March - No Spend Month!
In February I made concentrated effort on cleaning out closets and declutter the excess out of our house. I’m by far from finished but I was honestly appalled by the amount of stuff in my house that I don’t use. I consider myself to be a relatively minimal person and yet I can easily discard one laundry basket of excess stuff each day for months - no joke.
So the idea of a no spend month evolved. I can’t explain the joy (and relief) I feel when I get an area of my house pared down to just the necessities and because of that I don’t want to add things to that space. I’m also starting to see how much money was wasted as I regularly haul stuff out of my house by the basket load and that, quite frankly has disturbed me.
So as I continued to declutter and lessen our belongings I wondered how much money I could save by not spending unless it was absolutely necessary. My interest was piqued and the challenge accepted. That said, I thought it might be a bit more challenging with an accountability partner (you) to report to in April. So the challenge is to minimize frivolous spending evolved.
How do I plan to do it?
Eat at Home:
No lazy mornings driving through for breakfast or lunch because I don’t feel like eating at home. No lazy no-cook nights either. That said, there are a couple of nights in the month where orthodontist appointments, meetings and things end very close to dinner time that may make it extremely difficult for me to make dinner so I will be planning for those meals. Ideally, if I can make ahead or do a leftover night that day I will but if given my hectic life I can’t make it happen I will plan a dinner out night. The point here is to see how much I can reduce frivolous expenses not win prizes for making my life more difficult!
Groceries, medicines, household items we run out of and need to be replaced don’t count as ‘shopping’ I still need to maintain my household but I don’t necessarily need a new pair of boots for spring (thank goodness I bought those in February!!) or new jeans, or tops or a new journal - you get the idea. I actually tried a no spend week in February and I was really shocked at how much shopping I do. Prior to that week I would have told you that I absolutely abhor shopping but when faced with a no spend week I kept finding myself unable to pop into Michael’s for a peek, or Kohl’s, or DSW, or dare-I-say-it Amazon (my nemesis!), during that week I discovered that I can even ‘shop’ at CVS - that’s when I started to think I maybe had a problem … So in March no excess spending just to kill time, cure boredom or inspire. I’m going to have to find something else to do!
In addition to not spending I’m planning on being more intentional in what I do buy. If something breaks or runs out, do I need to replace it at all? Or what is a better option to replace it that would be more sustainable? For instance, I just recently finished off a giant box of Swiffer Dusters I bought from Sam’s months ago. I decided to replace them with washable dusters from Etsy instead of the same ones that will go into the landfill. So I did replace, but I purchased more intentionally, used money and resources more wisely. Feels good!
Use What We Have
By paring down our stuff I can see things that I have better and we actually have a lot of stuff here to use that I don’t even need to buy. This morning I came across a brand new deodorant in the cabinet and kicked myself because I just bought a new one last week. Hate that! I have a feeling that by being conscious of what I’m spending and focused on seeing what I already have I will reduce spending even on the things I might need to replace.
Sell Some Stuff
So as this challenge formed in my mind I thought March was the time to list some of that stuff that’s been sitting around the house that I don’t want to donate and maybe I can not only ‘not spend’ but maybe I can make some money too! I have quite a few things I need to list on local garage sale groups, take to the resale shop etc. so I’ll let you know how much money I made in April!
So what do you think? I never thought about a no spend month unless I was out of money and couldn't spend. I’ve never actually done this intentionally as a way to be more conscious, produce less waste and be a better steward with my money.
I’m actually quite excited to see how it all turns out!