Thursday, December 29, 2011

The 30 Day No Spend Challange

Well, I did it. I went for 30 days and spent no money. Well, except for groceries and gas and such. Of course. Granted it was a few months ago, in October and I just forgot to write about it until now. Still, it was hard. Way harder than I thought it would be. Its crazy how easy it is for us to spend money. Of course, I am one of those crazy bargain people that never pays full price for anything. I use coupons and shop the clearance sections. I am a penny pincher by nature. I was raised that way. To make every last cent count so you can splurge on the important things in life. Like your kids or vacation or that new toy you've been eyeing for yourself.

The only problem with being that kind of shopper means that you pretty much have to buy things as they are available at a certain price. For example, I shop the end of season clearance for next years clothes. If something is on sale at the grocery store I buy enough to last through the next time I know it will be on sale (yes, retailers, you really are that predictable). Its a piece at a time type thing. Crazy? Maybe, but I saved a ton of money so its well worth it. I can feed our family of four, three of which are boys, on about $200 a month. The other thing people usually say is that they don't "have time" to save money. That one always makes me wonder a little...

Anyway, as you can imagine, not spending money for a whole month was almost traumatic for me. First was the big grocery shop at the beginning. I am not used to buying a whole month's worth of food as once. Some of it was full price even! *Gasp*! Seriously, I think I died a little when they gave me the total. We did, however, have enough food to feed us for almost the whole month and it was kind of nice to not have to think about going out to the store every few days. Still, If we were craving something, we were just screwed.

We actually made it the whole month not buying anything outside the necessities. The problem is, by the time we bought a months worth of groceries and such at the beginning, we ended up coming out the end with almost as much as we do normally.

That was a sad realization but kind of good too. It means that we are able to save enough month to month on the day to day household operations to pay for the extras and still put a little away. Doing it the other way, we spent it all on food.

Does that seem backwards to anyone else?

It seems like the point of doing a no spend challenge should be to change your spending habits for the better but it just kind of made me like the way I do things better. My way is at least more fun. Which is usually the point, isn't it? If you can't find the time and money to have fun, then what fun is having the time or money to begin with?

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