Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Resolved… 2008…

Vicky and I had a very good Christmas… which is probably why we were sick throughout the whole thing. Cause it’s always something. I’m just saying.

We got everything we wanted, everything we needed, and a few things that fell into neither category but we were pleased with anyway. We were well taken care of by each other. It was nice.

So, leave it to me to screw that up.

But I felt like, now that we’re comfortable, well taken care of, wanting for practically nothing, with all of our needs fulfilled, now may be the time to really try something radical.

I’m talking about self-control.

Now, listen, Vicky and I do pretty well. We pay our bills. We sock a little into savings. We even try to splurge a little now and then. We’re not wasteful. We’re not irresponsible. So, you would think that things are okay as is, right? No need to change.

But right around Christmas, I looked around our house. At the new TV. At Guitar Hero III. At the new car. At all the snacks and food and … the crap.

Terrified at what Vicky’s response might be, I emailed her. How about this for a New Year’s Resolution, I said. How about we stop spending so much money. That means DVDs and video games, purses and clothes. Let’s just stop. Imagine how the rest of the world lives and how out of control our spending is compared to them. Imagine how much better off our finances would be – even considering how good they are now (thanks to my lovely wife who is a financial whiz) – if we put that money into paying our bills. Imagine how much more we could save.

The shocking part was Vicky’s response. Rather than kill me, she thought it was a good idea! Wow!

So, here is our New Year’s Resolution. In 2008, we resolve to spend less on things we don’t need!

But what’s that mean, exactly? Well, for those of you playing along at home – and so we have a written record of this that Vicky can later shove in my face – it means that this applies to non-essentials only. Since Vicky isn’t going to give up “Nail night” and I won’t give up “WoW”… we’ll ignore those. But let’s set a limit. Let’s try to make only one, single, non-essential purchase each month, which is really pretty generous if you think about it. That means that if I buy a DVD, I have to wait until next month to buy another, or a video game, or some other thing I want. If Vicky buys a pair of shoes (a pair she wants – which includes those “but I really need it” kind of wants), she will have to wait one month to buy a CD (including iTunes downloads) or anything else.

Limits are good. They help put things into perspective. Also, with a baby coming… someday… I hope… maybe… dammit… getting our financial house in order will be a good thing.

Now, let’s see how long this lasts.

Any predictions?

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