You might recall that I recently completed Meat Free May, a month where I cut all meats from my everyday diet (or in my case cut the fish out of my diet). I found that month difficult yet rewarding, it made me realise that altering your everyday routine isn’t as impossible as you would think. Off the back of Meat Free May I wasn’t necessarily looking for a new challenge but instead I was looking for a way to change my lifestyle as a means of taking my mind off some health problems I have had recently.
Recently comments made by my mum and sister while on a family day out to Chester Zoo made my mind up on what I wanted to challenge myself to change. The comments in question were regarding my spending habits, namely how they think I plan what I’m spending my money on before I’ve even got it, rather than saving it to spend later. While I don’t think this is necessarily true to that extent I can appreciate that I do on occasion treat myself when saving could be the best option. For example I recently received a tax refund cheque, My mind instantly went straight to what I could get with the money instead of what I might need it for in the future.
This is where my decision to take part in a zero spend month came from. I did some research and found a few challenges that seemed interesting. I decided to start today, the 4th July, because of its roots over in the United States as one of the biggest celebrations of the year where families will gather to spend a great deal of money celebrating on things they don’t really need. The rules of the challenge dictate that I can spend money on essential food shopping (not things that can constitute as treats like alcohol or chocolate), travel costs and bills. Things I am not allowed to spend any money on for the next month range from the more expensive items like new clothes, new makeup or meals out to less high budget items that can easily add up over the course of a few weeks such as buying take out coffee or a sandwich on the way to work.
Generally I shop through boredom and as a means to lift my mood if I have had a bad day. Internet shopping in particular can be dangerous due to how easy it can be and the fact that you aren’t physically handing anything over can make it all seem less consequential. My purchase of takeout coffee has reduced substantially recently however, as I tend to take a travel cup with me whenever I am going on a long trip. I’m also going to have to hope that my two wardrobes filled with colour coordinated shoes and clothes can get me through the month. A sticking point in the whole process may prove to be my husband, he found me doing Meat Free May difficult because it affected what he eats on a day to day basis but this particular challenge will jeopardise one of his favourite rituals, going for a coffee and a cake as a little treat when he feels like he deserves one, I’m not sure it’ll go down too well with him that I won’t be able to go with him.
I’m determined to give this challenge a go to see how I can get on. I haven’t actually been out of the house over the weekend, always good for the budget.
On a side note, do my boots points count? it’s not spending cash after all…
Answers on a postcard please!