The time has started again for me. I have begun my fourth No Spend stretch. This year, I plan to go from January to the end of March. I am doing this no spend with the goal of decluttering my home and to save up for another upcoming International trip! (What can I say, London is calling!) It is important when planning a No Spend to choose your why and make goals accordingly.
Here is a list of my top 6 reasons to go on a No Spend in 2020.
1. Pay Off Debt Then Save
According to CNBC older millennials like me average up to 42,000 dollars! What is sobering is that the debts biggest source is from credit cards. Secondary to credit cards are student loans. So to get a jump on a loan principal or to pay off debt is a great start to a No Spend. If you meet those goals, then you can begin to stockpile a savings.
2. Focus on the Non-Material
Sometimes I get on these tangents and want the next big thing. Now that my computer is aging past the 7 years mark, I am itching to buy a new one. However, I have an Ipad backup and my husband has a computer that can be used in a pinch. So why do I need a new computer tomorrow? What is worse, if I look at new models, I will be inundated with ads for new computers. This is just a personal example of the culture of consumerism we experience daily. A No Spend is a way to separate from that culture for awhile. I mentioned in my tips from last year, a way to have a successful No Spend is to remove tempting emails and social media accounts.
I find it refreshing to take some time away from this and be thankful for what I have.
3. Stop Using Shopping As Therapy
I really concentrated last year on breaking this pattern. Instead of going home to relax after a long day, I would go to a store to shop. I would do this as a way to make myself feel better. If you find a sense of relief in shopping instead of facing feelings a No Spend may be a good challenge. Before beginning, make a list of other things you can try instead like walking the beach or adult coloring sheets.
4. Make Dent in Clutter
This reason is a big part of why I am beginning another No Spend this year. I have dumped so much stuff in my classroom’s closet and a cart by my desk. Last year, I halved my book collection and craft supplies. Now I want to find a place for and reduce the clutter building up since the holiday season. When I stopped shopping last year and went through my books, I was amazed at how much I had accumulated. Even with all the ones I got rid of it would take me over 10 years diligently reading to get through what I have left on the shelf. (That doesn’t even touch what is on my Nook!)
5. Find Where Your Budget is Failing
Our money goes into little vortexes like monthly service fees for things we do not use or food we let go to waste. (Lettuce going bad in our fridge is one of mine.) When I stopped spending, I realized where some of my money was going. For me it was mainly buying random stuff, not following the grocery list, or over-shopping at Thrift Stores. The things wasting your budget become like a spot on a clean white wall.
6. See Where to Question Expenses
Doing No Spends has allowed me to realize things that I do not need. For example, I do to stockpile 3 containers of body wash. I can use what I have until it is completely out. I also do not need 12 different shades of pink lipstick. Soon, I hope to switch some of my products to washable alternatives. For example, instead of cotton swabs for toner or micellar water, I can use these awesome fiber clothes my best friend gave me. If you want to learn to live on less, a No Spend can really get your creativity going.
My 2020 No Spend Rules
So now it is time for the big reveal. You can see last year’s rules here. Some will be the same, and I have made a few different exceptions this time.
*No random trip to get coffee or eating out. Unless it falls within the first exception.
*No purchasing anything unnecessary including clothes and books.
*Declutter my closet and classroom during the No Spend.
*Use what I already have with toiletries, food, and cleaning supplies before purchasing more.
*This time I am allowing myself a $30 dollar social budget. I can use this for movies, experiences, or social time. (I can use part of this money for coffee or eating out if I am not alone)
*This time we will still buy gifts and celebrate birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, and new babies.
*I can purchase replacements or anything essential for my 3 jobs. (This includes blogging, teaching, or the library.)
*I can spend money on food, lodging, and other things within reason when I go to the VIPKid Journey Conference in March.
So far, I have done okay. The only exception has been to go with a few friends while they were still in town to bubble tea and one lunch date with Edward. I let this slide because of timing, but now I am on the straight and narrow!
Beginning this week, I will post updates on my Facebook page. Please join myself and community there to discuss your progress!
How will you implement No Spend in 2020?
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