Friends, Readers, Countrymen (& women): Although it hasn't been an official year yet since I started this blog (that happens next Friday), we are on the eve of what prompted the blog last year: Lent
Last year, you traveled with me when I resolved to give up shopping for forty days. While it wasn't a total success, it definitely helped me reflect on how I think about money and, more importantly, how I spend money.
I wish I could tell you now that I'm better off financially than I was almost a year ago, but sadly, I'm not. In fact, I'm worse off now due to having to purchase a new vehicle and various financial roadblocks we've hit along the way. For all my new-found understanding of how I spend, I really haven't changed my habits very much, if at all, which is disappointing on a lot of levels. But I'm not going to throw in the towel just yet.
This year's Lenten challenge is kind of a doozy. It's definitely going to be hard, but in a good way. Starting tomorrow, I am not allowed to purchase any food or drink item at work. If I didn't bring it in my lunch bag, I don't get to eat it. No work cafeteria, no Wawa, no Real Pizza, no lunch outings with my co-workers (sorry, girls!), no snacks or soda from the vending machine, no buying a candy bar from the sheriff's officer trying to raise money for his kid's sports teams. Nada. Since I started tracking my spending, I realized I'm wasting around $30 a month eating out when I can easily bring it from home. In fact, on some of the occasions where I grab something at lunch, I already did bring something from home, but didn't feel like eating it. That attitude has got to go. Yesterday, I had my last turkey sandwich from our work cafeteria. Today, I'm going to have my last $5 lunch combo from the pizza place down the street. Tomorrow, I'm finally going to finish off those leftovers from this weekend. Hopefully, it's not moldy.
Are you giving anything up this year?