Holy crap! I can't believe it's been almost an entire year since I began my spending fast! Only 2 months left of 2012 - how nuts is that? I have a feeling they're just going to FLY by too.
This month it was a little easier to not spend money due to the fact that I literally could not spend anything (because I didn't have anything left over after my bills were paid). In fact, I was a little bit under which makes me terribly nervous.
The new job change was definitely worth it, but I knew I'd be a bit tight over the next few months before I was making enough money to keep putting stuff towards my debt while still being able to live my life. I'm hoping it will get easier but it has been a struggle, and with the holidays coming up I'm sure there will be more struggles to come.
But hopefully I will be debt-free in the near future (hopefully, hopefully), and be able to live on my smaller income in happiness while still setting aside money in my savings. I hope that's not just a pipe dream, and I'm praying that the day will come in the next year or so. I already feel so blessed to have come as far as I have on this journey, and I've learned so much about myself. I just need to keep plugging away and just get there!
Here are some ways I'm planning to survive the holiday season (without going broke):
- My family & I decided to draw names for gifts this year. We drew names from a hat, and we'll only get a gift for one person (instead of all 5), then do stockings for each person. Gifts are not what Christmas is about anyway, and this will help us keep the spirit of gift giving alive, while enjoying the true joys of the season.
- Handmade / re-purposed gifts for all! I'm sure that I have many things already that could be spruced up / re-painted / made personal so that I could give them to friends as gifts - I just need to get creative about it.
- Food not Booze. If someone has us over for a get-together or birthday gathering, I'll plan to bring a food item (like a homemade pie) instead of a bottle of wine. The ingredients that go into a pie are much less expensive than getting a $10 bottle o' booze. Especially if buying in season!
- Handmade cards! I have a huge stack of blank cards that I bought a very long time ago and never used. So instead of purchasing Christmas cards, I'm going to make my own! They'll be much more personal, and really, much more fun.
Those are my plans so far, and I need to figure out how to make the time to get everything done! The last month has been a complete whirlwind (I can't believe it's almost November!!), and I'm sure the next will be the same. "Pie Season" is the busiest time of year at the bakery, so wish me luck!
Happy Saving! :)