No Spending Week Challenge Complete!

Well, it’s Tuesday afternoon. Time to let you know how we did on our No Spending Week Challenge and what we learned through this past week.

No spend week challenge results!

First, the numbers!

  • We normally spend approximately $225 a week on food (this is groceries and eating out).
    • This past week, we spent $102.56. More than I was hoping for, but when you run out of milk, eggs, sugar, diapers….and then get to the store and realize your family could really benefit from some popsicles, fruit snacks, apple juice…and that those things combined is $5…well, you buy them. (And there’s a lesson we learned about this too, more on that below). 
  • We normally spend approximately $75 a week on gas.
    • This past week, we spent $65.35. Again, more than I was hoping for, BUT, we have a preemie who requires doctor appointments and we’ve driven more than we normally would. So I’m thinking we could definitely lower this cost (especially once school starts back up in just a few short weeks)
  • We normally spend approximately $100 a week on household supplies.
    • This past week, we spent $10! Woohoo!!! I was stoked about this.

Total saved during our No Spending Challenge: $222.09. NICE!

Lessons we learned:

  1. We need to buy things in bulk more often. Time to renew that Costco membership. I’m realizing that the fewer trips to the store, the less money is spent. How novel! If we buy things in bulk (which hasn’t made much sense for our family up to this point) we will be making fewer trips to the store, therefore, spending less money!
  2. We CAN eat leftovers. We really CAN!
  3. We do not have to make fancy meals every night of the week. We can eat scrambled eggs and toast, or cereal, or peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
  4. We need to keep our pantry stocked.

The main thing that Ian and I walked away from this past week with is truly understanding and recognizing the difference between wants and needs. We struggle with this. Our children DEFINITELY struggle with this.

Now it’s time for me to make a confession: During our No Spending Week Challenge, we went to Lowe’s and spent approximately $500….on our Lowe’s Credit Card.

Do I feel guilty? Yes.

Do I feel like any of the items we bought there (paint, screen doors to replace our completely broken one’s, a ladder…) were necessary? No. None of the items were absolutely necessary and none of them needed to be purchased using a credit card. But this right here folks is the reason for this blog: So that decisions like this can be made fewer and far between. I would like to point out we could have spent a few thousand but we reined ourselves in by having the whole “do we REALLY need this??” talk. So, go us. Yes, we fell short. But we could have fallen even SHORTER (that felt weird to type. Oh well, go with it)

And something else I’ve learned about myself? Shopping and spending money is comforting to me. I used to use food as comfort. I weighed almost 300 pounds at my highest weight. Once I stopped using food as comfort, I turned to shopping. After my miscarriage in August, I went to TJMaxx and blew $200 on a bunch of fun, cool stuff (I LOVE TJMaxx). After visiting our son in the NICU, I went to Target and bought a shirt my postpartum body would look halfway decent in…and some makeup (because…MAKEUP!). I’ve heard it said you need to replace an unhealthy habit with a healthier one in order to be successful, so I’m looking for another habit! I welcome ideas =)

Alright, we’re to the end of this post. Bottom line: we will definitely be doing a No Spending Challenge at least once a month. It helped us make better money decisions and I feel that over time, we’ll get even better at it.

Onward and upward!

 

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