I’m considering going on a spending moratorium for one month, which means not buying anything except groceries and gasoline. The experiment would push me to find creative ways to get around purchasing things. What can I reuse or repurpose? What can I do without? I think forcing myself to not spend anything would increase the perceived value of certain items and decrease the value of others.
But there are three major loopholes that make me wonder if this experiment is worth conducting.
First, by turning on the lights I am buying electricity. By cooking I am buying gas. I’m not willing to give up electricity and gas for a month. Same thing goes for my rent, cell phone, and a few other built-in expenses. So really what I am proposing is going on a discretionary spending moratorium. I’ve done a good job paring down my discretionary spending with my forward-looking budget system. Is it useful to cut back further?
Second, there are ways to get things without spending, like when Hubby and I go to our weekly dance class. Afterward he takes me out for dinner, which I enjoy immensely. I’m not paying for the meal per se because he is using his own discretionary dollars, but the money comes out of our joint checking account. If I go on a spending moratorium, am I obligated to say no to items purchased on my behalf?
Lastly, the duration of the moratorium – one month – is short enough that I can basically hold my breath on a lot of purchases. Is one month long enough to really feel the effect of a spending moratorium? Or am I just practicing delayed gratification?
Well folks, I’ve practically talked myself out of this experiment. But before I make my final decision I’d really love your input.
Here’s another option altogether. YOU go on a one-month spending moratorium and submit a blog post about the experience. The fame! The glory! The saved money! Email me if you are interested.