Are you up for a challenge? How about a challenge that will change the way you view spending for the rest of your life! Then join me…
For the past couple of Septembers I have challenged myself to a No Spend September. Also known as a Frugal Fast or a Spending Freeze. Why September? No Clue. I actually learned about the concept years ago. I don’t entirely remember what the source was, but No Spend September has a nice ring to it.
Now realistically no one can in actuality adhere to a complete spending freeze. That is why it is so important to outline your month with a set of exceptions in place. For example in my personal set of expectations I remove all of my Fixed Cost Expenses from the No Spend Rule. Fixed Costs Expenses are expenses that do not change month to month such as your mortgage/rent, utilities, bills, child care etc. I also add two Variable Cost Expenses to my list of what I am still allowed to spend on. Those items include Groceries and Gas. Variable Cost Expenses are those that change month to month. My grocery bill although is roughly the same, does fluctuate depending on sale items or meal plans.
Once you establish your rules on what you can continue to spend on, it’s also fun to outline what you want to cut back on. For example I have a very bad Starbucks habit. I will easily drop $5 at Starbucks daily and think nothing of it. If I were to average just 3 trips a week that adds up to $60 by the end of the month. Same goes for going out to lunch at work. On average I spend $10 during lunch at work, lets say I do that 3 times a week, that adds up to $120 a month.
Now lets talk about impulse buys. Those Mini Melissa shoes for my daughter, who already has more shoes at 2 then I did my entire childhood. Or the take out orders that my husband and I tend to splurge on when we just don’t feel like cooking or cleaning. Those take out orders sometimes add up to $300 a month. Not to mention I end up tossing food we didn’t eat from my grocery trips that have now spoiled.
What is comes down to is that no matter how frugal you think you may be, there are expenses in your life that you can cut out. In fact a lot of them you can cut out quite easily. For instance this month I tried really hard to start bringing my lunch to work in preparation for my No Spend September. I realized that by doing that I was not only saving money, but I was also saving my time from having to go get something at work. Not to mention saving calories, because inevitably I would get something much unhealthier than I had intended to eat.
The biggest reason that I am such a proponent of a No Spend Month is that you learn a lot about yourself. You learn about self control. You learn just how resourceful you can be, and most importantly you learn that it is okay not to spend every dollar in your bank account. For a long time I had a strange relationship with money. When I earned it I also truly believed that I must spend it. So I created bad habits. I would get treats such as coffee or I would go on shopping trips for items I didn’t need. Once I really began examining why I was spending and challenging myself not to spend, it is then that I realized that saving was actually a much more rewarding experience. Spending or wasting money didn’t bring me joy whatsoever even though I had really thought that it had.
I truly believe that the consumer and capitalistic nature of the United States really drives people to spend more than they intend to. I don’t mean to sound political or even philosophical, but it is quite telling of the culture we live in that 90% of TV commercials are trying to sell you something you do not need. Do an experiment. Watch an hour of TV without skipping the commercials. In that hour write down everything they are trying to sell you. Include anything in the show that is clear product placement. I did this experiment a while ago. I was astonished by what they were trying to sell me. Unhealthy items mostly. And by how many items they crammed into that hour.
Consumerism aside. If this post resonates with you, and you feel as though you can benefit from a No Spend Month; join me on this journey. I created a Facebook Group where we can support, encourage and inspire each other with our new spending outlooks.
What a joy it is to announce that it is my turn for MOMtrepreneur May at Cookie Cutters Salon in Manhattan Beach, CA.
In honor of both Mothers Day and their 1 year Anniversary in the South Bay, Cookie Cutter Haircuts for Kids in Manhattan Beach, CA is opening it’s doors to mothers across the South Bay that are working hard to provide for their families.
On each weekend day throughout the month of May, a local MOMtrepreneur was selected and invited into the salon to showcase their business. Everyone in the community is invited to come learn about the business, support local moms, and support Cookie Cutters! The businesses range from beauty, wellness, health, and clothing. All of the weekend dates are listed below:
5/27: DotDotSmile + St. Littles / Rachelle St. Clair (girl’s clothing)
Additional detail for my May 19th event:
As part of my date at Cookie Cutters I invited two local moms and bloggers to complete an unbiased review of the event/products. I can’t wait to see their perspective on the Monat products for their kiddos! The bloggers are Julie Whitson from Cali Julz Blog and Marie Clark from Beautiful Day Blog. Make sure to follow them on Social Media to see their reviews!
In addition to Cookie Cutters amazing generosity to local moms in May they are also collecting Snacks and Art Supply Donations for the Richstone Family Center. The Richstone Family Center is dedicated to preventing and treating child abuse, strengthening families, and preventing violence in families, schools and communities. If you are local and would like to visit to make a donation at Cookie Cutters see the donation list below:
Richstone Family Center Donation Request List:
Nature Valley Bars
Cake Mix (any kind)
Peanut Butter and Jelly
Peanuts / Almonds
Glue (Elmer’s Liquid Glue or Glue Sticks)
Crayons / Markers / Paints
Come Meet Monat Junior this Saturday anytime from 9am – 5pm:
1751 Artesia Boulevard Suite F Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
This is a sponsored post. I sometimes receive products, services or compensation compliments of various companies. I however will only recommend products that I love; and that I know my readers will love too. I was in no way required to write a positive review. The opinions shared below are completely my own.
Disconnect and Reconnect is the main objective of this super fun and creative book that I’m reading by Shannon Philpott-Sanders. Screen-Free Fun is a necessity for any family library. It can be pulled out at any time for hours of innovative and imaginative family time.
“Shannon has written extensively about the joys of parenting for local and national newspapers and magazines throughout her fifteen-year career as a freelance journalist. A mother of two, she has dedicated herself to becoming a lifelong learner when it comes to parenting her son and daughter who are now in their late teens.”
There are three different ways to search for activities using Screen-Free Fun. The first is by a 3 tier rating system of Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced activities. The second is by 4 subcategories Embrace Your Creativity, Enjoy The Great Outdoors, Support Your Community and Put A Fun Twist On Local Travel. Lastly, the third is by Age Range.
An example of a Beginner Activity is Make Up A New Holiday. An Advanced Activity would be Build A Rock Collection. The ideas are truly endless. Below you will see a quick preview of how she rates the item and applies an age range to it. Each activity also comes with a full explanation so that the guess work is completely removed. I also really like that the descriptions are short and to the point.
I love that no matter what the activity or subcategory is it’s definitely an innovative and fun activity for everyone to enjoy. There are a few that are perfect for my 2 year old like Build a Fort or Collect Coats to Donate. We put a twist on that one and went through her toys instead. Although, some of the ideas can seem obvious. In the moment of boredom I totally would not think of them! The best part of the book is the ability to flip to any page and discover something to do. Even if you need to adapt it a little. I am certain that this book is going to be in our home for years and years to come.
I can’t wait to try more of the activities once Parker is also old enough to participate.
There are two things that I do wish this book included. One is more activities for a younger age range. And two is a glossary of activities by age range. However, the more I am flipping through these pages I see that a lot of the activities, although for older children really can be for any age. Therefore, I know that I will be doing several of these with Morgan, especially the Scavenger hunts and the I Spy Games. Too bad shes not old enough to play the Silent Game hahahha, maybe one day! Those terrible two are quite something, am I right!!! Parker is the easy one he is just happy chewing on something, its great being a baby!