The Great Lenten No-Buy: Day 1

17 February, 2010

As a Lutheran, Lent is not something that is typically observed like in many other sectors of the Christian faith. Giving up something is typically optional and not really stressed, but for me, it is something I like to do. Not only does it test my faith, but it also feels good to give up something that is hard to give up. Last year, I gave up coffee AND Starbucks, and I made it all 40 days. This time though…I am doing a no-buy. That’s right, an almost total no-buy. I am NOT allowed to buy any polish, and I am only allowed a small amount for makeup-definitely under $100. Additionally, I am only allowed to spend $100 a check on clothes and accessories and so forth (difficult, since I do work at a leading fashion retailer) as that gets out of hand very quickly. The ideal, though, is to NOT spend that much, but to keep it low.

Why am I doing it? First of all, I have a few big purchases to make. Season tickets for the waterpark, antivirus software for my computer, bus pass, and some decent shoes. Second, I have to start buying stuff for when I want to move out, so it’s that much less money to spend then. Third, I need to start actually saving some, and not just frittering it all away on clothes or nail polish. When I look at how much I’ve been buying lately-my collection has blown up to 174 with the last order that I did. And fourth, the idea is to test myself. Literally, sometimes all I think about is having to buy more nail polish, because there may be somewhere that has a great clearance that another place does not.

Additionally, aside from no polish and much more limited fashion/makeup spending, the idea is to try and cut down in general-not eating out as much, for example.

The goal is to make it all 40 days without buying polish. The good news? I have a significant number of untrieds, as well as polishes that I haven’t worn in ages. And today is the first day…and I’ve passed with flying colours. I have to say, it almost feels like I’m going without, but I have to look at it as “perspective” and that there’s a good reason WHY I am doing this. Getting off work at 2, when it’s lovely and sunny, tempts me to go down to malls and stores I haven’t hit yet in search of a great clearance deal. I also was very tempted to go to Red Robin, since there was one on my way home from work. Instead, though, I just kept my resolve and went straight home, where I do have plenty of food. My one slip-up was coffee this morning, but it’s not an every-morning sort of thing.

At work, I was tempted to buy some of these great long tank tops that just came in semi-fluorescent colours, but I then remember that I bought a new wool coat as well as a sale shirt last night-stuff that I really should not have bought, as it was a total impulse buy. I also tell myself that they will be there for awhile, but I need to get some skirts that are church-acceptable, some basic tees that can go with anything, and a new swimsuit. All in all, I got out of today only spending about $4.50, and that was on my Frap.

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