The Accidental Natural’s Spending Fast – week 1

Hey all,

A few weeks ago, I alerted you to my spending fast. Well, the time is here! The Hubby and I actually started the fast on January 4 — the first Monday of the month and of 2010. Over the holidays, I was pretty good about spending. Aside from buying gifts for family and small friends (people are procreating like no one’s business! Eleven kids to buy for this Christmas — plus an extra one who decided to come into the world Christmas week. Next year, God willing, there will be 13 for sure — another baby is on his/her way in May 2010. I should get a part-time job to pay for the kids’ gifts next Christmas), I didn’t buy anything for myself… not even any hair products.


Well, I did by some perm rods from Sally’s the week of Christmas — but that was only like $4. I know, I know — every penny counts.

LOL! Seriously, for my spending fast, I’m allowing myself $25 per week to spend on miscellaneous items like coffee, gum, lunch, conditioner, etc. Once the $25 is gone, it’s gone. My credit card is on permanent hiatus. You know, I used to be really good about not using my credit card, but since I’ve started doing more online shopping and collecting points, it’s been ridiculous. I’m good with my money — I save and I invest — but I could be so much better. I could be extremely better.

So for 2010, I will aim to be better.

Of course, there are expenditures that can’t be avoided: mortgage, utility and communications bills, groceries, transit pass (or gas for the Hubby’s car), chiropractic appointments, tithes, etc. This month, I also have a birthday gift to buy for one of my little friends who will be celebrating his second birthday.

Any other spending is prohibited — which was fine, until I went to the mall. I had a goal: find castor oil (I just want to know where I can easily get it). I had resolve, I really did — until I told myself that I couldn’t buy anything.  That’s when I started seeing all the sales signs for shoes and clothes and my resolve began to break. Really, do I need another shirt? I could do with some dress boots, but I don’t need them right now. I left the mall with some $3 ear plugs.

The purpose of this fast isn’t to torture myself, it’s to develop better spending habits and become a better steward of the money the Lord has blessed me with. If I want dress boots, what is wrong with saving $50 each pay and buying them cash? Knowing that I planned the purchase and can still save the same amount of money that I had planned to save that month.

Deferred gratification — that is what I am somewhat lacking and what many people are somewhat lacking. I don’t need to buy an iPod Touch today. My iPod mini is working just fine. If I want the Touch (which I do and will take as a gift, thankyouverymuch), I should set a goal and save towards it. The same way I did when I had to save for my wedding and my house. Buying material things just because I can is a habit that I’ve formed and I don’t like it. I want to have the money to invest seriously or to pay for a vacation cash and not be beholden to any financial institution and I can’t do that if I’m buying all willy-nilly.

Long story short — I need to start thinking bigger for 2010 and this is just one step in the right direction.


4 Comments Add yours

  1. dalia says:

    i’ve already started. online shopping is the devil. STAY OUT OF THE MALLS. you’re the only one i know who likes clothes and shoes as much as i do… but at least you don’t have luxury eye like i do… i seriously contemplated buying a pair of $400 winter boots last month.

    i should have, though… because the less luxurious similar looking pair i bought broke within 11 days of purchase. boo! 😦

    we should encourage one another!

    (and i need perm rods, too!)

    1. urbansista says:

      Only difference is that I love purses the way you love shoes (flat feet and a bad back make loving shoes a difficult thing). Even if I buy mid-priced things, the unnecessary buying still hurts. My $100 Timberland winter boots are still going strong at year 3 — and Montreal has great boots that aren’t super expensive…

      But, alas, that is not the purpose of this posting. Yes, we should encourage each other. So far, I’ve spent $5 out of my $25 and I’m pleased. Let’s see how long this lasts…

  2. kwietstorm says:

    I have been part of a small group of women who over the last ten years have put into practice the notion of encouraging each other to financial wealth. We meet and talk on a regular basis about money, how to save, spend, invest… splurge.

    What we have collectively discovered is the best way to save is to never see your entire pay cheque. Most of us have a vacation fund, emergency fund, car fund etc..(whatever suits our individual lifestyle needs)… and you can only buy when you have enough money to pay in cash. We also set, read and discuss our financial goals and the baby steps needed to meet them, regularly.

    It works. We are a very diverse group in terms of occupation and salary yet, currently, most of us own our homes (some with a man), or multiple homes and still have savings. We attribute our success to the fact that we work as small community.

    Working together is the key.

    1. urbansista says:

      I so agree. The hardest part is getting started. I know so many people who think because they aren’t making money hand over fist saving or investing isn’t in the cards for them. I always think about my parents who came to Canada with nothing — they saved a bought a home, put my sister and I through university, saved for retirement, etc. If they only had the knowledge and tools that we have today.

      Baby steps is the only way to get started. Get on a plan to save however much and make that money work for you. As a friend on FB said, debt and lack of knowledge are killing us financially. It’s so true.

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