If you were around us in March (and now in April), you know that we have been deep in the depths of a No-Spend challenge. We have been using a set amount of cash for most purchases that we’ve had to make, like a grocery budget and coffees and such. It has truly been eye-opening to see how we struggle with making impulse purchases and how terrible we are at saying no to ourselves. (There were plenty of times this month when we “had” to make a purchase but we tried to be more aware of our consumption instead of just buying because we could.)
Here are few take aways from our experience:
1) Changing our habits. We had to change our little habits of grabbing lunch out during the week, getting that second cup of starbucks, and making that quick stop into Goodwill for 99 cent Mondays. (Not gonna lie. It was #thestruggle.)
2) Staying at home. Sometimes in order to not spend, we had to stay home. We had to forgo wasting our time in an antique store or browsing the aisles of Target. We had to say no to dinners out with friends. (We all survived. And we are still friends! Amazing right!?)
3) Getting creative. We made plans to hang out with friends over packed lunches and wandering around outside with a paint brush. We also paid with coffee with a crap ton of pennies. Yes, pennies are money y’all! Who knew!?
4) Out of sight, out of mind. We unsubscribed from all junk emails and all the shopping sites on Facebook and Instagram. (Lularoe and Colourpop had to go!) If we didn’t see it, we didn’t want it.
5) Patience. When we thought of things that we needed during the month, we practiced patience. We went home and thought about making the purchase. We didn’t immediately do any research online about the product or to see what was a better brand (which for me, always ended in an Amazon prime purchase!). Many times, I simply forgot that I “needed” whatever it was I was looking at.
6) Go to the library. Having an Amazon prime membership and a kindle app has always made purchasing a ebook quick and painless. But for this month, I logged out and made friends with our local library again. We used to be buddies but since the ebook craze, we haven’t spent as much time together. All has changed.
We have made a goal to be debt free by early 2018 so we can live life with less struggle and more living! We have spent too many years being enslaved to debt and we are done. We are CHOOSING to live simply and we love it. We are convinced that this will be hard but it is necessary for us. So if you see us paying with pennies at Starbucks, just give us a high five! :)
We haven’t used any one method for our No-Spend but there are plenty of ways to go about it.
Here are some resources we have used (that many have asked for!):
Pinterest is an ultimate resource! (Especially for printable budgets and excel spreadsheets!)
Hope that’s helpful if you need a jump start on your own journey!