January of 2017 I decided to go on a 30 day no spending spree. And to clarify it was a no unnecessary spending challenge. Obviously, I had to buy groceries and get gas, but only the essentials were purchased.
I even went to Target and bought one item. That’s right, ONE! It was the only item I needed and it was the only item I purchased. (I’ve written about my love of Target before which you can read here in this post.)
This whole not spending for an entire 30 days was almost – if not more – difficult than when I did my Whole30.
Apparently, I’m a real glutton for punishment and like to test my self-restraint.
All joking aside, I do think that whenever you challenge yourself to do something that goes against your norm it allows you to reflect and find out something about yourself that you didn’t know – or rather maybe you didn’t realize.
What I learned from 30 days of no spending
For instance, I learned that I actually didn’t need a lot. That’s right, aside from food, gas, and the few trips to target to get toilet paper and diapers I actually didn’t need that much.
I found myself truly contemplating every time the thought of spending money was presented.
Do I need this?
9 times out of 10 the answer to that question was NO.
I also learned that I spend a lot of time looking at things that I don’t need.
Once I got over the fact that I couldn’t spend money on the unnecessary I stopped looking at the things that were unnecessary. Mainly because I was irritated that I couldn’t purchase them, but also because it really didn’t matter. I didn’t need to be spending time looking at things that I wasn’t going to buy anyway.
The most obvious thing I learned after no spending for a month is that my credit card bill was a lot less during that billing cycle. Like, a lot. Somehow I always manage to spend money on things I don’t really need. Or really things I think I need.
Turns out, no spending = no spending!
But I think the biggest surprise I had during my 30 days of no spending was that I was totally fine. I was more than fine. I was happy. And not that I wasn’t happy before I started this, but I was just as happy as before. There was not dip in happiness or quality or zest for life.
Sure I would get a bit bummed when I couldn’t go to lunch with a friend (Editor’s Note: This post was written before the pandemic), BUT the bummed feeling passed and we are still friends.
I think we all know that stuff is just stuff. Just sometimes we need to be reminded, and that’s what my 30 days of no spending did.
It reminded me that all the stuff I really love is sitting next to me on the couch. I’m talking about my husband and my children, and they are priceless.