This past month has brought some changes in our financial habits, some of necessity and some circumstantial.
Over the summer and fall we put quite a lot of money into renovations on our home (a much needed new roof and windows) and then last month we had several unexpected expenses (car repairs being one) that ate up most of our savings.
And added to that was the realization that my husband's work might be laying people off quite soon, so we can't count on the income we thought would be a permanent thing.
So we decided - for a time - to just stop spending other than the essentials - mortgage, utilities, gas, groceries, etc.
One thing that has helped me is staying at home with our newborn - it's easier to resist temptation when I'm not in the stores eying things I don't need but want once I see them!
It's been interesting to cut out extra expenses this time of year in particular - advertising for holiday sales and shopping is everywhere, even finding its way to my largely housebound self through flyers and emails. I've been noticing my craving to spend, to shop, to buy things I honestly don't need.
There really is no better way to evaluate your spending habits then to just stop spending for a time. I'm realizing how all the little purchases really add up over the course of a month - a coffee or drive through run here and there, a few little things for the home, new makeup or books or a shirt I saw and just wanted.
I'm not against buying things or treating yourself once in a while, but I'm definitely seeing the value in being aware and in control of our purchases and expenses.