January is over and we are well on our way into February. On January 1st, I began a “No Spend” month, in hopes of curbing silly spending and focusing on what I really need to purchase. Now that January is over, it’s time for a recap of how the focus of not spending went for me.
Overall, I feel really good about how January went. I was able to really zero in on spending and evaluating if I really needed something before purchasing. With the exception of the my mid-month trip to San Francisco to celebrate my daughter’s birthday (which I had planned for) my spending was WAY down for the month.
So where did the money go?
$34 + $39 for gas at Costco $9 for toilet repair parts $55 to the plumber who had to come and check a few things I couldn’t fix myself. $13 to the Container Store to replace two containers I need for my pantry (not something I absolutely needed, but an organized pantry makes me happy so I spent it.) $22.50 for a ticket to see my friends in “First Date” on February 14th. $37 to see my friends in “Sweeney Todd” on Feb. 1st. $33 on groceries $81 to Amazon for groceries/dog food $25 for a fitness class I’m taking for the month of February at the Trails Community Center
I did not include my fixed expenses that include utilities and IRA contributions, etc. These are pretty much the same every month. I did reduce my cell phone bill and my cable bill and am not missing cable at all. Hulu Live, with Disney+ and Netflix have been more than enough for my entertainment fix.
What did I learn?
Use what I have. By carefully planning and checking my freezer and pantry I dramatically cut my costs for food. I used items I already had and felt really good about being able to reduce my back stock. Waste in this area has has been something I struggle with. How many of us buy different items for meals and then get distracted before everything goes bad, or we forget to put it in the freezer. By focusing on not spending, I really had to rethink my meal planning and therefore didn’t waste anything and used what I had!
As much as I LOVE my Athleisure, I do not need any more! By committing to a no spend month, I had a reason to not buy anything new. This also helped me focus on the fact I do NOT need anything new. I have what I need and need to wear only that, no matter how cute that new pair of leggings looks!
Fun can be had and you don’t have to spend a fortune. I did purchase two tickets to see local theatre. I have a number of friends doing shows and I try to support as best I can. The arts is somewhere I choose to spend money. Theatre is something I love and going to shows brings me joy. Supporting my friends is also something that makes me happy.
What happens going forward:
I’m going to continue to focus on “no spend”. While I may not be able to be as rigid as I was in January, January showed me how much I can curb frivolous spending and think before making a purchase. I will also continue to track every penny I spend to evaluate where my money is going.
I have rediscovered Ebay. This was a website I used to sell on quite regularly but hadn’t in a long time. In reducing and cleaning out various areas of my home, I will start utilizing this forum and others to get rid of my stuff before donating it.
So that’s how “No Spend January” went for me. How did you do?