As the end is in sight for Andy, we have decided that on the first "buying" day, each of us will receive $100 to spend however we choose. He hasn't actually decided what his first purchase will be, but I, having 8 more days, will be completely jealous. Just to be able to browse in a store knowing I could actually buy something....what a fabulous idea!
Of course, the whole point of doing a second, longer spending ban is to change our spending habits forever, so we're hoping to not forget what we have learned and to not go back to our bad habits. Even though we have been regularly contributing to savings, we have still been guilty of buying impulse items that we neither needed nor truly wanted for more than 30 seconds, and we could have saved more than we did previously. I recently read an article saying that in 2005--long before the economy tanked--Americans' saving rate was a negative .05%. Americans have been outspending their income, taking out equity from their homes, and not saving. Simply put, as a country we put ourselves in a very dangerous economic situation and now we're having to pay for it. If we had higher savings rates, bought only what we could afford, and had taken less equity out of our homes, I firmly believe we would be far better off as a country.
Still, I can't say that I won't be glad to be able to buy masking tape when we need it........:)