My version of "No spend month"
Do you know Rachel Meeks and her wonderful blog Small Notebook? It is one of my favorites because it if pertinent and real and simple. Since baby number two arrived in January, I have been far away from writing or reading but during a late night perusing of my Google Reader account I stumbled upon a post of hers that has changed everything.
Rachel and her family did their 4th annual No Spend Month and it inspired me to do the same. I wasn't organized enough to set up a budget and plan for a whole month of not spending or get my husband totally on board (for now) so I started with the simple act of not buying anything except groceries and gas.
And after about 15 days (I didn't start exactly on the 1st), there a bit more money in the bank, but there is a lot of awareness and awareness of one's habits, especially around money, can only lead to good things.
What I realized:
From Groupon to Craigslist, Mini Social, I realized how much of my spending was reactionary or circumstancial - justifed with a "This is a great deal" or "It's used" or "It's at the second-hand store" or "My baby needs this to sleep through the night" or "This will help my 3 year old sit at the table and eat all my himself."
What I did:
1. Removed my email from lists like Groupon and Living Social
2. Removed the craigslist, ebay and Joss&Main apps from my iPhone
3. Donated several bags to the local charity shop
4. Sold several pieces of furniture I was saving for "someday"
5. Let every online purchase sit in the shopping cart overnight. By the next day, I didn't go back to buy.
All in all this was an incredibly eye opening experience and I will get my act together to do this again next summer.