For 31 days, I successfully completed a 'no spend july' month.
The Rules: No clothing. No Home Decor. No hair or nail upkeep. No yard items (gardening/flowers/upkeep). Groceries, gifts, and eating out permitted.
What was the inspiration?
Two things: my husband + our goals
Plus, one of my favorite lifestyle bloggers, Karla Reed, does a 'no spend' month once in a while and it is inspiring; I always want to try it with her. When Nate brought it up to me again later, we decided to do it together for the month of July.
What I noticed?
- I spent less time on social media (most days) || because of the nature of social media, I follow a lot of inspirational people. I believe social media also causes negative emotions like jealousy and nurtures competitive feelings that are difficult to get rid of.
- Contentment was focus || not buying things made me realize what we have is enough. I knew I was happy with our home, my family, my friends, and my relationships, but this made me realize that I'm a lot more content than I thought. I wasn't always wanting the newest material thing of the day.
- I gained confidence || confidence is hard to come by. This was one way to impact it. Not feeling the need to purchase things or have the newest thing, bringing contentment, also brought confidence.
- Apple watch was more utilized || I got more steps; no fail. The less I bought, the more time that went by, the more steps I had on my apple watch.
- More quality time with Nate & friends || Towards the end of the month, before Nate's fall busy season really started, we took walks and had a lot more quality time to talk. I also spent quality time with friends. I went to Target with one of my best friends and we shopped around and I left there with not one item. It felt good to help someone pick out things for their home where it didn't impact my wallet but I still was able to help a friend style her throw pillows for her couch.
- I stopped biting my nails || this was the most surprising one. One thing to know about me, I'm a nail biter and I'm uber ashamed of it; it's gross. For some reason, this month, without realizing it, my nails have grown super long and strong.
- More time to focus on my auto-immune protocol elimination protocol (post coming) || I started an AIP elimination protocol in early July (look it up) so not shopping and buying things gave me a lot more time to meal plan and meal prep. So much so that it prevented me from doing the last minute 'run-to-get-lunch' saga at work. There will be a post on this soon!
- Seemed to influence others || So many comments and questions via social media as well as in person/via text flew my way; people (friends and acquaintances) asking what "rules" we were following and how we were doing it. I think this was probably part of the confidence boost is that people did take notice and wanted to be a part of this; something larger than themselves.
What would I do differently next time?
I would include eating out on the 'no spend' list as a rule for myself. I enjoyed not limiting this because I was able to still meet people for lunch or dinner. I only ate out 4 times in the month of July as opposed to my normal, red dining out line item in our budgeting app (EveryDollar).
Would I consider it successful?
Absolutely. I didn't measure it by anything except how I was feeling and my amazing husband made me a sticker chart (I'm a visual learner).
Would I recommend it?
Absolutely. There is nothing about it that I don't recommend.
When will I do it next?
I want to do it once a quarter; thinking November.
'Save' image found on Flickr.