I read The Spender's Guide to Debt-Free Living last month. Loved it. I did a financial peace university class before I graduated college. Learned a ton, implemented a lot of it. It was nice to read another book with a slightly different strategy. It's a more extreme change situation written from more of an emotional angle. So, I read it, thought about the things I learned in FPU, thought about my habits, thought and thought and thought some more, and talked to my husband. We are doing a spending freeze this month.
The main goal is to stay within the boundaries of our cash budget envelope system. So, we can go out to eat, but it has to be in the amount we allocated, which honestly isn't much. A rare treat! Delight! We're also not buying any clothes this month. Which you know, is kind of hard when fall is approaching and that's when you usually buy new clothes. But it's fine.
We're only a week into this month, and I'm already feeling the pangs of frustration with this choice. It's a good choice, but I've had to face my flaws head on. Why do I spend? I'm going to admit some things here that I wouldn't normally broadcast to the audience of everyone, but I think it would be beneficial.
Spending makes me feel good. I like the way new clothes feel. I like when people compliment my clothing. I wasn't really stylish in high school, so part of me is like, "don't worry 17 year old self, you're doing better now." Essentially spending has become this idol I want full control over. I haven't gone into consumer debt since 2008. I did do that once, and I dug myself out of that horrible hole. So even though my spending is pretty minimal, my heart behind it needs changed. I might expand on this more later.
I've decided to blog more and work on my side projects instead of online shopping/browsing. I'm also trying really hard to meal plan and shop our pantry/fridge. We're thinking through every purchase on our needs list. We're not running to Meijer every five minutes for that one thing that becomes twelve things. With no shopping for fun flannels or scarves, I'm now tasked with creating new outfit combinations outside my standard Canadian tuxedo or all black uniform.
I also want to point out that I'm not trying to go all minimalistic in life. That stresses me out. But I will say that I found this quote inspiring: "Buy things for their usefulness, not their status. Purchase items for their ability to meet your needs, not for their ability to impress your neighbor. Apply this principle everywhere—your house, your car, your clothes, and your hobbies are all good places to start." Source
So. Here is to the remainder of the month. Being content with what I have, getting rid of things I don't need, reinventing outfits, saying no to immediate gratification, focusing on things that matter most. This space will be the place that I'm externally processing my internal ramblings.