even need a washing machine? That became the question. Is there something else I could use?

I could go to the laundromat. But I hate going to the laundromat. And that means more money being spent.

Then I remembered the posts I read at annienygma when Annie’s washing machine went kaput.She mulled the options she had.

What options do I have? Hand-washing is one of them. And it is a viable option, at least for me, because I work at home, I pretty much wear the same clothes a few days in a row (except the undies, of course) and I really don’t have a lot of laundry to wash.

I discussed this option with my roomies- my sister and my mom. My sister was pretty much game for anything because she has a goal very similar to mine- downsize, minimize and frugalize.

My mom, who doesn’t even do her own laundry by the way, was aghast at the thought of living without the convenience of a washer. At the age of 94, she has lived through a lot and, while she didn’t experience the beating the laundry on the rocks at the local creek era, she pretty much saw the evolution of the modern day washer and certainly, raising a large family, saw it as a necessity.

However, since she doesn’t do her own laundry, I decided to proceed with my decision to not buy a washer and come up with an alternative.

I would be fine washing my clothes by hand either in the bathroom sink or tub. But my sister wasn’t really keen on that. So, we came up with this option:

The laundry pod the-laundry-podWill let you know how it works!

 

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Cash Only

Broke my beautiful budget plan because of poor planning. I budgeted $20 a day for food, fuel, household items and pet food.

But I did not go to the ATM and get $120 in cash on payday like I should have.Instead, I thought I could use  my debit card at the time of purchase and then track my spending with the spending tracker app.

Well, that doesn’t work for me. I blew my budget because I did not plan ahead.

I did not take the meat out of the freezer in time to thaw for dinner so we ended up eating take-out. Twice.

I did not stop at the gas station that offers a discount for paying cash on Tuesdays. So I ended up using my gas credit card to fill the tank.

I put on extra miles for an Easter gathering and to take my mother for appointments. That used an extra tank of gas.

I did not plan ahead for the Easter baskets so I ended up spending more money than I should to fill them.

The cat will need cat food and cat treats. Maybe it would be cheaper just to let her out to catch her own food!

I totally lost track of how much I spent in the last five days. Friday is payday and I WILL take  out the $120 in cash that I budgeted.

Finally Tracking Daily Spending

Spending TrackerI have a latent rebellious nature that likes to come out and sabotage some of my efforts to improve my life. One thing I have rebelled against is budgets and expense tracking. I hate it and I never do what I should do. And now I am sitting here mired in debt, wondering how the hell am I going to save the money I need to retire in 9 years?

Oh, what I do to myself!

Enough, I say. This weekend I sat down and put all I could on ‘auto-draft’, set up a budget and put an app on my phone to help me track my daily spending.

I am giving my household a $20 daily spending budget which includes groceries, gas and incidentals- actually, every thing that is not a bill.

So far, I am really liking that phone app Spending Tracker.  It’s free and easy.

Maybe this time I will stick with my budget.

 

 

I Will Not Commit

Ok, I will admit it. I am a very slow learner.

And I am very impulsive. I make rash decisions.

The combination of my slow learning and my impulsiveness have led me into a lot of trouble financially.

I need to stop making decisions. I need to stop and just think.

I think that a lot of my problem is the headfirst dive I take into the trapping of commitments.

I have trapped myself into apartment leases, cable subscriptions, Netflix and Amazon Prime subscriptions, cell phone contracts, iPhone leasing, credit card debt, and tuition payments. I also have a commitment to sponsor a child in Thailand at the tune of $38 per month.

Now that I finally realized this, I am making a commitment to no longer commit.

When my apartment lease is up, I am moving to a rental that will let me go month to month.

I cancelled my cable.

I am going to let my cell phone contract expire and I will find a much cheaper cell service that requires no commitment.

No further iPhone leasing.

No more charges to my credit cards. And that should translate into no more online ordering. Man, that is fast and dangerous!

Finish the tuition payments.

Cancel the Netflix and Amazon.

I will continue to sponsor the child because I do have a heart.

oh, yes, the internet. Unfortunately, I am committed to providing my own internet service so that I can have the honor of working for a multi-BILLION dollar company in this work at home position. Cheap bastard-corporation no longer provides the internet service.

 

 

Made Some Changes to Save $1176

To get out of debt I know I need to cut spending wherever I can. This week I made some changes and will save $1176 a year.

I cancelled the Y membership which was costing me $50 a month. I seldom used it and now that the weather is getting nicer, I can walk outside. $600 saved.

My daughter opted out of taking ASL this second semester and that saves the $34 a month cost for the semi-private sign language tutoring. $408 saved.

I moved this site from wordpress.org to wordpress.com. I then changed my Hostgator account from the reseller package to the hatchling package. That saves me about $14 a month. $168 saved.

Total saved = $1176

When the new webmaster takes the soccer site over, I will cancel the Hostgator completely to save another $120 per year.

I realize that one of the many mistakes I have made is signing up for monthly subscriptions- subscriptions like Hostgator, Dropbox, and Netflix. Each one of those can cost just about $10 a month so I think it’s not such a big deal. But really, it all adds up.

I still have the Netflix and will keep it for now.

Other areas I need to look at decrease spending: the cellphone bill and the groceries.

 

My Spending Addiction

I am an addict. I am addicted to spending money. My addiction has led me to owing thousands of dollars in consumer debt, debt I carry from year to year because I am addicted to spending.

I don’t have closets full of clothes and shoes. I have a hard drive full of software I had to have but never did use.

I have bookshelves full of books I had to read but never did.

I have nutritional supplements I needed to by because I knew I was lacking this or that vitamin but I never finished the bottle so I either threw it in the cabinet or tossed it in the garbage.

I could go on but I think you get the idea.

When I think about it, I must have that addictive gene. I am broke, just like my mother and my sisters are broke. Just like the other siblings in my family would be broke had they not married spouses that either don’t have the addictive gene or control the spending.

Yes, I might have the addictive gene, which would explain why I became addicted to smoking, to drinking and to eating. Every good thing in excess, that’s my motto.

However, having the genetic tendency to addiction doesn’t mean I can’t overcome. According to Addictions and Recovery, Addiction is due 50 percent to genetic predisposition and 50 percent to poor coping skills.

When I realized my drinking had become an addiction, I quit.

When I realized I was addicted to cigarettes, I quit.

When I realized I was addicted to food, I began looking for another way to cope, a healthier way.

Now that I realize that I am addicted to spending, I need to quit.

Quit money. I would love to give it all up, like Suelo or the Moneyless Man, Mark Boyle.

Giving it all up- that’s how I quit smoking and drinking. I don’t ever do it.

Now food is different. That is something I can’t give up entirely and my food addiction remains a struggle. I am trying to handle this by giving up certain foods, like grains. That is a whole ‘nother post.

Back to money…

I would love to give it all up and people have. Unfortunately, I can’t because I have dependents- an elderly mother and a high-school aged daughter. I am also the guardian for my disabled brother who lives about an hour away.

So, how to handle my spending addiction is something I am currently struggling with.