For the past few years, I’ve made a practice of giving up something for Lent.
I’m working towards a couple of financial goals this year, so when I started to think about what to give up for Lent, I strongly considered giving up spending money online. My rationale is this: there are few (anticipated) online purchases that are truly so essential that they can’t wait until we run errands the next weekend. I have already done my special occasion shopping for the next two months. We newly have to pay taxes on (some) Amazon purchases. And frankly, it’s just too easy to decide that we need something and then order it without stopping to justify why we need it.
However when I put this idea forth to the internet, a number of people wisely suggested that life with a new baby is hard enough without taking away conveniences, and that if I’m actually after a reduction in spending, I should look to those luxuries where I could reasonably cut back. Point taken.
So what I’ve decided to do is this:
- We’re going to give up ordering delivery/take-out. We order in about once/week, almost exclusively on days when I’m just too tired to think about food. This means we’ll both have to put more effort into cooking because if we’re too tired to think about food, the baby is almost certainly too tired to be dragged out for a meal.
- I’m going to give up buying coffee and sweets (or second breakfast) at work. I make coffee at home most mornings, but I often want a second cup. And I’m often hungry enough (or feel like it, anyway) to want something between breakfast and lunch. And so I spend $3 at Ex Libris for coffee and a donut, which is $3 I don’t need to be spending. So I’ll be making my second cup in the office suite kitchen, and bringing treats from home if I need them.
- If online purchases are really necessary, I’m going to document why. I was encouraged to think about this with regards to the hidden costs of NOT shopping online: gas, price differences, taxes, and my time. I’ll report back!
2 thoughts on “Preparing for Lent”
The trick that a co-worker and I are doing for the coffee attack is using instant coffee or black tea at work. It curbs our desire for the extra kick and we don’t buy un-needed things when we run to the cafe.
As far as dinners, think about replacing the once a week take-out with once a week crock pot. You can always do the freeze-ahead method on one spare day, making the four meals needed for that “off night” each week. Alternatively, you can cook larger portions that last for more than once meal. Stuff like lasagna or casseroles. Good luck, these are awesome things to give up!
I like these! I’m going to try two things for Lent.
Switching my second cup of coffee of the day to a cup of caffeinated tea. I’m pretty happy with my caffeine intake, but I wouldn’t mind tweaking it a bit. Plus I like black tea, but I never drink it because I don’t want it after my regular cups of coffee.
Second, I’m going to try to find one nice thing to say about each of my kids in my journal each day. My journal is my safe space to vent and I don’t want to end that (like forbidding myself from saying anything negative) but I would like to find little ways to focus on the positive more often.