Yesterday was my first actual "No Spend Day" of the No Spending Challenge. Sunday I bought my ticket to a movie, Monday I bought gas, and Tuesday I bought shampoo and conditioner. All of these are allowable purchases. The movie was social spending, which I am not limiting beyond my normal budget, the gas was needed to get myself home, and I was completely out of shampoo (I had turned the bottle over and used what little I could rinse out of the bottle) and conditioner was getting very close to the same point. I will say I managed to buy it as frugally as I could - it was on sale, I had a coupon and I had a gift card. It worked out nicely.
I do have a bit of a dilemma though. As I have mentioned, I am on the board of a nonprofit group. We are having a small gathering on Saturday. It is estimated that there will be about 30 people there. One of the other board members sent us an email and asked if we each wouldn't mind bringing a container of soda or a package of cookies as a treat for all the folks that attend. So, here is my question to you -
On one hand, it is unnecessary spending. Even though I am attending the event, there is no rule that I have to bring something. No one will look down at me if I don't. On the other hand, this is not exactly the kind of impulse purchase I was trying to prevent. I was thinking more of things like adding items to my own grocery cart. I wouldn't buy a 2 liter of soda for myself, but, if it is going to a good cause, isn't that different? I don't know - what do you think?
There is one compromise that I could do...
I probably have enough empty cans that I could return to the store to pay for a 2 liter. Here in Michigan we have a $.10 deposit return on bottle and can returns, so it wouldn't take much. I could take the cans I have in the garage back to the store and use the funds to buy pop - that would satisfy both my non-spending rule and allow me to feel like I am a contributing member of my board.
I would bake cookies... but I don't have anything in the house for ingredients. Not unless I can find a recipe for pork chop cookies! What can I say? I don't do a lot of baking, but I do have some lovely pork shops in the freezer. I'm betting we'll get a lot of vegetarians there though, so that might not be the right thing to bring.
So, what do you all think? Does this fall under the "social spending" category or even the "charitable giving" category, both of which are okay under my No Spending Challenge, or does buying food I don't need constitute a breach of my plan? Ideas anyone?
It is funny, I didn't think I would have a lot of conundrums like this when I thought out the challenge. I wonder what else will come my way?
Photo by: atomicity