on may 1, 2011 i started my financial lockdown and it has been a great learning experience. i learned more about personal finance than i ever thought i would. i paid off my student loan debt in it's entirety, and i changed my perception of material things versus my desire to increase my net worth.
i learned that splurges are fine, in moderation, and that you should always hold on to the things that increase your happiness factor-within reason.
in 365 days i paid off $18,687.26!!
this is where i pat myself on the back!! what an accomplishment!! if i would have paid my minimum balance on my student loan and my car, i would have only paid approximately $6,168...less than ONE THIRD what i actually did!
my advise after doing this (kind of on and off but basically) for a year, would be, try it. if only for a month. skimp on things you would normally splurge on, buy generic, don't shop, and see what a dent you can make in your own financial situation! it was worth it for the past year, i promise.