Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Observing Lent - Spending time not spending

I don't identify as a Christian, but I do enjoy novel experiments of will power from time-to-time. Lent provides a perfect opportunity for self-sacrifice, with the added bonus of an excuse to eat pancakes on a Tuesday (if one ever needed an excuse to eat pancakes).

I recently watched Mansfield Park, and was affected by the scene where Fanny's mother discovers her surrounded by crumpled up letter drafts and scolds her for wasting the paper. Paper wasn't cheap 200 years ago! It is amazing what we take for granted. I want to take a step away from consumerism, get creative with what I have, make due. I rarely take time to check my spending.

For lent this year, I am giving up spending money, aside from bills and payments. No restaurants,  no coffees out, no mindless shopping. I want to make good use of my new non-spending time. In addition to reflecting on my frivolous spending, I intend to busy myself around the house - playing with Angus, planning the garden, de-cluttering, cooking, processing wool, spinning, knitting, reading, writing, etc...

The caveat is that I have a husband who will not stand to see me suffer, and will be paying for necessary groceries, including my chocolate bars. And admittedly, I may have already cheated. In preparation for the restricted spending, I planned 40 days worth of projects and have made three trips to Michael's for supplies - 11 skeins of yarn, cable stitch holders, double pointed needles, a circular needle, and a multi-needle felting tool. I do not promise to use all the yarn, but I hope to have a few pairs of socks, a sweater for Angus and a cowl to show for it.

Observing Lent
I will track an approximate savings over the month- from skipped lunch dates and things I would have otherwise purchased. I have yet to decide what to do with this data. Likely more yarn and a donation.

Please share your own stories of will power and sacrifice.


  1. You are amazing. Give up needless spending for Lent -- it makes me want to do Lent. Have a great time not spending.

  2. Joe-Anne Helferty13 February 2013 at 15:22

    Ash you rock...hope it all goes well.

  3. I've often given up spending for Lent or Advent! It did change my world. However, I still hoard terribly. Some thing might be recycled or repurposed. And I returned to shopping through the 2nd hand stores. Wow, $75 goes a long way there!
    Goodwill stores use to sell the yarn and didn't know what they had until some one figured it out. So now the yarns are up for auction. You might find neat things still there.


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