Take the Spartan Challenge!


Are you groovy enough to take the Spartan Challenge? I don’t mean a race or an athletic competition. I’m using the dictionary definition of Spartan as an adjective to mean ‘marked by strict self-discipline or self-denial’.

Do you have a costly vice? Or some excess that isn’t worth the time and money to maintain? Maybe you have a habit that costs money but provides you with little value? Can you try doing away with it?

Our biggest vice was cable television. Three months ago we decided to cancel our service and return the cable box. We realized we were numbing our minds too much and too frequently with the TV on in the background. We also got very tired of paying a cable bill in excess of $50 month.

Overall, we don’t miss it. Oh, I do get occasional pangs for Modern Family, Shark Tank, and Real Housewives of Orange County. Mr. Groovy isn’t even thinking about TV and he was often glued to Bar Rescue, HGTV and football. Now, we’re simply enjoying our Netflix subscription and using a Chromecast to watch shows.

We get excited about TED talks and doing the occasional mini-marathon of Trailer Park Boys on Netflix, but now we’re spending more time listening to podcasts, reading, writing, exercising, and just enjoying the quiet. It’s amazing how your mind can open up once you get rid of the noise.

Being Spartan goes hand in hand with flexing the frugal muscle. Watching expenses and becoming a wiser consumer helps lead to FI. Going Spartan and doing without excess can also help pave the way.

What’s in your life that you can do without and not even miss? Take the Spartan Challenge and get rid of it! A little resistant? How about changing a habit for the next 90 days? I’ll bet you’ve heard many times that it takes 90 days to form a habit. Give it a try!

For Mr. Groovy and me,, the next possession we surrender is our land line. What about you? Here are a few suggestions you can cut going cold turkey, or start doing away with in increments:

  • Cable TV
  • Yoga and other exercise classes easily replaced with home workouts
  • Fast Food
  • Salon hair-coloring
  • Crap you buy on Amazon you don’t need
  • Clothing you haven’t worn in a year or more — give it away!

Are you ready now to take the Spartan Challenge? I hope you will give it whirl. When you do, please share your experience. I would love to hear from you.

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  1. We would give up our landline in a heartbeat, if we didn’t have 3 kids (16,13,10) at home. I have a nagging doubt about the safety of cellphones on young children.
    There are a few food related vices as well 🙂

    • Mrs. Groovy

      I agree with you on that, MMM. I imagine it would be easier to teach a child how to make calls, especially to 911, using a regular phone. Thanks for your comment!

  2. I’m 6 weeks clean from Diet Coke. First world vices, I know, but it was crazy-hard to quit. I feel so much better now, but have to avoid it because if it were on the desk in front of me I could still drink a gallon.

    • Mrs. Groovy

      Mr Groovy gave up soda for the most part. He drank the sugary Coke and Pepsi. Occasionally he’ll get a diet soda now when we’re out. I like my diet soda but I cut down. I buy a 12-pack maybe every two weeks. I wonder how it affects you. I mean is it the caffeine, the sugar, the carbonation that bothers you – all of the above?