Almost halfway through the month, and we are not even at the halfway mark for reaching our goal of saving nearly $3000. And you know what? It’s okay. This year has taught me that if the savings doesn’t happen this month, then it will happen next month or the one after that. Life doesn’t always fit neatly into a box tied with a pretty bow.
So far in June, we have spent money on servicing our car and buying Brad some new summer clothes. I know, I know, this breaks our spending lockdown rules of no clothes shopping, however, he has dropped nearly two sizes since last summer!* We wanted to wait until July when our spending fast officially ends, but my husband was desperate for some warm weather clothing during this unusually hot weather we’ve been having in the bay. We were modest with our purchases, and to be honest, we found shopping exhausting and cumbersome after swearing off clothing stores for a year. Shopping, in general, has probably been ruined for me because of this spending fast—hey, I’m not complaining.
Lastly, we are attending a friend’s wedding in Southern California next weekend which will require some travel expenses. We are trying to make it as cheap as possible, but it will eat up some of our would-be June savings.
Truthfully, I would feel ridiculous complaining about not being able to save money because of these insignificant expenditures. There are much bigger problems that individuals and families face when it comes to saving money—kids’ and medical expenses come first to my mind. I’m thankful we are in good health and can enjoy our life right now. I’m not going to waste time worrying about buying my husband a new pair of shorts in lieu of saving that money. That’s the balance you have to strive for.
*Note: this is a side effect of eating at home for an entire year, along with exercise taking on the role as our main form of entertainment lately.
As July 1 quickly approaches, I find myself more than a little nervous about jumping back into the world of spending unrestricted. Is it really possible for Brad and I to save money to pay off our debt without a strict set of guidelines? This entire year on spending lockdown catapulted us into saving money simply by making a declaration to friends and family that we would not be spending on this list. We made some exceptions here and there, but for the most part, we stuck to our guidelines. It has been one big experiment—how much could we feasibly pay off in debt in a year by simply cutting out the extras? We’ve proven that this spending lockdown was not pointless and resulted in big savings and big debt payoffs. But really, we desire a more practical approach to spending and saving. As artists, in general, we have lived our lives scoffing at rules, so we don’t desire to conduct our spending by a set of rules forever. But the question is, have our behavioral patterns with spending really changed in a year? Will we be able to continue without a strict set of guidelines? These are the questions I find myself asking over and over. Only time will tell.
Closing in on our final month of our year long spending lockdown, I’ve spent a lot of time reflecting over the past year. Next month, I think I’ll be ready to slow my roll, which doesn’t mean I’ll give up saving and start spending. I just want to find my “natural setting” somewhere in between.
(Art: artsyville on Etsy)