I chose January for my No-Spend month because it seemed natural to hold back after a December full of purchases and entertaining. Little did I know how difficult it would be.
We actually did pretty good for the first three weeks. We ate at home (a biggie) and we were conscientious about saying no to petty purchases. Once the floor refinishers arrived though, all bets were off.
Although we stayed true to our mission the first couple of days of the remodel when I had access to my kitchen, I didn’t take into consideration that we wouldn’t be able to walk on the floor (or move furniture) for a couple of days after the job was done.
We ate out for two days more than I anticipated.
Technically, we failed our No-Spend month experiment, but we were so very close to succeeding.
I had already planned on tacking on another week of no-spending in February to make up for our lapse in January, but after discussing it with Greg, we think we can do a week EVERY month.
That’s one week of no eating out, no buying frivolous stuff, no clothes, electronics, or luxuries. That includes no diamond stud collars for Nana or Iko. :cue sad dog faces: Sorry, guys!
I think we can do it. After all a week should be easier than a month. Hopefully, it will make us more mindful the rest of the time.
Stuff I learned about No Spending for a month:
• Window shopping is enough to quell my need for big ticket items. We went window shopping for sofas after our floor remodel. I was annoyed at the prices so we decided to wait for the next major holiday to see if we could get better deals. I’m keeping a list of prices and quality so I have something to compare.
• We ate out more than I realized. And not necessarily for meals either. It was the little stuff like drinks, mints, or snacks. A ridiculous waste of money.
• I became more mindful of my personal demons. I deliberately walked past the clothing and dvd departments. I never buy clothes at full price, but mark downs are like candy to me.
• Everything is negotiable. We had dental cleanings scheduled and we opted out of the x-rays. They said that one x-ray every two years is sufficient. Greg’s hygienist did one better and told him he didn’t need to regularly get a dentist to look at his mouth. (Mine did not tell me this.)
For $50 my dentist spent all of 30 seconds examining the inside of my mouth. I thought his examination was was part of getting my teeth cleaned. Dentists had always checked after the hygienist. I didn’t realize it was an add-on. By all means get checkups, but if you’re not prone to health problems, don’t feel as if you need somebody to look at the inside of your mouth every single time.
Could you do a No Spend week? After doing this ‘cleanse’ for a month, a week seems like a piece of cake.
PS We still LOVE our floors. It totally transformed our home.