So, I challenged myself to spend less during the month of January. I'm pretty happy with the results. Here are the numbers:
$12.66 Eating out
$29.35 Groceries from Aldi
$ 6.00 Groceries
$50.00 Doctor appointment copay
$133.01 Total Spent
Obviously, I still had my fixed expenses like my mortgage and utilities. And I was able to use a couple Walmart gift cards to offset my food costs. Keeping my spending to a minimum was very do-able.
In addition to keeping my spending down, I was able to make extra money also. I picked up a few extra shifts at work and spent time making money from online sites. In January, I earned:
$75 Paypal from Swagbucks
$25 Walmart gift card from Swagbucks
$17.50 check from InstaGC
$15 Paypal from Gifthulk
$6.12 Paypal from QuickRewards
$5 Amazon gift card from Bing
$143.62 Total Earned from Online Sites
That's right - I earned more online than I spent on extras!
What have I learned? I don't need much to be happy. Buying stuff isn't important to me. I'd rather save than shop. And I like having extra money to start paying off my mortgage quicker. It didn't feel like I was missing anything. Consumerism isn't for everyone. I've set goals for myself and that makes it easier to stay the course. And February will look a lot like January.
By sticking to a no spend month, I have no intention of staying home every single day. Yesterday, for example, we had a very unusually warm winter day so I went for a walk with a friend and stopped for a drink. Just one. Not too much out of pocket for a fun outing. Then we came home and watched the big game. It was great getting out of the house for a while and I didn't feel guilty about spending a few dollars.
As I write this post, it's February 8th and I've already done my grocery shopping for the month (I might need some fresh fruit and veggies). I did spend more out of pocket on groceries but it was all chosen carefully based on the store flyer and coupons. And I've already picked up some OT at work. I'm pretty excited to watch my savings go up again this month. I'll keep you updated!