I did some soul searching around Christmas time and knew that with the New Year I was going to need to do a big reevaluation on how-where-why I was spending my money. I was feeling overburdened with "stuff" which often happens with the holiday decoration on top of our normal things plus the new Christmas gifts. Plus with the expenditure of Daisy's surgery, money that had been earmarked for this year's travels, well I was feeling rather down in the dumps about finances.
Instead of wallowing, I decided it was time to do something about it! Since January rolled around I've been putting my efforts again towards my "nothing new" project, first done by Sash at Inked in Colour, and done by me back in 2014 (and occasionally since then). My original goals were very environment oriented, which is still a huge factor for me, but I'll admit that my goals this time were much more financially motivated. I wanted to reshape my relationship with spending so that Nothing New could easily transition into "Very Little New" in a sustainable way that would benefit all of those areas.
The first thing I did (as soon as I stopped being sick, after Gwen went back to school!) was work on a purge. Its easy to find yourself buying little things you don't need when you have too much stuff and can't find the things you have. So a good purge was necessary for me. Out with the things that didn't bring me joy. Out with the things that were just taking up space. Out with a good bit of mental clutter that went along with the physical clutter in my space! I pulled out a big bag of stuff to donate, which along with Gwen's garbage bag full of items to get rid of, was a huge burden off of our overstuffed apartment.
I think the first week or so was the hardest... there were little routines that were hard to get out of. I noticed myself buying power-ups in games, which cost less then a dollar, but those "less then"s add up to multiple very quickly and easily. But I started removing temptations where I could: unsubscribing from marketing emails, quick scrolls past the facebook ads, and not even popping on the store websites I might normally "window shop" at. While obviously I'm still grocery shopping, I am trying to shop a lot smarter. I'm working on eating our way through our pantry, which is a good way to make sure we're not letting food go to waste anyway, and is helping us get rid of the excess of junky foods that seem to poor in during the holiday season.
My goal is to try to be pretty strict through January and February, and see where I stand after that.
Wish me luck.