Things I Learned During No Spend Month

Debt Repayment, No Spend Month, shopping

No Spend Month - Two 20-something girls journey through a NSM

I know it has been awhile and I’ve been promising an update since the end of May, but it was harder than I expected! That month taught me a lot about myself that I didn’t expect. I still need to give you all a final tally and an end of the month recap, but for now, here is a brief recap of things I learned during No Spend Month.

1. I spend money when I’m bored or lonely.

When I started No Spend Month I still didn’t have a TV. It is peaceful without one, but also a bit more lonely. There were nights I’d get home from work and just want some human contact. In those times it is so easy to walk to the bar across the street from my house and be around people, even if I don’t talk to anyone. I also wanted to go to my happy places, Target and Nordstrom, and just walk around (aka, accidentally spend money). I really didn’t know this about myself until NSM and I’m glad to be more aware of this now.

2. I waste a lot of food.

How many times do you look in your fridge and freezer and say “I have nothing to eat!!!” ? I do it a lot. I also get sick of leftovers and end up throwing them away after they get moldy are more than a few days old… ahem. This was not allowed in NSM. Suddenly I was looking up recipes for ingredients I thought were useless in my cupboard, and cooking those frozen foods that had been sitting in my freezer forever. I also learned a trick to only use half a pound of ground beef. This meant I ate less leftovers and wasted less food.

3. I don’t NEED nearly as many clothes/electronics/glasses of wine as a I think I do.

I avoided Target and Nordstrom as much as I could in May. I lived to tell about it. Unbelievable, right?

4. My friends are all down with saving money.

While in Portland I took the street car for $1 rather than paying for parking downtown, and found a copy of Pride and Prejudice used for $3.50. Splurge!

While in Portland I took the street car for $1 rather than paying for parking downtown, and found a copy of Pride and Prejudice used for $3.50. Splurge!

I was pretty open with my friends about NSM. I was shocked by how many thought it was cool and were totally willing to do budget friendly activities with me. My friends M & J didn’t want me to suffer in Portland and they footed the bill a couple of times, but I also had girls night at my house where we snacked and drank wine for probably 1/4 of the cost of going out. I also learned neat things about my community like one day a month museums are free and you can check out passes from the library. I also visited my local library for the first time. There is a TON of treasure there and now I go there/check out e-books a lot.

No Spend Month was incredibly hard, but it was also way worth it. I learned so much about myself, and my friends! I’d highly recommend it if you find yourself wondering where all your money goes and why it goes there. Good luck!

A Royal Daughter

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16 Comments

  • Reply
    Manda
    August 29, 2013 at 6:41 am

    I am learning not to spend. Basically my husband took my card bc I did the same thing! Spend when bored or sad. And I went to the library often!

    • Reply
      Brittany
      September 5, 2013 at 9:41 am

      Ohh that’s handy to have a built in accountability partner!

  • Reply
    mona concepcion (@kirida)
    August 29, 2013 at 8:13 am

    I spend when I’m bored, usually it’s cheap items but I know they add up! I need to stop doing that.

    • Reply
      Brittany
      September 5, 2013 at 9:41 am

      That’s the problem! It never seems like much, until you start adding every $5, $10, $15 together. Then, WHOA!

  • Reply
    Michelle
    August 29, 2013 at 8:44 am

    Love this post! I like to spend when I’m bored or hungry. Or when I think I deserve it haha

    • Reply
      Brittany
      September 5, 2013 at 9:39 am

      “When I think I deserve it” is why I’m drinking at $4.50 starbucks right now. Lots of thunder, rain and traffic? Obvi I deserve a white chocolate mocha. #fail.

  • Reply
    stultsmamaof4
    August 29, 2013 at 6:19 pm

    Great post! I love that not spending allowed you to find treasures right within your own community! We may just have to try a no spend month of our own. I’m visiting you from Desire to Inspire. :)

    • Reply
      Brittany
      September 5, 2013 at 9:39 am

      You should give it a shot! It will really help you become creative with how you spend your time.

  • Reply
    Emily
    August 29, 2013 at 6:49 pm

    This is a really good idea! I especially like the point about how you learn new things about your community – so true!

    • Reply
      Brittany
      September 5, 2013 at 9:38 am

      Yes! It so informative to get out and about!

  • Reply
    allthatglitters810
    August 30, 2013 at 8:45 am

    I spend money when I’m bored/lonely too. If my husband goes out with the boys for a drink….instead of just hanging out with my puppy or working out or doing ANYTHING ELSE, I go to Target…..bad news bears!

    • Reply
      Brittany
      September 5, 2013 at 9:38 am

      Target… the danger zone!

  • Reply
    Amber
    September 2, 2013 at 8:19 am

    I’m definitely bad about spending money when I’m bored. If I have nothing to do, I drive down the street to Target where I’m bound to find $50+ worth of stuff I don’t need!

    • Reply
      Brittany
      September 5, 2013 at 9:37 am

      It’s so easy to find things we never knew we needed at Target, huh?

  • Reply
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