Yesterday was Day One of our No-Spending Challenge for the month of June.  And it was amazing how even the smallest things seem to be affected.  But it all comes down to habits; those I have and those I have not developed.

  1. Meal Planning – I am still struggling with learning meal planning. I always think I have a plan and then the plan falls through. So, going into a no-spending month without a meal plan is even more of a challenge. We need to use up what we have in the freezer, fridge and pantry.  And create a Habit of planning what we eat for meals & snacks.
  2. Coffee – I never realized how often I just stop for coffee on the way to the office. But yesterday, I found myself almost turning that direction out of habit. Habit. That $5/day habit that could be better spent somewhere else.
  3. Snacks – I have never planned for snacks before. Just grabbing something in the kitchen or at a store when we run out. I need to create the Habit of making things on the weekend so we have them during the week. Same for Breakfast.
  4. Gifts & Cards – We usually just run to the store the day or two before an event to pick out a gift and/or card. I am already finding events we were invited to that we hadn’t pre-purchased this last weekend. I will need to either make a gift/card or find something in my gift closet (which is why I HAVE the gift closet – so I am not spending money unnecessarily). I need to create a Habit of checking the calendar at the beginning of each month and making sure we have the necessary gift/card for the scheduled events.
  5. “Deal” Shopping – I have stated before that I do use coupons to help cut our grocery costs, often stockpiling items at the rock-bottom prices. But looking at the weekly ads has become such a Habit that it is hard to NOT think of going shopping this week for that must-have item. $.50 body wash at Walgreens this week…… I am having to restrain myself. We have enough in our stockpile, but it is such a DEAL. The rush of getting items for free or nearly-so is overpowering.
The habit of just following our neighbors, family and friends as they meander through purchases is there. We go to the mall or IKEA for fun, just to look around. Of course, that “looking around” will almost always result in a purchase. And that is where this Challenge will be the most telling for us. It is making us aware of the mindless, needless spending that so many talk about when they switch to a cash system (which we have not yet).
What Habit have you discovered lately?

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