Thursday, March 3, 2016

Miserly March

It's time to buckle down.  We heard back from the bank and it's going to require quite a bit more cash at closing than we were expecting, so we really have no choice.  I was online looking for pictures to post around the house to inspire me to save money and I found several references to 30 day No Spending challenges.

Everyone knows there's nothing I love more than a gimmicky challenge with rules and rewards.  Add to that it's the beginning of the month, which is a siren song to me for starting something new,  and we have a full blown game on.  I have posted No Spending pictures around the house with one of the vacation we have planned for this summer and the sofa we need for additional motivation.  I read one post where they tracked what they spent on what and where each day so I posted a calendar on the front door.

I found several additional philosophies associated with the no spend concept.  Some people feel that you not only stop bringing things into the house, but take the time to purge things you don't need as well so that at the end of the month you have spent less and have less stuff as well.  Another comment that I loved was the idea that you use up all your pantry reserves even if that means eating the multiple cans of beans you got on sale.  The idea being that you use what you have and get an opportunity to think about maybe not gathering up 20 cans of beans in the future.

Everything seems to point to one common theme and that is mindful consumption.  One blogger even tracked what she wanted to spend money on but didn't.  I found it very interesting because it was the same kind of stuff I would like to buy.  She also kept it realistic by including a dinner out once per week in her allowed spending, it's supposed to be sustainable for a month after all.

The Rules For My No Spend March

  1. Groceries and Pharmacy are allowed but not additional buying and use pantry
  2. One dinner and one lunch out per week 
  3. No spending on stuff or entertainment
  4. Track spending
It took me a few days to finish this post, so in the mean time I have been putting all the no spending challenge tips to use.  I have already noticed that I shave a few dollars off of every outing because I'm conscious of my goals.  The other thing that sticks out immediately is that we both spend money on lunch at work.  To be realistic we both agreed to try to spend less rather than stop having lunch out on work days.  It makes the day nicer, and we aren't here to torture ourselves.  I'm encouraged to keep going.

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