I would be remiss if I didn't review how my month of non-spending went. I spent very little time in stores. I realized that sometimes I buy in anticipation of future needs that can be cost-saving if something is on sale but otherwise probably isn't necessary. Our mop broke and we ran out of floor cleaner so I went to The Home Depot and picked up a new one and cleaner. I also grabbed an extra cleaning cloth (just in case) but that probably wasn't a needed purchase.
I took a trip to Toys R Us to make a return. The counter is just inside the store, which is nice, but I could see the Christmas clearance from my spot in line and I was quite tempted to check it out for great deals. I know that my shopping weaknesses are clearance and thrift shopping.
In January I really just visited the gas station and grocery store which are mostly harmless. They did have Star Wars t-shirts on clearance that I really wanted to check out (my son is intrigued by the "storm trimmers" because one of our friends wore a trooper costume to church the Sunday the movie was released). But I have walked by them each week without browsing.
I did sign my son up for a gymnastics class that starts in March. I probably could have waited until today but I wanted to make sure he got into the same class as my friend and her daughter. It is both an experience and an opportunity to grow a relationship while also benefiting my son's physical development so it seems like a good purchase decision.
I also ate at home all month. It's not a big deal because we don't eat out often but it helped us to make sure we had a meal plan each week. I did have two meetings with friends at Starbucks but one drink was free and I ended up deciding that food out was fine if it involved growing relationships with other people. Though, the last week of January when we were running low on menu plan ideas I was very tempted to phone it in for fast food or a restaurant.
Most of the things I was tempted to buy this month were either books or experiences (tickets to a play, an obstacle course race, a comedian's show). I'm trying not to buy any books this year until I get through more of the unread ones on my shelf (though a friend asked about reading through a particular book together so I will order that one - relationships!). I think experiences are also a good purchase, in moderation.
I talked with my friend about how her month of no spending went. She said that she was over on her groceries. I definitely was too. This month I am going to try to be more diligent about this aspect. One thing I know I can do is buy more staples and produce at Aldi. The prices for many things are cheaper and worth taking a little extra time to get them. I can then stop by Kroger afterward to pick up the things we still need but are not found at Aldi.
So that's how it went. Have you done something like this? What successes did you have? Were you able to point out spending weaknesses?