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I've been dreading writing this post. It's not even that anything all that catastrophic happened -- I fell down in some places, and chugged along well in others. But somehow, last Monday I just couldn't get myself in gear to write everything out and then Monday stretched into Tuesday and so on. So here I am now, writing it all out and cutting myself some slack.

Week 2 had some issues. We went on an impromptu trip that definitely dipped into our money for the month. We made the plans because we so rarely get a full weekend of un-reserved time anymore and we haven't had a lot of time alone together outside the house. So we took the opportunity and ran with it. The trip was definitely an expense that wasn't planned in the budget -- and it will have an effect on my goals for the month. But, it could have been a lot worse that it was. We stayed in a hotel with a very good deal, we limited the number of meals we ate out, and almost every single thing we actually did during the weekend was free (a benefit of going to DC, and liking monuments and squirrels).

Week 3 was all about getting back on my feet, financially, and I think I managed to make up for the trip to DC. We ate in a lot, made use of leftovers, and planned ahead for things.

I'm learning a lot about the goals that I set myself, now that I'm in the middle of them.

Buy Nothing Days were a lot easier when I spent all day at a job that was so exhausting I couldn't even think about going out and buying anything afterwards. All I had to do was make sure I brought my lunch and stayed out of the mall proper and I was pretty much set. Now I spend all day in my house -- which saves on lunch and gas money, but makes me pretty desperate to get out at night for almost any reason, including a trip to the store or the diner.

Planning ahead for meals is difficult when you're partner isn't very enthusiastic about it. This is in no way meant to be a dig against Pat. He's been really trying to help with this stuff. He's happy to eat in every night, happy to spend as little as possible, etc etc. But Pat has a lot of difficulty with planning stuff out. And I find it hard to plan for both of us all the time, particularly when I feel a little bit like I'm dragging him along with me. This is an emotional rather than intellectual response from me -- one I wish I could stop having, since frustration with someone's habits never helped anything. I think it's that, deep down, I want to be more of a team on this stuff, but probably I should face the reality that that's just not how this stuff works between us. Pat is super good at the in-the-moment getting-shit-done -- but planning things just makes him crazy. Living with someone else takes compromise, you're never in complete control of anything.

I'm also learning that putting my planning / shopping time on the weekend probably won't work longterm. Weekends are when we get a lot of non-work related stuff done -- social stuff, Blue Star stuff, family stuff. And any time that we can squeeze in around the edges of all that I just don't want to spend planning out meals and grocery lists. I think I'd be a lot better off doing my planning during the week, in-between work projects, when I'm already in planning-brain-mode. And then I could go to the store on a weekday rather than a weekend, maybe even early in the morning when the store is empty, rather than super crowded like on the weekends. So I'm going to try this this week.

So, although my rules sounded pretty simple and easy when I first wrote them down, I'm now coming to understand where the hard parts were hidden. Which is ok -- if it was easy to fix it wouldn't be a problem all the time.

I'm going to continue with my rules as they are right now and not beat myself up too much. I'm learning a lot from the process, and to be honest we're not doing so bad money-wise -- it's just a matter of not scoring points in the game I made for myself. The savings account is still untouched. There's still money in reserve for the rest of the month. I even think I might be able to make that second savings deposit.

A successful part of all this: we've made some pretty good, interesting food.

There was a cilantro, pepper, onion frittata. There was homemade pizza. Potato soup. Curried Shepherd's Pie (the vegetarian kind). We experimented with roasting brussels sprouts (I've liked them this way before, but I think roasting them from frozen requires some tweaking).

That's what I've got to say this week. I rambling bunch of notes, rather than an organized report. Which is probably a really good thing -- probably means I'm much more worried about content over form.
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