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One Year . . . And Some Change.

Almost one year. At the end of this month, I'll celebrate my anniversary of moving to Hartsville. It's been a great year -- so many things have happened in that time, but one of the biggest has been going from a full-time, salaried job, to starting my own company and not being exactly sure what my income will be from day-to-day.

In the past year, I've realized some things about myself. I like to spend money. Not always on big, extravagant's more the thrill of the hunt for little treasures in local thrift shops. Or being enticed by the online ads for the latest thing on Amazon. The realization that my habits will have to change if I want to continue to remain out of debt has hit me squarely in my wallet. So how can I adapt to this new lifestyle that I love, and still make my house payment? It's time to make some change. Literally.

I was intrigued by a book by Anna Newell Jones, "The Spender's Guide to Debt-Free Living." She was in a lot of debt and decided to take drastic measures by going on a "Spending Fast." No more spending money on things that were not absolutely essential. Think about it. All the little non-essential things we readily plop down our money for. It adds up. How would it be to say "no" to those things?

For me, it's not so much a question of getting rid of debt. It's looking at what bills have to be paid every month and making sure they are covered first, so that I won't find myself in debt and can continue to follow my dream.

On August 1st, I started my own Spending Fast -- and just writing that down here is scary because now I have to be accountable. It will not be easy. But you know what? I think this "fast" will force me to be more creative. How can I give gifts from what I have instead of buying something new? What can I make from the materials I have on hand? How can I say no to some of the things that I love to do? Because it's my reality now. And that doesn't have to be a bad thing.

I'm actually excited about the challenge -- creating a life of happiness, freedom and contentment doesn't have to cost a cent and the rewards will outweigh the negatives. I'll keep you posted on how it's going!


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