So this past month, I was saving all my spending money to pay for Elton John tickets!
What does that mean?
Well, in a NO SPEND challenge, you do your best to not spend any extra money.
You are allowed to buy gas, food and lodging ( rent/mortgage )
But that is it- no fast food, no quick coffees, no Lunch Drop, all in aid of spending as little as you can. This was my goal.
So I want to address the elephant in the room when it comes to tackling a goal.
FEAR tells you, “you can’t do that, that’s crazy!” or “that is not possible”
Do yourself a favor and Tell FEAR to SHUT UP and tackle your goal!
Do you want to write a book? First of all, you can do it if you want to.
Break it down into bite size pieces-
How many pages will you write a day? What’s your deadline?
Do you want to lose weight? How much? If it’s 10 pounds- make it five and then do it twice. This is not my idea, it’s Jon Acuff’s. He is a New York Times best-selling author that wrote a book called “Finish” that is all about what we can do to “finish” what we start.
Several ways to buy this book- but since this post is about saving money, I find it only natural to tell you – Go to the library and check it out instead. See, I just saved you at least 8.00 !
Back to the No-Spend challenge. It took me back to the days when we were sacrificing to get out of debt (2012-2015). This is me making our last payment to the credit card !
One of the first things we did was take an inventory of how much money we were spending without thinking about it. When my husband and I looked at it, we were spending over 300.00 a month on fast-food and coffee and energy drinks. Doing the math, that’s 3600.00 a year, that’s not small change. At that time, we started really being intentional with our money and if it was over 50.00 we had a conversation about whether we needed it or not, but our spending money was our own to spend however we wished. That kept us sane in the slog that was debt reductions. That still holds true today so I took on this challenge with my spending money.
I had a group on social media that we checked in with daily. We cheered each other on and
About midway through the month I realized I have a monthly fee for a speaker bureau membership 9/15 and I thought hard about whether I needed to spend that money, I ultimately decided to keep it, because I learn so much from them and it’s a very enriching experience being part of that group of students and teachers from around the world, all working towards the goal of being better speakers.
I made up my mind that it was better to have some progress than to shoot for perfection and just quit because I had a setback.
So that was 39.00, and I said, okay, let me see what I can do to NOT spend any more, and I did pretty well, if I do say so myself but not perfect. I really wanted to go see a movie last week so I did and spent a little then, but overall feel really good about my progress.
I kept a tally of the things that I wanted to buy this past month but did not spend.
Day 1- feeling tempted by drive in coffee- that’s 5.67 I am NOT spending
Day 5- Someone just walked by with Which Wich.. Ah.. tough.. that’s at least 9.00 I am saving
Day 7- Dang I am in a really bad mood, some coffee would would taste awesome! 3.56 saved!
I had to get creative because after I started, I remembered I had breakfast plans that I then pushed to October, explaining the challenge, they were understanding and intrigued asking me more about it. I also had a lunch the last week of the challenge and I explained what I was doing and getting creative, I brought my lunch and we had a picnic instead. At work, someone is selling World’s Finest Chocolate bars.. Ugh!! I love them! I used to sell them in school, and they tempted me as well. I told the purveyor, I will see you on October 1st! They asked why and that was another person I told and they asked some questions and it made them more aware of their expenses and spending.
I was reminded of how intentional I USED to be when it came to spending money and this month was a GREAT exercise in revisiting that skill! I was careful to drive a certain way to work and home so I avoided being NEAR fast food or Target (my Achilles heel for needless spending)
All told, I WANTED to spend 354.58 but in fact spent 67.00 so that’s pretty good!
There were 74 other people in this challenge with me and some of them did better, and some of them did worse, but you know what, I am running my own race and happy with my results.
I am happy to say that I saved what I needed and then some! Hello, Yellow Brick Road!
What is stopping you from pursuing your goal?
Even if you don’t accomplish it, the act of pursuing it, gains you yardage!
Think About It.