Giving Up Small Splurges

March 8, 2012 in Saving

I struggled with deciding what to give up for Lent when Ash Wednesday arrived a couple of weeks ago.  I don’t think that giving up chocolate or soda as big sacrifices, so I try to commitment myself to things that are actually a challenge to me.  Past examples include giving up complaining and making myself get up an hour earlier to read the Bible.

My small group and I just wrapped up Balanced, a study about what the Bible says about money.  One of the big things the study talks about is discontentment.  We want shiny, sparkly and new things instead of finding satisfaction with the things we already own.  While I’m pretty good at sticking to my budget, I frequently give into the temptation to splurge on little things.  I struggle with a lot of “I deserve this,” moments when I want to reward myself for working hard or if I’m feeling stressed out.  An occasional Chai Latte here or on-sale pair of shoes there feels good in the moment, but they only provide temporary contentment.

This year for Lent I decided to challenge myself to give up the small splurges that I love so much.  There are moments when giving up these little things feels painful, but I’m starting to realize that these small sacrifices will be worth it in the long run.  The money that I’m saving during Lent can be used for more meaningful things like the chance to travel this spring and summer and donating to charities.  I’m also better able to appreciate small, free pleasures like getting to walk in the park on nice days and baking my own cupcakes instead of buying the insanely expensive ones from the bakery.

I’m sure that I will still indulge in small splurges after Lent, but I’ll be more conscientious about whether I really need the little things I enjoy to buying.  Being more thoughtful about my spending during Lent is making me more appreciative of all that I’ve been blessed with.

Did you give anything up for Lent this year? What are your small splurges?

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Shannyn @frugalbeautiful.com March 16, 2012 at 12:54 pm

I didn’t give up anything for Lent this year but did do a 30 day No Spending Challenge last year and it was hard…I found that my biggest struggle was giving up the little splurges you described. I had no idea how many little things that would try and find their way into my cart…the dollar aisle at Target, a few extra snacks here or there just for fun or because I was unprepared, of course, there were always impulse buys like shoes!

Good for you for making some changes and asking the hard questions, you will truly learn a lot and it’s really good just to spice things up with a change in habit. I have to learn to appreciate what I have but find the temptations that come along with being a blogger (who also writes about fashion) make it a smidge harder than I would have thought. You can do it! :)

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Single & Saving March 18, 2012 at 10:27 pm

Thanks for your encouragement, Shannyn! I am learning a lot and starting to find it easier to not give into temptation. The Target Dollar Spot is one of my weaknesses too. No matter what I’m going in there for I always have to take a peek :)

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