I put on myself a "No Spend January" challenge. Other than the necessities like food and toiletries and medicine, I challenged myself to not spend any money buying things in January while I was out and about. With the exception of the tennies I ordered myself for 16.99 (regularly $65) and the two Target clearance clocks for $1.98 a piece, I didn't buy anything except the necessities.
You know what? I did well. It was hard at the beginning of the month. After all the shopping of December, I was still in the shopping mode, but as the weeks went on, it really became something I was not going to let beat me.
Now it isn't as if we didn't need some new items but could we get by, YES. Usually I buy new towels at the beginning of the year. That is when they are the cheapest and ours are looking most like rags.
Linens and towels - January/February and July/August (discontinued fall and spring merchandise)
I held off. I will buy them in February while they are still on sale.
Spending is like any other habit. It takes time to break. As each year of my frugal pursuits passes, I get better at it and feel less impulsive. In fact the other day when I picked up our taxes and found we were getting a refund, I texted hubby and came right home. In previous years I would have rewarded my good feelings with a stop to buy something or pick up a Starbucks. But because I had not been spending and was out of the habit, I just came home. No money spent except the gas.
I also challenged myself to no drive days. Because school had not started full force, it was easy to have lots of these and for the month I had 11 no drive days. My car never pulled out of the driveway. This is just savings in so many ways. No gas used, no miles on my car, no money spent in stores and the benefit are days where I seemed to get more done. It won't be as easy now that my two middle girls are back in school but I can still challenge myself to Saturdays at home or a day during the week when they have no school.
I'll talk more about my grocery spending challenge next time.
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