My new year’s resolution this year was to have a no-spend month for January. My goal for the no spend month was more about resetting habits over saving money, but saving money is always a bonus!
During the last few months, I got in the habit of buying Starbucks and lunch every single day. My morning Starbucks run was more about getting away from my desk in the morning and treating myself, but half the time I wasn’t even finishing my drink—such a waste! It’s also a huge waste to be throwing away a reusable cup every single day. I was also buying lunch out of convenience because I wasn’t taking the time to grocery shop or prepare foods for lunches. I was spending at least $10 on lunches and also buying a bottle of water every morning too! In total, I was spending at least $15 (sometimes more) on things that could be cut out.
The other habit that I wanted to give up was online shopping. I love scrolling the sale section of stores like Madewell, Sephora, J Crew, and Lululemon, and often easily spend $100 a week on things that are “a good deal”. I love clothing and shopping and I work hard for my money, so I don’t try to beat myself up for treating myself. BUT, I really don’t need all of that stuff and would rather spend money on something that I really want or need, instead of mindless orders just because things were a good deal.
Cutting out Starbucks was pretty easy for me. I just make a second cup of coffee in a to-go mug every morning. It’s not as much of a “treat” but I really didn’t need it! Preparing lunches did take a little extra planning and prepping time on the weekend. The first few weeks, I felt a little “deprived” that I couldn’t treat myself to lunch, but food is food and I survived!
Breaking the habit of mindless shopping was by far the hardest. I realized that when I was having a bad day at work or was bored, I had the urge to start shopping. Whenever I got emails about post-holiday sales, I just had to delete them instead of starting to look. I even unsubscribed from a lot of retail emails, because I felt like I was being flooded with them every single day! I am really hoping to shift my mindset from looking for something to buy to going to buy something when I need it.
The first half of the month has required a lot of will power, but I think I’m starting to adopt the habits! I’ve definitely noticed that my bank account isn’t as drained at the end of the week! I do need to ensure that come February, I don’t fall back into all of the same habits or splurge just to compensate!
Have you ever done a no spend month? How did it go?