Something’s gotta give.
If you read my previous post on tackling debt, you know that I’m in the thick of paying off a few cards/loans that accrued over the years. It’s not a very glamorous process and it’s slow going but I’m making progress. Just a few days ago, I came across an old debt payoff tracker from a few years ago and it made me really stop and think about how I’ve managed to stay on this rollercoaster. Mostly because I hadn’t really made enough noticeable progress. Pay everything off, charge more, pay it all off again. It’s been an endless ride and I want off.
So, I had to really dig into the why because I’ve been shorting future me (us) a lot. The internal conversation is basically me justifying a purchase because I’ll be able to pay it off when the bill comes. Except when the bill comes, I always wish I had the money freed up for something else and sometimes, I realize I didn’t really need whatever it was that I bought in the first place.
The problem is, I’m not very patient. I don’t want to wait until I have the cash to buy something. I want it when I see it and I need that instant gratification. Jacked up I know but I’m working on it and this no spend challenge is helping.
The fact of the matter is that while we are not drowning in debt or struggling, it doesn’t mean that we are in the best place that we could be. I accept my part in that (all of it really) because I manage the day-to-day bills and I do all the spending. So, I have the power to change our financial picture by not spending money on things we don’t really need. The Jamaica trip was a key factor in me facing my own shit. We want to travel more, and I can’t do that if I’m not sacrificing my random, middle of the night Amazon purchases.
So, enter in this no spend challenge that I started this month. It means no spending on anything that isn’t a bill basically. No clothes, no eating out, no random I need to have this now purchases. I’ve stuck to it thus far and it’s been eye opening to see all the things I would have bought.
Clothes, website add-ons, batteries for our Ring, a lamp, nightstands, the list goes on and on and when I totaled it came to around $700. It’s been difficult not gonna lie. I told myself that when October comes, I would re-evaluate and see if I still needed to buy any of the things that I didn’t this month. Already, there really isn’t much that I’m dying to get except this and this because I’m building up my wardrobe after cleaning out my closet for the fifth time.
Ultimately, I want to save more for the things we have prioritized. Right now, that’s traveling, building up savings and funding categories like clothing for me, future expenses for the kids (cars and such) and continuing to update spaces in our home.
Learning to be more patient is key in all of this. I don’t need this thing now; I can wait until I’ve saved for it and then purchase it and if it sells out then so be it. It’s all part of being more intentional and slowing down. I’ll update at the end of the month and report back on how it’s gone. Have you ever done a no spend month?