If you’re anything like me, you’re trying to save money. Or you know you should be. I’ve blogged about the different apps I’m using to bring in cash here and there, the books I’ve read on the topic, and the most practical way to save money, ie. sticking to a budget.
After successfully budgeting for a while you realize that if you want to save more, you’re going to need more money coming in. I first tackled that by finding my side hustles of tutoring and babysitting which is money that goes directly to my savings. In addition to that, I have begun to think about how to implement monthly saving challenges to save just a wee bit more.
In May I was ambitious and tried for a “No Spend May.” No late night trips to McDonalds, no trips to the movies, no Amazon Prime deliveries. I did pay for all my normal bills (obviously): rent, utilities, phone bill, Adobe subscription, Crossfit, car insurance, and tithe.
I allowed myself to buy gas when needed, and spent $60 a week at the grocery store. Thats it.
What was Easy
I definitely bought into this personal challenge which made it easier than I thought to remind myself that I truly did have food at home meaning I didn’t need to stop for a snack. When it came to hanging out with friends I was honest with them, and we found ways to hang-out for free. Instead of chatting over coffee or a burger, we went for a walk, or threw together the odds and ends in our fridge to make a meal together. Totally doable.
What was Hard
Sometimes spontaneous things came up with friends, colleagues, roommates, that I didn’t want to say no to. So I went without. Or someone kindly paid for me (shout-out to having great friends). I tried to be lowkey and un-obnoxious about the whole thing, but at times it felt like I was being annoying or an inconvenience, which was hard.
You know when your dieting and you constantly tell yourself “no don’t eat that, no don’t eat that, no don’t eat that” over and over that you start getting “no fatigued.” That started to happen here too and the temptation to just get a coffee because I was in a rush and no one else would know, was tough.
Did I stick to it?
Yes and no. I stuck to it hard core for the first 3 weeks, then I intentionally decided to stop because Ra’Shaud came to visit and I didn’t want to limit what we could do. I think I paid for one meal with him and I bought coffee once. I also forgot that all my subscriptions for this lovely blog were coming up for renewal so some money was deducted on that. Lastly, my brake pads needed replacing so I purchased those as well. According to my bank statements I also had a $40 purchase from Amazon….oops.
Was it Worth it?
Heck yeah! The extra money I saved by not spending throughout the month I was able to transfer to my various saving accounts. I definitely want to do it again, but I’m trying to find a month where I think the least amount of surprises will arise…probably impossible to predict but at this point I’m thinking October.
I’ll let y’all know.