Exciting! Today, together with a few thousands of other frugal families, I am joining the no-spend, frugal January challenge. T. is NOT joining with me. Actually I did not even tell him about it since I just know what his reaction will be. Moaning and whining, crying at a thought of potentially being deprived of whatever goodies his little heart desires. While I will try to spend as little as possible for this entire month, I actually wonder if he will even notice that I am doing anything differently.
Well, I am already pretty frugal and careful with money but I am challenging myself to really give it my best to focus on everything else that brings me joy rather than buying things.
I have been indulging in reading FIRE focused blogs and I am really longing for T. and I to achieve financial freedom in the next little while (like maybe 10 years?). Not to necessarily retire or quit working at 47 or 50, but to have freedom to choose the work we want to be doing and in what capacity, to be able to take breaks to travel and not worry about getting a paycheck or unpaid bills for a few months.
So, will the ‘no spend’ month bring me closer to this dream? Maybe. Or maybe not. But it can surely keep me motivated and straight on the right path to what truly my (our) biggest goal is. Not another piece of clothing or decorative blanket throw from Home Goods (although I really love them too!). The biggest goal for this year is to save, save, save. Period.
I realize that everyone’s rules and exceptions for the no spend challenge are / may be different as our needs are different.
My rules are:
- All monthly expenses paid on time
- No change as far as grocery shopping (I am trying to put on some ‘healthy’ weight and hopefully get pregnant soon)
- Absolutely NO clothing (new or used), cosmetics and beauty products in general
- No meals out, no take outs (not hard to do since we only average 1-2 takeout meals a month)
My exceptions are:
- $20 for personal spending. This will be for whatever it takes to be social and meet with my girls over the next 4 weekends. $5 per weekend which is plenty for a fancy latte or a shitty coffee and a pastry. Will see what I end up with.
I am very optimistic about this year and what it will bring. I hope to keep up with all the good things I am already doing and pick up some new, healthy habits. I have not come up with any ‘resolutions’ for this year. Instead, I am going to set up ‘goals’ for each month, giving myself a much better chance of succeeding.
Are YOU joining the ‘no-spend’ month challenge? What are your rules and exceptions?