Hello again, savvy savers! As many of my readers and online friends may know, I am always juggling several projects, business opportunities, scholastic goals, and home projects at any given time. With so much constantly going on, it’s sometimes easy to forget one of my main passions, and antithesis for this blog, the ability to save money, while live a better live, in hopes of having a “whole living blog,” to help me have a better run life. So, for 2015 I have decided to take an old-school approach to spending, and so for every other month this year, for the months of February, April, June, August, October, and December I will be participating in a NO SPENDING month cycles!
Why this crazy idea? Well, a month of NO spending is an awesome way to both reset your spending patterns, as well as to either kick-start your budget or revamp and make changes to any existing budget you or your family may have. This is also a great challenge for personal responsibility; you can track what you have been spending your hard earned funds, and keep yourself on track, in terms of responsible spending thereafter.
I will be blogging daily about my NO SPEND struggles, victories, and suggestions from the previous day, and will be posting easy-to-follow daily challenges for my readers during my no-spend months. As well, each Sunday will share what I’ve learned, saved, and gained from this challenge as part of my Weekly Goals & Reflections Posts. I hope that many of you will join me in this challenge, as we can all you use more ways to save around the home.
The rules are pretty simple:
- No spending on anything beyond absolute necessities.
- Eat from your pantry & freezer as often as you are able.
- And make changes to the way you purchase and consume goods, services, and commodities in your home.
- The idea of the challenge is to keep up with your daily activities,, but the main goal is simply to stop spending.
- This challenge can be a life changing experience, as you may just be amazed at how your mindset and perspective will change after just a month of seeing how you can enrich your life, without spending more!
Challenge 1: Part 1, Commitment
This first challenge has two parts. The first part of the first challenge is committing to the challenge itself. Knowing that starting any personal challenge, starts with following through with the challenge itself, and this no-spend month is no exception!
Also knowing that this April is not just about not spending, although that will be our main goal. I always challenge each of you to find ways to live well, live better, find new sources of joy, will spending less. You may just find out just how much we already have, and how little more we really need. And hopefully, by the end of them month, a life rich with family, friends, and creative planning, secured by fiscally responsible measures, will be who we truly are. In addition, I hope to make my posts comments section a place of encouragement and accountability for us all, too!
I’m not gonna lie, there presumably will be tough moments, and for that reason, with one week remaining, stock-up on any items you currently feel you cannot do without. But the biggest reason for following through with this month daily challenges? In the month of February, I was able to save $1,456.87!
This month is not about thinking what you won’t be spending and economizing on, but what you are saving for!
With that in mind, for today’s challenge, I encourage you all to physically take a few minutes to make a list for this month, to include the following:
- How much you plan to save this month.
- What are your long-term financial goals.
- What activities will you plan this month, to take the place of your spending.
Challenge 1: Part 2, Pantry Organization
I should warn you from the get-go: my challenge is going to be geared around a lot of cleaning, organizing, self-and home inventorying this month! This is done in an attempt to re-wire our spending habits to include less conspicuous consumption, and finding more contentment is the ability to live off of what we currently have, and moreover, can afford! This is a spend less, dig deeper kind of month!
So today, we are going to start by taking stock of exactly what we have on hand. And if you are a couponer/stockpiler like me, you probably have more than a few forgotten packages hidden in the recesses of your pantry, and it’s time they come out to play!
Here’s a few tips for cleaning up your home pantry:
- Clear your kitchen counters, kitchen islands, and table before you begin to allow you so you have adequate work space.
- Empty your pantry.
- Put like items together; all like items should be grouped separately into piles.
- All open containers need to be grouped separately.
- Any items that you will not be eating in the next six months, discard.
- Any items that will expire in the next three months, that you will not eat, group separately and donate.
- Wipe down and sanitize cleared shelves.
- Take a sheet of paper and create an inventory of what you currently have in your home pantry.
- Keep in mind, when placing items back into your pantry, arrange items closest to expiration, nearest to the front of your shelf, and those items farthest from expiration towards the back of each shelf.
A few additional tips to keep in mind:
- All shelved goods should be checked and rotated seasonally, and this is a task that should be placed on your calendars accordingly.
- Place all unopened containers in your pantry in like areas; cans with cans, boxes with boxes, jars with jars.
- Open snacks, cookies, and candy should be taken out of the pantry and placed in other areas of the kitchen so that they can be easily consumed.
- Be sure to wipe down the front of your pantry; this includes cabinets, panels, knobs, etc.
- Take a well needed break, for a job well done!
Stay tuned for my end of day report updates, which will be reported to Instagram!
Here’s to saving.