January Buying Break
Our Christmas was fairly modest by American standards, but boy, did I buy a lot of things in December. Christmas presents. A roasting pan. Christmas presents on other people’s behalf. (Since we did not go East for Christmas, several generous relatives sent holiday checks. And since we’ve never stayed home before, I lacked key supplies like a roasting pan.) Cookie cutters. Ornament making supplies. Preschool teacher gift cards. Wreath. Wreath hanger. Christmas tree.
Everything I bought has a purpose, and I didn’t even come close to spending all those Christmas checks. (We’re stashing some for filling wants* as they arise and/or for experiences.) But it was much more spending, especially buying new, than I normally do. (Both boys got brand-new coats and brand-new jeans, plus a brand-new kid-sized table and chairs, a level of newness unprecedented in our household since we were preparing for Big Brother’s arrival five years ago.)
Now, there’s no way January is going to be an uber-frugal month. The dishwasher is broken** and my car is making alarming knocking noises when I turn corners (no more putting off that axle replacement). And Mr. FP and I have a weekend getaway planned for just the two of us.
Still, it’s time to recalibrate. I have major buying fatigue and don’t even want to think about walking up and down aisles or researching products on Amazon. Besides that, all that shopping has started to seem like normal behavior, something to do every few days. For me, it’s not, and it can’t be.
So… I’m not going to buy anything in January. Not for me, not for the house, and not for the boys. There are only two exceptions: I will buy whatever I need to fix the dishwasher, and I will buy Big Brother one or two birthday presents and some balloons. (Not his fault he got stuck with a January birthday.)
Now, last year I decided there was too much going on in January and I would just wait for February to do a proper uber-frugal month. This year, I’ve reminded myself that the perfect is the enemy of the good and decided that the time to start is now.
Does anyone else feel the need to do a bit of a January spending detox?
*We need a word for in between “want” and “need.” Something along the lines of, Little Brother’s uniform pants are wearable but short and I buy him new ones. He doesn’t NEED new ones, exactly, but it’s more than a passing fancy.
**Technically, I broke it while trying to clean it.