One Month Down: January and No Shopping!
I haven't been keeping up with my blogging like I had hoped, but I have been continuing my spending fast. I've learned a few things so far:
1. I am really spending beyond my means. I am going to have to dig deeper than I thought.
2. Not spending money isn't as hard as I thought it would be.
3. There are some fringe benefits to not buying new stuff- less laundry, less choice getting dressed in the morning, less clutter.
My first month of this challenge feels more like a "trial month," since what I learned is that I need to make even more change to my spending. Also, I was making payments still on a debt that is now paid, which should help free up some cash.
I have been resistant to a real financial reckoning since the beginning of this. I thought I could make some small changes and my debt would kind of start to resolve itself- WRONG. So, I read this book, and have started to take the steps she suggests.
1. I have added up my debt. What I learned, is that I have less than I thought (especially in the student loan area). This was heartening.
2. I have started to take a three-month inventory of all my spending. This is exhausting. I spend too much money on groceries, on coffee, and on the vending machine at my work. I also have some subscriptions to cancel.
3. I have started keeping track of my spending using an old-fashioned check register. This is a habit that I still need to get into, but I am going to give it a shot.
Items Purchased: One top from a Luluroe charity fundraiser (approved, but possibly unnecessary). I am purchasing a stuffed animal zoo for my kid's room (not necessary, and I'm feeling a little bad about it now). I also had to purchase a copy of a book for the library because I spilled my coffee on their copy. I almost bought sandals for my daughter but canceled the order.
Temptations: I just have been feeling a general urge to go shopping. There isn't anything in particular, but I am missing the action.
Resources and actions: The book that I linked about has been a great resource. I've canceled a couple of app subscriptions so they don't auto-renew. I've canceled my BOTM subscription that I thought I was going to keep. I will also be canceling my New York Times online subscription (which is unnecessarily difficult BTW).