Spending Fast Week 1 Recap

The first week of the Spending Fast was surprisingly satisfying. It’s hard to say how much I saved over an “average” week but I would say I saved at least $30 or $40 by not going out to eat at all and probably another $20 by not allowing myself any impulse buys throughout the week.

Speaking of impulse buys, the Lululemon haul that inspired all of this came in on Saturday and honestly, I was pretty disappointed. I bought 3 pairs of leggings, and none of them are very flattering. The mint capris make my calves look pale and sallow, the bright salmon leggings sort of make me look like a flamingo, and the black and teal running pants are ridiculously see-through. So, I am returning all of them. And in my Spending Fast mindset, I feel awesome about that, instead of slightly disappointed and irritated like I normally would feel.

I have been asking myself more and more in the past week, “Do I really NEED that?” Like really need it? This question directly relates to my 2013 mission statement: “To pursue that, and only that, which makes my body, mind, spirit, and relationships stronger and healthier.” And it has been really interesting to see myself literally pick things up (like a pack of gum in the check-out lane), think about what it means to actually “need” something, then put it back.

I know that several other bloggers were inspired to do this Spending Fast with me as well, so for them and for those of you who are thinking about doing this in the future, here is my first tip that I learned:

Spending Fast Week 1 Pro Tip: Plan game nights or potlucks with friends instead of going out to eat.

I think one thing that made the Spending Fast especially easy last week was that we had a lot of dinners, pot lucks, and game nights to attend. Last Tuesday night was a Paleo dinner with our CrossFit fam, Saturday night we had game night with a bunch of friends, and Sunday afternoon was another Paleo potluck. This made it feel like we were going out even though we weren’t paying for anything except the ingredients of the food we took to the potlucks (meatballs and chili, both pretty cheap dishes to make). Also, this takes out one of the biggest issues that I anticipated with the spending fast, which was feeling like we couldn’t go out and be social. Plus this allowed us to not only continue to be social, but gave us an incentive to clean the living room as well… Perfect combo.

  • salt, dogs, and duct tape

    This week for work I had to come up with 4-6 goals that would provide an outline for my year. It was surprisingly difficult to come up with narrow, quantifiable goals. I really like the idea of coming up with a mission statement as well. Good luck with the spending fast! I’m on a pretty tight budget already or I might join you. Do lift tickets count as need?

    • clairechapman

      Haha I mean if I can count CrossFit as “need” you can probably justify lift tickets :) And I love coming up with personal mission statements, it’s a weird habit I picked up in high school student council of all places. I’ve definitely had a hard time in the past making up specific goals for an entire year since circumstances and resources will change unpredictably, but I’ve found it’s way more manageable–and interesting–to use more of a mission statement mentality.

  • http://twitter.com/AngieEatsPeace Angie

    I have been tempted to make the splurge for Lululemon wear, but I definitely don’t “need” it and now it is sounding like it’s not worth it.

    Great tip for spending!

    • clairechapman

      I have a few pairs of basic lulu spandex capris that I could not live without and far exceed the quality of any other brand I’ve tried, but apparently their novelty styles are not really worth it! Oh well…

  • http://twitter.com/CardioNCocktail Chelsea

    I think that Lulu is almost always worth it (although I wouldn’t complain if it was cheaper) but I do love it when I go a little crazy with the internet shopping and then end up returning it all, feels like free money!

    • clairechapman

      I know right? I also love the delayed gratification of online shopping because you get the excitement of buying it and then you get the excitement all over again when it actually shows up!

  • http://twitter.com/winetoweights Jennifer

    Love following this fast! I’ve been doing really good lately; sadly more out of necessity.. blehhhh.. but anyway, it’s a great thought process to go through – do I really NEED.. and really defining what is a “need.”

  • http://twitter.com/SnowfoxBandit Simone

    Oof, I need to do this. I’m pretty good about spending, but I do go through a “late winter” binge (tax return! winter boredom!) and a “late summer” one (back to school! – or it used to be). Just went a little crazy updating my wardrobe, since I hate shopping, but I’m having a hard time reigning it back in. I think I’ll try this!

    Lululemon’s just okay to me – too pricey! – but I’m dying to order from LivFit. Maybe for my spring birthday. :) http://www.livfitclothing.com/shop.html

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