Wednesday, May 23, 2007

No Spend Wednesdays

Niels and I were talking the other day about money. For the most part, we share pretty similar views on finances. We're both no debt kind of people, we're rather have the security of no debt than any potential tax advantages from a write off. We pay for things in cash as we have money for them, and have a similar view of ourselves as stewards, not owners, of what God has entrusted to us. In that light, giving and saving are important aspects of our budget.

That said, for the last several months, our ideals (and savings) have taken a hit with wedding expenses and up to three house payments--Thank God we're down to one and a half now! So we instituted a new family tradition, No Spend Wednesdays.

It's easy to see how our money slips away. A litte bit here, a little bit there, sometimes a lot over there. Niels and I are like most couples. I tend to overspend with little things (a DVD or book). He tends to buy big things (have you seen his TV?) We both are disciplined to buy what we can afford, but sometimes the question isn't, "Can I afford this?," but "Is there something else I should use this money for?" As a way to keep those questions front of mine as we head into the home stretch of our wedding day, we've agreed to not spend any money on Wednesday.

Practically, this means:
  • As the principal bill payer, I plan to pay bills on Tuesday
  • Niels packs a lunch to work
  • If we have a date night, we eat in, watch a movie we already own, take a walk, read together or find another creative way to enjoy each other's company without spending money.
  • We plan our schedule to avoid appointments that will require payment
  • For at least one day, we avoid any impulse spending

It may be a little thing, but we appreciate the idea of thinking more intentionally about our spending.