I bet your all just dying to know how my daunting “No Spend September” went.
So – did I spend money? I did – but less. Up to the halfway point I was doing pretty good. We ate fast food once after I had done a stretch of 6 and was so freaking exhausted I just didn’t want to exert any effort to cook. I also ended up buying a patient a coffee during that time, but overall I didn’t buy myself any “extras” or coffee’s for myself, which was a big win. Matthias also did well the first two weeks (and overall he did better the entire month than I did).
The second two weeks things got a little trickier. I needed to get new winter tires (my tires were the stock tires that were on the vehicle when it was new 4 years ago) and with my schedule being as busy as it was I knew it wasn’t something I could put off. So I had to drop a chunk of change, but considering the snow storm we are having today it was 10000% money well spent.
I also caved a few times during the second half and bought the kids hash browns (and myself a coffee) after swimming lessons, as well as a few coffees before some evenings I did (again during a stretch of 6).
Overall – it was substantially less than it would have been had I *not* been on a No Spend Month, and I think the biggest thing was that I was much more mindful of the spending.
Another curve ball – Matthias had some random days off each week, as well as a 6 day weekend, as his job was pushed back. Love that economy, amiright? So unfortunately that, coupled with the new tires, didn’t actually get us ahead like I was hoping. It was (and is) disheartening to look at the numbers and Matthias’ pay stubs and know that even though I was working more than full time hours it wouldn’t be enough to save anything for his unpaid time off.
Thankfully I have a full work schedule for this month, as well as no large expected expenses, so I am hopeful that I will be able to save a bit this month and next month. It’s tough. I feel like some of the debt we carry from earlier stupid decisions really holds us back and its like fighting tooth and nail to get ahead. Matthias’ shitty work schedule doesn’t help things, and most of the time I am just trying to remind myself to be grateful he has work at all, even if its inconsistent.
So would I do it again? Totally. I think it was a good reality check into some of the impulse things I was rationalizing and purchasing that were unnecessary. I would probably rather just throw in a “No Spend Week” here or there, as I think that would be easier to do regularly as well as without “cheating.”
I am happy with our results, and the experience, and I would definitely recommend it for other families in similar situations who want to become more mindful of their spending patterns.