What Sarah Learned From Her Year-Long Spending Fast

It was amazing to read all of your feedback on THIS POST!  I asked Sarah to share the Top 10 Things She Learned from her year-long spending fast.

=== Sarah’s Thoughts ===

As of today, I have officially gone 365 days without buying anything new. Joe asked me to record the top 10 things I learned from this experience.

Today is March 21st 2012 and I have nothing new I need to buy today. I expect this day will come and go like every other day – I’m even going to the mall and won’t be buying anything but yogen fruz!

Here is how it changed me, and here is what I learned:

  1. Healthy spending is as much of a lifestyle for your heart as healthy eating is a lifestyle for your body. I’ve adapted to a new lifestyle.
  2. I still have more than enough. Although I wasn’t purchasing anything new for myself, it was embarrassing how much I already had in my possession. I could still shop at second hand stores. It became a treasure hunt when I needed something. When was the last time you did an inventory check?
  3. I value gifts so much more. When you aren’t buying for yourself, you really appreciate someone else’s thoughtfulness.
  4. I learned what was frivolous. When I received a gift card, I put thought into what to purchase and why. There was no thoughtless, frivolous spending.
  5. Time matters. It was amazing how many times I wanted something in the moment, and how less than 24 hours later I had forgotten about it completely.
  6. I found a new love for gift-giving!  The only time I could shop was to buy gifts for people – so I found a new love for gift-giving! The best part is I never walked out having ended up spending money on myself…
  7. I focus more on the people I’m with than the products to buy.  At the beginning of this challenge, the hardest part came in leisure shopping trips. Now I focus more on the people I’m with than the products to buy.
  8. I stopped spending so I could give, but giving has to be intentional. Although I wasn’t spending money on ‘new stuff’, it was easy for that money to end up in my savings or on eating out if I didn’t have a plan for it.
  9. I’m still greedy. It’s something that doesn’t get ‘cured,’ only surrendered. Living in North America, greed is like germs. You just get over a bad cold and go back into a school full of kids with runny noses.
  10. Generosity can be just as contagious.

=== End of Sarah’s Top 10 Learnings ===

Two Questions for the readers:

  1. Which learning impacted you the most as you read it?
  2. Could you take this challenge and see how it changes your spending habits?

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  1. Duante Duckett on March 22, 2012 at 8:00 am

    Great post. She has changed and now she is changing others

  2. Rich Birch on March 22, 2012 at 8:19 am

    Way to go Sarah! Love it!

  3. Sarah Flemming on March 22, 2012 at 11:29 am

    Thanks Duante, thanks Rich! :o)

  4. Carrie Neilson on March 23, 2012 at 1:08 pm

    Wow Sarah. That is fantastic. What a great idea and I see now that you have affected Carey with your endeavour! I have gone years in the past not buying hardly anything because of necessity not choice lol so i know about how much more appreciative of everything one gets. However, now that I’m doing a little better and have a bit more to spend, i find that i go a bit crazy sometimes and spend too much. Your spending fast has really made me think!

  5. Cherleen @ yesiamcheap on March 24, 2012 at 8:14 am

    Staying healthy means we should not only look after our physical and emotional health but we also need to take a look at our financial health. I am glad to hear that you now have healthy spending habits. Congratulations, Sarah!

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