So, for those of you who don’t already know, Lent has begun. For me, that means that I begin the hard task of choosing something to give up until Easter.
I always struggle to think of something to give up for Lent. For several years, I gave up chocolate. However, I don’t eat very much chocolate in the first place, so it wasn’t much of a challenge to go without it for forty days. For the past two years, I’ve given up clothes shopping.
That has always been a struggle for me, because I do love buying new gear. However, two years ago I was living on a student budget, so I had a lot less money to throw around. I was already pretty frugal with my shopping, so it wasn’t much of a stretch to give up buying clothing altogether.
However, over this past year, my lifestyle has changed dramatically. I’ve finished university and have a part-time job that pays pretty well. I also earn some money from blogging. Add into the mix the fact that I’ve moved away from the cash-sucking city and now live with a boyfriend who shares the cost of bills and groceries. You can understand that I’ve got a bit more disposable income to play with.
In the last three months or so, I’ve noticed that my spending habits have gotten a little out of hand. I’ve been thrift-shopping almost every week, and although I never spend much, I do bring a lot of things home. If I run out of makeup, I’m more likely to splash out on a luxury brand than to buy the cheapest thing possible (which is what I always did at uni). When I’m out shopping and I see a little something that tickles my fancy, I don’t even try to talk myself out of it. I just buy.
I’ve also been feeling bad about my spending habits because it flies in the face of the budgeting advice I dish out on my blog and in my e-books. I’ve always told people how great it is to watch your pennies, and how you can put together a great wardrobe on a tiny budget. Although I don’t think my spending habits are wildly extravagant, I do think I could stand to re-evaluate them and get back to my good habits.
I’ve felt bad about my ruthlessness with my spending. This is a good opportunity for me to take stock of my habits, and put the brakes on for a little while. So from now until the end of Lent, I’m not going to make any unnecessary purchases.
So far, I’ve kept to my word. It hasn’t been easy though. The op-shop I walk past every day has been taunting me. Each day, there’s something inviting in their display window. One day a pair of 40’s style heels, another a satin pencil skirt and another an adorable lustrewear vase. I’ve just had to put my head down and hustle past. Also, Urban Decay released two limited-edition Oz palettes which have been calling my name. But so far I’ve been strong.
I’m comforting myself with the fact that I’m saving loads of money (over $300 extra in my bank account already!) and I’m not just buying stuff that’s going to clutter up my house. Also, it’s giving me the chance to enjoy and appreciate the things I already have.
It’s going to be a long wait until Easter…
Have you ever gone on a spending fast? How did you go?