One Receipt a Day

One Receipt a Day

Jo and I recently had the pleasure (and by pleasure, I mean painful realization) of reorganizing our family budget. There are two reasons for this, we want to be debt-free (including our house) and we have a non-governmental level spending addiction. We’ve realized that, though we aren’t bad stewards of our finances, we have the potential to do a lot more.

So here is our experiment. For the next 30 days, we are going to limit ourselves to one…no matter what, one purchase a day. One purchase. One receipt. Seems pretty simple, right? Well we’ve made it 4 days and here is what it has forced us to do so far:

1. We have to plan meals. There are no last minute runs to the grocery store or last second decisions for take-out.

2. We have to C.O.M.M.U.N.I.C.A.T.E. We operate pretty independently as a couple, so we have to constantly talk about our planned expenditures. She can’t go grab Starbucks on the same day I have a lunch appointment. It’s not just food either…it’s doctor visits, clothes, utilities…this is harder than you’d think. We’ve already failed once at this by accident.

3. We have to buy in a single location. We don’t chase the sales, we just get what we need and get out of whatever store we are in. You’d be surprised at how little you spend after pre-planning the shopping.

These are just the first few lessons we’ve noticed, but I’m sure there will be many more. The big question is, in the end, how much money did we save…maybe a lot…maybe none. In any case, we are going to have fun trying to best our spending driven culture.

Starting on October 2nd, Northstar will be doing a 5 week teaching series focused around your financial health with topics and resourcing about being/getting debt-free, starting a business, financial planning, and even changing the outlook on unemployment. I’m stoked about it and sharing with other people whether or not this experiment was a flop or a success.

Feel free to join in the experiment if you like!

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