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4 Stages you’ll encounter during a "No Spend" challenge.

by J. Money on Friday, May 23, 2008

Today’s post is about the roller coaster your mind goes on during these sexy No Spend challenges.

Or, shall i say, what happened to ME when I did this for a good 40 days over Lent. I was reminded of this internal battle as i was commenting away on No More Spending’s post on giving it a shot for 6 months! I would LOVE to say i could do that, but I know myself way too much to give that a shot these days.

As I was writing my novel of a comment, it reminded me of all the stages i had gone through when giving this a shot. Everyone’s brains are different of course, but if you’ve never tried it, it’s safe to say you’ll probably go through something similar:

  1. Ah i can do this, no problem at all! Looking back, what was i smoking?! The “i can do this” part was right, but the “no problem at all” part? HAH. I mean, in a way you HAVE to think this though or you wouldn’t even start on such a crazy adventure, but i know not to kid myself the next go around ;)
  2. WOW, I spend a loooooooooooot of money. Yup, that’s where the “a-ha!” moment hits you. I always thought i was a savvy spender, and for the most part i am, but when it came to picking up a cple things here and there, that $hit adds up!
  3. I just bought something? Even when you have your eyes open at all times, sometimes you don’t realize you’re spending money!!! I messed up 1 time during my stint, and I didn’t even know it until hours later. Know what it was? iTunes! I’m so used to previewing all the new music out there, and w/out even *thinking* twice just clicking away and buying songs here and there. They’re only $0.99 a piece, but that still counts against you my friend.
  4. This is EASY peazy – I can go on forever! I hit this part after about 3 weeks. Once your mind set gets on track, it’s like you don’t even have to think about it anymore. You get good at knowing what IS, and what ISN’T a necessity, and usually you’ve knocked away all those iTunes and Amazon habits. Once you hit this point, “not spending” becomes routine, and you can usually last longer than your original goal – if you’re up for it.

That’s not so bad, right? There’s a lot of factors that play a part in this of course, such as your age, circle of friends, already formed spending habits, etc, but the “cycle” is pretty much the same.

If you’ve never given it a shot, I challenge you to do so! Start out with just a week, and work yourself up to longer if you get something out of it. And if you need some motivation, just take a look at some of your favorite blogs out there – most of them have given it a shot at one point or another. Hell, Saving 4 Later does a good 150+ “No Spend Days” a year!

And if you’re already golden, then I salute you good sir (or madam). And be sure to tell me all of your sexy secrets so that I may knock off a cple years of work ;)

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