OK, So we finished out last week of NSM, and to be honest - we didn't do so hot. We actually went out to breakfast AND bought some stuff at Home Depot. So, basically, broke the NSM rules. I think we were just over it. That being said, I do think that doing NSM has given us a new perspective on how we spend our money and what we spend it on. Being forced to think about each purchase really makes it clear that: 1.) Just because you want it doesn't mean you should buy it. 2.) Having a strict budget really makes you question each and every purchase. Is it really necessary? Do I really want/need it?
That last thing, I suspect, is what is going to influence how we budget from now on. We have set a budget for different categories of spending (groceries, eating out, gas) based partially on what we did during NSM. Knowing that we have a set amount of money to spend on certain things will allow us to choose to do those fun things - but also choose not to. And we have carried over a few new habits - yesterday, K drove my (more gas efficient) car to work. It turns out that NSM was good for our budget - even though we had some unusual expenses, our thrifty ways ended up balancing that out. So, despite our failure to adhere to NSM rules, I still call it a success.