Ok, it’s about to get real.
I, along with my hubby, have committed to spending $0 for the entire month of January.
That’s 31 days. One of our goals this year as a couple is to create a better budget and pay off extra debt that we have accumulated (consumer and student loan debt). I have followed Ruth’s blog, Living Well Spending Less, for a few years and had already read about her 31 Days of Living Well & Spending Zero challenge. I have just been too chicken to commit to doing it.
(Image: Living Well Spending Less)
We are ready.
Let’s do this thing.
The 31 Days of Living Well and Spending Zero plan outlines that there is to be no spending beyond monthly bills and expenses. So, no eating out at restaurants, no clothes shopping, entertainment, or impromptu get-aways (not likely anyway, but just in case we were feeling spontaneous).
Now, I will admit, we are going to have to modify the challenge just slightly- out of necessity. Both my husband and I work full-time, and we have kids that both work and go to school, so we are not home to make meals and you guys, teenagers eat a lot. I also have certain dietary restrictions that require me to eat specific foods that are perishable and cannot be kept fresh for 31 Days. So, we will be continuing to grocery shop. We just won’t be spending a dime beyond essentials like bills and groceries.
And it’s ok to modify – Ruth said so herself.
“Create your own ground rules that account for your circumstances, and find the best ways to make your no-spend month work for you and your family.”
~ Ruth Soukup
I’m so pumped about this challenge and can’t wait to see how it changes the way my husband and I spend money. (My thoughts are that it will definitely have several positive consequences.)
I actually have a chance to put this challenge into practice immediately. It just so happens that a friend invited me to Starbucks for coffee today. Um…Catherine, no spend challenge at Starbucks?
So, we can get resourceful, right?
Before I left for Starbucks to meet my friend, I brewed some Tazo Passion tea into my reusable Starbucks cup. I used two tea bags and steeped them for 15 minutes so that the tea would be really strong and ready to dilute with water.
I took my traveler cup into Starbucks with me and ordered a large ice water with lots of ice. Totally free.
When I sat down at my table, I drank half of the water and then transferred my hibiscus tea into the cup. Voila! I just saved over $3 by bringing my own tea to Starbucks, and I didn’t miss the specialty drink I likely would have ordered at all.
I even had enough tea left to sip on after I got home!
On top of it, I felt empowered, and just an eensy bit sneaky. In a good way. 😉