Sometimes when I’m looking for a dramatic change, I do something dramatic.
So… here I go again…
I tell you this so I’m accountable. No changing my mind now!
Beginning 01/01/19 I embark on my second 1-year spending fast.
It’s a full year. No buying anything new. I lay ground rules, I challenge my spending habits, and I change. Both on the inside and the outside.
The first time around, I loved the way it changed me. It suffocated greed and reoriented my thinking. Here’s why it was so great for me.
The first time around I was also single.
This time, I’m married, own a house, and have two children.
And this time, I’ve noticed new habits and new greed I want to squash. I’ve noticed some spending patterns I’m not ok with. I’ve noticed thinking patterns that are dangerous – actually, they’re flat-out lies. And I’ve noticed I subconciously think certain things will make me feel better if I buy them, but don’t.
Because – retail therapy isn’t therapy at all.
The truth is, the last quarter of 2018 has been hard. Super hard. There have been moments where I thought life-as-I-know-it might be ripped out from under my feet. My husband, my partner, my love has been off work and nearly on bed-rest for months and we’re not sure why yet. We have hope. We’re still on a path toward healing.
I won’t regale the details here because a) that’s my husband’s story and b) that’s not the purpose of this post c) I’m not trying to cause concern or elicit empathy.
I write this because I’ve noticed something through a season of struggle; my default is to look for security in all the wrong places.
While my sweet husband has been facing his health challenges, I’ve been fighting my own battle. Some days, it nearly breaks me. It’s just simply the weight of “all the things.”
And with two little ones at home… there are a lot of things.
So what next?
I’m on my own path toward healing. Be pushed to ones limits can certainly reveal ones cracks. I’m not entirely ready to share about that yet, since I’m still in the midst of growing.
But in the middle of this growth and struggle, I’ve noticed something; I just want to “make it better.” Make Justin better. Make everything better. So, you know what I started doing?
I started expecting things to make it better.
I wanted to buy things. Replace things. Upgrade things. Make life easier. More convenient. Better.
I didn’t do anything crazy – but I can see where this is going. And I’m sure it’s not good for me. Things are not my source of security. Things are not what define me. Things are not my source of joy. Things are just that. Things.
To get granular, God is all of that for me. He’s my sense of security, He is who defines me, and He is my deepest source of joy. This is a whole other subject, but things can try to creep into these places they don’t belong.
The first time I did a spending fast, I wanted to be more generous. It changed me from the inside out.
This Spending Fast 2.0 is a financial hygiene reboot – so to speak.
It’s easier than ever to buy things – half the battle is online shopping from the comfort of my home with those perfectly targeted Instagram ads!
In our house, we normally stick to a well-thought-through budget (like what we shared here) but the recent turmoil in life has caused the monthly budgeting to become rough estimates. And blind credit card swipes.
And you know what? I need to refresh my thinking, feeling and spending of money. I need a reboot.
Rules for my Spending Fast 2.0
- I will not buy anything new for myself OR my kids for 365 days
- Let’s face it, do they really need any new toys or clothes? Not right now. When they need something – off to Once Upon a Child & Facebook Markeplace I go!
- If something breaks, I will fix it, borrow it or shop second hand.
- A new item with a gift card
- Household products that run out (toiletries, etc)
- Food & groceries
- Creative supplies
- Gifts for others
So that’s it. Sort of simple. Sort of extreme.
But I already know how helpful this can be to reboot my thinking when it comes to greed, spending and consumption.
And I know it can reroute (or re-root 😉) my sense of comfort, security and joy.
Curious? Or need some inspiration?
Reflect on your spending habits and leave a comment by Jan 2nd – I’ll enter you in a draw to win this! 👇🏼
The Year of Less (one of the many reasons I’m inspired to take this challenge again!)