Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Back on the Spending Diet

I wasn't exactly keeping track in February, after I started this whole spending diet thing.  I would like to know how much I saved by not doing things and there was one week when I counted and found that I hadn't spent about $96.  I felt like I didn't do so well the last half of the month, although, looking back through the check register, I don't see a whole lot of places that I spent money that I shouldn't have.  Certainly, the vet visit (at $156) was necessary to diagnose Max's tooth abscess and get him some antibiotics.  Just as necessary was the $152 for getting the dog neutered.  I mean, he is almost nine months already.

Today started a new month for the spending diet.  I kind of blew it by going to Petco instead of Tractor Supply for my pet food.  I was hunting for a device that would allow me to shove the pills Max needs down his throat (did you know that they actually make those?) and I knew that Tractor Supply would not have it.  I was at Petco already and we needed dog and cat food.  They didn't have the pill dispenser, but I did end up spending a whopping $104.95 on dog food, cat food, rawhide chews for Jack, and pill pockets for Max.  I don't know what I would have saved if I had gone to Tractor Supply - maybe a few dollars.  Was it worth it to me to drive over there (just across the street) to save a few dollars?  Today it wasn't.  I came home and rammed the pill down the cat's throat out of frustration and he actually took it without complaining and even purred at me while I held him down and forced him to swallow.  Mission accomplished.  Next time, I'm going to Tractor Supply for the food.

Then I wandered downtown to the library, since my books were due tomorrow, and wound up with seven new novels to read over the next three weeks (six if I renew online).  Thinking I had really done myself a service with my library trip, I gleefully added up how much the books would have cost if I had downloaded them to my kindle.  $67.15!!!!  That's over $67 in reading material that didn't cost me a cent.  I don't know if I would have really bought all those books because some of them I didn't even know existed.  But I've got reading material out the wazoo for the next few weeks, between the books my mom has given me lately and my library visit.  Yay me!

On the way home, I had to go by CVS to pick up a prescription.  I have to tell you that we spend over $100 a month on prescription drugs - it's very expensive to get older.  In fact, I would guess the amount we spend is probably closer to $150, but between the two pharmacies I use and the mail order one that Justin uses, it's kind of hard to keep track.  My latest prescription has a whopping copay of $40 a month.  Not a small amount of money for a drug I have to have.  But...the doctor gave me samples and with those samples had come a discount card.  Which I activated.  Which saved me $25 off of my copay today and took the cost of the prescription down to $15.

So on my trip out today, yes, I spent money.  I had to buy pet food and there was no way around it.  And of course, as I've said before, my pets just have to have that expensive pet food brand food.  They must have learned their spending habits from me.  But I also managed to pick up $67 worth of books for free and get $25 off of my copay for my prescription. 

Oh, I almost forgot.  When I got home, I bit the bullet and called the Petco survey number and took their %#@#$*ng survey.  And now I have a $2 off coupon for the next time I need food or whatever.  I can do that every time I go, which may actually negate the trip to Tractor Supply.  Hmmm...something to think about.  I think I only saved about $2 when I went there before, so by taking the survey, maybe I can stick with my more favored pet store.

Do you see how I'm getting bogged down in details lately?  It's the details of every day spending that we don't think about.  The Starbucks for $4 or the McDonald's for $4 or whatever...if you go out every day, you're very likely to spend money.  Being a recluse does have its advantages if you can stay away from the online shopping.  Which I am also proud to say I have done since starting the spending diet.  In fact, I almost cut up my Old Navy card yesterday, but couldn't quite bring myself to do it.

Today, in the mail, I got a letter from my major credit card company saying they have raised my credit limit.  Thanks, but no thanks.  I don't want it and am going to make sure I don't need it.  We'll see how it goes.

Total savings on today's trip out:  $92

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