Given both the successes and failures of my January no-spend challenge, I’m going to do a similar challenge in February to try to step up my game a bit and hopefully meet with a bit more success. This time, I’m adding in a few side challenges intended to support my primary goal.
As usual, I’ll still be paying rent, insurance, utilities, and all of the necessary things. I’ve also decided to not put any limitations on health related spending, since it’s something that’s important. If I need to see my chiropractor or restock the supplements that I take, that’s fine.
For transportation, I’ll be setting the same goal as in January. I’ll be reducing my driving locally and limiting my out of town trips to two weekends. Since the weather’s been fairly nice, I’m setting a side goal of walking or biking to do all my errands – it’s good for my wallet and my health.
In terms of food, I’m taking on a goal similar to January’s, but giving myself a bit more leeway. I’ll be setting my budget at $150 to make it a bit easier to focus on getting locally produced food. My related goal is to go to the farmer’s market once per week to see what’s available before I go to the grocery store. It’s a bit far, but if I can bike when it’s safe enough, so much the better.
Beyond that,the plan is to not buy anything. To this end, I’m aiming for not going to any thrift stores or book stores. Period. At all. For the entire month. Just…no. Of course, that didn’t work especially smashingly last month, so I’m setting four side goals that I’m hopeful will help.
First, I’m aiming to exercise at least three evenings per week. I’ve been able to take advantage of some exercise classes for free at work, so if I can do yoga, strength, and bootcamp, that’s three evenings that there’s no chance that I’ll be hauling my sweaty post-workout self anywhere but home.
Second, I’m going to have a look through my closet, see what fits now that I’ve lost a bit of weight, and focus on building some additional work-appropriate outfits. I often wind up at thrift stores because I’m trying to fill out my work wardrobe. I don’t buy a lot of clothes, but when I’m there I’ll see other cool things and that’s when the trouble starts.
Third, I’m reestablishing a reading habit. I love reading but have gotten away from it a bit in recent years. My hope is that by getting back into moving, exciting, intriguing, and informative books I’ll be more motivated to come straight home (and maybe also realise that I shouldn’t buy any more books until I get through enjoying the many that have yet to be read).
Fourth, I’ll be decluttering. I have more than enough stuff and realising how much I have is always eye-opening. On top of that, the trouble of sorting it and getting it out of here usually drives me to not buy anything for awhile. Although I expect I’ll be slow about this, getting some stuff out of here should help me to not spend for awhile.
So, that’s the plan. I do feel bad about last month’s purchases, but I suppose I should just see this as baby steps and the building of better and better habits. Here’s to another month of less spending and more saving!