After many nights of looking into the pantry for something to create a meal, I really appreciate fresh food right now.
This is the wrap-up to my family’s No Spend Month when we cut back our spending to the basic essentials for the month. We started with a $400 budget and we finished with about $21 remaining. We could have gone out to lunch with that money, but we didn’t feel like spending that much for one meal so soon. We made a $4 cake instead.
A No Spend Month is beneficial when it’s by choice because you’re tired of buying things or because you want the discipline to help you reframe your expectations, and cutting back spending is one way to take better care of yourself and your family.
Like how January’s salads taste appealing and fresh after December’s generous helpings.
This month I often thought about my friend who lives like this every day, but not by her choice. Who won’t be able to go stock up her pantry when the month is over, and yet she remains cheerful.
I felt foolish as I missed my comfort items, and I thought about people who struggle every single day because everything is made so much harder. I noted how anxiety can well up from wondering, “Will there be enough to cover this?” at the occasions when other people are celebrating. I tried to memorize how it felt, since those words are not spoken and are often overlooked.
Sometimes when a person asks me, “I am already doing everything I know to do, and it’s not enough. What more can I do?” I don’t know what to say. It’s a question with no easy answer.
The No Spend Month was meant to be an exercise to make us aware of places where we can tighten up our spending habits and stop taking things for granted. If you are in a place of being stretched out thin, this is not meant to be added to the burden you already carry. This wasn’t intended for you. Keep your pace. You don’t start sprinting when you’re running a marathon.
If you however feel rather suffocated by things that won’t satisfy you, try using a No Spend Month to step back and refocus.