We are 3 weeks into the Spending Fast, but it hasn’t exactly been as strict as I was hoping. First of all, turns out that no matter how hard you try to not spend anything when you travel, it’s pretty much impossible to not end up at least paying for parking and a few snacks (even though we did pack our own snacks, we couldn’t resist a warm breakfast burrito on the plane!). We also had a good friend come into town and couldn’t resist meeting him for beers one night and dessert the next. Last but not least, I luckily was given a little bit of extra cash while on said family vacation, which, instead of saving like a good Spending Fast-er would, I put towards signing Brandon up for his CrossFit Level 1 Certification. And even though it’s pretty exciting that we are going to have a CrossFit coach in the family (well, in our modern cohabitating-with-a-dog family), can we talk about how flippin expensive those things are? I mean really. WTF, CrossFit.
However, we have managed to keep from going out except for with our visiting friend, and I haven’t bought any clothes whatsoever. This is actually kind of a big deal for me, because I was very much getting into the habit of picking up at least one or two small (and sometimes not-so-small) items every month; a new CrossFit tank top here, a new pair of running shoes or lifting shoes there, a massive Lulu binge or two… But I have been able to keep that impulse at bay. Speaking of bays, I also decided to sell my Lulu pants that didn’t fit on eBay instead of returning them, because apparently those things sell for a lot more on eBay than they retail for! Who knew!
I think that I may need to start referring to this as a spending “diet” instead of a fast, because I really have no hope of backing off on spending entirely with my schedule in the next few months. Between friends coming into town, another ice climbing trip planned next weekend, 2 bridal showers, a bachelorette party, 2 trips to Moab, and 2 weddings all in the next 12 weeks.. I will be lucky if I can break even let alone save anything.
My “Want vs. Need” monologue is definitely still increasing, though. And although I sometimes fall off the wagon a little (did I REALLY need to spend $20 to sign up for the CrossFit Open the day after I said I wasn’t going to…?), I have reality-checked myself out of stopping at Good Times for sweet potato fries on the drive home from work, buying mac & cheese at the store “just to have in the house,” wandering into the bookstore when I still have dozens of books on my bookshelf that I haven’t read, and buying several Groupons ranging from half-off sushi (somewhat reasonable) to a magnetic spice rack for only $30 (not so reasonable). And as a bonus, my spending diet has encouraged me to eat at home almost exclusively, and kept me from indulging in some less-than-ideal diet splurges as well–not just the sweet potatoes fries and “emergency” mac & cheese, but also the last-minute I-don’t-want-to-cook-so-let’s-just-order-Thai-food-and-pretend-its-super-healthy scenario or the it’s-the-weekend-we-should-go-out-to-brunch-and-whaddaya-know-the-special-is-pancakes scheme.
Have you been trying the Spending Fast? How is it going for you? If not, what strategies do you employ to help keep your spending in check?