When +Lydia Senn of five4fivemeals.com posted a couple weeks about a "no spend" challenge, I decided that I was definitely going to get on board. Especially after having to buy school supplies and clothes for two kiddos. And my affinity for thrift store shopping. And Target. Need I say more?
While neither my husband or I are huge spenders, we do spend more than we should on some things and I really want to use this month for myself to pull the reigns in a bit on spending on frivolous things.
This challenge isn't about not spending anything at all. After all, we all have our monthly obligations and bills that we are responsible for. This challenge, for me, is about gaining an upper hand on spending and hopefully by the end of the month, we will be all the better for it.
Here is what I am not spending money on this month:
*Movie Rentals- I am a movie watcher. Always have been and always will be. My girls love watching movies almost as much as I do. I rent movies almost once a week and usually at least two movies; one for me and one for the girls. If I rent two movies per week (from Redbox) that is $3 per week and $12 per month. (More if I forget to take them back on time and get hit with a double fee. Which has happened more times than I care to admit.) This month, no movie rentals for me.
No-spend solution: Checking movies out from the library and taking advantage of free movie channel preview by recording movies with our DVR. Or swap out with friends who are movie watchers.
*Book Downloads: I love to read. While I try to download books that are free to my Kindle, most of the new best-sellers are not free. They can cost up to $10 for one book download. This month, I will not download any books that cost me money.
No-spend solution: Check out books from the library or download books from the Alabama digital library.
*Home Decor- While I do have some home improvement projects going on, which I consider previous obligation, I am putting a halt to decor buying. Whether that is at a thrift store, flea market, or Home Goods. I hit up those stores frequently throughout the month on the search for a great bargain for something pretty. I don't usually go crazy and spend tons on that stuff, but $10 here and $5 there can add up really quickly. So no TJ Maxx, Ross, or Target for me this month.
No-spend solution: Work on finishing home projects that I have already started and already have supplies to complete.
*Eating Out- Okay, so I am going to say we will only eat out once a week and no more. I don't want to completely do away with it because that is something my husband likes for us to do as a family on the weekends. But, sometimes we eat out simply for the convenience of it even though I could cook at home.
No-spend solution- Do a better job of meal planning and prep so that I am prepared to cook a good dinner and not caught off guard with, "I don't have anything thawed out."
(I realize I am posting this almost half way through the month, but these things I shared with you are things I have been adhering to since the beginning of August.)
Also, I am taking this month to clean out our closets and get ready for a yard sale. I have lots of really cute decor items that I loved and snatched up, but haven't really found places for them. If they have sitting in a closet for over year, I would say it's time to let them go.
So what about you? Could you commit to using the rest of the month as a "no spend" time? Give up buying those extra sodas or coffee? Have a family game night instead of going out to a movie? Cooking instead of eating out? It could be any small thing that you want to not spend money on. As they say, "A penny saved is a penny earned." I hope I can earn some of those pennies this month.