I'm fasting from shopping/buying things for Lent. Things I can buy: food, gas, stuff I already use and have run out of (you know - body wash and stuff like that).
So, we're not quite a week into Lent and already my fast from buying things is bringing a lot of stuff into sharper focus. Namely: my shopping problem is worse than I thought.
All problems with behavior start as thoughts and I literally cannot go an hour without thinking of something I want or "need" to buy. I really wish I was exaggerating, but I'm not. I look at my W2 from last year and wonder, where did all the money go?! Serious, serious problem. So, plans for the rest of the year.
Things I actually, really do want to do with my money (in order of importance to me personally):
- Tithe (which I haven't done in years & I really need to get back to)
- Pay off my debts (mainly focused on credit cards, student loans after that)
- Save for a newer car (because mine could die on me at any second)
- House stuff: Furniture (dining table, queen bed, entertainment center and coffee table), dishes, decor (my walls are so bare!)
- Cosplay - I have a sewing machine now!!!! (sewing stuff, patterns, cloth, shoes, etc)
These are all things that my shopping habits have actively prevented me from doing, well, basically forever.
So, now I'm planning on doing some longer term fasting this year. Mainly, fasting from buying specific things.
Things I'm doing to combat the shopping problem for the whole year:
- No new make-up (similar rules to Lent - can replace things I run out of, but no new colors/products/etc.) Seriously, I drop something like $50-$100 a month on make-up. It's sad. I have so many pretties, time to play with what I have instead of lusting after what I don't
- Budget for clothes. I won't say I'm not going to buy any new clothes, but I think I need to be more focused and limited when I do. Maybe a couple hundred at the beginning of each season (spring/summer & fall/winter) and no more.
- Tithe & save at the beginning of paychecks, not with whatever's left over
- Create a schedule/budget for the house and cosplay purchases. Save a certain amount each month towards the furniture or larger items, spend a certain amount buying off my list of things (a list I've had for years and made no progress on, btw)
- DVDs: I don't want to say no dvds, but clearly I need some rules around them 'cause they're expensive and I buy them and then don't watch them, they just sit there.
Fasting: that thing you do to focus. Works really well sometimes.