A few weeks ago, I alerted you to my spending fast. Well, the time is here! The Hubby and I actually started the fast on January 4 — the first Monday of the month and of 2010. Over the holidays, I was pretty good about spending. Aside from buying gifts for family and small friends (people are procreating like no one’s business! Eleven kids to buy for this Christmas — plus an extra one who decided to come into the world Christmas week. Next year, God willing, there will be 13 for sure — another baby is on his/her way in May 2010. I should get a part-time job to pay for the kids’ gifts next Christmas), I didn’t buy anything for myself… not even any hair products.
Well, I did by some perm rods from Sally’s the week of Christmas — but that was only like $4. I know, I know — every penny counts.
LOL! Seriously, for my spending fast, I’m allowing myself $25 per week to spend on miscellaneous items like coffee, gum, lunch, conditioner, etc. Once the $25 is gone, it’s gone. My credit card is on permanent hiatus. You know, I used to be really good about not using my credit card, but since I’ve started doing more online shopping and collecting points, it’s been ridiculous. I’m good with my money — I save and I invest — but I could be so much better. I could be extremely better.
So for 2010, I will aim to be better.
Of course, there are expenditures that can’t be avoided: mortgage, utility and communications bills, groceries, transit pass (or gas for the Hubby’s car), chiropractic appointments, tithes, etc. This month, I also have a birthday gift to buy for one of my little friends who will be celebrating his second birthday.
Any other spending is prohibited — which was fine, until I went to the mall. I had a goal: find castor oil (I just want to know where I can easily get it). I had resolve, I really did — until I told myself that I couldn’t buy anything. That’s when I started seeing all the sales signs for shoes and clothes and my resolve began to break. Really, do I need another shirt? I could do with some dress boots, but I don’t need them right now. I left the mall with some $3 ear plugs.
The purpose of this fast isn’t to torture myself, it’s to develop better spending habits and become a better steward of the money the Lord has blessed me with. If I want dress boots, what is wrong with saving $50 each pay and buying them cash? Knowing that I planned the purchase and can still save the same amount of money that I had planned to save that month.
Deferred gratification — that is what I am somewhat lacking and what many people are somewhat lacking. I don’t need to buy an iPod Touch today. My iPod mini is working just fine. If I want the Touch (which I do and will take as a gift, thankyouverymuch), I should set a goal and save towards it. The same way I did when I had to save for my wedding and my house. Buying material things just because I can is a habit that I’ve formed and I don’t like it. I want to have the money to invest seriously or to pay for a vacation cash and not be beholden to any financial institution and I can’t do that if I’m buying all willy-nilly.
Long story short — I need to start thinking bigger for 2010 and this is just one step in the right direction.