Monday, January 28, 2013

Financial Fast February

I never thought I'd say this but  . . . Hi, my name is Taylor and I'm a shopaholic   I don't buy cool things, or fancy things, or things for myself (mostly).  I buy fruit snacks, and coloring books, and things from this list.  When goldfish drop to a dollar, I buy at least 10 packages.  I buy electric shoe drying racks for my poor bike-commuter husband.   I buy stickers, and colored paper, and fleece lined shoes for Miss M. so that she can leave the house without socks (and the accompanying 45 minutes of crying and adjusting said socks).  I buy googly eyes and glitter glue, and fancy paper plates with animals faces.  I buy bins, and organizers, and label makers.  I buy white board calendars so I can meal plan more easily.  I go back to the store and buy colored dry-erase markers and a magnetic bin to store them.  I buy kale, quinoa and organic coconut oil because I hear that they are healthy (usually they go bad).  I buy pre-cut bags of broccoli so I will snack on them instead of buttered popcorn.  It doesn't work.  I also buy sugar snap peas for the same reason.  More wasted food.   I buy picture frames, and maps of the united states.  I buy enough sippy cups so that we will be prepared if all of my kids' friends come over at the same time.  I buy and buy and buy.

Yet, I don't see myself as materialistic.  I buy because each of these items make me feel like our household will run smoother, or my kids creativity will bloom, or my husband will feel more loved and appreciated. That's my job.  To take care of our household.  That's where I have chosen to focus my energies.   But somewhere along the way, I've equated a large part of doing this with buying things.  And I don't think that's true.  But it's going to be a hard habit to break.

On Saturday, we were having a quiet day at home.
     "Let's get out of the house and go to Costco," I told my husband.
     "Why? Do we need anything?"
     "No, I thought we could just go look and see . . ."

Right then and there I realized I had a problem. My entertainment had become shopping.  When did this happen?  How did this happen?  As a teenager and even newly married woman, I HATED shopping.  But now . . .it is just so much fun to see my kids faces when I say yes, we can buy that.  But that is not the message I want to send to my children.  I do not want them to think they get new toys or treats, or art supplies on a frequent basis.  I want them to learn to be happy with what they have.

This evening we are having a family meeting to discuss  Financial Fast February.  Here are the rules.  

  1. We will not buy anything extra during the month of February.  
  2. Groceries are okay but no eating out or buying treats.  
  3. If something major happens (like the car breaks down) we will take care of it but we will do our best to stick to only true NEEDS.    
  4. As a family we will discuss if there are any specific events in the month that would require an exception.
  5. At the end of the month, each kid will pick a charity to donate some of the money we saved.
I'm embarrassed to admit this, but I think it will be hard.  but it will be good and a great way to remind ourselves what are needs and what are wants.  

If any of this resonates with you, consider joining us.  After all February is the shortest month.  


  1. Love this idea, Taylor, Especially after the "I'm entitled to every toy I want" attitude my kids have been copping since Christmas. What a great way to reset.