Tuesday, March 31, 2009

A while back, I read about a movement (probably apocryphal, at least at the time) called "zero spending," wherein people spend no money--other than that required to pay bills--for a period of time, usually a couple of months. This means no movies, no CD's (or iTunes downloads), no eating out. These people take the money that they save, and either donate it to charity or use it to pay down debt.

For the month of April, I'm doing it. No April Fools, I'm serious.

I've eaten my last McDonald's (and boy was it good), I've downloaded my last mp3, and I've taken my last "just browsing" trip to Barnes and Noble. I've spent all my Microsoft points downloaded the last map pack, and I'm taking the plunge. (Full disclosure, I'm keeping cable, Internet, and Gamefly, as I consider them to be among my basic bills, though I did toy with eliminating all three.)

It's going to take a LOT of willpower on my part, but I think it'll be worth it. At the end of the month, I'm going to split what I've saved, with half going to charity, and half being added to my student loan payment (I'd be lying if I tried to act like I didn't have at least a slightly selfish motive.)

What I need from you, dear readers, are two things. I need suggestions for free entertainments, especially on weekends. Free concerts? Good free podcasts worth checking out? Please, post them in the comments below. In addition, I need good suggestions for a charity. I'm partial to the Humane Society, but there a plenty of people who need help too. Again, if there's one you like, post it in the comments. Sure, it probably won't be a lot of money, but it's the right thing to do, and your help is appreciated.


Anonymous Patrick said...

1. i was not consulted on the cancellation of cable/internet. i would not be opposed (though it might be a bit late in the game now, but further on down the road, i could give it up for a month or 2)

2. you could donate to my heartwalk on may 16th! american heart association. you may do so on my facebook page if you so desire. or, katrina relief in waveland, or mosaic community development here in o-town. they have a relational homeless ministry and have done lots for the Burundian refugees here in town as well. let me know if any of those interest you...they interest me.

8:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm partial to the Lydia house, or the YWCA....
As for free entertainment, I have the hookup! Joslyn has free admission every Saturday until either noon or 1. There are lots of free choral concerts on Sunday evenings. Check online on Thursdays on Omaha.com. Also ,the newspaper lists all sorts of free things almost daily.

6:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Awesome endeavor Matt. I'll help any way I can. You know me, I'm partial to Habitat for Humanity, but the Humane Society works also. Any worthy cause would more than welcome the donation. As for entertainment, you could always come and help mow the yard!!! [Just kidding...I know your allergies and all!]

10:44 AM  
Blogger Norman said...

1. Cool idea. I have a few suggestions for what you can do.

-Write. You already have the hat.
-Volunteer but beware the cliques. I've found that people who spend a lot of time in charitable organizations do so in order to give or in order to control. Don't be discouraged if you show up with the best of intentions and find the situation not as idealized as you had hoped.
-Allow yourself one or two cheats with no guilt.
-Don't turn into a damn hippy.

Seriously, good luck, amigo.

8:24 PM  
Anonymous Tim Lehnerer said...

My local public library rents out DVDs--you get five for five days for no money. Late fees are a quarter a day per disc. I imagine your local library does something sorta-kinda similar, and it's a FANTASTIC way to catch up on classic films you might not have seen before.

2:20 PM  

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