Monday, January 18, 2016
No Spend and Empty the Cupboard-Two Strategies
There are lots of posts on folks doing no spend months for January. I've also seen challenges for limiting spending to a certain amount, usually $10-$20 for the week. Sluggy over at Don't Read This, It's Boring posted a thoughtful reflection Why I Don't Do Spending Fasts. I equate her philosophy to a crash diet-all or nothing, usually resulting in no long term change of behavior. I've watched Penny Golightly empty her pantry, eliminating a lot of waste, her challenge to herself. She recapped her experience in a post from October, Empty the Store Cupboard Challenge-The Roundup, and links to the starting spot.
As in most things, I find balance works for me, with no absolutes or rules.I couldn't deny myself from spending for a certain amount of time, whether that is a week, a month, or as some are trying to do, a year, without feeling stressed and off kilter. My life just is not that orderly. Even if as Sluggy suggests people with no spend months often do, I just stockpile and spend the month preceding, resulting in no real savings, I would run out of some essential that I didn't plan well enough for, or misplace it in a long forgotten storage space. What could work for me, at least I feel determined in 2016 to make it work for me, is to modify little by little how I shop, spend, and consume, eliminating as much waste in food, clothing, utilities as I can.
I'll buy two new pairs of tights that are needed, second pair at half price so I can look presentable at work, and stay warm, but I won't buy six pairs. I'll take better care of the two new pairs, hand washing with the other items I hand wash, rather than lazily throwing in the washing machine. I'll more intentionally plan leftovers as part of the next night or two's meal, rather than treat them as an afterthought that may or may not get eaten.This is my biggest angst in the money and consumerism area-food waste is still too high in my house. I'll concentrate on the little things, the short game, in both reducing my spending on things of little to no value, and use up and take better care of what I already have. I'll intentionally leave my money safely tucked in my wallet or better yet, at home when I go somewhere with no need to purchase anything, discouraging impulse spending, resulting in no spend days naturally. When I do spend, I'll work to stick to an overall budget over time, not passing up a good buy for a need, or to stock up reasonably. At least, this is my strategy in 2016. Where do you land on the no spend-stock-up strategies?