30 Day Challenge Part 3- The No Spend Challenge
If you have not been following my 30 Day Challenge series, you can get all caught up below!
Read Part 1: The Sugar Challenge
Read Part 2: The Sleep Challenge
My original challenge for March was a bit different, but given the situation at hand, I had to shift gears and think of something else. I am learning that if I am not able to control a situation, I must adapt and go with the flow, rather than against it. Therefore, this month, I am challenging something that I am sure most of us have issues with; spending.
I am not a shopaholic by any means, I don’t spend money on clothes or shoes, rather I overspend by going out to eat, buying coffee, or my weekly visits to Home Goods. So for the month of March, I decided to spend absolutely no money, besides paying for bills and food of course.
Challenge #3: Spending
This challenge could have gone either very well, or very terribly. With the increased amount of time I have been spending at home this past month, I could have either had no trouble with decreasing my spending or on the other hand, I could have resorted to online shopping out of boredom. I didn’t know what to expect, all I knew is that I had a goal.
How I started the no spend month?
This saving money challenge took some initial planning in order to make sure I do it right. The first thing I did was write down all of my necessary monthly expenses. That includes things like rent, car payment, insurance, credit card bill, and most importantly, groceries.
When I received my first paycheck of the month, I paid all of my bills and bought groceries. Given that I knew I was going to do this challenge when I did groceries, I did not hold back. I knew that the only things I’ll be able to eat will be the things I have at home, therefore, I treated myself. I got all the ingredients for my favorite coffee, snacks for movie nights, and ingredients for all the fun meals I was going to make this quarantine. My nature is not to overspend at all times, so I still looked for a bargain, but I did not say no to my wants.
How did my no-spend challenge go?
To my surprise, this no spend money saving challenge was better than I imagined it to be. Knowing that I am simply not able to leave my house and go anywhere made it much easier. I accepted the fact that I will be spending the upcoming 4 weeks at home due to the mandatory stay at home orders happening in my area.
I focused on things that I am able to do for free to keep myself entertained. I pulled out the puzzles and books, I learned new skills, and binge-watched 5 awesome shows on Netflix! I picked up a few habits I want to share with you that made this more tolerable and I truly tried to get to know myself and made it a time of self-reflection. But enough about what I did. Let’s get to the juicy part, how much did I actually save?
How much money did I save?
After paying my bills, paying off my credit card, and investing the regular amount I do each month, I was still able to save nearly $900! That’s all from not going out to eat, not paying Home Goods my regular weekly visit and a few other tiny sacrifices.
So how exactly was I able to save this much money?
Well, there were a few key factors:
- I became a chef and cooked all of my meals.
- I made coffee at home – who’s had dalgona coffee?!
- I skipped the nail appointment and instead used my LED lamp.
- Date night? More like Netflix and Chill!
- No more online shopping.
All of those combined plus some good old fashioned determination made a pretty great outcome. I was able to save up for my next trip once we are cleared to travel.
Future Money Saving Resolutions
I have always been quite frugal, however, this challenge showed me just how fast I can reach financial goals if only I reduced my spending. I will probably not cut out eating out entirely or stop myself from indulging in new make up or clothes, but I will pay more attention to what I spend my money on. Look for a bargain here or there. I always actively look for more ways to save money, so this challenge definitely inspired me to find other alternatives to some of my spending.
Hope this challenge also inspired you to try a no-spend week, or month!
How much will you save?
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