Well, it has been just over the 6 months I committed to on my spending moratorium.  I have been able to save some money, so I can pay off some of my debt.

I do not think I will continue on the spending moratorium to reduce debt, but I do think it has taught me a few lifestyle lessons that can help moving forward.

  1. I actually like living a little simpler.  Always trying to create the perfect homes or look is distracting.  Living slightly more austere made for a transformative evolution.  I became more relaxed and as a result, daily life became more fun.
  • I began communicating more with my partner who is also my spouse.  I had to tell him about my spending moratorium to get more cooperation and that opened the door to telling about non-spending related thoughts.  This helps reduce the element of surprise and in our home, regardless of who is on receiving end, surprises often lead to drama.  No one needs non-stop drama.
  • I believe in the effectiveness of the following green living practices.  My spending moratorium helped me become more aware of my own lapses in following the three R’s: 
    • Reduce – Buy less and use fewer products.  Whether food, clothing, home goods or electronics reducing consumption does  more to reduce our footprint than any other action.
    • Reuse – giving everything we buy additional life doesn’t require as much energy as recycling material requires.
    • Recycle – Recycling the plastic and paper helps not only reduce the need for new resource consumption, but also keeps more of it out of our oceans. 
  • I had to relearn socialization skills.  Instead of going out to meet friends for drinks and/or dinner, we began to invite each other over for home cooked meals and cook outs.  I think others in our social circle had wanted to do this change for some time.  We were the holdouts.  I am not a great cook or hostess, but the learning has become more like a game than a chore.
  • Spending more does not make me feel better.  After an initial purchase, I look at what I bought and regret it most of the time.  Avoiding impulse buys can add meaning to the purchases I do decide to make.  I think this might be universal.  More and more I like the idea of the 30 day budgeting method.  (Write it down and put it on your bulletin board or pin it for 30 days.  Look at it later and measure your enthusiasm for owning it, not just getting it.  If after 30 days, you still think you NEED it and don’t just want it, then take the cash out of your savings and buy it.)  If you don’t buy it, imagine growing your savings from the unspent money like a cash garden and enjoy feeling good about that. 

Now, I am getting my game face ready for the holidays.  Ads are already all over the internet pressing us to get the best prices on the coolest gifts.  I am going to try to not get caught up in the insanity.  I will still get gifts for those on our list, but I plan to simple down.  I know I live with a crazy maniacal gifter, so we shall see how this works out.  From DebtReliefZones.com, Wishing you and your’s a happy and cozy holiday season.