I think I’m rebelling against the unusual cold and starting my spring cleaning early. Actually, doing spring cleaning in the winter makes some sense – who wants to be trapped inside cleaning when it’s nice outside? Maybe that’s why my spring cleaning didn’t really happen last year.
Over the weekend, I started going through cabinets and closets and getting rid of things that I didn’t need/want. The most important of this was going through the linen closet and tossing all expired medications. Of course, when I pull something out, I always check the expiration date, just in case, but it was good to see what needed to be trashed. It was a surprising amount of things, which makes me feel a little wasteful. Clearly I need to be more careful about my shopping.
I realize I also have way too many cleaning supplies. And personal care items. I forget that I have toothpaste, so I pick some up, and then suddenly I have eight tubes. And then in a year, I’ll be completely out because I thought there was still some in the closet. I know some people keep an inventory list on the doors to their cabinets and closets, and while that sounds ridiculous, it doesn’t seem like such a bad idea at this point.
I didn’t get through everything – I really wanted to tackle the kitchen cabinets, but only made it through one cabinet – the dreaded tea cabinet. I ended up tossing a bunch of stuff and I probably should have thrown out even more. Tea may not expire but it definitely does go stale, and somehow I managed to stock up a bit too much. It feels so wasteful to throw things away, and it is, but the solution isn’t to not toss things – the solution is to learn from it and buy less.
And I’ve said that before, I know. But now I need to stick to it. Buy less. Stop stocking up on things that don’t need to be stocked up on. It’s not a good deal if you never use it.
Megan is a 40-something government employee in the Washington, DC area. She got interested in Personal Finance when she got out of college and realized that her paycheck wasn’t going to go as far as she had hoped. Since starting this blog, she has managed to buy a house and make a solid start on her retirement goals, and hopes to help others do the same. Here is her story:
In 2007, I was a gainfully employed 20-something with no debt but not a lot of knowledge about personal finance. It was a co-worker’s comment about Roth IRAs that sent me to the internet, searching for information. It was then that I realized that I really didn’t know a whole lot about personal finance and that my current financial situation was due a lot to inherent frugal tendencies, generous family members, a fear of debt, and good luck. While that was working for me, clearly I needed a better plan.
While I had no debt, I was also pretty much living paycheck to paycheck and not worrying about going over budget (I say this as if I had a real budget) because I had an emergency fund set aside to cover any overages.
Except that’s not what an emergency fund is for.
So I did a lot of research, read a lot of blogs, and decided that I needed a plan. I needed to budget. I needed to know what I was spending my money on. I needed to prepare for the future.
I decided to create a blog not only to make myself accountable to others but also to share the knowledge that I gained along the way. I’ve learned so much from my fellow bloggers, and I hope that my readers can find something useful in what I have to share as well.