Husband and I were talking about finances. We have been fortunate with my misfortune: my dad died over a year ago and we were able to get ourselves out of debt completely with the money he left behind: no more student loans! Thank you dad, what a gift. So we have a nice problem: what to do with the extra money we have each month and examine our spending habits. Neither of us are big spender on hot trendy items. But we have been freer with our spending because we have the money and we are out of debt. We talked about looking at our spending habits a bit more closely so we can capitalize on this time of our lives to get our retirement funds where they should be for our age.
I like a challenge and ran with this idea. I researched and tried out some different apps and software to monitor spending and budgeting. I do have Mint but it doesn't work for currencies outside the USA. We settled on using Toshl, a simple app that we aren't connecting to bank accounts. Just putting in our money for the month and tagging how we spend it. I like it, and it can work in multiple currencies.
I then decided to start listen again to Her Money, a podcast about women, finances with guest speakers who connect money to leadership, life and happiness. While her music is terrible (I just don't like the saxophone) the content is interesting. The episode had Cait Flanders on as a guest, who talked about her book, The Year of Less: How I Stopped Shopping, Gave Away My Belongings, and Discovered Life is Worth More Than Anything You can Buy in a Store. I decided to download the book on Kindle. I was hooked and read it in 3 days.
The book is more memoire than a how-to book to start your own shopping ban. She used to be a drinker, eater and a big shopper with the root of all being the emotional numbing that each could briefly provide. I could relate! While I'm not a huge eater or shopper I do see how they add to my emotional tool bag. This year my job has been very stressful and both Husband and I have purposely and honestly gone out shopping to avoid doing work and to make ourselves feel better. Shopping can do that: you have a need, you search for it, find it and buy it. Done. It can feel productive, it is a tangible sense of accomplishment that my work just doesn't provide sometimes.
I want to do a shopping ban and I want to quit drinking again! Then I thought about starting a new blog where I could do both! I was going to call it "It's a nice problem to have". But I deleted it, because I have history that has brought me to here that I want to honor and hold up to the light. I'm not going to hide my fresh start. Here I am. Let's do this! I have so much to tell you....
I used to drink with the best of them, but I don't anymore. My life is so much better for it.
-Drinking: A Love Story by Caroline Knapp