When I decided to do a No Spend Challenge for all of February, I signed up on a whim. Literally, the day before the start of the month.
- To set myself up to fail?
- Or to set myself more of a challenge?
- Or just because I love to do things on the fly?
Maybe a combination of all three ??♀️
Unfortunately, this gave me NO opportunity to plan out spending. Or consider what was already booked for the month ahead. But that’s ok, and I figured it’s all part of the ride!
Enter why I created my PLANNER where I could lay down the ground rules from the start!
Halfway through, and whilst not every day has been spending free. I can categorically say that what has been spent on items other than bills, groceries etc. is all for the big picture. The end game. Intentional.
Not spending in the spur of the moment. These are the ones I’ve noticed most.
- Let’s go shopping just because (why not??)
- Or ooohhh, I like that ($$$)
- Or materialistic items to sit on the shelf and collect dust (lovely but not needed!)
Only spending on things that matter to me, my family & my future self.
Here is some background to why I decided to live an intentional life in 2022. Some of you may know, but many don’t. Over the past few years, and dealing with the uncertainty that covid has created, I’ve endured the sudden, unexpected loss of family. Sadly watched my family succumb to the cruelty that is cancer. I also gave up alcohol just as covid hit and haven’t touched it since.
I’ve always been about experiences and living life but never been intentional about it.
Family holidays, I always make sure we try something new, abseiling, horse riding through water and along the beach, canyoning at Karijini, quad bike riding in coral bay, giving my children a taste of life and what is out there. Yes, trust me, there is always plenty of shopping and material items too – I do have three girls after all – the odds were always against me ?
In recent years, my reason became for me. I started doing things I always wanted to. You know that bucket list because if not now, then when? Some may say, what I have spent money on in February is luxury. Some may be more want items, not need items. But to me, they are life items.
Remember, I didn’t plan out a no spend month before starting.
I had already committed to things. And let’s face it, February is such a great month for events in Perth. With our amazing weather, staying home and doing nothing wasn’t an option. I could have planned and spent the money before I started, scheduled things in, etc. But seriously, where is the fun and challenge in that?
I’d already committed to ticking items off my bucket list and living my best first-class life – living my intentional life in 2022. Not following through on those because I chose not to spend would have been a regretful move for me and not what this year is about.
So here are a few things I have spent money on to fulfil my intentional life.
Adopted a Platypus – if my small contribution has aided in saving them from extinction for our generations to come, I can be proud knowing I contributed.
Purchased a Voucher for my Scuba Ticket – I’ve always loved the water and always wanted to do scuba, but it was never the right time. So now I’m going to achieve that dream. Even if I never do it again after finishing the course, I can say I’ve done it.
A Monthly Massage – to remove the stress, rejuvenate me, look after me so that I can look after everyone else.
Fringe Festival – shows were already booked in and paid for before the beginning of the month. However, we did buy some drinks.
Take Out – In all fairness, life sometimes happens, and Monday nights have always been take out nights in our house. We all work (or go to school) and play netball that evening, so time has always been a factor.
What I haven’t spent money on – and these are the more critical areas that I feel is what the no spend challenge is all about.
These are the areas where I’ve typically just gone and spent money without thought.
- I can’t be bothered making lunch. I’ll just buy it.
- I need a coffee. I’ll grab one.
- I like those clothes ($$$)
- Doggo! Doggo always needs new toys or treats ?
- Wow, I love that plant. Sold ?
You know, all that lazy, impulse shopping and spending, I’ve noticed it all!!!
I’ve consciously been out and looked and evaluated how much I really want something.
I’ve intentionally walked away and thought if I still want it (or need it) next month, I’ll get it then.
I’ve shopped around for items I’ve purchased rather than paying full price – scuba ticket $130 rather than the full price of $600 (thanks to Groupon and shop back – but that’s a blog for another day).
So whilst it hasn’t been a completely spend free month so far, what I have spent money on, has been intentional.
- It’s made me rethink purchases,
- Reset those habits of spending on a whim,
- It made me plan my spending, and
- It was the reset that I needed after the expense of Christmas and school holidays.
So I challenge you to take a moment to assess your WANTS vs NEEDS and have a No Spend Day, Week or Month.
I knew I could and know many of you could benefit also:
☑️ Path to living debt-free life (mortgage, cars, credit cards etc.)
☑️ Chance to reset finances after Christmas, New Year and School Holidays
☑️ Break some spending habits and form new ones
☑️ Less wasteful
☑️ Planned spending, instead of just spending (be intentional about it!)
It doesn’t mean going without or missing out. It just means reevaluating the necessity.