Thoughts on Sacrifice…what is reasonable? What’s too much?
When you start a project with the audacious goal of paying off all of your debt, one of the issues you have to confront is what are you willing to do in order to meet your goals? What are you willing to give up? The question becomes- How hard am I wanting to work towards the goals that I’ve set for myself? I love to go out for nice dinners, exercise (take classes), shop for clothes/shoes/accessories…/and yes, I enjoy grocery shopping because I love to cook and eat.
So, here is what I’ve begun to do:
1.) I go out for a nice dinner once a month-and REALLY enjoy that dinner. Good food only, sorry am a food snob!
2.) Exercise at the gym at work. It costs $35 a month. Exercise is a health and wellness issue and I’m unwilling to compromise on that. I also like to take lessons at dance studios, etc. So, I will purchase punch cards when they are seriously discounted and carefully use the card
3.) No more shopping for clothing/shoes/accessories. Thankfully, I did the practice no shopping run during last year and this year’s Lent. It’s going pretty well and I have pared down my wardrobe so that I can use it more efficiently. Am shopping my closet.
4.) Am going grocery shopping only during the weekend and am trying to go as infrequently as possible. I did a no grocery shop challenge where the goal was to not go to the grocery store for as long as possible. I think I lasted 6 weeks. Really! and I was eating really well.
5.) I love getting coffee, but, I have cut coffee trips substantially and will get coffee just on the weekends when meeting friends. Basically, I’m making coffee at home (hot/iced) during the week.
6.) Bringing lunch/snacks to work
7.) Returning books to the library on time. Library fines had become an issue. I love to read, and at any given time I have a large number of books checked out. Now, I am triple checking my online account to make sure I get my library materials in on time. What is the point of checking out books with the express purpose of saving money, but then I pay late fees. Doesn’t make any sense.
8.) Free stuff-there are a lot of free things to do in Denver. So, I don’t have to feel deprived. Some examples: 1st Fridays Art Walk, volunteering to cover the fees for 5k’s etc, hiking, free yoga in the park, movies in the park, music in the park (ok, a lot of stuff in the parks!) festivals, and list continues.
9.) Being appreciative of what I have. Everyday, I practice gratitude.
10.) Donate-I am able to help others. I have been donating my extra clothes, books, and I have purchased hair/grooming products for a wonderful organization called “The Gathering Place” that assists homeless women with children. If you’re in Denver please check out this organization.