Thursday, April 7, 2011

Not Buying It Update 4: March Results

Posted by Crystal Pepperdine, Founder and Executive Director of Flint Handmade

I have been advised that these Not Buying It update posts were running a tad too long. (Thanks, Tunde!) 

So, I have decided to keep this one short and sweet! I will only cover three measures of success for March.

Money Saved: $1,000

Here's the breakdown of my $683 in discretionary income for the month:

$094 : GAS
$019 : GIFTS
$476 : TOTAL SPENT +
$683 - $676 = $7 REMAINING INCOME

Once again, I spent money on postage for PaperBackSwap, which is not a necessity.  For the month of April, I removed all of the books I posted online and will just donate them to the Flint Public Library.

The annual vet check up for Yasha actually cost $216, but I had to take $100 from Reserves as you will see below to cover the full amount.

I fully admit that I spent $19 on unnecessary gifts.  However, the gifts were for my beau's grandparents, who I met for the first time this month when they invited us to dinner.

Being a gracious guest is very important to me, so I brought his grandmother a small bouquet of tulips from the Flint Farmers' Market.  In the summer, when my garden is blooming, I will give the gift of flowers from my yard.  The gift for his grandfather is discussed below.

As in February, I had $7 remaining at the end of the month!
Projects Completed: 5

Once again, I am so excited about the 5 projects I finished this month!


When I met by beau's grandparents, we talked about the Flint Festival of Quilts.  His grandpa recalled an unfinished quilt that his own mother had started many, many decades ago.  Sure enough, they had 12 completed blocks each measuring 15" x 15" and lovingly handstitched with pink and green flowers.  I couldn't let this gorgeous quilt remain undone, so I asked if I could finish it and they gave their blessing.  I was practically a stranger to them, but they trusted me to take a family heirloom and that made me feel very special.

I was hoping to use some fabrics I already had, but the colors just didn't go together, so I went to JoAnn's to buy coordinating fabrics and spent $28.  My beau and I split the cost and have been working together to finish the quilt for his grandpa's 87th birthday.  I will post a picture of the quilt when it is all done and I hope to have it on display in the 2011 Flint Festival of Quilts.


I wanted to bake something special for my dad for his birthday.  I asked my grandma (his mom) for a recipe of sweets she made when he was a kid.  It took her a little while, but she remembered that my dad liked Date Nut Balls and left the recipe for me on my voicemail.  I made the goodies and my dad loved them.  I think I might make this a family tradition and bake the Date Nut Balls for his birthday every March.  :)


So far, my compost pile is just a small bouquet of withering daffodils that I gently deposited on the soil in my side yard.  Two days after putting down the flowers, we had that icy winter storm and I couldn't add any more matter to the pile.  But, I'm still counting this as a mental project completed...after several years of thinking about it, I have finally made a firm commitment to composting.  I have dedicated space in my yard to the compost pile and I have been saving kitchen scraps to add to the pile once the weather warms up a little more. 


I didn't spend any money on this giftwrap...or, for that matter, the gift inside.  I had the wrapping paper, ribbon and button stashed in my craftroom.  I used to love shopping for specialty wrapping and embellishments.  However, after wrapping this particular gift, I decided that I would never buy wrapping paper again.  I have enough wrapping paper to last a long, long time.  When I finally run out, I will just have to get more creative in how I wrap gifts.  Maybe I will sew reusable fabric giftbags?  I love giving gifts (as you may have noticed), but I'm not willing to spend money to wrap them anymore.


I really dislike picking up Yasha poop in my yard.  But, since I will be walking around yard a lot more to tend the garden this year, I can't let Yasha use the bathroom for weeks without picking up after her.  So, on that one 66 degree day we had in mid-March, I created a Dog Waste Composter out of a bucket I found in the trash, rocks from my yard and a slab of flagstone I had leftover from a project last summer.  I'm hoping that this eco-friendly composter will motivate me to clean up the yard more often.

Reserves Spent: $100

I had to take $100 from Reserves to help pay for Yasha's annual check up at the vet.  Totally worth it.  :)

Fortunately (or unfortunately?), I still have not "felt the scarcity" as I have taken to saying.  Maybe in April?

A small part of me wants to feel like I am really depriving myself this year.  Maybe I could then somehow justify all of the time/energy/money/space I squandered by "Buying It" for so many years?

But, I don't think the feelings of deprivation are going to come.  With my friends and family, the Flint Public Library and Flint Handmade, I find that I can meet almost all of my social/cultural/creative/belonging needs for free. 

We'll see if anything changes in April...

1 comment:

  1. How did you make a dog waste composter? I must know these things. Carrie :)