Well it's been a full two months since starting the "no spend challenge" of 2016, last month I was pretty impressed with my level of restraint and for the majority of this past month I would say I did pretty well. In the last couple of weeks I have noticed myself getting a bit more complacent with regards to my spending patterns though (that YOLO attitude can be dangerous) so I need to reign it in and refocus my efforts for March.
Old Spending Habits Die Hard And Sabotage My No Spend Challenge
I have noticed those same old patterns starting to creep in, basically for me, saving money and staying at home all the time with the girls can get a bit stifling and so I start to look for ways to spend which in turn gives me excitement and some sort of fulfillment. I know what it is though, it's spring (or the promise that spring is coming because there is still so much darn snow here) and it's magical ability to make me want to spend money. I will admit to things I have purchased that I feel guilty about, in an effort to hold myself accountable and to encourage myself to do better this month. My birthday passed in February and I went into my local Sephora for my VIB Rouge birthday gift, I had intended to go in just for this one item however I decided that I would buy a serum (since it's something I didn't already have) and I used birthday money to purchase it. Other purchases I have made have been things for the girls for the upcoming season (these are things that we actually needed and I bought at a good price) and I recently bought a new pair of jeans (note: I did not buy high end denim as I am not quite back to my normal size yet). I bought coconut oil. almond oil, cocoa butter and shea butter but this initial investment will allow me to make many batches of whipped body butter that is way healthier for my skin than most store-bought creams.
Looking On The Bright Side, I'm Not Completely Failing
Some things I have done well for my "no spend challenge" in February is to stash away money for future purchases such as my highlights, skincare, makeup, home repairs, auto repairs and entertainment; we stayed out of overdraft for the whole month (although I forgot about a pre-authorized payment and we went into overdraft in March already...) and we avoided spending a ton of money on takeout food.
My goals for my "No Spend Challenge" in March are:
1. Continue to watch, listen read about saving money, investing and financial freedom
2. Say a daily affirmation that will give me the strength to save money rather than spend
3. Pull out money to stash for future purchases
4. Put as much money as possible towards debts (being consumer debt-free is on the horizon)
5. Try to avoid taking kids to shopping places, be strong and say no to pleas for stuff they don't need
6. Try to meal plan, do my price matching more strictly, stay within my grocery budget
7. Stop going online shopping to look at clothing, makeup etc. and filling up online shopping carts...
8. Get out for more walks and runs as the weather gets nicer to help keep myself occupied
It's discouraging when you feel like you were doing really well on your "no spend challenge" and then you slip back into old habits and fall off track but I know that this is also a journey of self-discovery, of figuring out how I spend money, on what I spend money and why I spend money. I keep doing monthly updates for the remainder of the year to keep those of you who are interested in this challenge informed on my progress.
Is anyone out there doing a no spend challenge too? Tell me about it in the comments below!