For the month of July I decided to participate in a no-spend month. That meant nothing unnecessary or indulgent. No new tops, no buying lunch because I woke up late, and no Friday lattes. Before starting I considered what qualified as unnecessary. This was a tough. Obviously, my Friday lattes and too-lazy-to-pack lunches needed to go but what else qualified? My goal was to not spend on anything I didn’t absolutely HAVE to buy that month. To keep it simple I came up with my list of no’s: no shopping for clothes, home items, eating out more than once a week, and no “meeting for drinks.”
During this month, I realized just how much of what I wanted was influenced by social media. I kept a list of everything I wanted to buy during the month. Most of what I wanted was related to a blog post, watching a YouTube video, or boredom. I noticed quite a few things popped up multiple times during the month. Ray Ban sunglasses, coffee, a rug for our master bedroom, beach hat, plants for the house, and Nest cameras popped up constantly. I clearly missed my sacred Friday lattes.
Home items were really tough. I’m focused on finishing our living room and bedroom right now and West Elm is calling my name. Instead of checking another décor item off my list, MJ and I went to Lowes instead. We focused on house projects that needed to get done but that we kept putting off. I decided while there to not get anything for “my” projects. I didn’t get the shelves for my closet or pick up paint for our bedroom. Instead, we mounted the TV, hid the wires, and installed a light. Checking those items off of the list that I created months ago was so rewarding (and so much cheaper).
MJ always buys our out to eat meals. We limited it to ONLY on the weekends and only once a weekend if at all during July. I also offered to be our driver during this month. Less money spent on alcohol and Uber was a win-win. Instead of meeting for drinks I spent time with friends by making recipes at home or working out together.
In any given month I only spend money on my credit card (cash back baby!). I spent money in August on approved purchases and….one unapproved purchase. Yup I caved. My justification: I’d been waiting for over a month and the shiney Instagram post telling me the hat that I wanted appeared. Faye was back in stock. I considered waiting but with a trip in my near future I had no idea when I’d get the chance to reorder.
Could I have been stricter? Absolutely. But over the course of July I gained an understanding of my spending, got projects accomplished, and most importantly….saved over $500.