Friday, May 1, 2015

How Did that Month of No Spending Go, Amanda?

You may recall me embarking on an adventure a mere month ago, where I attempted to go 30 full days without spending money on anything but basic necessities for my family. I am not going to lie, it was rough, especially because I have found that my boredom has generally lead to shopping and this was a habit that I am happy to say that while not completely gone, has been cut down a few pegs. Lordy, I love a little retail therapy but in documenting the last 30 days, I have been able to see exactly where my money is being spent to keep my family fed and alive and where I have just been, in the words of my dear Mother "pissing money away." Though I should make note, I inherited my deep love of shoes from said Mother so there is a touch or irony there. OK, so want to see how my 30 days progressed? I would like to say that I 100% succeeded but all I can really say is that is was certainly a challenge and I did indeed document it.

Day 1: Woke up wanting to spend money, obvi, since I knew that I couldn't. Picked up baby wipes at CVS and ignored all Easter candy and the entire cosmetics aisle. *fist pump*
Day 2: Had to bring the baby to the doctor today so there was an unexpected pre-pay but the pre- arranged DIY beauty class was cancelled due to low enrollment. Major Bummer but $65 back in my pocket. I am in the positive for the month!
Day 3: No Added Spending and No Temptations
Day 4: Pre-arranged Cinderella Matinee. Packed my own 21 day fix snack. Also had to stop at Walgreens to get eye drops for itching/burning eyes, which was a definite need but left with nothing more.
Day 5: Woke up today and my eye got worse! Called the on call Optomostrist. Looks like he needs to see me. Doh, have an Eye Ulcer! Happy Easter! Since my husband spent his whole morning carting me back + forth, not to mention waiting in the parking lot with the baby for almost an hour, I let us stop at Dunkin' Donuts. 2 Coffees and a donut for the dog. Also had to pick up prescription eye drops. Ugh.
Day 6: No Added Spending, though I wanted more DD.
Day 7: No Added Spending, though I was kind of sad today for no apparent reason, so obviously wanted DD. I am starting to think I am addicted to DD.
Day 8: No Added Spending and No Temptations
Day 9: No Added Spending and No Temptations
Day 10: No Added Spending and No Temptations
Day 11: Faux Easter lunch at my Aunt's house. We were in charge of bringing garlic bread, wine (picked up at Nashoba on Easter) and a dessert so I made a special trip to the grocery store for the fixings. Technically, it is food for my (extended) family, though also falls under "not a necessity". I went in with a list and spent only on said list.
Day 12: Crap, my kid turns one next month! Should I send out paper invites? Paper invites cost money, and time, and stamps... I'll send an Evite instead. Better for the environment and people can refer back for memory. Oh what else? MY CROCK POT BIT THE DUST TODAY, WTH AM I GOING TO DO?!?! OK, I can survive without my small crockpot, I have a massive one that I can use, right? Ugh.
Day 13: Today our poor little guy was throwing up all morning with a side of loose poo. I kept him home from daycare and made a trip to CVS where I may have bought more than Pedialite and diapers. I bought a couple of bottles of Shea Moisture body wash and baby shampoo since they were buy one get one free. They are usually $11 a pop so I couldn't resist stocking up.
Day 14: No Added Spending but I had to clean out my email, unsubscribing from lots of store emails. The "sale alert" emails are admittedly, one of my downfalls but now that I am looking at them differently, and hip to their game, I know that I am not missing out on anything. There will always be a sale. I don't need to go to their site every time they send me an email.
Day 15: No Added Spending and No Temptations
Day 16: No Added Spending and No Temptations
Day 17: Got an invite to a Baby Shower that I was sort of thinking would be in June but it's basically at the beginning of May. I had already started building my gift basket so I just had to grab a couple things from the registry so I wasn't left with the slim pickings. She got me some really cute stuff for the Propah baby so I had to make this gift special!
Day 18: Light bulb in the fridge went out about 2 weeks ago. If I waited for the other capable adult to buy said new light bulb, I would have a child in college before I had a well lit refrigeration unit in my kitchen.
Day 19: Today is the day I gave up! I really was having some FOMO over Lilly for Target today. I needed to get paper towels any how so I convinced my husband to watch the baby while I made a quick Target run. Well, you know how Target runs go. I got to my local Target at 9am, which was 55 minutes too late to get anything Lilly (which was a blessing in disguise) but I had made an arrangement with myself before going that I wasn't going to get anything that wasn't a necessity... and I didn't but I still ended up spending over $100 on paper towels, toilet paper, baby food pouches, baby wipes, coffee creamer, kitty litter, baby toothpaste (yes, we now have baby teeth in the house!)... you get the idea. This is where I came to realize that spending money only on food was stressful challenge to put on myself. Since day one of this challenge, every necessary purchase that wasn't food, made me feel guilty so, Day 19 is where I decided that the challenge was over but that I would still track my spending and make good choices. Oh and I bought a new crockpot at Target too and used it promptly upon arriving home.
Day 20: No Added Spending and No Temptations
Day 21: No Added Spending and No Temptations
Day 22: We bought tickets to see Nick Kroll's movie Adult Beginners at Coolidge Corner ONLY because Nick Kroll himself was doing a Q+A afterwards.... and guess what? I couldn't find a sitter so my husband went with a friend. *Sadface*
Day 23: No Added Spending and No Temptations
Day 24: No Added Spending and No Temptations
Day 25: No Added Spending and No Temptations
Day 26: Today was my Yoga-thon at Gillete stadium. Boy, was this a day where spending money without much thought would have been WAY fun. Hello there marketplace for the yogis *heart eyes* where there were lots of cool things that I could shell out cash on! Since I am one who always like to commemorate a fun day/event like this with something "souvenir-y", I did let myself make a small purchase. I know I, I know! Ugh, I couldn't help myself. I had such an amazing time and did work hard fundraising. The decision was conscious and I thought about it first.
Day 27: Today I bought two new Littlest Warrior tees for the baby, since I had to rep my new favorite people
Day 28: No Added Spending and No Temptations
Day 29:No Added Spending and No Temptations
Day 30: No Added Spending and No Temptations

Soooooo it turns out I couldn't do it. Not only could I not do it but I pretty much gave up. It's not that I didn't want to do it, but it was WAY harder to keep myself in check especially when nearly two weeks of the month was spent tending to sick people and the other was just "getting by". I've determined that saving money is important, for sure, but that doesn't mean I have to stress myself out over little purchases here and there. I mean, we gave up cable this month and when on a clean eating fix, so maybe a spending freeze was a little much to add on top of it. In any event, I think that I can be more mindful of what I am spending without keeping myself on a very strict spending regimen, because my people, I was not cut from that cloth.


  1. How can you be faulted for buying home necessities? Except maybe the creamer, everything you got on day 19 would have needed to either be stocked up extra before you started the exercise, or bought immediately after finishing (or had your +1 buy those things). Sounds like this was a rousing success though, and I'm glad you've realized there's "always a sale"... something us guys have known for years :) Great post!

  2. I'm impressed you could ignore the Easter candy. I never can, especially when it's half off!

  3. You did way better than I could. Awesome job! A for effort! I need to try this but I am scared I will fail myself! xo

  4. i should make this sometime. Thank you for sharing your experience!


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