Update 2: Well, this was a very bad month to try this little project.  I know…what a surprise!? I will still call it a success.

I have always been a spender. I have learned a lot of hard lessons over the years on that but I have to say 2020 was the year I really embraced the magic of online shopping and those items coming to the door…like magic. It was the year that just going to the store and buying something non-essential was such a delight. But I needed a reset.

My No-Spend-December did have a purpose and I will ride it out until the end of the month and all the post-holiday sales are over. Because I made this deal with myself when I DID spend this month it was necessary.

I bought the new eyeglasses and had to fill some prescriptions. There was an auto insurance bill that came due I forgot about and my fee for my post office box.  None of that is just a few dollars. It adds up. I am ok with that since it was not the mindless spending and buying myself little things because (fill in the blank).  It did spend a bit more on food that originally wanted but it was not that unconscious spending that is so darn easy to do.

The upside, I was not spending money every day and when it was spent I did not have to justify it in my mind…it was legit. This sends me into the new year one step ahead on reeling in the mindless spending money that I used this year to help pacify myself.

Update 1: So it has been a week and a half into my ill-timed challenge for this no-spend December for myself.  Within the first few days, I surpassed my self-imposed spending limits. But it was not the frivolous things it was things I just did not account for in my original plan. Here is what I spent the extra money on:

1) $45-Some packaging materials and postage for mailing out my Christmas gifts.
2) $45-Copay on a prescription I needed to fill and forgot about until I got the text.
3) $8-My favorite brand of toilet paper...hey...you just never know.
4) $35-Flowers and extra gas to visit my Aunt in Falmouth. I had not seen her since pre-pandemic days, so this was important.

I still stuck with my $15 a week for fresh groceries and been using what is in my fridge or careful spending eating out. This is still giving me more of a feeling of control over a situation I was getting lazy about. Let's see how I can do for the next 20+ days.

Original Post: This may be an ill-timed challenge, but what the heck. I am going to give myself a no-spend challenge for December.  I already live on a budget (sort of); this is just sort of a short-term thing to get back on track. I found that I have been spending more on myself recently to make myself feel good or feel loved…my whole treat-yo-self mentality has been in high gear.

There are no hard and fast rules for this. You just set your parameters and go. Here are my rules:

  1. Living costs will be covered: rent and basic living expenses, insurances, basic car expenses. You know, the stuff that is not an option, I wish it was…that would save a TON of money.
  2. A small weekly allowance for fresh foods…no more than $15, but I would like to keep it to $10. The rest needs to come from the food I have in my pantry and freezer. If I have a little extra out of that budget, I am allowed to go get a bubble tea or some sort of ‘treat.’
  3. Spend some time and check in with ALL my financial accounts at the start of the challenge. Make sure everything is paid and up to date.  Pay off anything lingering from last month.  Put my debit card away, so it is not so easy to spend.
  4. I have needed to purchase new eyeglasses for a few months and have been lazy. This is the only major purchase I am allowing myself to make.
  5. Make a list of projects to do around the house and do them—my way of spending time instead of money.
  6. Explore new exercise alternatives that are free to me. Walking has always been my primary go-to, but as ShadowDog is now 13 years old, he not as peppy as he used to be. I don’t want to leave him behind to get a good walk for myself for a couple of reasons…walking is our ‘thing’, and I don’t like walking alone.
  7. IF there is something, I find I want to buy, I will make a note and review it at the end of the month. Odds are the feeling will have passed, and if not, I might be able to get a better deal after Christmas.

There you go…my rules for the next thirty days. I have done this before and been successful. I will keep you up to date on how I am doing.  :)

92 Moose logo
Enter your number to get our free mobile app

CHECK IT OUT: 10 Items Might Be in Short Supply This Winter

More From 92 Moose