May 10, 2016

No Spend Challenge: April Update



Sorry Friends, I know that this update comes a bit late as we are already into May but I guess I have been avoiding sitting down to write about April. The truth is that every month I feel like I am doing worse and worse at not spending money, that is to say I think I am failing the challenge.

I went into this knowing that the spring/summer season would be a tough one for me, what with all the beautiful new sun dresses, sandals, hats, shorts, you name it, but I have definitely been more tempted than I thought I would be. The trouble seems to be that I have a hard time distinguishing between wants and needs (although deep down I know which is which) I don't like to live without things and although I think that I have done well with not over-buying in areas like cosmetics, skincare and clothing for myself, I am always on the hunt for the next item to buy.

I was recently at the outlets looking for some shoes for my daughter who is going to be starting school in September and I decided that I would buy myself some sun dresses from Old Navy (because they were nice, because they were 30% off, because I wanted something new to wear, because it was Mother's day and I deserve it dammit.) So I picked out two that I liked and bought them without even trying them on (this tells me that it was a purchase out of desperation for something new not necessarily for these particular dresses) and even though I spent less than $75 for them I felt an immense amount of guilt at spending that money. This is the worst part for me is that I want nothing more than to be a consumer and consume to my heart's content but the second the purchase is made I start to worry about having enough money for other things that will come up in the month and I feel guilty for having "given in" to my cravings.

Another thing that is throwing me off on my goal is that I recently started my own home daycare business rather than returning to my job so that I can be home with my own kids and also earn a second income for our family, this requires me to spend more money each week on groceries, craft supplies and items for the business. (These things I will be able to write off when I do my taxes next year but I have to spend all the money upfront in the meantime.

This past month we had a lucky and interesting thing happen to us, we managed to completely pay off all of our outstanding consumer debts, this means that the only debt we currently owe is the mortgage on our house. This is an amazing feeling and it definitely lifts a huge burden off of our shoulders and frees up more cash each month for all the other bills and expenses we have but it also means that we also want to buy everything under the sun and I worry that it will lead to more debt. I know that we need to be vigilant, to seize this opportunity to put more money into savings, investments and retirement. That we need to save up for big ticket items that we want such as a new bed, a water filtration system, and new car tires. That we can't be seduced by the credit that we have and spend it because it's there or because we get points for using it.

For the month of May, I am going to try to go back to the distractions I was using in the beginning of this challenge, focusing on cleaning my house, selling the stuff I already own but don't use, spending time and money on experiences with my family rather than more stuff, and focusing on my health.

Thanks for reading and also thank you for understanding that I have been so extremely busy with my new occupation that I have not had much time or inspiration for my blog but I am hoping that as I become accustomed to the new pace and routines that I will find a balance that includes more regular blogging because I really do love it!
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