Monday, August 22, 2016

The "No Spend Month" Challenge Check In

Two Safeway Receipts, My Gorcery List and Meal Plan for the week and a book called "The 5 Lessons a Millionaire Taught Me for Women" by Richard Paul Evans

If you're a reader than you know from my past Summer Goals Post that I challenged myself to a "No Spend Month" for August. I thought I would give some mid point reviews and hiccups that I've had along the way and why I decided to try it out.

This month, I've given myself a strict budget for everything. 1 meal out a week with friends (1 glass of wine and a meal). Full week's worth of meal preps combined with a grocery list to stick to a food budget. No impulse purchases at the cash rep, no extra entertainment (unless it's free or pre-paid), no additional purchases throughout the week (including my guilty dark chocolate bar buy.) Example: Girls Trip last weekend was paid for 2 months ago and saved up for by the time we went. There wasn't anything purchased as for as trinkets or souvenirs go because I decided to keep my memories with photos.

My challenge is to primarily save up some extra money to feel cushioned.
The second challenge is to monitor my spending habits and discover where I've been sending my money to every month. There are a few of my friends who have tried this out and each of them discovered something different. In mine, thus far, I have a nature of going to coffee shops to get away. Which I take a lot of joy in! However, those 12oz Almond Milk Chai Lattes + tip add up real fast by the end of the month. I've had to limit myself to twice a week. Being on a budget doesn't mean I can/should stop living and enjoying my life.

Not going to own up to how much this cost. The experience was worth it though!
With that said, I've already had a blunder. I haven't been out of the city for a while because my car is in the shop. When I borrowed my Dad's car to visit a friend I went out to Marshall's and definitely bought a few things. Each item I needed... not 100% true. The black jeans, I needed. The two sleeveless tops I probably didn't need because we're going into fall pretty quickly but I haven't bought a lot of clothes over summer and I promised myself I wouldn't purchase anything else.

I have been able to actually save money though. Since I put myself on such a stern financial plan, I found that I wasn't spending any money outside of my weekly meal prep. I ended up having extra money at the end of each week and I used it to fix some of my key wardrobe pieces for the upcoming season. I actually took my favorite pair of black boots to the cobbler to get them repaired and waterproofed for the rain. I also had two of my batteries replaced in my watches.

Somehow, not spending money has taught me how to keep myself more organized and better prepare myself. It's as if I've taken a step back and look at my life, like: What the heck have you been doing before this?

Keep in mind, I do love shopping, just as much as everyone else. I have a list of items I plan to buy after this month is over but I'm going to wait until I have the physical money to burn. I've put together a plan of when I will be able to afford those items and I've even started planning my savings for Christmas.

I still have two more weeks to go, but holy cow I've learned SO much!

I'm also reading this interesting book my Aunt sent to me. Let me know if any of you have read it too. It's called "The Five Lessons a Millionaire Taught Me for Women" by Richard Paul Evans. I would love to know what others think of it as well.

Have you tried a "No Spend Month"? I'd love to hear others failures and/or successes!

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