It’s Lent season! Which means it’s time to give something up! It actually started last Wednesday, but I didn’t have my blog up then so let’s must pretend we’re back in time a bit shall we? And for those who aren’t familiar with Lent, it’s basically the 40 day time period before Easter where it’s customary to “fast” or what i used to call “give up something small that’s not hard to do but you’ll technically be in the right!” haha … that was the old me though. These days I like to play by the rules, both for the church AND for the personal challenge :) And I gotta say, it’s definitely rewarding.
LAST YEAR I gave up all Sodas! can you believe that?? AND not only did I last the entire 40 days, i went another 3 or so months after w/out fail. After a while it was really easy and I actually didn’t mind at all as my body felt great. I was about to extend the goal to a year, but realized I needed to stop making these random challenges just for the hell of it*, and have since limited myself to drinking it on the weekends only.
THIS YEAR I wanted to do something more financially friendly and decided to put myself to the ultimate challenge: NO BUYING RANDOM CRAP. Also known as “discretionary income”. This is *huge* for me as I am the king of all kings on thrift store shopping, Craigslist purchasing, and eBay bidding! Not to mention the weekly shopping trips to Express, Rugged Wearhouse, and Ta Ta Ta TJ MAX. I’m one of those people who shop when their sad/happy/energized/or just plain b-o-r-e-d. And no i’m not a girl (but i do love girls! errr … my fiancée. I love you honey!) I’m also one of those people marketers love as i am attracted to all things blingy and packaged nice.
I guess I should also clarify those things i’m allowed to spend on, especially so I won’t try and wiggle my way out of it in the future.
Things allowed: Mortgages, Utilities, Bills, Food, and anything that improves my wealth or brain (such as mutual funds, finance books, magazines, etc).
Things NOT allowed: Gadgets, Lottery Tickets, Artwork, Decorations (why am i capitalizing all these?), furniture, track jackets as i have wayyyyy too many, t-shirts, and anything on Woot.com, sellout.woot.com, or shirt.woot.com which will be extremely hard!
Okay, that about wraps it up. So far i haven’t spent a penny on any of these and my spirits are still high. I think this is exactly what i needed to re-organize my finances and get my budget back on track and alive. Funny enough, i also have wayyyyyy more time on my hands.
*Once on a flight to Greece a few years back I watched “Supersize Me” and decided to see how long i can go w/out eating McDonalds, my FAV. place at the time…to this day i STILL haven’t touched a thing from there! Sure I’ve been to Wendys a few hundred times, but i still feed like The Man :) As of today it’s been 1193 days and my record continues to grow…but who’s counting?
UPDATE: It’s now 2019 and I rarely go shopping just for the fun of it anymore! In fact, I estimate I’ve went on to save roughly $200/mo ever since taking on this challenge which equates to somewhere in the $28,000 range – crazy… But even more important than that – it completely CHANGED my mindset and got me to be more *conscious* about things now which has gone on to transform *all* areas of my life even outside finance. So highly recommend this challenge!! Good for the wallet and the mind! :)