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Day Seven of Abstinence!

January 10th, 2011 at 05:11 am

I am on my seventh day of writing down all my expenses. Also, yesterday I had my first "no spend day." I have never even thought of that concept before and I really like it.

It snowed here yesterday and last night and the snow is blanketing the other roofs, pinetrees, birdfeeders, etc. It is lovely...truly a picture money can't buy.

This morning I read about TightWad Kitty's terrible misfortune with the flooding in Australia. It reminded me that even with making right choices and the best of intentions, the unforseen really does happen. Not just natural dissasters, but health problems, layoffs, house and car repairs, etc.

Until recently I have been living my life like nothing would every change and we could always count on an endless supply of money. Of course, I never REALLY thought that but that was how I was living my life...always just getting what I wanted in the moment and not really thinking about tomorrow. Well, maybe that's too strong as we did do quite a few things right.

THINGS WE DID RIGHT:
For years, we have always maxed out our 401ks and never really charged what we couldn't pay off the same billing cycle (in most cases). We also paid off our house (I considered paying off our mortgages - we paid off three houses over the years - kind of a game). Compared with most Americans we are probably ahead of the game.

THINGS WE DID WRONG:
ME...SPENDING SPREES. I went through spending sprees at least once a year that I can only classify as "addictive binges." I would get something in my head that I wanted -- new backyard landscaping, fancy new jewelry and I would go wild, spending money with really no thought about the totals...really THOUSANDS of dollars.

ME...SPENDING MONEY WITH NO PLAN. This was just my normal way of living. When I wanted something, I just whipped out my FF VISA or debit card and bought it...not really planning for purchases, looking for the best bargains, etc.

ME...LIVING IN A FINANCIAL HAZE. This is what I call my lack of financial clarity (to put it mildly). I was scared to look at our 401K accounts so I didn't. I didn't really watch the checking or VISA accounts, etc. I didn't really live on a budget...just trusted the money would always be there.

DH...Although he is MUCH thriftier than me, he does love the latest and greatest electronics and autos. He loves Porsches and is in the local Porsche club. Although this hobby SOUNDS expensive, to get his first Porsche he spent years working freelance jobs and saving so our loan was only for about $20K. He had that one for years and recently traded it in for another one with only a $10K loan.

There is no comparison with how we spend money. DH largely saves. I largely spend.

MY GREATEST HOPE (at least in terms of money). I hope THIS is not just another "phase" for me. I hope this is the beginning of a new way of life and that I can really learn and change my behavior.

After reading all about TightWad Kitty's flood experience, I read more of her blog. This was an eye opener for me as it showed me that living frugally can be a joyous challenge and that it's truly not what you make, but what you save. In fact, reading all of your blogs is doing that for me...showing me a spending and saving road less traveled that looks pretty good.

The amazing thing is that, even though many of you are spending less money, you seem to be enjoying your purchases and even your lives more. Wow!!

4 Responses to “Day Seven of Abstinence!”

  1. campfrugal Says:

    I think it is great that you recognize your weaknesses. But, life is also for living, so don't beat yourself up about what has happened in the past. Just live your life intentionally; and things will fall into place. I think you are doing awesome. You can no way ever predict what the future will hold.

  2. LuckyRobin Says:

    So much of it seems to be in the attitude you decide to tackle all of the changes in and yours appears to be really good in this regard. Good luck sticking to your goals and making these changes in your life.

  3. Ima saver Says:

    I think we have a common theme with our husbands. Yours loves porsches and mine loves corvettes. For all the years we have been married (34), dh has worked 7 days a week, 12 hours a day. (Until this recent slowdown in construction) So, I felt he deserved a new car once in a while, he worked so hard for them.

    Congratulations on your no spend day!

  4. Savings Queen Says:

    You are so right camp, yesterday was then, today is now, and I have had some good days recently. It's time to start being positive about today. Thanks LuckyRobin too for your good thoughts. Julie, it is interesting that our husbands are so alike. Mine is a hard worker too...in fact he is preparing for a sales show and has been working pretty much sunup till late at night every night lately...at least right now he is home working on his computer. I agree with you. They work so hard, they deserve their toys!

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