What can you gain by taking control of your money? A lot more than a fatter wallet! Wesabean CymbidiumKelly, or Kelly, shared that by not spending for a month, she and her family learned “A lot about ourselves, our habits, and the psychology behind our spending.” Read on for their top five lessons…
1. Competition breeds success.
It was fun to try to spend less than my husband on unnecessary expenses. It made the challenge exciting. If you don’t have a spouse or partner get a friend or family member involved. And for the record he won.
2. We usually spend when we are unsatisfied or unhappy.
Normally we spend on take-out, coffee, and snacks/treats for the family when we are feeling like we need time off or a break. By forcing ourselves to deal with any situation head-on we are happily exhausted by the end of the day, and the desire to spend is usually gone. When we did need a break we found ways to get that time, and we did spend some money on our time off, but knowing it was our only time off made it so much more memorable.
3. Not spending gives us freedom.
By not focusing on going out to run errands or pick up this, that or the other thing; we found ourselves with a lot more time on our hands. We used it to keep the house cleaner, play more with our kids, and fix up the house.
4. The time spent on buying and maintaining more stuff can be spent getting rid of stuff, and you can earn money!
When I had to go to the store I was in with a list in my hand and out with only everything on it, and in record time! The time I saved I used to purge things we weren’t using, giving some away on Freecycle and others to friends and family members. I sold a few items (mostly toys) and netted about $45 for the month.
5. If at first you don’t succeed try, try again.
If your No Spend Month doesn’t work out, or even if it does, do it again! We have plans to do another No Spend Month in February, with hope that we’ll spend even less!
Inspired by the success of the No Spend Month, Kelly has launched The Centsible Life, a personal finance blog. We have no doubt it will be a grand success!