Inspiration · Life Changes · Month 2

Month 2: Spending

Welcome to month 2: spending.

Before I introduce the parameters for this month, I’ll back up a bit for those of you who are just joining in on the ‘fun’ {ha}.

I have been experiencing a little self imposed self-reduction after reading {and being totally changed from the inside out by} Jen Hatmaker’s book 7 – you can read about all that here. I am mimicking her experiment, just taking the components and tweaking them to fit my life {since I’m not her, not in Austin, and don’t have her awesome life… I’m dealing with my own kind of awesomeness over here, so had to shape the project to fit me}. For my first month I chose to tackle my excessive possessions. Ouch. I’m still hurting from it a bit. You can read about the beginning of it here. I journaled throughout the experience and cataloged almost everything I purged during the 2 months I focused on getting rid of the things that clog up my life {there were too many things to keep the experiment contained into just January, so February became Month 1b. I’ve added up all the days in January + my extra purging month of February = 59 days. Letting go of 7 things each day x 59 days = 413 possessions. Guess how many things I was able to get rid of? 583! Even if I hadn’t counted all the clothing and jewelry I purged my total would still have been over 413. I am shocked. And slightly disgusted that even after removing all of those things there are still things in my house. I thought 583 would look like more. I am feeling so much better, though. Literally less burdened. Less overwhelmed. Less distracted. If you are feeling weighed down by your things, do some Spring cleaning…. but read Jen’s book 7 first to get your heart in the right place. If your heart isn’t in the right place, you won’t make sacrifices. You won’t end up actually letting go of the possessions that are burdening you. You’ll just go through your stuff and get rid of extras {the stuff you never use, the stuff that is broken}. Freedom won’t come until you’re getting rid of things that you actually love too much. It is possible to love stuff too much. and it makes you sick. It’s time to let it go.

now sing this, you know it’s in your head anyway:

 

 

Now on to Month 2: Spending.

I did a little research on our spending habits.  On average, we spend money at 25 different places each month {different places, not repeat spending at the same place}. I’d say that’s a little excessive. For this month we have chosen to spend our money at only 6 places:

  • Farm Fresh {groceries}
  • 7-11 {gas, no coffee or snacks}
  • Online Bill pay {student loans, electric/water, mortgage… the usual “I’m an adult now” bills}
  • childcare
  • Walgreens {pharmacy}
  • Target {for random, emergency life needs only}

It sounds pretty easy. Well, since I have already been living these limitations for almost 2 weeks I’ve got firsthand knowledge – it’s not! It is so incredibly easy to just walk into a store and spend money. so easy. I had no idea I was so absent-minded with my money. Now, like my buddy Jen Hatmaker, I could sustain all my life’s needs in Target alone. During the next month, though, I am only allowed to walk into target to purchase an emergency item or for unforseen need: a gift, toothpaste, or {like today} to buy a pack of sposies since we ran out {I have a really hard time keeping track of the emergency disposable diaper stash we keep for random use, like in the church nursery, since we use cloth the rest of the time}.

Having such a limited arena for spending means we will be really cutting back. No playdates with the mom’s group that cost anything, passing on lunch for the coworker’s birthday, getting up early enough to make coffee at home instead of stopping at DD on the way to work, not buying the tools from Home Depot to re-caulk the tub until the month is done {the mold can wait another month, or six}.

ok and there’s a small confession rattling around in my brain that I just have to get out. I had a long day on Thursday {like 13 hours of work long}. On the way home from giving a lecture that evening I realized my stomach was practically eating itself since my last meal had been lunch. I caved. I visited a drive-thru and crammed fries and a burger down with minimal guilty feelings. It wasn’t an accidental purchase. It was a flat out refusal to follow the rules.  Whew, glad that’s over with.

Where do you find you spend most of your money? Will you participate in cutting down excessive expenses for this month with us?

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3 thoughts on “Month 2: Spending

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