After balancing our checking accounts last week, I was shocked at how much money we spent in December. Between holiday, charitable, party and vacation/travel spending during December we blew through quite a chunk of change. The vast majority of that spending was thoughtfully planned and also saved for, in advance, in our holiday and travel/vacation ING savings accounts. But some of our December 2011 spending was just spending . . .
I don't do well with temptations and if I'm out buying gifts at Target for the Angel family we sponsored for the holidays I might just pick up an item or two for myself (which happened). Or if I am at a charitable function with the "ladies who lunch" I might just find myself caught up in their spending cascade (which happened).
As a result, I have decided that I am on a 30 day spending fast starting today January 9, 2012. What that means for me is that I will avoid the malls, the shops, the catalogs (they will go directly into the recycling bin), the emails from my favorite retailers touting their post holiday sales (delete, delete, delete), I will refrain from downloading E-books, iTunes, iPhone apps, etc.
To the extent I think of something that I need or want in the next 30 days I will write it down and revisit it in a month. I will calendar the two rebate coupons that I'm carrying around ($15 at J. Crew and $125 at Pottery Barn) so I will not worry about forgetting them but also will not use them in the next 30 days so as not to be tempted into spending above and beyond the rebate amount.
Please consider joining me in my 30 day spending fast. If 30 days feels too long, consider a weekend or a work-week spending fast to jump start your habits in the new year.