Monday, January 24, 2011

Spending Fast: Update 24 January 2011

The spending fast has been going mostly well. My family has not been sticking stringently to no extra spending. We have gone to coffee shops a few times, my husband bought lunch a few days at work and we went to burgers once.

While we have not stuck strictly to the fast it has served the intended purpose.  We have slowed our burn rate on spending on unbudgeted items.

I was able to point out to my husband that some items that we used to not think twice about spending on add up and prohibit us from purchasing things we desire. The example that came up was: Lunch for 2 adults and 1 child cost us ~$25 at Five Guys. I would like to get a pair of classic Vibram 5 Fingers which cost $75 at REI. My husband balked at the cost of the shoes but gave hardly any thought to burgers at Five Guys. I pointed out to him that three trips to Five Guys would have been the equivalent of buying me one pair of Five Fingers. Earlier in the week I had made a fillet mignon dinner for the three of us, plus enough leftovers for one lunch, for under $15. The spending fast has helped me gain clarity and the ability to frame our spending in a reasoned way.

More importantly it has made me more aware of when we do spend on something that is not in budget. This heightened awareness has been beneficial in assessing where the leaks are in our budget. This time when money was tight I was better prepared to answer my self imposed question of where did the surplus go.

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