| || |
There have been some temptations, but nothing too major yet. I did have a situation that I sort of worked around. The second day into the Fast was the last day at work (she left so she can go back to school and for Message Therapy, how cool is that?) for one of my coworkers who is also a great friend of mine. To celebrate and wish her luck, I asked a bunch of people to go out to lunch. I planned this in 2014, not really thinking about the fact it was going to fall on the second day of 2015!
Long story short -- I packed a lunch and ate it at my desk before our whole group went out. Once at the restaurant, I ordered a Diet Coke and had a couple of the free breadsticks. I will admit, I did pay for my friend's lunch -- I couldn't just invite her out to lunch and then make her pay her own bill! But really, I felt like I conquered something by planning ahead so I didn't eat lunch out. One small step and one side step of temptation at a time.
Anyway, getting to the guts of this post, as alluded to by the title, after 1 week of Fasting, there are things I definitely Know and there are some Unknowns.
I've been so encouraged by your encouragement . . . Your cheering on after the initial post means a lot to me. The next day (Jan 2) at work, a handful of my coworkers talked to me about the Fast and offered advice and positive words. I saw a bunch of family this weekend for Belated Christmas celebrations and several were very intrigued and wished me well. My sister-in-law's words will forever stick with me: "I'm proud of you! I know you can do this!" There's no turning back now! Many of you have offered advice and tips and tricks -- thank you. It means so much!
I'm also encouraged by the chain reaction. At least 2 of my friends and their significant others are doing some sort of financial focus and debt dumping, all because they read about me, and I initially read about Anna Newell Jones, the founder of the Spending Fast®. See how this is going and picking up steam, starting conversations, getting people thinking and doing -- pretty neat!
I've been Set Up! . . . in a good way, that is! I mentioned we celebrated Christmas last weekend with my family, and we celebrated Christmas with Novio's family on Christmas Eve. It's proved to be good timing for kicking off a Fast. Novio's family gave us helpful and fun things for the house and gave me some new clothes. My mom and stepdad, and my brother and sis-in-law were also very generous in their gift giving. More helpful and nice stuff for the house, a few new accessories for me (scarf, boot bling!), a Fitbit Charge!!!, and a variety of meat that is in the new-to-us freezer that was also gifted to us by my bro and his wife.
Know what else? Free meals and leftovers. We had 2 extended family Christmases and thus, 2 delicious meals in which we even got to take some food home with us! My parents also bought pizza on Saturday night, so we had a couple of slices from that. And they brought milk, apples, and bananas. I went grocery shopping on Sunday night to prepare for this week and our bill was a measly $35. It was awesome.
Another helpful thing is I have some outstanding gift cards that I can turn to. There are a couple for restaurants, 1 for Starbucks, 2 for Lady Foot Locker, and 2 for iTunes. Those should help tide me over for a while.
Aaaand, a surprise to me from Novio -- we now have a Netflix account, paid for, by him. We don't have cable (haven't for over a year because of the ridiculous cost), but we did buy an antenna about a month ago and, when the weather cooperates, we get 14 channels! Albeit most of them are public television (not all bad, but not the same as HGTV), 1 is a weather channel (no, not THE Weather Channel, just a continuous radar with a robot voice reading the temp, wind mph, wind direction, and forecast...it actually weirds me out), and another channel has no video, just audio. Our golden channels are ABC and CBS, which are much better than nothing!
Netflix will come in handy and serve as good entertainment/distraction -- what a guy that Novio is.
I know the answer is "No" . . . In talking with a number of people about this year and what "the rules" are for this Fast, there are 2 things that consistently come up: new clothes and rewards/treats and the answers are "No" and "No".
I will admit I hightailed it to Target on Dec 31 right after work and grabbed over a dozen items and dashed to the dressing room (with probably a lot more urgency than was necessary), sure that I needed to stock up on some cute clothes before the Fast. Something funny happened. I don't know if I was having a Frumpy Blah Day (it's a real thing), or if I just knew I didn't truly need those clothes, but nothing struck my fancy, and I passed on alllll of those items.
I told you I recently moved and was embarrassed by how much stuff I had. Well, most of that stuff is clothes. This is partially because I don't really get rid of stuff ever (I still wear clothes I wore in high school, nearly 9 years ago), and partially because I was so used to buying what I wanted when I wanted it. I also would like to partially blame Target's genius marketing and pricing.
Just to give you an example, I have 9 pairs of jeans, 2 other pairs of casual-but-still-work-appropriate pants, and 6 pairs of black work pants (-1 for now, as there's a tear in an unfortunate spot...I need to get that mended soon!). That's more than enough to cover me (hehe) for a year.
A coworker/friend asked me, "But what if something comes up and you need something new?" referring to events, like say, a wedding. Well, I do have a wedding to go to, this month, actually. My solution? Ask a coworker/friend if I can borrow an outfit. Most people love to help; and this friend is no exception.
As far as rewards and treats -- breaking the Fast for a movie night or spending money on some other Want, the answer is No. It's not easy and not fun saying No, but I think the best way to keep this simple is to keep the rule simple. Needs only. But... more on that in the Unknowns below.
One other question that has come up is vacation. That answer is also "No". It's only for a year. We can tough it out. Besides, we have a whole house to focus on, which will be enough of an adventure. Also -- my parents have a lake cabin that they graciously open up to us any time we'd like in the summer. We cherish those times Up North, dontcha know!
I Planned Ahead on the Unmentionables and Unmissables (sorta)! . . . That's right, I knew this Fast was coming, so I stocked up on unders, bras, and socks. We're good in that department.
Because everyone needs some fun and there are a couple of unmissables in 2015, I planned for fun and put it on my 2014 tab:
1) A friend is having a baby in February and I bought the baby gift in early December
2) I gave my mom a "Girls' Weekend of Fun Kit" for Christmas, that included a bottle of wine and vino frappe mix and a movie and snack voucher for the movie theater in her city. I imagine we will also spend time doing self pedicures and manicures and spending quality time together.
3) Novio won a pair of tickets to an NBA game which is at the end of this month!
4) I bought a ticket to see Carrie Underwood at the State Fair the end of August (going with my sis-in-law and we are pumped)
5) Because you have to get in the State Fair to get to the concert, I bought a State Fair ticket and played Santa and put it in my own stocking (strategy, people. don't worry, I gave Novio one, too)
But there are some things that fall under this area that I'm just not sure about. That's where the biggest part of the unknowns.
Residual Costs . . . Even though we have fun events to go to, where do residual costs fall? How does this all work? For example, when we go to the NBA game we will have to pay for parking. When we go to the wedding in 2 weeks, we have to travel for the weekend. Luckily, we can stay with a relative, curbing any lodging costs, but what about food? We need to eat. Do I break my rule of no eating out? Or do I pack a cooler? It's comical thinking of it, but it might be the reality.
This question about food while on the road will come up again, especially in the summer as we often travel to see our families, and the trip is about 4 hours one way.
Unmissables . . . What do I do about events that come up that are unmissables, but are going to cost money, and thus, violate the Fast?
Baby/Wedding showers, bachelorette parties, relatives getting together... there's also the County Fair for which admission is free, but the food and beer garden costs money (and are the best parts!). The Fair is a source of local pride and camaraderie, I'd feel like I'm not doing my civic responsibility by not indulging in a deep-fried s'more or a pull-pork sundae.
Any thoughts or ideas on how to handle the Unknowns?
Thanks for reading -- may Week 2 be just as strong as Week 1 :)