Adan and I tried a zero spending experiment this week (just Monday through Friday). We had groceries and foodstuffs so it’s not like we were recreating famine times or anything, we just wanted to cut back on our expenses and see how much we could save in an effort to re-work our monthly budget. Turns out that living far from the city is actually a huge boon to our savings as there is very little in the evenings to tempt us into spending anyway. We cheated only twice because we ended up having to replace our iPad charger cable and also, I needed butter and apples to make an apple streusel dessert. I am of the opinion that both of these cheats are justifiable as they both qualify as actual necessities, on par with medical emergencies and oxygen (I currently only have Internet access by piping it through the iPad).
- The entirety of our purchases this week
Having made it through the experiment, I am not sure what would be more conducive to greater/easier savings: having one zero spending week a month or if we should just tighten our finances as a whole so as to spend less without putting such drastic measures in place. Truth be told, I’d like to say it was so liberating to not carry cash or have the option of handling any temporary frustration by throwing a pack of Oreos at it (Before I met Adan, I used to handle my frustrations in a healthier way: potato chips. Being exposed to his sugar cravings has increased my own, I think, which is not great because as everyone knows sugar kills.)
And yes, it was liberating but it also felt as if we were on a diet and couldn’t wait for the weekend to come so that we could binge. Case in point, Saturday morning, we woke up and drove into the city to go have breakfast at the Waffle House, then went to the movies.
I find balance and moderation impossibly hard. I think taking an actual vow of silence is easier than to always speak wisely, with words of encouragement and to not gossip or criticize or be negative. You know how John Mayer says, “It’s better to say too much than not to say what you need to say”? I get his point but clearly, it would better still to never say too much without leaving things unsaid that need to be said. I have actually found saying too much to be just as troublesome as saying too little because, as everyone knows, you can apologize for something you said but you can never un-say it. It is easy to have designated feast or famine times with our spending and I think my tendency leans towards famine times because I grew up with a mom who thought buying anything that you liked (as opposed to needed) was self-indulgent to the extreme, whereas Adan is more of a spender (she also taught me good things, like how it’s better to save money for a rainy day rather than to put it on a credit card), and hopefully, we are finding a way towards balancing each other out