Return the unopened and unused merchandise to the stores, if it is still in the return policy window
How many times have you purchased something, thinking that one day, it will be useful? how about that shiny Instapot or slow cooker that you always wanted to own? It is still waiting for your attention. I do not know about men, but it usually happens for us- women. I have rarely seen my dad or my hubby purchase something in the anticipation of using it.
In the past 8 years only once my hubby purchased a portable window AC he wanted to install in our new (actually older) home. He never really opened the box it came in. It went from the store to his car to our garage and it stayed there for 5 months whole months.
But it happens to me all the time. I am usually good at controlling my impulse-shopping, the “just-in-case” purchases but anything to do with Kitchen items, gadgets-is my weak point. I am still looking at that shiny Bella 3 pot Slow cooker, unopened, unused!
So long story short, if you have purchased a big-ticket item recently in the anticipation of using it someday, but did not really use it in the last 2 months, it is more likely that you do not need it urgently. If the store policy permits, do yourself a favor and return the item back to the store.
Note this purchase clearly, so that you will learn from it and avoid repeating similar kinds of non-urgent, non-essential purchases in the future.
Side note- We returned that Window AC promptly and got back the money. It went straight to the Emergency Fund.
Do 1-week spending freeze
Spending Freeze somehow gives a negative connotation. Let us call it something less negative like “Fast” for one week. The idea is to completely avoid any non-essential expenses for at least 7 days.
Why 7 days?
Well, simply because anyone can at least try this top for a week without feeling deprived of our “RIGHT” to spend OUR money 🙂
Did you get that sarcasm?
Sorry about that.
But let’s see. 7 days is not too long and not too short a time to see if this spending freeze will actually work for you and hopefully, your family. Now two keywords in this point are AVOID and NON-ESSENTIAL (again, sorry to repeat this word again. I know- we’re all tired of hearing it these days. Thanks to the global social distancing mandate!).
It goes without saying but I will still write for the sake of all readers- Your essential bills including rent, mortgage(s), healthcare, insurance, basic food ingredients, and child care expenses are all excluded from this spending fast.
Most of us will quickly sign up for a week of spending freeze challenge. Some of us will plan and strategize down to the last detail of how it will work out, and what you will do in this one week. Some of us will waste a lot of time convincing others why they want to do a spending freeze, losing their motivation and energy to follow their own plan. Some of us will just get started on it right away without thinking ( that’s what I did) and yet some of us will head towards Pinterest, Google, YouTube in our desperate attempt to learn from others’ nuggets of spending fast wisdom!
But I suggest, avoid that burn out from hoarding information. In fact, the less information you acquire on how to successfully do a spending freeze, the easier it will be for you.
Because we are essentially made to live a simpler and calmer life. We are not meant to be glued to Pinterest or what have you for all our waking hours. We, simple humans, learn the best by doing stuff and failing at stuff. So whatever you try to keep yourself away from the spending, is good for you. It is your natural instinct. Go for it! Give yourself permission to SAY NO TO SPENDING
Don’t get me wrong. I love Pinterest, YouTube, and every other media that will give me tips to save money in the long run. But for now, when you are starting with your spending fast, all you need is just enough motivation to get started, stay the course for a week, and not compare yourself with other Instagram/ Pinterest worthy No Spenders!
There is no point going to the stores or online and order a bunch of non-essential supplies or foods that were suggested by Pinterest in one of their pins. Think Mason Jar salad supplies! Honestly, if you are not pressed for time, love making your salads fresh every day and eat them out of the standard salad bowl as normal humans do, you do not really need to go buy mason jars right now and make 7 days worth of salads to store in the refrigerator, that may already be overflowing with other food items you already have stored in last 2 ( for some of us-3) weeks.
If you still need some help in planning your one-week spending freeze/ fast, here is a handy checklist we made back in the day. We have been using this checklist every month once a week for the last 5 years. If I show you in pictures, how this checklist gets used, you will laugh and wonder how my brain works! It is not pretty, it is not perfect and what works for me and my household will not always work for you or your household.
But it may help you get started on Day 1 of a week-long spending fast