I overdrew my checking account last week. "Oh come on," I thought. rolling my eyes. I didn't realize how much serendipitous spending was taking place. Impulse purchases. My statements to myself:
"Well, I want it, so I'll get it."
"This is perfect. So beautiful. OK!"
"That little gadget will make life easier."
"I'm hungry for a Jr. Whopper right now."
"How about a $5 latte at the Caffeinery. It will make me feel happy."
"There are candy bars inside. I can stop in there after I pump my gas. Oh, and there's the donut shop!"
"I have got to have that new watercolor set. I have an old set, but maybe this will improve my art."
Was I thinking about how quickly my bank balance was going down? I looked at myself and realized I was getting self-centered and demanding in considering my own desires. I don't dare open those catalogs I get in the mail EVERY day. "I wonder what's in here this month?" I don't open it but urgently toss it in recyclables. There are all these interruptions on the internet with merchandise similar to something I have bought before. Skippity skip skip. It's an irritation. I know, these merchants are trying to make my choices easy, and of course make money.
About a week ago, I decided to go on a spending fast until Dec. 18. No spending except for bills and gas. Christmas presents? No. Not until Dec. 18. (I am making personalized presents) Art supplies? No. Not even food -fresh fruit? That's right.
(I sound like I am parenting myself. Maybe so).
How do I feel? Good. I feel good about myself because I am using self-control, I have had to say NO more often than I thought I would. I have revelled in the challenge.
"Hmmm, a donut sounds mighty good right now." No.
"I so want a fresh orange. No. It's ok though. I have fresh cider at home."
"I am out of lotion. I can use olive oil or some odd brand in the back of my cabinet."
" Bread? I can make that. Oops, no yeast? My neighbor might have some, or I can just make flat bread or noodles. Now I remember I have left over yeast rolls from Thanksgiving in my freezer!"
I have plenty of frozen food and things I can clean out of the refrigerator. I can be creative. If someone asks me to go to a restaurant, I need to make sure I'm not paying or invite him or her to my home to eat.
I am not saying NO to be mean to myself. Actually it is a YES. I am strengthening my resolve to get control of selfish spending. It is a yes to ACCOMPLISHMENT! And after the 18th I will know exactly what I want for Christmas, and it won't be impulse thinking.
There are so many other ways of saving money than what I am doing. I found a good website with 15 tips.
I have done this little practice the last two years, but not during the Christmas season. I couldn't believe how much money was in my account when I did it. May this be a blessed time.