Posted by: randommisfires | January 25, 2009

Forced Poverty

California is essentially bankrupt.  We can’t pay our debt and so no one will offer us new debt.  Which I think is pretty smart of them.  I don’t lend money to people who can’t or won’t pay me back, even if I’m friends with them. But it’s going to suck for a lot of people when the lack of money catches up.  Like everyone who is having their tax refund put on indefinite  hold by the state of CA.  Or worse, people who depend on state checks for things like food and medical.  (I haven’t quite figured out which people are getting IOU’s and which are getting benefits, but it doesn’t seem to be all disability and welfare checks that are being suspended.)

So, in a show of solidarity with our bankrupt state, and in an attempt to feel some empathy for people who can’t get by without state aid, I am going to pretend for the next month or so, until March 1st, that I am also completely out of money.  I will buy nearly nothing.  Well, except for a few fresh veggies here and there.  And gas since I have to get Rebi to school.

But, until March 1st, no new clothes, no toiletries (I have a good supply,  Don’t worry, the family won’t stink), no fast food (whimper), no books (cry!) and no to all of the other crap that keeps finding it’s way to my house.  Where does it all come from anyway?

We’ve done it before and while the cooking every night gets a bit labor intensive (read: I am spoiled) and the dishes are enough to make the entire food service industry weep (what?  I’m a messy cook!), it was a good challenge and very rewarding.

Anyone want to join me?  I even promise to fess up when I fall off the wagon! And anyway, it’s only 4 weeks.  Come along for the ride and then we can whine together!



  1. I pretty much live this way due to our general lack of funds. Joining you doesn’t sound that fun…it is my every day headache.

    But good luck…the cooking thing, I think, is the hardest part.

  2. Sounds good. I’ll email you back in March when you get your broadband internet turned back on.

    And you BUY books? I haven’t bought a new book in two years. Libraries are your friend.

  3. 3 loads of dishes already today, with perhaps another load waiting in the sink when this one is done…

    And John, every library in Riverside and San Diego county has her picture on the wall with a reward notice beneath it.

  4. They’re just hoping someone will bring me back in so that I will check out and lose more books. After all, someone has to pay for the new wing!

    Anyway, this isn’t an all-inclusive no money deal. Our monthly bills are getting paid as always. I’m just going to go as long as possible without shopping, eating out, etc.

    I’m just trying to break the consumerism cycle again.

  5. Tips from a cheap bastard.

    Pay your danged library fines and start reading. Shelly uses Library Elf to pester her when books are due. Set up a special shelf somewhere where library books live.

    As for groceries, I buy a couple of Angel Food Ministries boxes per month, and I get whatever I can that’s over 70% off on Then I just get whatever’s left (milk, bread, cheese) as I need it.

    If I could keep Shelly from buying snacks a crate at a time from Costco, I’d have our grocery bill down to about $100 a month 🙂

    Everything else is going into the principal of the house. I’m planning to be the first person to have a mortgage burning party since Archie Bunker did on that episode of “All In The Family”. Of course home prices haven’t been in freefall in Texas the way they have been in California. My home value hasn’t changed since I bought the place.

    And Shelly wants to raise chickens now.

  6. cool idea! We had to do something like this in our ward as an “emergency preparedness drill.” They told us to get ready, because soon they would spring a “pretend emergency” drill on us, and we would have to refrain from ANY store trips for an entire week!

    So we stocked up on toilet paper and food, and we actualyl survived when the drill happened–but I cheated: I had forgotten extra diapers! (doh!) Now I have an emergency set of cloth diaps, just in case!

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