Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The Spending Fast

Last month I focused on faith, studying out Proverbs 31 for the entire month. One of the lessons I learned during this concentrated studying, is that I need to be more disciplined and grow in my money management. Its my family responsibility to make sure the bills are paid and that there's money in our checking account at the end of every week. Because of my responsibility comes a lot of freedom, and I can fudge our budget a bit to make sure everything works out. But that often means I'll grab Starbucks to stay awake in class or a fast food burger or Illegal Pete's Burrito because I forgot to bring my lunch with me. Those little impulsive purchases add up.

Today, November 1st, when all the rest of the world is gearing up for the spending orgy that is the American holiday season, I'm embarking on a Spending Fast.

That's right, a Spending Fast.

What is a Spending Fast, you ask? Well, let me tell you, a Spending Fast is the brain child of Anna Newell Jones, a fellow Denverite started a Spending Fast last January 2010. She paid off over $18,000 in debt in one year, and then in April of this year, was completely out of debt-- paying off over $25,826!!!

Wow. If she can do, I'm determined I can do it too!

First, the rules.
  1. Buy only what you need, not what you want.
  2. Focus on paying off debt and saving money.
  3. Rinse. Repeat as necessary. (oh, wrong directions)

But what do we NEED? Our family needs are:
  • Paying the Mortgage
  • Paying the Utilities
  • Buying food staples as necessary
  • A small gift fund for family
  • Regular charitable giving
  • Gas for our cars (because we each work at least 20 miles from home and with the baby taking a bus isn't an option).
What do I WANT-- and thus, don't need, so I'm not going to buy:
  • Starbucks Coffee (even now that they've launched the holiday red cups... sad)
  • Fast food and eating out
  • Lavish Christmas gifts
  • Clothing (even if it is drastically on sale)
  • Quilting Fabric. (its scary how much fabric I have squirreled away. I can't buy any more fabric until I use up what I have!)
  • Makeup
I'm sure both the needs and wants list will or could grow much longer. But I'm rather depressed at the moment thinking of what we can't have, so I'll focus on what we can have.

  • Getting all of our credit cards paid off and saving 6 months of living expenses (just in case!).
  • Paying off our cars and being able to start saving for elaborate European vacation to celebrate my Law School graduation.
  • Starting a college savings plan for the Bebe
  • The financial freedom that comes from being out of debt.
How about you? Care to join me on this Spending Fast?

1 comment:

JMF said...

Sounds like what DAve RAmsey has been saying for years. Good luck and God bless you. like Dave says your car drives better when it's paid off!! If you haven't heard of him just google Dave Ramsey he has a great book Total Money Makeover.

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