So this past month, in April, I did a "no spend" challenge and I'll be honest - it sucked. I read about it on Pinterest (obviously) and wanted to try it to try and see if I could limit my spending and stop being poor. Turns out, it made me feel ever poorer..more poor? Anyways.
My goal was to only spend $200 for the month but I made it $250 to be a little more realistic. I mean, I live in the city and have a life. Plus I like Starbucks...
Ok so rent, gym fee, bills, etc did not count towards this $250 but groceries, eating out, coffee, shopping, entertainment, etc did. Damnit - the latter ones are my favorite things, too.
It was a struggle but I definitely learned a lot. I legitimately made lunch every night for the next day and spent a lot of time prepping food and cutting fruit. Ew. I have never done that in my life until now. It takes effort but I'm getting used to it.
Dave and I sometimes ate what we had in our cabinets just to use up that stuff you usually never touch (soup, couscous mix, etc) and we also got our produce from the Haymarket farmers market on Fridays. We became hunters & gatherers...hunting through cabinets and gathering fruit downtown. I really refined those ancient skills. Also, I must say I am obsessed with the Haymarket farmers market. I spent $15 there once and got 2 avocados, 2 boxes of blueberries, 1 box of strawberries, 6 apples, 1 eggplant, 1 asparagus, 1 bag of carrots, a HUGE bag of salad mix, and 2 red peppers. It is so cheap! I think the quality is good, you just have to really use it or it goes bad by the end of the next week. I mean it's not organic, but hey, we can't always afford to shop at Wholefoods now can we? What didn't help was that I had too many bags and left my vegetables on the train once. I came home and cried. It was devastating.
There were mannnny "unexpected" expenses I encountered that really added up, however. For instance, I had a dress altered for a wedding, needed to pay for flowers, already had a few dinner plans set in stone, and found myself scavenging left over Easter candy at CVS, because who doesn't like a sale - and a sale including chocolate. Also, I had to pick up my diploma I got framed, needed pet supplies at Petco, and Dave and I had a nice dinner at Legal's because well...why not. I was very proud of myself for not shopping all month. That is a big deal. But I cracked on April 30th when I found myself at Marshall's and purchased a pair of shoes. Damnit Franco Sarto, you've done it again - your shoes are just too cute! It's Molly's fault. She made me do it.
I was smart, however, and bought a Groupon for a manicure / pedicure in March and booked it in April because I knew I would need some light in my life during this oppression I imposed onto myself. I may have cheated a little because I kind of got a lot of errands done in March in anticipation of this challenge. Oh well, just thinking ahead! But then I got another a few weeks later during a bachelorette party. Oops.
I made coffee (really, I made Dave make it) in the mornings or used the Keurig at work instead of going to Starbucks (*tear) and ate all the fruit from the farmers market as snacks during the day. Also good for my diet and a way to eliminate bad carbs!
Basically the point of it was to learn to 'go without' instead of rushing to the store every time you need something. Which is what I do. And it's usually the dollar store because from my prior post as you may remember, I'm a cheap a$$ ho. It was supposed to make you think about each purchase and although I went over the $250 (think x2), I think I learned some good lessons. It enabled me to keep saving for that Louis Vuitton, and a house. In that order.