I’ve just completed my third full day of living and breathing without spending a dime. After becoming fed up with my spending habits, I decided to try an experiment. I called it, “The 7-Day Buy Nothing Challenge.”
Tuesdays are always an early start, as I have to be into work at 8 AM. I’m not a morning person, and my 6:30 AM alarm is relentless. Between catching the bus, packing my lunch, and showering, there’s hardly enough time to eat. Thankfully, I resorted to a healthy, backup breakfast of mine, “Banana Nut Oatmeal.”
While today offered some new challenges due to my busier schedule, it was an incredible learning opportunity. If I were not abstaining from spend, I would be in serious trouble. I’m beginning to wonder if I should do this more often. The cleanse really does feel rejuvenating and enlightening.
Success On The Horizon
Over the last 24 hours I thought, “This is easy.” But then I wonder, “Why didn’t I do this sooner, earlier, before? Why did I have to wait until I was nearly $40,000 in debt to change my course?” Regret and confusion abound, as I question the decisions that led up to this breaking point. The stark reality is that it doesn’t matter how I got here. I’m here and in debt. Where do I go from here?
As I approach the half-way point for my little challenge, there’s a brewing feeling of success. After this 7 days, I look forward to feeling that. Similarly, I feel confident that I can make it. There’s an importance in setting small goals and recognizing the accomplishments that occur.
First The Fresh Food
Refraining from any and all spending quickly leads to a dearth in fresh foods. Salads, fruits, etc. – they all have a relatively short shelf life. Knowing this, I bought a few Mandarin Oranges because they might last longer. Stupidly, I only bought three.
I know, I’m a graduate student and supposedly capable human being; yet, I didn’t buy at least seven oranges. There’s only one apple left. While I still have some salad, I know that I’ll run out before the week is done.
With any serious spending cleanse or lower-income, fresh fruits and vegetables are always the first to go. Often the unhealthy, prepackaged, processed products take their place.
The Importance Of Time
Spending freezes necessitate strong organization and planning capabilities. The bus comes at 7:35 AM. There is no such thing as missing it. Later, I have a short break for lunch, and then I need to be at my other job at 1 PM. My watch holds a greater importance.
My breakfast was squeezed short this morning due to waking up a bit late. If I was any later, I might not make breakfast, and then I’d be starving – eager to find a meal wherever I could get it. This casual, lackadaisical approach is trouble. It’s where I’ve erred many times before.
Day 3: $0 Spent.
Stay tuned for tomorrow’s report and follow along!