April 2nd marks the beginning of my first spending fast (which is probably the first of many). I've never done anything like this, but after seeing this lady and her story I was extremely inspired and just had to challenge myself as well! As I still live with my parents, my financial responsibilities consist of gas, insurance, and anything extra I find along the way, so I figured that this would be a good time in my life for me to try this idea out.
My first step was having the will-power to discern between necessities and non-necessities. Although I cannot tell you how many times I have NEEDED the new pair of shoes, now I have to kick myself in the butt and not listen to my inner rich girl whine for things. Although I'd love to be able to listen to her, inner rich girl doesn't pay the bills. So for me, my needs consist of gas and insurance. Nothing more, nothing less. For other people it will be different, but the main concept is still the same. So even though I want to spend my afternoon browsing through Target clearance while I sip my macchiato, I do not. And believe me, that is not easy for me to give up.
Secondly, making it known to people has been a big help in keeping me from straying. I am as stubborn as they come and the thought of failing at something that everybody knew about is appalling to me. Not only do you have "accountability partners" this way, but people also know to not invite you out to girls' night dinner or to head to the mall with them.
Third, and hardest, is pushing through the beginners hump. I never felt like I spent a lot of time shopping, but now that I'm not I've realized that it was my go-to whenever I had a few hours to kill. But the upside is that I can put that time into something even more productive, like scholarship applications and finally making time to update my day planner.
I know that by April 30th I will be so happy with the balance on my savings account that all of this will be worth it, and when I don't have to take out thousands of dollars in student loan debts I will want to travel back in time to give myself a giant hug. You just can't let the small picture get in the way of the big one, because that will get you into trouble every time. I keep trying to remind myself that even though I may want these things in the moment, most of them are not worth the financial burden they will pile on me in the future. That is the mantra of April :)