With the holiday season closing in and my ever-growing desire to take that once-in-a-lifetime tropical honeymoon I keep talking about, finances are very much at the forefront of my mind.
But let’s be honest here, I’ve never been very good at saving. Okay, so maybe not NEVER, but at least not since skydiving came into my life – that shit’s not cheap.
Hubs and I have some major goals in the next couple of years that’s going to take a bit of restraint when it comes to spending as well. So I figure after our honeymoon it’s going to be time to hunker down and stash away all we can to make these goals a reality (it’s true, I really do want to be a home owner by age 30), and with a bit of planning, diligence, and self-control, I believe it’s all completely possible.
So with that, I’m vowing to start small with what I’m calling No Spending January. The main motivator here is that, by cutting back at the first of the year we can save enough to go on that tropical vacation and have enough left over to be comfortable (rather than charge it all and come back with debt up to our eyeballs). Secondarily, however, is the idea that if I can spend money on only what is needed for survival, then I certainly can keep that up for the long haul. And what a better month to choose than January in Chicago when dropzones are closed and everyone is recovering from the holidays.
I’m one part nervous, two parts excited about this challenge. I’m nervous because what if something comes up that forces us to spend money, unforseen circumstances that totally derail this operation? Of course, you can’t let the what-ifs get in the way of the positives, because those always exist. On the other side of the coin, I’m excited to reel in my spending (read: eating out, random trips to 7-11 for soda cravings, a pair of boots I just gotta have…) and gain back some of that spending self-control I had in college, and I know that at the end of the month it’ll feel so great to meet that goal with a little extra in my pocket.
Now, I may have to put up some temporary firewalls so I’m not tempted to head over to Amazon or other online shopping sites that tend to grab my attention during my 10 hours a day behind the computer, but I have every confidence that this will not only be a beneficial exercise, but one that shows me just how much restraint I can have – even when the shiny objects are sucking me in.
Anyone done anything similar? Advice for the online shop-aholic? Mint.com, be prepared to be amazed by the January trends.