I have decided to not buy anything for the next 10 days. 10 days may sound measly, but think about how often you swipe your debit card in a 10-day span. I can tell you, just over this past weekend, within two days, Adam and I swiped our card 10 times. We were working on and organizing the house, so there were two or three Lowe’s trips, a craving for McDonald’s, and a few trips to the gas station and a trip to the grocery store.
So going a full 10 days without swiping the card a single time may be a challenge, but that’s why I’m posting it publicly. To hold myself to it. No matter how much like a necessity something seems, I’m going to hold out. Out of paper towels? We’ll just have to use the leftover napkins from our wedding or rags. If we run out of potatoes, I suppose we’ll eat rice. When I reach for my favorite tube of mascara and find it almost empty, I’ll just have to forego “putting my face on.”
I’m tired of thinking about things as fundamentals when all they really do is make life a tad bit easier or more pleasant. What this leads to is low funds in the bank account and a cluttered house full of crap we hardly need.
Take our trip to Wal-Mart the other day. Adam and I were buying “essentials” for the house; things such as curtains, hardware, a new doorknob because the old one stuck badly, etc., etc. And we talk a walk down the kitchen gadget isle. And for some reason I pick up a mandolin slicer and think I “need” it. About how much easier making dinner would be with this item.
I get it home and break it out to make thin slices of veggies for the home-made pizza. And yes, it works… not amazingly or anything, but it slices. And then I realize it’s more trouble to clean than it really helps with the slicing. I clean it well and put it aside to take back to Wal-Mart. But by this time I’ve lost my receipt so I’ll just have to swap it for more crap.
So, no more impulse buys. No more talking myself into “needing” something. We’re going to eat every bit of food in the fridge and pantry before I go buy more groceries (maybe I’ll come up with some interesting recipes along the way to share!), I’m going to use every last bit of make-up in my overflowing basket before I go buy more, and we’re going to have to make the best of broken hinges, scratches on our brand new cars, or our tv sitting on a coffee table instead of a “media center.”
Let’s see if I can make it. It shouldn’t be hard, right? “Love is all you need…” and maybe a little gas for the car, too. Let’s be realistic. So one purchase of possibly only $10 in gas, just to get me through. I already have about a quater-tank, so if I cut back on my driving, maybe I’ll make it the 10 days.
PS – I’ve googled “No spend challenge. Lots of items came up. If this 10-day experiment goes well, I may possibly adopt the 30-day challenge like the one described here, at Heart & Mind blog.
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