I've made exactly zero impulse purchases since we started this little experiment. Nada. Not so much as a latte or an "it's only $3.99 and the library taaaaaakes so long" Kindle title."
Truly, this is amazing, for I am the most entitled and undisciplined woman on the face of the earth.
Had a rough day with the kids? Pint of Ben and Jerry's! Oh, and maybe that latest copy of Real Simple while I'm standing there in the checkout.
Can't find something to wear? Well there's probably something amazing on the Target clearance rack that would be the elusive keystone to my wardrobe that will unify every scrap of subpar made-in-Kackiztanz non-designer piece in my closet.
I know it's poor form to express so much enthusiasm this early into the marathon, but I'm honestly stunned at how effective simply putting some hard and fast boundaries around my spending has been.
There was a particular day earlier this week that was just...rough. The kids were finally well enough to leave the house, but it was 11 degrees, so. Yeah. We loaded them up in the filthy winter-splatttered minivan and hightailed it to the Cherry Creek Mall (can I get a what what, locals?) for some immunity-boosting indoor play time on the soft play area.
It was heinously crowded, smelled like diapers, and was crawling with running toddlers and noses. And I wanted a Starbucks.
I even went so far as to ask Dave to grab me one on his way back from a stop into a store there, but he forgot, and I just kind of sat with the craving for a while and it just... dissipated. And then I was sitting there, latte-less, $4 richer, and feeling like I'd just summited Mt. Everest.
It's a little thing, but the past week has been filled with lots of little things that seem like they're going to add up to big things:
- No weird impulses in the grocery store. Just, you know, milk and bananas.
- No frantic texts at 5:19 pm begging for a rush hour pitstop at Chipotle for dinner delivery. Because meal planning! (Actually, that's a lie. There's no planning. It's a motley assortment that hits the table every night; but it's homemade!)
- No unplanned Amazon clicks resulting in unexpected visits from the UPS man at dinner time. Heh, I don't remember even ordering that. Weird!
Stuff like that.
It's been so good. It's been so liberating to finally feel like we're in that sweet spot where we're really only spending money according to the plan we've made with it, using the budget as a ruler an not a sledgehammer.
And yeah, it's early on, but we've already had a couple "hiccups" in the form of an ER visit and a surprisingly high dental bill, but that's fine because those are the inevitable variables in family life...heck, in life, period. Whereas my inability to stop myself from buying 4 clearance onesies and a pack of hair bows for Evie every third day of the week because I just needed to "pick up a few things" at the Bullseye was the very opposite of inevitable. It was evitable, even. I was the problem, not our circumstances. I was causing them.
So there's my take on it all, 8 whole days into the new year. But I've got a sneaking suspicion it's going to keep being really, really good.
(Of course, I'm still living off the fat of my Up and Up diaper stash. For now. Still haven't quite resigned my heart to the drop off at the end of the road...)