Hello again, savvy savers! I cannot believe another NO SPENDING month cycle ends today!
Do I still stand by my idea that this was a 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. Was this difficult, yes. Am I glad I finished another cycle? Absolutely. Am I ready for a dinner out of the house? You bet!
This past month I blogged daily about my various NO SPEND struggles, victories, and suggestions from day-to-day. Each day I’ve learned, saved, struggled, and gained insights on ways to save around the home.
The rules were 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!
There were a few exceptions to the rule as follows:
- Unavoidable expenses related to employment, such as gas, are okay.
- Unavoidable school related expenses.
- Doctors appointments, veterinarian appointments, co-payments, family/pet prescriptions, and therapy sessions are okay.
- Do keep existing service and repair appointments that can’t be rescheduled to “Spending” months, such as hair appointments, lawn care services, trash removal, in-home repair services, etc.
- Do keep existing tithing and charitable giving.
- Do have an adequate stockpile of necessities prior to beginning this challenge, such as pet food, bedding, litter, laundry detergent, dish soap, snow salts, bottled water and emergency staples (if you live in areas frequently affected by seasonal weather), etc.
- Do keep up with healthy living habits. I will continue to use my envelope saving system to fund app purchase rebates (iBotta, Shopmium, Snap by Groupon) for fresh produce and milk savings that may pop-up during my no-spend months; due to my PCOS I need several servings of fruits and veggies daily, and these app savings help keep my freezer stocked on a budget.
- And it goes without saying, please do pay all of our monthly obligations; rent, mortgage, insurance, utility payments, banking fees, student/financial/business loans, medical expenses, and assumed or credit card debt.
This NO Spend month was not just about a decrease in spending, but a challenge to find ways to live well, live better, find new sources of joy, will spending less. This month proved to be a time of being able to a life rich with family, friends, and creative planning, secured by fiscally responsible measures. This month was made all the better by the amount of encouragement and accountability shared by all of my readers, too!
I’m not gonna lie, there were tough moments, moments I felt I was simply doing without; I longed for Cherry Coke Zero, Brumble & Brown Strawberry Spread, and a large bag of Life Should Taste Gluten-Free Chips!
This month I was able to save a total of $1,021.34, and some of the ways I did this were by:
- Pantry Organization
- Utilizing On Hand Food Options To Help Make Weekly Menu Ideas Sheets
- Learning Home to “Dine Out At Home”
- Working on a personal #Choose30 Challenge
- Creating a local Coupon Swap
- Rain-Check Shopping for next months needed coupon staples and groceries
- Learning ways to Save On Monthly Utility Bills
- Learning ways to better clean my home
- Establishing Cleaning Routines & Decluttering Zones)
- Establishing new, lasting ways to organize by Bathrooms & Linen Closet
- I clean off my Counter-tops
- I Clean Out my Closet
- I organized my Home Office & Craft Room
- I sold my closet finds on Facebook Local Groups, Craigslist, and eBay which garnered $213.00
- I sold crafts on ETSY totaling $109.00 from items I had on hand
- I started selling patterns on Crafsty
All-in-all, I am pleased with this months progress and will be thinking of new and better ways to save come October’s next No-Spend Month Challenge! The funds from this challenge went towards my yearly savings goal for acquiring a rental property/tax sale in the year and a half to come. I am proud of myself, and so proud of you all as well. If you were able to follow along with this challenge, I’d love to hear about it!
Here’s to Saving,