no spending and the lead free crock pot…

21 days into the new year and I think my no spending has gone according to plan. I have missed just running into Caribou for a coffee on the go, but I’m sticking to the rule that it has to be a social event, so I only get coffee when with others. I got 2 Caribou gift cards for Xmas that may last me forever at this rate!

My biggest dilemma so far has been over buying a lead free crockpot. Last year when I started clearing all the toxic substances out of my kitchen (which includes anything made in China) I had read about lead being in the glaze of crock pots, but I think it was just too much for me to think about at that time so it was pushed back to the far recesses of my mind. It has recently started popping up again in the blogosphere and this time I couldn’t ignore it. So I decided to get rid of my 2 crockpots but what to replace them with. My friend Kristen did the research and found a couple of lead free options but I’m not buying anything new. So I planned on waiting until next year to buy one and in the mean time use my cast iron pots and oven to slow cook. Which I did yesterday and it worked just fine. However, my birthday is coming up and mother in law asked what she could get me, and even though it does feel like cheating I asked for that crockpot.

Also I’ve decided that the thrift store shopping still needs limits, while my goal of this experiment is not to live as a pauper I can get carried away with even thrift store shopping. So in an effort to live within my new saving requirements I am going to put aside only $20 a month for thrift store purchases. Which means only shopping on 1/2 price day to maximize my money. I’m mostly buying wool sweaters for my sewing creations so I will be sad if I run out. But I can venture on to other art stuff (or maybe working on that renovation!)

I’ve got all our regular bills set up so I can have them all paid automatically each month, by putting the gas and electric on budget plans I don’t have to think about the bill I can just set it up for auto pay. We had a tiny pay cut which left my budget off by about $100 a month so I’ve had to drop my savings to about 18% instead of the 20%. I think that’s still an admirable goal so I’m ok with that. A note about the savings, this is just a short term savings acct. Since our debt is limited to our house and 1 car we are using the money to cover any big expenses that come up such as Beth’s modeling trips, my scrapbooking weekend, summer vacations and any renovation costs we start to incur. I don’t expect to have a huge amount of savings at the end of the year but I do expect to be able to pay for all of our vacations and renovations without going into debt!