Nature's Heart

Nature's Heart

Thursday, February 2, 2012

A Fast of Sorts

30 day Spending Fast (or in this case 31 days):

After a friend shared an article mentioning the idea of a “30 day spending fast” I decided that January 1st 2012 was going to be my start date. Basically this fast meant that I wasn’t allowed to spend any money other than on bills for an entire month. I made once exception to this “no-spending” plan which was for the of purchase gas. That meant no food/groceries, hair maintenance, entertainment etc. On the one hand the very thought of undertaking this challenge was a little overwhelming …but then on the other hand, I couldn’t wait to begin!

There were a lot of lessons that I learned during the process and I came to realize that the biggest lesson for me was about contentment. I realized the importance of being content with where I was and with what I already had. With the money restriction, I was no longer able to randomly (or mindlessly in a lot of cases), browse the dollar store (justifying a handful of things because “it’s only a dollar” and then walking out with $10 or more each time), or wandering the various isles at Joanne Fabrics and then getting “inspired” and having to pick up more supplies, all of which simply added to my already long creative “to do” list and to the pile of unused supplies already waiting for me use. I became very conscious of where my time and money went once I wasn’t able to do those things anymore! I began working on many projects that I had put off because I had been distracted by the latest and greatest “thing”. I got SO MUCH done in 31 days! Some of these things included working on my “3-generations star quilt”, finishing a two volume scrapbook album for my father that he asked me to do over a year ago, going to the gym more often and having the opportunity to write, reflected and read a great deal (two of the books are mentioned in my first blog posting). By trying to avoid being tempted at buying things, I also found that I saved a lot of time by not opening e-mails that I knew carried advertisements, specials and coupons.

I never considered myself to be a materialistic kind of person and I allowed myself to have moments of splurging or feeling as if I deserved a purchase… as it turned out…to some extent I was expressing my own value and self worth with the purchasing of new items. This challenge opened my eyes in so many ways! It was amazing to see how much I depended upon other things to distract or entertain me. How a lot of my energy, time and money went into the pursuit of acquiring “things”. Not being able to spend money allowed me to re-realize where and what I put my value in because despite what I wanted to believe, my bank statement said otherwise. It was an “Ouch” moment for sure…much tougher lesson than I thought going into this. While pacifying and filling my life with stuff was unintentional, once those things were taken away, I felt a huge weight suddenly lifted off my shoulders! I wasn’t being distracted by the “I want” bug anymore…or filling my life with superficial things that were just collecting dust… instead I spent my time having memory making quality-time and doing healthy activities.

In a nutshell: The biggest lesson learned was that I don’t ever want to put my value in “things” again…one of the easiest and most reflecting ways to look at what you value is to look at where your money goes… Do I recommend this? Heck Yes!!! I’m even thinking of doing in on a semi-regular basis!…try it and see what happens…Enjoy!

1 comment:

  1. Awesome reflections, Holly! I'm so glad you took on the challenge, and got this much out of it. A great way to kick off a New Year :)
    Love ya, my friend!