As I mentioned before, I’m currently on a shopping fast to kick off 2012. I decided that in order to live simply I first had to reflect on my spending habits, evaluate my needs, and understand the motives behind my wants.
I used to have terrible spending habits. I’ve done things in the name of retail therapy that I am truly ashamed of, like buying a $45 tank top that I’ve worn only once, a dumb sequined clutch that I’ve never used, Chanel nail polish because it was trendy – mostly, I spend money on things that I wear once or not at all. The sad part is, a lot of it is ill-fitting or just a bad idea in general, which is the reason why I don’t wear the stuff.
I finally started making progress on my shopping addiction in 2011 but I needed to kick it up a few notches in 2012. So, I committed to a two-week shopping fast. Two weeks is child’s play to some but I was scared. Mostly of failure, but a bit because I felt like I’d be “missing out” on stuff.
The reason why ST didn’t participate in the spending fast is because he doesn’t usually spend money on anything besides food. Usually,we make one or two big grocery runs per month ($100 budget each time) and then we spend $5-20 every other week on bread, fruits, and veggies. ST only buys clothes a few times per year and usually only in outlets to get the most bang for our buck. It also helps that he hates shopping.
I knew our financial issues began with me. When I say “financial issues” I mean that we’re not adding significantly to our savings account. We bought a new car last year and are still paying off our student loans. Between car and loan payments, rent, phone, cable and internet bill, and food, we have to choose where to allot our resultant funds. We should be saving a lot more, but thanks to me, we’re not.
Allow me to use adorable pictures of baby animals to illustrate my shame:
Well, my spending fast ends tomorrow and I’ve learned so much.
It’s a start!
Not only does this new mindset toward spending benefit us financially, it brings me one step closer to spiritual maturity. As my homeboy Oswald Chambers said,
“We seem to think that God wants us to give up things! God purified Abraham from this error, and the same process is at work in our lives. God never tells us to give up things just for the sake of giving them up, but He tells us to give them up for the sake of the only thing worth having, namely, life with Himself.”