Over the past several months I’ve been getting the feeling that I should have a no-spend year. Or as close to no spend as possible. I kept pushing it off because I simply didn’t want to do it.
But I really want to be a more intentional shopper + I want to recognize the abundance that I already have, instead of always wanting new things.
So, I’m going to be trying a spend free year.
What my spend free year will look like
There are still things that I have to buy. This includes:
Health + car insurance
Diapers, wipes (baby care)
Groceries (but we’ll be actually sticking to our budget)
Those are really the non-negotiables. And there may be some other things that we pay have to pay monthly that I can’t think of right now (oops, a little tired as I write this post.)
Things that I have permission (from myself) to buy:
When something is used up, runs out, doesn’t work, or can’t be worn (for example, if the only pair of flats I own gets too worn to wear, ie my toes are peeking through some holes, I can buy a new pair)
Blog expenses. My blog is something that I love, but it does cost money. I have some yearly expenses as well as some monthly expenses, which I’ll still be paying for.
Book of the Month club. I will be keeping my subscription, but I’ll talk more about where the money for this will be coming from in a moment. I will also be limiting myself to only one book each month instead of adding on extras.
Owlcrate. Technically I already paid for this. This was a Christmas present to myself, but I will not be renewing when the subscription I paid for is up, but I will be getting boxes for the next several months.
Our Hulu, Netflix, and Disney+ subscriptions. I know, these are essentially a luxury to have. We don’t have cable but we love TV and movies. We’ll be keeping these because they provide entertainment and bring us joy. It’s not a need and I get that, but it’s something we’ll be keeping plus…
My husband isn’t joining me, at least, not exactly. He will have a strict monthly budget and if he wants something more expensive, he’ll have to save for it. So, there are some things (like all of our streaming subscriptions) that we both use and we’ll be keeping.
I really wanted my husband to join me 100% in this experiment/project of mine, but when I first approached him about it earlier this year, he wasn’t interested. I thought, ‘well maybe he’ll be more interested in a few months’. It wasn’t really a surprise when he still wasn’t interested. But I decided that I would go forward with it anyway, and make his monthly allowance stricter (meaning he actually has to stick to it) and he did agree to that.
Things I can’t buy (unless I have fun money):
Toys for Von (because she really doesn’t need anymore)
shoes/clothes (unless completely worn)
Office supplies (I’m a sucker for notebooks and pens)
Beauty products (unless they completely run out, then they fall into the replacing category if that’s what I want to do, I haven’t worn eyeshadow in years though)
And now a little bit about what fun money is. Growing up I was really intentional with my money. I put 10% away for tithing, 10% for saving, and the rest was my fun money. As an adult, I’ve been really good at spending a lot of money and not saving much.
However, now that I’m making money from my blog, the VA work I do, and my internship, I’ll be putting between 5-10% each paycheck into a fun money account, which I can use to buy anything I want. (and some of this will be used for my Book of the Month subscription that I mentioned earlier.)
I know it means that my year won’t completely be spend free, but I wanted to give myself some flexibility and also a way to really be intentional about what I’m buying.
Why am I having a spend free year?
Ultimately I want to be more intentional about my spending habits and what I bring into our home. I don’t want to buy all the new things just because I can. I want to recognize the abundance and blessing around me as well as use the things I already have.
We also want to buy a home in 2020. After paying $1600/month for rent for the past 18 months, we’re ready to find a place of our own. We currently live with my in-laws and we’re working hard to pay off all our debt. We’ll be debt-free by February, and then we’ll be working hard to save for a home.
Throughout the next year, I’ll be sharing my journey here on my blog. I’m excited for the year ahead and to really recognize that yes, we are so fortunate and that the money (and things) we have help us have an abundant life. And that can be more intentional about our spending habits to give ourselves an even better future.
Have you ever gone spend free for any amount of time? How did it go?
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