Thursday, August 16, 2012

Austerity Measures

As friends/family/panhandlers-on-the-street know, I'm perpetually broke. When I'm not broke it's because it's payday.  And when it's payday that means I'm just one ill-advised spending binge away from my natural state of, say it with me, b-r-o-k-e.  This constant state of financial destitution can 100% be attributed to my won't-quit shopping habit, not getting up early enough to make my own coffee before work (and so having to purchase it), concert tickets (can I get an "amen" for Avett Brothers on August 25th?!  "AYE-MEN!"), and my taste for "fun-having" at bars and restaurants throughout all of north Seattle.

Things are out of control.  Which brings me to the title of this post... Austerity Measures.

I am a religious NPR listener.  Yeah, I have an Evergreen Membership, excuse me a moment while I go toot my own horn.  *toot-toot*.  And lately, it seems that nearly every morning my friends on the radio are updating me on the European debt crisis.  Thanks guys!  Please, for your sake, don't ask me to explain too much about what's going on.  By the end of my nonsensical regurgitation of Morning Edition you'll be more confused than when I started, and so will I.  Anyway, what I'm trying to get to is the fact that one key issue is always being debated: to austerity measure or not to austerity measure?.

Now, I don't think I need, or want, to go all Greek on my finances (because, as we all know, that's not really doing the trick for the ole' E.U., amirite??) but it's a fact, a well-known fact, that I could use some personal spending reform.  And this statement was never more clear than when, a few weeks ago, I was attempting to clean my room. (Yes, I know, I'm always attempting to clean my room.)

While sifting through the rubble of a once (briefly) organized space I kept finding shoe upon shoe that I hadn't seen, let alone worn, in weeks.  I had forgotten how many shoes I own.

As it turns out, I own many shoes.  Many, many shoes.  Oh, so very many, many, and allow me to add, MANY shoes. And all of them are lovely -- at least to me.  What am I doing with all of these shoes?  I only have two feet and there only seven days in a week.  I hate to admit this but if I were to change my shoes 2 times a day for a whole week I would still not need to wear the same pair of shoes twice.  This seems/feels (is??) wrong.  Why am I constantly complaining about not having money when it's clear that I already own more than I can even use?

So, what did I do?

Well first, I purged... minimally.  I filled a couple o' bags with clothes and shoes that hadn't been thought about in ages.  Moved them to the storage closet, vowed to make a trip to Goodwill, and then marched into my roommate's room exclaiming, "I own too many things!  For the next week I'm wearing a different pair of shoes every day!  Join me!"  And she did!  For a week we did not wear the same pair of shoes twice.

I took pictures every day to document the challenge.  But The last day was so hot and I didn't have energy for more than flip flops (which I hadn't worn yet that week).  This was fine as all I really did that day was go to (free!) yoga, wait for AAA to come put my spare tire on after getting a flat on the way home from (free!) yoga, curse at my spare tire when it popped after AAA put it on, miraculously drove up the hill with my faulty spare, and lay on the couch complaining about the heat until it was time for bed.  So here are 6 pictures from the 7 day challenge (no one needs to see my feet in a pair of flippy-flops):

One - Steve Madden; Two - Salt-Water Sandals; Three - Sam Edelman; Four - Target; Five - Converse; Six - Target

Let's be honest... that was a fun little distraction from my over-consumption and under-saving.  It made me feel resourceful without really sacrificing anything or making substantial adjustments to my lifestyle.  But at least it got me thinking??

I'm still working out what I need to do to assure that the Nation of Amanda will achieve Financial Stability within the next few months.  Obviously I would prefer a nice stimulus package over austerity measures but my Financial Policy Committee (known to many as my parents)  keeps telling me that drastic spending reform is really my only option.  And so, with that, new policies are in the works and a parred down lifestyle has been enacted (who needs full price cocktails when Happy Hours are plentiful?!)

I will try my best to keep readers posted as I progress toward a brighter economic future.

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