As many of you know, John and I decided to do a no spend June this month. It hasn’t been perfect by any means, there have been some things that we decided together, we could break it for, but for the most part, it has been super enlightening.
After buying a house, we knew we needed to reset. I am sure, some of you know this, but buying a house is not cheap. It isn’t just the cost of the home, but there are a lot of erroneous charges that come up. Then, once you move in, it is buying a lot of random things you might now have bought before (i.e. a barbecue – our apartment had one, a lawn mower – we have grass now, etc). As a result, John and I decided it might be best to limit our expenses for one month to hopefully just reset us.
Here were our rules:
- No buying of extra things – this meant no mani/pedi for me, no clothes, no random stops to Sephora to see what’s new that I might need, no extra workout classes, etc.
- No eating out – this included limiting how much we were eating at our respective work cafeterias
- If we were to break no-spend June, it had to be agreed upon as a couple
We are just over the middle of the month and I personally feel like we have done really well. For myself, I really noticed how much random stuff I buy. Every time I wanted to make a purchase, I thought about no-spend June, and as a result, it made me question the purchase. What I found interesting though, was that it made me not only question the purchase for the month, but also for in the future. For example, I have been buying a lot of erroneous skincare products because I am definitely interested in always trying more products and learning more, but what I realized was just how much money I was spending each month and that was pretty crazy. Another example, was my afternoon Starbucks addiction at work. Almost every afternoon, I was going to get a Starbucks, which definitely adds up. I realized I was almost spending $100/month on coffee instead of the $25 our budget has allotted.
Now, I have to perfectly honest and tell you it hasn’t been perfect. Some people have to do it exactly by the book and not spend a single penny. That isn’t me and that isn’t John. There were a few times where I have eaten at my cafeteria at work, bought a bag of pink starbursts (I couldn’t resist – I mean a whole bag of ONLY pink starbursts), etc. But, honestly I still feel like we are coming out on top.
Here have been my major take-aways:
- I buy a LOT of random crap. I have been buying tons of clothes “for the blog,” eating out, coffee, random $25 bills going to who knows what. Through this process, I have realized that I am spending on randomness and I would like to be more intentional with where my money goes.
- No-spend June doesn’t have to be perfect. If anything, it has made me realize that this way of thinking is actually much more sustainable for the following months and that if anything it has just brought my attention to avoiding purchasing things I don’t need.
- Eating out and drinking alcohol is EXPENSIVE. John and I were eating out a lot more than we should, and now eating out has not only been more of a pleasure and something to look forward to, but it has also encouraged us to host more in our home, which I have actually loved. I am still not great at it, but it use to seem like this big ordeal that I would need to stress over, and now that we have done it two or three times this month, it actually isn’t as bad as what it seems. And, in fact, we also realized that people enjoy being welcomed into your home, just as much as they enjoy going out to eat.
- I would rather know where my money is going. Each month I would get my allotted amount for the month and half way through I would sit there and wonder where it had all gone. What in the world had I bought? Through this I have become much more intentional with what I purchase and to be honest I would rather buy a really nice hand bag every few months than a ton of randomness that I will just give away to good will.
I will write up a final post on exactly how it ends for us. Even if we aren’t able to save a ton of money, I feel good about now being more cognizant of our purchases. It is so easy to just swipe your credit or debit card, but when you are actually thinking about it and asking yourself, if it is something you have to have or a nicety, you will probably opt that you don’t need it.
I would love to hear if you have ever done one of these months and what you learned from it, or what your rules are. For John and I, it has been a fun little challenge that has kept us creative and thinking outside the box.