3 weeks into my no-spending challenge, and 1 left to go. I'm feeling strong. Content. Surprised. It's hard to put into words what this experiment has done to me. Rather than feel deprived or restrained I have felt surprisingly happy. No eating out. No great deals at Target. No early holiday shopping. No new socks. No paid events with the kids. No lattes. No 75% clearance sales at Old Navy. No haircuts. (Okay, that one bites.) No replacing my kids pajama pants or jeans. No extras. No last minute purchases. Nothing. In fact, when I've gone to the grocery store (the one place, besides gas, I said I would not include in the challenge) I'm not even the least bit tempted to "sneak" things into the grocery bill. Like paper towels or extra cookies or flowers. Nada. Actually, I've saved $100 just on groceries this month! I so want to be wise with the one place I get to spend money, that I'm taking extra time to make every cent count. (You should see the dishwashing detergent I have left. Mere morsels... and I'm determined to stretch them to next week.)
Most telling of all has been the fact that the kids... have... not... noticed! At all. (See the above photo? Completely at ease.) Only last night did Carver say, "Mom, I really need new pajamas." (The hole in the knee of his jammies is the size of a watermelon now.) I answered, "It's on my list, honey." And that was it.
I am excited about the fact that I did this challenge in November. I think that even though I've probably missed out on some great sales for Christmas presents for all the people in my family, I will spend less in December than I would have otherwise. I feel less inclined to buy extras. I feel more inclined to give of my time. And I feel even more determined to make the money I do spend in December to matter.