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Why you are failing at no-spend months

Uncategorized Sep 01, 2018

No-spend months seem to be all the rage lately. What is a no-spend month? It’s where you don’t spend money. At all. For a whole month.

Why?

A few reasons:

  • You can save money.
  • You can learn to be more intentional with your personal finances and what you are bringing into your home.
  • You can kind of “re-set” your purchasing habits.

But let’s be honest. No-spend months? I hate ‘em. And I honestly think they are basically setting people up to fail.

Let's look at this another way...

Diets. I think it's safe to say the majority of women have gone on a diet at SOME point in their life, am I right? There are so many different ways to diet, but so many of the programs are suuuper strict, limiting calories big time along with the types of food. 

You may start a diet and feel on top of the world for the first day or two. Your water intake is off the charts, you counted calories perfectly and you swear your pants feel a little looser already. 

...but then you are up all night with the baby.

...and you are running late to preschool drop-off.

...and you got into an argument with your friend.

...and you are really, REALLY hungry. 

So you see the oreo's in the pantry and you think "just ONE wouldn't be SO bad, would it?"

Next thing you know, an entire row of cookies have mysteriously disappeared - and a Frappucino at the Starbucks drive through just has to happen. 

"I'll get back on track tomorrow" you think as you eat the pizza your husband brought home from work.

Sound familiar?

I believe the same trap happens with no-spend months.

You set HIGH and unrealistic expectations with very minimal tools, and then you wonder HOW you racked up a $250 tab at Target in under 30 minutes. 

So then HOW can you challenge yourself in the personal purchasing and spending habits world?

Let's just tweak this a bit! What if we just shifted our thinking and challenged ourselves to an intentional spending month?

What if we wrote down the items we think we need or want, and give ourselves a week or two to let it simmer and THEN decide? (9 times out of 10, that impulse will be gone and it will be crossed off the list). 

What if we deleted the Amazon app off of our phones, so that when we decided we truly needed something to make our households run smoother, or our lives more efficient - we had to get on a computer, log-in, and click several buttons to do it? 

(Side-note, I was SHOCKED at how much money I saved our family simply by turning off one-click purchasing in Amazon! I love Amazon for how easy they make life for me, but did I really need 17 different colors of post-it notes?)

What if we asked ourselves some questions before we walked to the check-out line?

  • Is this the best use of this money?
  • Do I want this item enough to spend time taking care of it?
  • Would I still buy this 3 months from now?

And what if we wrote down EVERY single purchase we made in this intentional spending month? If we have to write it down and be accountable for it, do we still want to buy it?

Deciding on challenging yourself to an intentional spending month is going to encourage better habits for Minimal-ish Living than a no-spend month ever will.

So, who is up for it?


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