Sigh. Actually, it wasn’t as bad as I thought. I thoroughly dreaded the idea of actually doing this at first, although it’s basically how I lived when paying off my credit cards. This is also how I plan to continue to live in the future, not to spend on things I do not need (and to keep my needs as small as possible). First off, it’s easy to live like this once you are used to it. Secondly, it allows you to pay off your debt and then save, which in turn allow you to do things like retire or be able to help family in need or do whatever else being financially free allows one to do.
Also, not living this way snowballs easily. I’m sure there are people who can budget well, and include the latte every day, and still save and blah blah. But it just seems like a slippery slope. I don’t buy a lot of extra material goods, I’ve bought new clothes once in the last year I think, I mostly spend money on little things. Those little things are super dangerous though. When I wrote out everything that I paid with using my debit card it was shocking and depressing seeing how much I spent on coffee or just overpriced fast food lunches a few times a week. It’s also so easy to just spend $5 dollars here or $10 there or just spend when it’s convenient. This is a bad strategy, and one I am not going to do. Reason one is that your spending quickly snowballs the opposite direction into reduced savings and possibly debt(!). Reason two is that once you get used to living like this, you don’t want to stop.
Happily though, it hasn’t been as scary/difficult/annoying/painful/boring/depressing/any other thing I feared it may be as I imagined. This week has actually been very freeing. I feel more creative, because I have to figure out how to make what I have now last as long as possible and in as many ways as possible. I have more time to read, write, play with my cats, sleep, ect since I’m not out and about spending frivolously. I also feel happier, because I feel completely in control of my finances and my life.