When the last day of No Spend Month finally arrived, I still had $67. We’ve never had so much money at the end before. I even had a half tank of gas in my car.
I went grocery shopping during the morning. Doug requested chips, and I bought a few other treats and some of the ingredients I needed for the batch cooking I want to do this week.
The pantry contains less now, but that’s a good thing. I wouldn’t call it empty, but it’s certainly decluttered. It reminds me of when I cleaned out the spice cabinet. When I toss dried basil that’s ten years old, I don’t need to replace it, since we were obviously never going to use it. A lot of the food in the pantry was being passed over every week, and now that we’ve finally used it up, I don’t want to buy more.
So what are we going to buy now?
Doug wants a hair cut. He needs it, but he wasn’t brave enough to let me do it to him for him.
I plan to buy a new soup pot, because the one I have is warped and doesn’t cook the food evenly. That’s a purchase that was delayed during this month. Waiting to buy it didn’t save me any money, but it did give me a few weeks to think about it and make sure I really want it.
Those delayed purchases are the exception though, because as I look at my budgets from previous months, most of the discretionary expenses we avoided this month are things that we would have consumed. I’m sure I’m not alone in this. Restaurant dinners, entertainment, impulse shopping at the grocery store, coffee stops, and extra car trips to go pick up this or that. The money we didn’t spend on those activities is truly saved. We don’t want to suddenly go eat out twice as much now to make up for the dinners we didn’t eat out this month. In fact, we usually eat out less in the following month, because that’s what we’ve become accustomed to. I am looking forward to having a bigger budget, but my habits have already changed.
By evening, after grocery shopping, we still had $10 left. I saved it in case we wanted to go out and do something fun to celebrate. Should we go out for coffee? No, the coffee at home tasted better. Did I want a milkshake? No, I had a better smoothie at home. See, that’s the problem with No Spend Month. It makes going out and spending money not seem like quite as much fun, because the money doesn’t go very far.
Stopping spending is like going without sugar. It’s kind of hard at first. Have you ever given up a soda habit? I really like root beer, but there have been seasons when I’ve stopped drinking it. Later if I treat myself to a root beer in a tall frosted glass, it never tastes as great as I hoped. It’s too sweet. Yes, it still tastes good, but it’s not as satisfying as it once was.
We decided to stay home instead of going out to celebrate, so we sat out on the balcony and talked while we watched the rain come in.
I didn’t think that No Spend Month could go this well. Thank you so much for your encouraging comments. It certainly helped me to be accountable each week. I learned a lot too, some things I had forgotten, but that’s something I’ll have to tell you about next time.