100 Days No Spending Goal 2016
On the first day of the new year, 2016, I sat down to review my December budget. Four hours later, I ended up reviewing my spending, income, and savings for each month of the entire year of 2015. It was depressing.
Of the last 12 months, only 3 were months that I didn’t spend past my income – and those months were the ones where I either had a tax return or was away on training. All other normal months were full of overspending.
So much for being frugal. But this is why I’m blogging. Just like so many other money bloggers. Blogging about making better choices with money helps with accountability. Even if no one reads your posts. To hold
I truly want to make good on my personal financial goals!
I signed up for Mint in November 2014 so I had an entire year to track my expenses and income. Mint is such a powerful tool if you are trying to budget and manage your money.
It took me a few months of using Mint before I got the hang of it. But, I’m still having a hard time sticking to my budget. I keep overspending because I get relaxed on money management. I have to stop letting my frugal guard down.
To fix this, my next step would be to use the cash system where I would only make regular purchases (outside of my monthly bills) with cold, hard cash. It hurts more when you pay with cash rather than swiping a card. The cash-only route will be my final attempt to truly manage my spending habits.
I NEED TO STOP LETTING MY FRUGAL GUARD DOWN
I need to note here that I don’t shop for clothes, shoes, or makeup very often (maybe once a year). But I usually end up spending too much on items like food, books, apps, games, and music.
Yesterday, I read an article featured in Quartz by Assya Barrette and her 200-day No Spend project. It was a great article and it inspired me to do the same. After thinking about it, I felt like 200 days was just too much for me so I decided to try 100 days, starting January 1st instead.
I made the commitment and went all-out declaring my goal. I posted it to twitter and Facebook. I even started a new commitment in my stickk.com account where $5 of my hard-earned money will go to an anti-charity of my choosing each week I don’t reach my goal of no spending (an anti-charity is a charity whom you wouldn’t support under normal circumstances).
I check in once a week for 15 weeks. So my money’s on the line for this one folks and my mom has agreed to be my referee!
The reason I am doing this is to build a habit of conscious spending. To always question my need/want for a purchase. And my first goal for the month of January will be to end it in the GREEN.
I WANT TO BUILD A HABIT OF CONSCIOUS SPENDING
It all starts with baby steps.
So here are my rules. Before I can spend ANY money, I need to answer a few questions about the item I am thinking about buying:
- Does my livelihood depend on this item?
- Will I incur a penalty if I don’t spend this money?
- Is it required to maintain my home, my health, and the health of my pet?
- Can this item wait to be purchased in April?
- Will this “essential” item push me over my budget?
I’m sure I will come up with more qualifying questions as the days roll on. What will make it challenging is that I will be doing some traveling within the next 100 days so I will need to come up with a game plan for food. Since I usually cook and prepare all my meals at home.
If this 100-day No-Spend goal does not work, then on to the cash-only method or the envelope method. But I just may have to use the envelope method during this goal to make sure I stay within my budget parameters for items like Auto and Food.
So, from January 1 to April 9, 2016, I will be on a 100-day No Spend project (unless my math is off). And it’s funny how things work out because April 9, 2016, will be the exact day I finally graduate with my business degree.
I will keep updating my progress through future posts. Wish Me Perseverance!
Have you ever thought about doing a no spending goal? If so, I’d love to hear from you about it 🙂
UPDATE Dec 10, 2016: Seems that old habits die hard. By October, I went back to my old spending habits. However, up until around October, I was ending the months in the green. I would say that that’s a good accomplishment. So, in 2017, I will continue to do spending bans since they really work. Look for my write ups on those. I will plan to do another 100 days of no spending starting January 1, 2017. I will also be making other changes since personal finance is not a one-and-done deal but a a change of lifestyle.
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