Many of you have heard about my spending reform activities. If you haven’t, the short version is ‘no spending of any expected income for 1 month‘ (see the complete rules). Not spending for 40 days starting in August 2008, No-Spend November in 2009, and Don’t-Spend December for 2010.
It was something that I thought I would do over and over but… well.. I stopped. I succeeded in my tasks, followed all the rules, and pulled it off in 3 somewhat unique ways. So why stop? It’s tough to quite explain unless you’ve done something like this yourself. When I was interviewed for a Time Magazine blog I was asked what was hardest part. I referenced an entry from December 14th of that year that hit on it pretty well.
It was an interesting experience wandering around the store. There were so many things I wanted. Lucky Charms, juice, candy, extra pie pans (just in case I need them). But every time I looked at something I thought about the $46.36 in my pocket. I had to make it last. This has been a huge mental fight for me. I refinanced my house and thus got to skip a payment, received a bonus from the state, got a promotion at work that will go into effect in two paychecks, and I can’t spend any of it!!! December is a real challenge, but I know that after this month, I’m going to be proud that I pulled it off, and anything that I buy for myself will be much more rewarding. I just keep reminding myself that I am really lucky. I don’t HAVE to do this. But there are plenty of people that do.
Simply put, it is an emotionally draining experience. By the end of it, I started feeling hopeless and consumed by the limitations I set upon myself. I decided that unless I was already in a strong place in my life, I wasn’t going to do it. This is intended to be a challenge, not punishment.
There’s a few great things that I took from this experience.
- The first is that I can do this. Even though I set the rules, they were tough. More than I thought I could handle at times. But I can do it.
- You can’t just get by with what you need, sometimes you actually need to get things that you want. It’s not selfish, it’s just life.
- People are really important. If spending a little money here or there gets you some time to be with them, let yourself do it.
Whatever happens, I keep those things in my head. I am proud of my accomplishments and I feel no need to prove myself once more. I get to set the rules you see. So this was just a new one.
- Not a lot here, perhaps that will change
- June 2014 (2)
- April 2014 (1)
- March 2014 (1)
- February 2014 (1)
- December 2013 (1)
- November 2013 (3)
- October 2013 (1)
- September 2013 (3)
- June 2013 (3)
- April 2013 (1)
- March 2013 (2)
- February 2013 (2)
- January 2013 (2)
- December 2012 (5)
- November 2012 (5)
- October 2012 (1)
- September 2012 (1)
- August 2012 (4)
- July 2012 (7)
- June 2012 (1)