After trying a spending freeze last year in January, we are geared up to do it again.
(And this time, I do mean we, as this year David would like to avoid a dispute like the one we got into over his purchasing of an unnecessary television--no, I don't care how much it was marked down!)
The deal is the same as last year: for twenty-one days in the month of January, we purchase absolutely nothing that isn't absolutely essential.
Of course that means we pay bills that come due (cable and cell phones are technically not essential, but we're still paying those on time), but otherwise we are purchasing only what we absolutely need--for us, that's basically gas and groceries. Medicine, if we need it. And toilet paper. Yes, we may have newsprint in the recyclables, but I declare toilet paper a necessity.
So... that's it. Starting Monday, January 5 and going until Sunday, January 25.
I wrote our January daycare tuition check yesterday (gulp) so I know we need this to help us focus and be frugal in the new year! The fact is that we have every material thing we really need, and compared to many, many people in this world, our lifestyle is ridiculously luxurious. Instead of focusing on all the things I'm giving up (for twenty-one days... or more?), I'm embracing this as a challenge to simplify and focus--streamlined living in the new year!
Budgeting and moderate spending is obviously important overall, but it kind of feels good to completely abstain. There's no wiggle room ("But this sweater is on sale...") and although there's a definite beginning and end to this challenge, I find it has ongoing influence.
I will allow myself to plan for nonessential purchases to make later (for example, I am going to order prints of photos so poor Colette can have an album or two!) but I find that delaying a purchase for a week or more means that I'll only end up buying what I really value.
Anybody up for a spending freeze? It's like exercise--hard to get motivated, but you'll never regret having done it!