So, last Sunday, I decided to run out and visit a craft supply shop and dropped a bit more cash than I had really budgeted to spend. Sadly, that is not uncommon for me when in the midst of art nirvana and after getting back home, I decided to issue myself the ultimate challenge: go the rest of the week without spending any money. Right, we know where this is going, do we not? Well, actually, we, the "royal we" not only managed to follow through, but it really was not as difficult as I thought it might be.
I was very frugal for years and years, never buying unless I could pay for something up front. Whilst I would put a purchase on my credit card, I would then go to the bank and transfer funds to cover the statement within a day or two of the purchase. Once I got a computer, I could transfer funds from the comfort of my home. I did go off the tried and true path at one point and that caused me several years of hellish nightmares. Mea culpa! I did it to myself in order to preserve the image that all was well when that was really far from the truth. My mobility was getting from a slight problem to moving into being a major issue and traveling to work was my nemesis. Suffice it to say, through the help of a concerned sister, I managed to work my way to solvency and swore that I would never end up in such a position again. And I definitely will not!
So, I put the brakes on my spending last week and aside from the scheduled payments that automatically go out of my operating account to pay the mortgage, condo fee and such, I am happy to say that I did not make any purchases through to and up until this very day. I am not deep in despair at not going out and buying as I normally would and found the week a good time to use up what was in the fridge, items that were in the studio and so on. Molly Cat had her requisite treat dish filled daily, but perhaps the treats were doled out a tad more carefully. That is not a bad thing! Both our girlish figures will thank us for being careful with treats and when we do indulge, we will enjoy them more. At least that is my thought, Molly may not be quite as content with a simpler life, but she will survive, as will I.
Thinking that the week would be a bit of a doze, I really did not set an agenda for myself and found that my mood was a bit off. But, it was not the lack of spending, it was more the lack of going out and doing something or meeting up with a friend at the coffee kiosk. So, in order to continue such a challenge, I would have to come up with some creative ways of socializing and motivate myself to spend more time in the studio. I am still working on these two issues, it will take some time to work out the bugs and implement a plan of action.
Meanwhile, I did not purchase any books, resolving to read what is already in my personal library, either in physical presence or loaded on my e-reader. I did not buy any goodies from the online art supply vendors that are my normal budgetary vices. Not one thing was purchased. I do feel that I accomplished something by challenging myself in this way. I will look at items differently now and decide whether the purchase is emotionally driven or a true necessity. How long this lull in purchasing will last will be determined by my resolve to eliminate unnecessary items and stick to putting only truly needed items in the shopping basket.
I am not going to eliminate my coffee kiosk visits too dramatically as that is my outing for the week in many cases. Where I need to watch myself the most is when I am online looking at web shoppes. Be very wary of purchases made after 11 p.m.! I can attest to the fact that most of my online purchases are made late at night and my new plan is to make a note of what I want to buy, then go back in the light of day, preferably in the early afternoon and review what I was looking at and determine how much I really need those items. Sound like a plan! Now, I will have to see if I can hold myself to it.
So, how is your week playing out? Are you ready to try the no spending challenge? Let me know how you make out if you give it a try. It really does make you look at your spending in an entirely different way and can help you recognize the signs of emotional spending. Not pleasant to acknowledge, but it really is a wise person who can sit down and put a stop to it. I wish you well if you give it a try and can give you some pointers if you contact me. But, the first thing is to put your mind to it and put the credit card/debit card away in a safe place. Meaning one that you have to work on to get into. Eventually, you will hit your stride and not have to go to such lengths to avoid spending, I promise!
Have a great week!