As you may recall, I completed a no-spend-year last year. I initially began the project to help further my journey into minimalism and to force myself to have better self-care instead of turning to shopping. My no-spend-year was (mostly) successful. It really only took me a month to get used to the idea and from there on out I had a pretty easy time with it.
I thought that I might want to make some purchases as the new year arrived, but I really haven't done much. I did buy myself new lounge clothes to replace the paint-splattered and torn clothes that I had been wearing. Besides that, I haven't gone back to my 'old' shopping ways. 2017 taught me so much.
This year, one of my goals is to embrace frugality. I knew that there would be a shift in finances with me being on maternity leave and with all the expenses that a new baby brings. I have been slowly chipping away at ways that I can be more frugal. I didn't expect my husband's work to be incredibly slow over the first quarter of the year. As in, there have been weeks where he hasn't worked at all. Yikes. My husband has a side job that he works at when his main job is slow. Thankfully he has been doing that so that is keeping things fairly even keel. The problem is that none of his work has guaranteed hours so we are never completely sure of what is going to be happening in the coming months. In March, I suggested to my husband that we try a no-spend April and (with only the slightest hesitation) he agreed.
My no-spend year focused only on my own expenditures. I didn't make any consumer purchases for myself during that time. (Well, except maternity clothes, but that is a whole other story!) My husband was free to spend as he normally did and we didn't restrict our expenditures on our children.
Our no-spend-month seems like such a small slice of time compared to my no-spend-year, so we made our no-spend rules for April very strict. We are only allowed to buy fruit, vegetables, dairy, eggs and pharmacy items. It also applies to everyone in our house. We won't be dining out, buying coffee (which we only do in the city) or even purchasing meat or pantry items. This will save us quite a bit of money and it is a simple thing to do. I have a nice little stock of pantry items and meat in the freezer that we can use. It will help us use up some of these items and will also force us to be a little bit creative with our meal planning.
I am looking forward to the month and I am hoping to do it more than once this year. I think that sometimes we purchase out of habit, when we really may not need an item. It is always good to push ourselves to be a bit creative with our finances!
Have a fabulous weekend, friends!