I’m now at the halfway point of my 30 day no-spend challenge, and let me tell you it is definitely not easy! There are a few things I noticed during the last 2 weeks that I want to talk about; things that anyone wanting to trim down their spending should think about when changing their money habits.
Create a Goal
About a week into the challenge I realized I needed to create a goal for myself. Something bigger and more tangible than just saying “don’t spend on anything unnecessary”. What was I going to do with the money that I saved by not spending? I felt that creating a goal would give me something more concrete to work towards and keep my motivation up as the month went on. Since I have a car note that I want to pay down sooner rather than later, I made it my goal to direct the extra money I save by not spending to paying down my car loan. While this right now is a 30 day challenge and may not make a huge difference, the overall goal is to change my spending habits which will allow me more financial freedom.
Each morning when I wake up I check my email, it’s a habit, and every morning I’m bombarded by sale emails! Thirty percent off, buy one get one free, free shipping offers and more. All of these designed to lure you in to spending on things you don’t need all because you’ll feel like you’re saving money. Although, if it wasn’t for that email you wouldn’t have spent any of that money in the first place. I’m definitely one of those people that is more likely to spend when there’s a sale, just because I see the word sale and associate it with saving money. The key here is to unsubscribe! I went through each of those emails and unsubscribed my email address. Not only does this reduce my inbox clutter, but I’m no longer tempted to spend if I don’t know there’s a sale going on. If I really need something I’m probably going to buy it anyway, regardless of whether there’s a sale or not.
I don’t know if this just applies to me, but a lot of times when I receive gift cards as gifts I end up putting it in my wallet and forgetting about it, but that means I’m forgetting about free money! This challenge has gotten me to resurrect those forgotten gift cards, especially when I want to stop for a coffee or smoothie without breaking my budget. It also reminds me to pay attention to the fine print on those cards and make sure they don’t have expiration dates.
Stay tuned for the next post where I’ll share more of what I’m learning as this no spend challenge continues!