THE COMMITMENT SERIES: NO SPEND UPDATE

By the time I hit publish on this post I'll have completed the No Spend Commitment, the first commitment of the year. Even though I wasn't perfect, I would say that this no spend was a success. Here's why:

WHY I STARTED A NO SPEND

First things first, let's remember why I started the Commitment series with the no spend. More than anything it was to balance out the spending that happened in December over Christmas. Besides that, I always find I learn so much about myself with every no spend that I do. It was time for a self-check when it came to my spending, especially since I've transitioned from a full-time 9-5 job to working from home with an unpredictable income in the last 6 months.This challenge was all about being mindful about my spending. I was hoping to break the habit of impulsive buying and spending just to spend.

RULES

Here's what I wasn't allowed to buy.

NOT APPROVED

  • Cosmetics

  • Clothing

  • Shoes

  • Accessories

  • Decor & Furnishings (other than a bed frame)

  • Crafts

  • Notebooks & Pens

  • Mugs

  • Candles

  • Takeout Coffee

SLIP UPS

January 5th: Completely by accident, I bought a $5.00 takeout coffee... or my husband did but still. Most of you laughed at me when I realized what I'd done.

January 15th: I used a gift card to buy the Laneige lip sleeping mask at sephora and proceeded to buy the Dr. Jart BB Balm to replace the tinted moisturizer that I ran out of during the no spend - all technically approved. I went on to buy a hair paste for $5.99 and an Adidas T-shirt for $21.00, both of which I'm saying were absolutely not approved. Fail!

January 26th & 27th: On our trip to the mountains I hadn't quite decided how I would get around with the no spend. Normally I'm one to stroll around the town, pop into shops and boutiques, and buy something to remember the trip by. This time, my only spending outside of eating out involved two $5.00 lattes because crappy hotel coffee is not acceptable.

Total Unapproved Spending: $41.99 + applicable tax

LESSONS

1. Life Happens

I had big plans for this to be a month of huge savings, but of course, things don't always work out as you plan. I noticed halfway through the month that the diamond on my ring was loose so I immediately took it in to get fixed as well as soldered and plated. Then, we had a ski trip planned with my husband's work at the end of the month. At the time I started the no spend we weren't sure if I could join him on the trip. It wasn't until the last second that I decided to go, but that meant we were spendng more than we expected to travel and put our pup in doggy daycare. When I called to book him in for daycare while we'd be away they let me know his vaccine's needed updating so off we went to the vet to get those. Then I was also in the process of changing my last name after getting married and each and every document you change costs lots of money. Sigh. None of these items are breaking the rules because they were all necessary, but I will say they added up to be a way more expensive month than I anticipated.

2. Make your rules crystal clear

A few purchases, which I shared on instagram stories made me question whether I had broken the rules or not. It made me realize I needed to be way clearer on my rules otherwise I woud find loopholes. For instance, I bought the BB Cream to replace the tinted moisturizer before it actually was empty. I also bought the hair paste because my husband was away on business and took his with him, which I sometimes use. So were these approved? A lot of you thought they were, but I still wasn't so sure. The moral of the story is that I should have been more disciplined and not bought anything until each purchase was absolutely necessary and I could confidently say it was approved.

3. Know your triggers & replace them with something else

I quickly realized that without spending hours shopping at the mall, I had more time on my hands. In the spirit of new years resolutions, I decided to focus on myself and started working out way more with free workouts. To my surprise, I actually enjoyed it and found some similarities between both actions. Stay with me here. When I shop, I'm searching for a particular item that will make me look a certain way or solve a "problem" for me. Plus, with a few hours at the mall I could destress and just think about me for a while. A bit selfish really. Exercise, on the other hand, let me take a half hour to an hour to focus on me, my mind, and my body in a similar way. I could focus on looking a certain way through a health-centered mindset.

4. Buying one thing can be a catalyst to another

This lesson was learned in the death trap that is Sephora. I picked up the lip balm, which was okay because I had a gift card, but all that did was bring me face to face with temptation. I also have this horrible habit where I can't just buy one thing. I need to buy two or more items to make it "worth the trip." That's dumb. So too easily, I grabbed another item and broke the rules.

OVERVIEW

So on the grand scheme of things what did this no spend look like for my bank account? Without getting too personal here's what my budgets ended up looking like at the end of the month:

EXPECTED EXPENSES:

GROCERIES $300/$250

PETS $60/$125 *see below

RESTAURANTS: $96/$75

CLOTHING: $21/$150

MORTGAGE: $550/$550

AUTO INSURANCE: $95/$95

CELL PHONE: $92/$92

MAKEUP: $56/$60

NAILS: $55/$55

HAIR: $125/$180 (except I swapped this for a massage instead of a hair appointment)

SPOTIFY: $10/$10

ENTERTAINMENT (craveTV): $10/$10

BOOKS: $75/$75

ACCESSORIES: $0/$80

COFFEE SHOPS: $15/$20

HOBBIES: $0/$100

GAS/TRANSPORT: $60/ $75

HOME DECOR: $0/$100

*Other household utilites and some expenses are on my husband's accounts at the moment

TOTAL: $1620/$2102

UNEXPECTED SPENDING:

$200 (Getting my ring fixed)

$100 (new drivers license)

$380 (Pet Care - vaccines & daycare)

ACTUAL TOTAL: $2300/$2102

If you factor out the unexpected spending that I didn't foresee happening I ended up saving almost $500. After all is said and done I went over by $200, but the way i'm looking at it, if I didn't have this no spend in place I know that number would have been so much bigger.

So you're probably wondering, now that the no spend is done what am I dying to buy? Sure, I kept a wishlist throughout the challenge of some items that I felt the urge to buy, but the truth is there's nothing that I need so badly right this second. Seeing my progress and realizing how my mindset has shifted is exactly the encouragement I needed. To me, that's a win.

How did you do on your own no spends? Let me know in the comments! This won't be the only no spend I do this year so look for another in a few months time and join me then.

Stay tuned for the next commitment announcement!!

-Emilee

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