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March Money Madness: Week 4

As we head into the home stretch of March Money Madness, I’ve been thinking about how I want to approach this going forward. But first, as an update, this week was much the same as the previous weeks. I stuck to our meal plan, I didn’t go shopping other than for groceries, and I haven’t added anything else to my Amazon shopping cart.

I think this is all excellent because it’s given me the confidence to believe this is a sustainable lifestyle change. Maybe not quite as drastic as avoiding shopping all together but rather evolving into a . . . mindfulness . . . about spending money. While I’ve become more aware of where the money goes and how it’s sometimes wasted, I’ve also put a lot of thought into my relationship with money. I think, like many people, that my thoughts about money are complicated. Because, so often, we just don’t talk about money. It’s not polite to ask how much someone makes or how much debt they have. It’s rude to comment on spending habits or ask how much something cost, and it all just feels so secretive to me.

Now, this could be because of my childhood. We did not have money, but there was an illusion that we did and appearances were very important to my mother. I had stylish clothes and we lived in a nice house. Of course, no one knew that we ran out of oil when there wasn’t money to fill the tank, the lights would be turned off because the electric bill wasn’t paid, and my mother used food stamps at the grocery store. I’m trying to break free from the weird relationship I’ve always had with money, to rid myself of the shame I associated with the lack of money as a child, and to open myself up to opportunities for more money to come into my life.

I think money mindfulness will help me change my thinking from a scarcity mindset to an abundance mindset. I will continue to focus on this and will update you monthly on the progress I’m making in the hopes that it might help you, too.

This Post Has 9 Comments

  1. Congrats on your successful month! I’m trying to be more mindful about money and my spending too. I’ve been working on decluttering and I’m both embarrassed and mad with myself for the new or only used once items I’m finding throughout the house. I’ve made a list of No Buy Items that I keep in my wallet to remind myself that I have more than enough nail polish, hand lotion, etc., whatever it may be already. I’ve given myself an “allowance” which is making me pause and think over non-essential purchases. I had not thought about it in terms of abundance but it reminds me to be grateful for what I have.

  2. I look forward to your Money report and you’re doing well! I’ve been doing much the same since John retired and I started cleaning out all the excess stuff we have. Sometimes it feels like it would be fun to buy something from Amazon or just because I want to try an item, but I’ve been trying to wait at least 24 hours, and so far I’ve been successful. Every week I take the money I was considering spending and donate it to a Ukrainian cause (World Central Kitchen & CARE), and that has proven to be a much better use of the money for me!

  3. I’m glad to hear that this has been a positive experience for you and that it seems like a reasonable practice going forward. I agree that there’s a big taboo about talking about money, and I think that tendency is to our detriment. I suspect that a lot of people get into debt (and here I mean more credit card debt, not student load debt) because it’s a subject people don’t talk about and thus that isn’t well understood. I really think financial literacy is something that should be taught in schools!

  4. What an interesting topic. You’re doing great! I work from a position of scarcity and want everything to be free. As a kid l was ruthless in hawking my comic books. I thrift as the item won’t shrink and l get a bargain. I’m proud l didn’t bring another coat into the house but it’s mostly cause there’s no room. During COV I bought too many black beans and cans of tuna that l still have for instance. My weakness seems to be toothpaste but that’s ok. I’ll use it. Part of it is l hate going to a large grocery. Oh and l bought the large bottle of ibuprofen, 500 and it’s years over the sell by date.

  5. This sounds like an incredibly wise pivot, Carole! I think it will be so enlightening to look at your position from a position of abundance, and it is such a positive approach. Everyone should do that. It creates an entirely new narrative. I think you are doing great in not spending unnecessarily, but the best thing to come of this is the evolution of your thinking. Congratulations, Carole!

  6. Good job! It sounds like you are sticking to the plan. We are doing some decluttering here, too, and I need to quit buying yarn and books! I need to use the yarn I already have and read the books I have, too!!

  7. I think you are so right… the relationship with money is so complicated and it is such a taboo subject. (so thank you for talking about it here!) I have gotten to the age where I don’t “need” many things but the wants… oh boy. So taking a step back and really giving the “want” some space has allowed me to realize that some wants are just thoughts… never to be reality, and that is quite alright!

  8. Such a great thing to do — unravel your relationship with money. I had the opposite childhood experience. My parents were pretty well-off but my mother, who held the purse strings, was so tight she squeaked. We always had the poorest quality, cheapest clothes, cheapest food and not much of it, etc. In adulthood, my brother became a great cook and enjoyed creating abundant meals of great food. And I made a point of buying good quality clothes and household items.

  9. This is an excellent topic, Carole, and I think it’s wonderful that you’re taking it on — in real life, but also in the blogging world. I hope you won’t let it go after your mindful month! I’d love to keep hearing about how it’s evolving in your life. (Plus . . . you inspire others.) XO

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