Lent begins in 11-ish days. Usually I haven't even begun to think about my Lenten sacrifice by this point; shamefully, it's usually three or four days into Lent before I have decided what to give up.
This morning, I looked into my disaster area of a closet and immediately realized what I'm being called to do this year: I need to give up buying stuff.
I'm a great bargain shopper. I have a closet jammed full of stuff: clothes, shoes, purses, accessories. Almost everything in there was at least 30% off, and more usually upwards of 50% off, when I bought it. However: I have enough clothes to outfit five of me for a month and hardly repeat a stitch (this assumes that the five of me range in size, but two or three of me at my current size would be well clothed).
I need for nothing. (Except to stop buying stuff.)
So this Lent, I'm going on a spending diet. I will not be buying -- no matter the discount -- clothes, shoes, accessories, purses, or makeup. I may buy things like shampoo and toothpaste if I need them, but beyond that I may not spend on myself. And Sundays are not a cheat day, like it would be if I were giving up, say, Diet Coke. (And I stand firmly behind the Sunday cheat day, for reasons that Kendra explains more eloquently than I ever could. As always.)
Not only is this going to be really hard for me, but it's going to be good for our family. I haven't fully made the transition from our dual-income, childless lifestyle to our one-and-a-half income, dual-child lifestyle. I wouldn't say I overspend, precisely -- at least not in the sense that I'm spending money that we don't have -- but I could certainly be more responsible.
And it starts in 11 days.
Now, the challenge will be not hoarding new stuff between now and then. Pray for me, friends.