I survived the first week of no spending!! I did not take one trip tot he grocery store… no buying books, plane tickets, or shoes online… no fast food stops… no martinis or movies. And yet, in that week, I managed to see 3 museums, attend 2 networking events and enjoy a $65 plated luncheon. At no out of pocket cost! NOT BAD, HUH??
On another note, I can definitely say I notice some differences within myself… and I’m really starting to see my thought patterns about money, food and spending overall. My Day Four “break through”:
I’ve accepted that using debit/credit cards are still forms of spending.
Of course, that is basic knowledge that we all (should) have and my father taught me everything there was to know about this stuff… but I can now truly understand my inner thoughts on it. We pull out a card and often take a moment to think before swiping. In that time of thought, we either decide to spend, or we decide to move on. Well, without my cards, that simple thought is now an “evaluation” because I have to go out of my way (back home in most cases) to get to my credit card in order to use it. So now I’m forced to really consider the purchase and determine:
– do I need this? If so, why?
– can I buy it a month from now?
– will I need/want it a month from now?
– is it truly worth it, during this time when I am trying to pay down debt and increase savings.
In most cases, I walk away. It really hit me Tuesday when I looked at a Best Buy sales ad, one of my favorite stores, and saw the TV’s on sale. I have one TV in my entire place (not that its huge, but still) It’s a 19″ Flat panel EDTV (no, its not even an HDTV – leave my TV alone, Brian). It sits on top of my fire place and if you sit any further from the couch you can barely see a thing. I’ve talked about replacing it for years (Literally). I also swore I’d get cable (which I don’t have) when I replace that TV.
So when I see this 32″ Flat panel for $497 at Best Buy, my thoughts go:
– no interest for 3 years.. $500… that’s (at a minimum) about $14/month. If I pay $50, I’ll pay it off in 10 months. No problem. I should go to Best buy right now!
– wait, I am supposed to be on a no spending spree…
– oh, but if I put it on my Best Buy card it doesn’t count as spending cause the bill won’t come until next month…
– WAIT!! Yes, it does count!!!! Because its still money that I’m spending, and will have to be paid back!!
– Since I’ve already made it 3 years.. what’s another month/quarter/year??? And do I really want to add on top of that, the expense for cable??? NO!!!
So simple, right?? Well, a lot of us have spending “issues” that are ties to emotions. For me its usually sadness, boredom and hunger. So I grab a cookie and storm over the trash can and bury the sales paper deep inside.
Another day of success, another life lesson learned. That is what this is all about!
Today I will take my $10 to the grocery store and stock up on my fresh goods. But I know, you’re really looking for my item of the day, right?? LOL! Well, its none other than a seafood meal. Sigh…. going to get my peanut butter now.