Over the past few months (particularly since I've been receiving a salary), the Lord has really been trying to reveal a side of me that is not pretty - really, it's the antithesis of everything I want to be. Lately, I've had the worst weakness for spending copious amounts of my money on clothing, decor to spruce up the apartment, and other unnecessary things. I have to really push myself to spend money on practical things, like getting my oil filled or groceries, and yet I think nothing of dropping up to 100 dollars a month on a new pair of boots or clothes for work. I've begun to feel so disgusted with myself for it.
So, my church is encouraging everyone to do a month of fasting/prayer. Most people are giving up meat, giving up caffeine, or going vegan for the month. I'm giving up buying any new article of clothing or item of decor for the apartment for at least one month. I'm going to challenge myself to limit those same purchases to a $30 budget for the 2 months after that.
Josh and I have also decided that for the month, we're giving up eating out. This includes getting anything like coffee or ice cream out, too. We've gotten into the habit of eating out once or twice a week when we're too tired after working to cook or when we've run out of groceries. We want to get much better at cooking healthy meals here at home.
This isn't to say that I will never buy a dress or a pair of shoes again or that Josh and I will never eat at a restaurant again, but this challenge is intended to get our priorities back in order, discover how much money our new habits will save us, and to spend this time praying for a life more like Christ's. I know that I'm called to live a life of minimalism and giving, rather than spending a bunch of money on things that I don't really need. Christ's economy looks a lot more like money being spread evenly so that no one goes hungry or wanting, and I'm ashamed that I've been basically hoarding my money for myself and using it so selfishly. I know that God will open my eyes to how he intends for me to live this month and to what that means for how Josh and I use our finances. I'm excited for the clarity and peace that it will bring boh of us.
[The image in this post is not mine.]