Family life

Money diet for the new year

While some of Sandra's friends embark on post-holiday cleanses involving green smoothies, she's going at it in a different way

By Sandra E. Martin
Money diet for the new year

Has your holiday credit card bill arrived in the mail? Mine hasn’t, yet. And while I have a good idea of the financial damages — which should be fairly minor — I’ve made a resolution to start the new year with newly disciplined money habits.
Confession: I was very good — so, so good — at sticking to my Christmas-gift budget. But I made some biggish purchases right afterward: a winter coat (my current one left me shivering every time I walked the dog, even if I wore layers of sweaters underneath); flat winter boots (my previous pair bit the dust at the end of last winter); a couple of super-sale items to wear to work (a $16 turtleneck sweater and $35 metallic skirt bought online from Gap Canada).
Thennnnnn Matt and I took the girls out for dinner, as compensation for the fact we both had to work between Christmas and New Year’s. Then we went to a movie because the girls were back in daycare on January 2, the day we both had off work as a stat holiday (date “night” without the expense of a babysitter — we couldn’t not!).
So, here’s the deal I’ve struck with my colleague Elana, the general manager of No more purchases until our shared birthday on March 20.
We figure it’s kind of like making a pact with a friend to exercise twice a week, or not drinking any wine following the wine-filled holiday season. If either of us is tempted to stray, we’ll IM the other for backup. I’ll let you know how it goes.
Meanwhile, have you set a financial goal for 2012? Share your ideas here.

This article was originally published on Jan 11, 2012

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