Last spring I had a little “come to” meeting with my bank account; my unnecessary spending had become out of control. I wasn’t spending more than I brought in or racking up massive credit card debt, but I wasn’t saving very much and I felt the last few days before pay day were always giving me some anxiety. I did a lot better the rest of the year when it came to my finances, but I feel like I need a little post-holiday detox. So, for the month of January I am on a spending freeze, I can buy groceries and gasoline and other absolute necessities, but no unnecessary spending. No books, no cute tops on clearance, no extra throw pillows or picture frames, no fancy drinks or check-out-line glossy magazines. I tried this once before and had really great results, it was a lot easier for me to see how much money I could save if I just thought about it a little.
I no longer work at a mall with restaurants and clearance racks to browse on my lunch break (my office building was above one of the downtown malls in Salt Lake City). That major switch will eliminate a lot of opportunity for impulse spending right off the top. I also have spent the last two months packing and then unpacking every single one of my belongings, and if that doesn’t cure you of buying MORE things, I don’t know what will.
I think my biggest hurdle will be not running out to buy house things, we have all of the necessities and many of the fun extras, but I can’t help but plan and sketch out improvements and adjustments to our home. And then, of course, sketching leads to online shopping which inevitably leads to buying. I have PLENTY of projects to finish up that do not require that cute throw pillow or side table or picture frame or whatever. There are still about 20 boxes that need to be unpacked, the garage still needs some work, and the backyard needs a major weeding session. (Fun fact: in Arizona, winter is the only season you can do yardwork without melting your face off.) That will keep me busy for several evenings and Saturdays, I don’t need to start any new projects quite yet.
So, here we go, a whole month without spending! Do you have some kind of January Detox planned? No sugar? Whole30? No spending? No social media?