April 15, 2015

no spend february

maybe no spend is a bit misleading - we definitely did spend money during february.  but only on the essentials. so perhaps no-excess spending would be a better way of phrasing it.

the goal here was to get back on track after the holidays.  start 2015 fresh.

the rules we created for our household were fairly straight forward - do not spend any money on non-essential items -  nothing beyond the regular life expenses (utilities, mortgage, gas, groceries, etc), for the 28 days in february.

our first step was to determine what our needs were vs our wants.  needs, in my mind, are things like rent/mortgage payments, groceries, utilities, transit.  wants, on the other hand, are the nice little extras - meals out, coffee from a cafe, the adorable sun dress.

once these were established, the planning started.  how were we going to do this?  each meal needed to be mapped out.  free activities during the month were researched so we could still see friends.  what diy projects could we accomplish with items we already had?

some sources of inspiration for this project were: and then we savedgail vaz oxlade, and give me back my five bucks.

surprisingly, this challenge was not nearly as hard as i thought it would be.  it ended up being a really great way to reassess what is important to you & what you can honestly, truly live without.

a few tips:
- plan ahead!  map out your month - meals to eat, activities to do, everything.
- use what you have.  shop your cupboards for meal ideas, look at your bookshelf for a book you've been dying to read, search pinterest for fun fresh ways to use outfit items you already have.
- remember why you are doing it.  it's easy to make exceptions - the outfit was too cute to pass up, the coffee at work isn't as good.  remind yourself what you want to achieve with this challenge, what your end goal is. it will help refocus your priorities.
- reward yourself.  don't forget to reward your success.  it doesn't have to be huge & elaborate (or undo all the hard work) - it could be as simple as a night out at the movies.  

have you ever done something like this? do you think you could survive a month without spending?

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